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Minimoog Model D

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #40 on: May 19, 2016, 02:21:24 PM »
It's fine with me, Paul, if you don't like the Minimoog.  Have a field day criticizing it.  It's actually useful in that it helps to regain a more balanced opinion of the instrument.  The Model D is like a fishing story that's been told so many times that the minnow that swam under the boat has become the whale that jumped over it.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 05:43:14 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

chysn

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Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2016, 02:39:17 PM »
Maybe they did the reissue so that people will finally shut up about the Minimoog Model D. Maybe this is more of a corporate exorcism than a product release.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #42 on: May 19, 2016, 02:57:34 PM »
It's fine with me, Paul, if you don't like the Minimoog.  Have a field day criticizing it.  It's actually useful in that it helps to gain a more balanced opinion of the instrument.  The Model D is like a fishing story that's been told so many times that the minnow has become a whale.

See, it's not that I don't like the Minimoog. I just don't get anymore what's so special about it. And I'm not denying its historical significance. But it is what it is in the end: historical. It's also not that it has been a hidden secret or a super rarity. The Minimoog is all over the place on records, which makes the artistic side in me ask first of all: "Why do I want to sound like everybody else?" - I think Tony Banks made a sort of similar statement in the 1970s when he was asked why he doesn't use a Minimoog. Honestly, I find the abundance of its use quite boring. It's like you can tell in what decade a specific record was probably recorded due to recording, processing, and mixing standards. That's what I meant by the cheesy effect. To me, the use of the Minimoog on Prog Rock, Funk, or Fushion records of the 1970s doesn't qualitatively differ from the use of the DX7 E-Piano in 1980s pop ballads. It's the lack of that sort of omnipresence that naturally makes other synths more interesting to me.

So in this sense, the Minimoog is stuck too much in its history to be interesting enough for me in comparison to other instruments for example. There's a whole body of work out there that shaped how the Minimoog is being perceived along with all of its so-called trademark sounds, which - for reasons of ubiquity - have become huge clichés, especially with regard to certain bass and lead sounds.

I would maybe consider paying about 3 grand for a mono synth, which would be my only mono synth then. But in order to be that it would have to be capable of so much more than the Minimoog is able to offer despite its nice sounding raw sound.

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2016, 02:59:03 PM »
Maybe they did the reissue so that people will finally shut up about the Minimoog Model D. Maybe this is more of a corporate exorcism than a product release.

I think it's the opposite of exorcism. It's rather museumization and turning Bob Moog into a zombie by means of marketing.

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #44 on: May 19, 2016, 05:40:53 PM »
Maybe they did the reissue so that people will finally shut up about the Minimoog Model D. Maybe this is more of a corporate exorcism than a product release.

I'm gonna bet that there will be quite a few vintage "D" owners that will spring for the CV out modification - or, for that matter, a rebuild to new "D" spec. Call me cynical, but that's some nice add-on revenue right there.
Sequential / DSI / Pioneer stuff: OB-6 Desktop, Prophet 12 Desktop, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Pro 2, TORAIZ AS-1, Prophet-600 Gligli, Prophet 2000

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #45 on: May 20, 2016, 03:48:01 AM »
I'm not venerating the thing; I'm just noting that these little improvements are actually substantial in that they improve the infamous weaknesses of the instrument.

Nah, I didn't refer to you. It's just that the whole internet seems to go bonkers about this while I don't understand. I can only see consumer fetishism, but maybe I'm too cynic for this.

Don't worry you are not the only one.

If it was a 2600 though I might be loosing it a bit.

Jason

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Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #46 on: May 20, 2016, 10:54:55 AM »
I had a MiniMoog D for several years, and despite the various challenges including cigarette burns on the keys, I still miss it. I just haven't heard lead tones like the D being reproduced by other instruments. Am I hearing things? What else can sound like this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeHaO1bF8Ng&list=WL&index=11

There are also many examples of Rick Wakeman using one to cut through a thick mix:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsJApGdm97c

I'm not trying to prove a point, I'm seriously asking what else can sound like this? Yes, I know these sounds sound old to many people, but I like them. I'm not a very nostalgic person and would be happy to get these tones with something else. My perception is that a Voyager doesn't get you there. Part of what I love about the Prophet '08 is how well it can simulate these lead sounds... in addition to doing so many other things so well. (I may soon be getting even closer: I'm taking delivery of a Prophet '08 Desktop Module today to thicken up my '08... similar to Sacred Synthesis.) Unlike many, I'm not as interested in using a MiniMoog for bass sounds. But what else gets us those smooth, over-driven, thick lead sounds?

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #47 on: May 20, 2016, 12:05:23 PM »
Coming from the opposite end of the musical spectrum, I'd have to agree with you.  The Minimoog undeniably has a tone all its own, and folks usually either love it or hate it.  I understand the impatience with digging up old synth relics and trying to re-present them as new and exciting.  But on the other hand, I also feel a frustration with what I consider the redundant complexity of modern instruments and the often resultant lack of character.  Having synthesizers that do everything just doesn't appeal to all of us, and having one that does only a few things - but very well - can be a refreshing change.  Such a synthesizer also tends to be the "go-to" instrument when you want to get right down to designing useable sounds and then making music.  I think this is the reason the Prophet-6 and OB-6 have been so popular.  They're repeatedly described as "immediate."  It's also the reason I like the Prophet '08 so much. 

These are two Minimoog recordings that strike me as sonically distinctive and musically impressive.  The second shows the classic "Minimoog sound" at its best:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JN2dOM47F4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9SdqIqgskI
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 12:08:40 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #48 on: May 20, 2016, 12:08:36 PM »
I prefer Józef Skrzek to Mr. Wakeman here, mostly because Wakeman's thick sawtooth lead acts on me like a cultural signifier that I associate with pretentious solos and 1970s cheese, which kind of turned the Model D into the Gouda of synthesizers for me personally. But that depends of course on a matter of taste in the end. Nevertheless, it serves as a good example for what I meant by the aforementioned Moog clichés.

I'm still not saying that a Model D sounds bad. My problem with this particular reissue is only that it's purely nostalgia driven, that's all. And I assume, Dr. Bob Moog wouldn't be happy with this either, as he wasn't particular obsessed with looking backwards. Let's also not forget that the Model D was never a priority for Moog in the beginning. It started as a side project that was mainly driven by Moog's assistant, built from leftover parts. Although he supervised it in the end, Moog wasn't as involved in it as he was with regard to the modular systems that preceded the Minimoog. And although an instrument like the Voyager was most certainly inspired by it, they only added the "Minimoog" brand for pure marketing reasons, which was not Bob Moog's original aim.

Like Sacred Synthesis, I would have been happier to see something in the spirit of the Voyager - a further development inspired by the original Minimoog. But we all know that the reissue has nothing to do with innovation, nor with keeping up a legacy. It's about business and introducing another boutique item to the vintage collection of blasts from the past (systems 15, 35, and 55). Many guitar manufacturers like Fender or Gibson did this before. Now, this phenomenon has finally reached the synth market. From a technical standpoint, Moog is now offering affordable instruments with mass production compatible surface mount technology including the Mother-32, Minitaur up to the Sub 37, and reissured high-end vintage models based on handbuilt through-hole components. So basically, Moog is two companies now: one for the average player, and one for the wealthy collectors.

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2016, 12:19:45 PM »
And then there's the list of shortcomings of a reissued Model D based on expectations in the year 2016, many of which have been mentioned already:

no PWM (except for a very esoteric approach which sacrifices VCO 2 and 3)
no oscillator sync
no full MIDI implementation (only note on/off)
no editor
no adjustment with regard to note priority (I think the Moog default is low note)
no patch memory
no internal power supply
no stereo
no four-stage envelopes

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #50 on: May 20, 2016, 01:56:12 PM »
- No PWM (except for a very esoteric approach which sacrifices VCO 2 and 3)
- No four-stage envelopes

Adding to this shortened list the astronomical price tag, the above are unpardonable sins, from my perspective.  It's almost impossible to musically function without such features.  Even if the Minimoog were selling for $2,000 - which would put it within my financial range - these shortcomings would still make me hesitate.  It comes down to whether or not the classic Model D sound compensates for the loss of the other features.  I've always loved the Minimoog sawtooth and square, and they alone almost make the losses worthwhile.  But not quite.  If only it had proper pulse width modulation.  Such a ridiculous omission.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 02:08:46 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #51 on: May 20, 2016, 02:10:39 PM »
- No PWM (except for a very esoteric approach which sacrifices VCO 2 and 3)
- No stereo
- No four-stage envelopes

Adding to this shortened list the astronomical price tag, the above are unpardonable sins, from my perspective.  It's almost impossible to musically function without such features.  Even if the Minimoog were selling for $2,000 - which would put it within my financial range - these shortcomings would still make me hesitate.  It comes down to whether or not the classic Model D sound compensates for the loss of the other features.  I've always loved the Minimoog sawtooth and square, and they alone almost make the losses worthwhile.  But not quite.  If only it had proper pulse width modulation.  Such a ridiculous omission.

This is going to be an aficionado's synth. It's all about that particular sound. From the comments I've read, this also seems to be the synth for the crowd that is of the opinion that presets are for people who are too lazy to get to know their synth, digital control produces unnecessary stepping and ruins the "organic character" of parameter changes, and everybody who's happy with less valuable items should get happy with crappy sounding machines.

I mean, I'm not even arguing about the price when it comes to how it is being manufactured. It is built by hand 100%. All boards are assembled manually. That of course has its price, so I won't argue about it from this POV. I'm only interested in what's possible by comparison, and in that regard $3,500 is quite a hefty price tag. I'm not denying that a good basic sound is less important than features, but in the end we're talking about a couple of keys, boards, capacitors, resistors, cables, and a bit of wood, just like a guitar is just a plank of wood with some wires.

chysn

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Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #52 on: May 20, 2016, 02:15:28 PM »
If you're going to grit your teeth and re-issue something, you can't be bothered by the march of progress. You'd always get folks who say, "The original sounded better because the circuitry required to add continuously-variable pulse-width threw off, you know, the temperature regulation with, you know, an electron cascade."

I really think they were trying to get out from under the Minimoog by digging it up. They've taken the incessant clamoring off the table, for ever and ever, and now that's one long shadow that they can get out of. They do innovate the for common musician. The Mother-32 is a huge testament to how they can make kick-ass things at reasonable prices. They just needed to finally pop the Minimoog zit off their collective face. It is accomplished.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #53 on: May 20, 2016, 02:23:15 PM »
I really think they were trying to get out from under the Minimoog by digging it up. They've taken the incessant clamoring off the table, for ever and ever, and now that's one long shadow that they can get out of. They do innovate the for common musician. The Mother-32 is a huge testament to how they can make kick-ass things at reasonable prices. They just needed to finally pop the Minimoog zit off their collective face. It is accomplished.

That's certainly an interesting take. Nevertheless, - and granted this would be true to some degree - how well did Fender and Gibson for example step out of the shadows of the much adored 1950s and 1960s models? I mean, isn't this just the same business strategy that has been used in the guitar industry to cash in big time - at least from those people (doctors, lawyers, etc.), who can afford it?

With a completely paralleled vintage production line, Moog could move forward a little bit faster now on the other side, yes. Instruments like the Sub 37 are not really innovative, only relative to Moog standards I'd say. Otherwise, those are the kind of instruments you would expect to be released by such a company by now - it's not really a surprise instrument though.

I think what Moog did with the Model 15 app is probably going to be more significant in the long run.

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #54 on: May 20, 2016, 02:23:59 PM »
I was thinking the same thing, Chysn.  Anybody want to bet that the staunchest Moogites will still claim that the re-issue pales before the old?  That extra LFO will have just ruined the whole thing.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 02:51:14 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

chysn

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Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #55 on: May 20, 2016, 02:47:31 PM »
how well did Fender and Gibson for example step out of the shadows of the much adored 1950s and 1960s models?

Touché.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #56 on: May 21, 2016, 03:05:43 PM »
Used Model Ds seem to be changing hands for just north of $4K US on Craigslist, slightly higher on reverb.com, so it will be interesting to see what the shootouts reveal (especially the Voyager Old School vs. reissue Model D vs. vintage Model D).

There is, though, an interesting revisionist aspect to these re-issues: will the vintage units endure, or will the memories of their sound, function, design faults etc. be overridden with those of their modern copies?

This is, by the way, one of those things that has been nagging me regarding a possible purchase of a Tom Oberheim SEM vs. a vintage one....
Sequential / DSI / Pioneer stuff: OB-6 Desktop, Prophet 12 Desktop, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Pro 2, TORAIZ AS-1, Prophet-600 Gligli, Prophet 2000

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #57 on: May 21, 2016, 03:18:24 PM »
The Minimoog Model D is in no way the only instrument that carries the heavy burden of being a seventies and eighties musical icon.  Although I have to agree that the Model D's unmistakable sound is both its strength and its weakness, again, it isn't alone.  So, while thinking today that it would be laughable for some of us to even try to adopt the sound of Wakeman or Emerson in producing our own music, it struck me that the list of associated instruments is rather long.  Personally, I couldn't possibly and wouldn't use the following instruments, for the same reasons I wouldn't use a Minimoog Model D:

- Drawbar and combo organs (Hammond, Farfisa, Vox, etc.)
- Electric pianos (Yamaha CP, RMI, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hohner)
- Clavinet
- String synthesizers (ARP, Elka, Roland, Logan, etc.)
- Mellotron
- Effects (Small Stone Phaser, Roland Space Echo, Leslie rotating speaker, etc.)

I'm sure we could all add a few more items to this outstanding vintage instruments list.  Perhaps the Prophet 5, Oberheim OB 8, Yamaha DX 7, and Roland Junos belong on it, too.  But my point is, the Minimoog is not unique in having its own inescapable sound.  All of the above do as well, and they all also have far less sonic versatility than the Minimoog, which makes them all-the-more identifiable.  So, in the name of consistency, it seems to me the whole list could be added to our present debate. 

Although at first the news of the Model D re-issue admittedly excited me, after thinking things through, I'm no longer interested for some of the reason Paul Dither previously cited.  Personally, as a guy who played in bands in the eighties and listened to all the big synthesizer/keyboard progressive groups, but who has moved on to a very different musical direction, I couldn't possibly get far enough away from all of the above instruments and devices - due both to their sonic character and their musical associations as well. 

I appreciate the fresh new start that modern instruments offer.  Although I've done tons of research into many instruments by various companies, DSI strikes me as the right place to be.  Although their instruments are certainly of the traditional analog design, still, their versatility allows you to craft a unique personal sound.  I suppose the Prophet '08's tone has become somewhat recognizable by now, but I don't think it's overly identifiable.  The Poly Evolver Keyboard is more recognizable, but it's also more flexible, so, sounding typical or sounding unique is all up to the synthesist.

I could imagine adding, say, a Modal Electronics or Artisan Electronic Instruments synthesizer at some point, so I'm open to other possibilities.  But I'm fit to leave all thought of vintage gear and re-issues behind.  It was good back then, but it wasn't nearly as good as what I have now.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 02:46:29 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #58 on: May 21, 2016, 03:28:39 PM »
Used Model Ds seem to be changing hands for just north of $4K US on Craigslist, slightly higher on reverb.com, so it will be interesting to see what the shootouts reveal (especially the Voyager Old School vs. reissue Model D vs. vintage Model D).

There is, though, an interesting revisionist aspect to these re-issues: will the vintage units endure, or will the memories of their sound, function, design faults etc. be overridden with those of their modern copies?

This is, by the way, one of those things that has been nagging me regarding a possible purchase of a Tom Oberheim SEM vs. a vintage one....

An official announcement is yet to be awaited, but I've heard from various sources that they are only going to build the reissues for about two years, so there would be a limited supply only, which might not affect the originals. On the other hand, they are still building Sub 37s, which would have been discontinued in summer 2015 if they had followed the original plan.

Re: Minimoog Model D
« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2016, 03:53:47 PM »
The Minimoog Model D is in no way the only instrument that carries the heavy burden of being a seventies and eighties musical icon.  Although I have to agree that the Model D's unmistakable sound is both its strength and its weakness, again, it isn't alone.  So, while thinking today that it would be laughable for some of us to even try to adopt the sound of Wakeman or Emerson in producing our own music, it struck me that the list of associated instruments is rather long.  Personally, I couldn't possibly and wouldn't use the following instruments, for the same reasons I wouldn't use a Minimoog Model D:

- Drawbar and combo organs (Hammond, Farfisa, Vox, etc.)
- Electric pianos (Yamaha, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hohner)
- Clavinet
- String synthesizers (ARP, Elka, Roland, Logan, etc.)
- Mellotron
- Effects (Small Stone Phaser, Roland Space Echo, Leslie rotating speaker, etc.)

I'm sure we could all add a few more items to this outstanding vintage instruments list.  Perhaps the Prophet 5 and Oberheim 8 belong there, too.  But my point is, the Minimoog is not unique in having its own inescapable sound.  All of the above do as well, and they all also have far less sonic versatility than the Minimoog, which makes them all-the-more identifiable.  So, in the name of consistency, it seems to me the whole list could be added to our present debate.

That's absolutely true. These instruments clearly belong in that list. Hence, the description of them being timeless is always a bit problematic. They've made it to the mainstream, they proved to be successful, they shaped whole genres. Still, each of us could easily associate them with a certain era or decade, which is very unlike traditional instruments. Okay, clocks were ticking much slower hundreds of years ago, and one could also argue that there is maybe just not the violin just as much as there is not the synthesizer, which would be true at least with regard to certain historic instruments that do sound a bit strange when compared to our standards. Nevertheless, what's fundamentally different compared to the times when traditional instruments were developed and built, is the whole manufacturing process and all the indications of late capitalism. Let's not forget that we live in a consumer culture that didn't exist in this shape and form before the 20th century. And before anybody gets me wrong here: This is not meant to be an inherent critique, but from the point on where technological progress shaped the development of instruments at a much higher pace and mass production just as much as all the forms of marketing strategies kicked in, we all take for granted now, things became also much more affected by fashion movements for example. And while all of the above mentioned instruments are certainly classics to a degree, they are hugely associated with certain styles and genres, which are by definition not timeless - at least not in an era of radio, MTV, and all the other PR tools, which belong first and foremost to an industry, i.e. the production of a certain culture that is meant to create profit based on what is hot at a certain time (for whatever reason). Above that, let's also not forget that most musicians from yesterday will tell you that they've only used all of this stuff because there wasn't anything better available. So part of what turned these instruments into classics is a product of retroactive glorification.