Monday, August 21, 2006


This is Bob Moog.
He changed the way I think about and write music.
He changed the the way a lot of people think about and write music.
In fact, I'll go so far as to say that he just changed music.
He died a year ago today.

People ask me... "Wes, what's so great about this Moog stuff you always talk about?"

First off, I am NOT a keyboard player. I cannot sit down and play a piano. I can barely read music as it is.
What's so great about Moog Synthesizers and why do I make such a huge deal about them?

Let me ramble a bit:

I had always heard synthesizers on CD's that I listened to growing up. I would go so far as to say that my first introduction to them was probably from bands like Weezer and The Rentals. I thought Matt Sharp's use of Moogs on "The Return of the Rentals" was exciting and brilliant for that time. Amazing how these little monophonic keyboards could make a note or a sound that just rounded out the rest of the music.
Personally, I love them because after laughter, it's my favorite sound ever.
I find it amazing how different it is using an analog synth vs. a regular digital keyboard. Menu's and buttons have little personality. Analog synthesizers require you to use your ears and choose what sounds blend well rather than just going with a number on a little screen. You listen to and feel the way the frequencies blend together to create a rich, full sound. I love it when the highs scream and the lows rumble. There's something to be said about tweaking the knobs while you play. It's a fully interactive instrument, much like a guitar. I know it sounds crazy, but I've read some books and done a lot of research of the history of how the Moog synthesizer came to be. It's a fascinating story considering that the man who made them wasn't even considered a musician. It all started by him designing a box that made noise. Once musicians got ahold of it, they offered up suggestions on how to make it more user friendly for performance and Bob took those ideas and the synthesizer evolved into what it is today.
Having recently gotten my hands on the 55th Little Phatty ever made, it's so much fun to play even by itself. I can get lost just making noises for hours.

I don't use the term "genius" lightly, but aside from Brian Wilson (who used Moogs!), Bob Moog is the only other person I consider to be a genius.

The rambling is over.
Thanks for reading.

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