Post Number: 150
|Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 8:40 am: |
Well yesterday I was going through some stuff and I can across this picture, years ago when my Custom double neck Alembic Bass was finished, I made my first contact with the great DR. Bob Moog father of the synth, his company then was called Big Briar and was located in North Carolina just out side Asheville, in 1979 I was trying have a special pickup designed to be mounted on the eight string to follow and control frequencies to use one of his synth modules with. After a few phone calls with DR Bob and a couple of back and forth letters and designs Bob thought it might be possible at the cost of $5000.00 to do this which I agreed to go ahead with it, 2 months later after experimenting withe ideas and electronics he sadly informed me that it would not work right simply because the parts just could not be scaled down small enough to follow the frequencies (tracking the data) properly which is still some issues today although better with guitar synths. this Idea was for which the Bass was intentionally built for a power trio I was involved in and to stereo split sound for when the guitarist took his leads to keep the sound full.
Well years past ans one day I had heard that Bob Moog had finally got his name back after a long battle with rights because of the Minimoog, and had opened a shop in Asheville that went from Big Briar to Moog Music, so I called to give congrats and Bob invited me out to visit the facility sometime, which I did and meet with him and a few of staff where we did lunch at a place called Asiana, was a great Chinese Buffet in Candler and we all had fun talking about Circuits and stuff and his talks about Keith Emerson were very interesting that day, Keith has a spot on his site posted in memory of DR. Bob Moog, he was pure genius in his craft of work and I post this because I felt privileged and honored to meet such a man.
Funny how I just came a cross this picture and tomorrow marks four years of his passing, his Minimoog and other devices have been a great contribution to all of us and to music itself, so I must give a Bravo to DR.Bob Moog and may he be resting peacefully .Bob Passed 8/21/2005. Not the best picture to post because it was taken with a polaroid at Bob's shop especially after eating Chinese buffet, but heres to you DR. Bob, P.S Bob Moog had this great station wagon that was painted up like Janis Joplin's porsche believe it was a Volvo, I guess a family member has it
Post Number: 638
|Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 8:45 am: |
I think it's a great picture! Alembic and Moog are two of the great American musical instrument pioneers. Moog gear like the Moogerfoogers and synths were key elements in my development from merely a bassist to a musician.
Thanks John for helping us remember!
Post Number: 809
|Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 9:43 am: |
Nice Picture, with the advent of crystal clear digital pics ,older pictures have a certain special something that stand out in a good way.
I remember a discussion about the folks at Alembic trying to shift the resonant peak of the superfilter with each played note to match the notes frequency...that too was just a little beyond the reach of what could be done onboard an instrument.
I really respect the efforts and innovations these geniuses have put forward for our benefit.
Thanks for sharing John,
Post Number: 1003
|Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 10:57 am: |
My first encounter with a MiniMoog was at a local music store, I was 13 or 14 years old at the time.
It was the most amazing instrument I ever had seen, remember we were all so impressionable at that age!
Some many controls and the sound, well it was out of this world wasn't it??
This was the early 70's, Emerson, Lake & Palmer were the biggest band in the UK with Keith Emerson taking that huge modular Moog out on tour with him.
Roxy Music & King Crimson were using the UK EMS VCS3 synthesiser.
Stevie Wonder enlisted the guys from Tonto's Expanding HeadBand(please remind me of the name of the guys), again they had this huge synth which filled a studio.
I think it was the same guys who did the 'Switched on Bach' albums.
Now all that sound can be bought in a digital keyboard at an absolute fraction of the cost.
Mind you they still say analogue synth sounds still are the best.
Post Number: 8608
|Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 11:25 am: |
Terry; per your request. T.O.N.T.O.'s Expanding Head Band was Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff. T.O.N.T.O. stood for The Original New Timbral Orchestra. None of which I knew (or if I did, I had completely forgotten) before looking this up. So, thanks for taking me down that path; it's interesting stuff!
Post Number: 8609
|Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 11:36 am: |
Oh; and Switched-On Bach was Wendy Carlos.
Post Number: 151
|Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 12:14 pm: |
Just for the record Dave to shed more light to those who may be interested, Carlos recorded earlier as Walter the first 2 albums and later had a sex change during the well tempered sythnesizer album the story is as follows
Profile: Electronic musician Walter Carlos was born in 1938 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island (USA) and had a big interest in both music and technology. At the age of ten he composed his first piece and at 14 he build a small home computer. Three years later he assembled an electronic music studio and created his first electronic musical composition, manipulated with some tape recording.
At the Brown University (1958-1962), Carlos studied music and physics and taught electronic music; at the Columbia University (1962-1965), he did extensive work at the Columbia-Princeton electronic music center and in that period, Walter Carlos assisted the famous director Leonard Bernstein in a concert of electronic music at the Philharmonic Hall, Lincoln Center, and also managed to get two of his compositions, Dialogues for Piano and Two Loudspeakers and Variations for Flute and Electronic Sound, commercially recorded.
With the wish to develop an electronic sound producing unit which could validly be called a musical instrument, Carlos began a collaboration with engineer Robert Moog in 1966. The result was a prototype of Carlos' special synthesizer on which he performed and recorded his realizations of Bach and other composers (the Switched-On series) and his music for the musical score of A Clockwork Orange.
In 1969, he had a sex-change becoming Wendy Carlos, and has been known the rest of her career with this name. This means that the artists name Walter Carlos refers to a specific period of time and a small set of releases, especially the first Switched-Ons. Although this isn't really noticeable now, it's obvious that the sex-change must have a big impact on the musical career, at least from a commercial point of view.
Even Wendy's official website doesn't say much about this period, and that's a pity, because it was very important for the development of 'Electronic Music', the synthesizer as musical instrument and what we now call 'Minimalistic': the (re-)search for the boundaries of music and sound. Music, more or less, from a scientific point of view. Of course, in the 70's a sex-change wasn't very well-known and accepted as it is today. For more information about this artist, especially the later period, see Wendy Carlos.
Post Number: 152
|Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 12:25 pm: |
wendy and a rare photo of walter and the best yet BoB Moog's Moog Module beast that was used for the Switched on Bach series and One built for Keith Emerson
Post Number: 8610
|Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 1:34 pm: |
Interesting story; thanks John!
Post Number: 1005
|Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 3:56 pm: |
well I was right in one sense!
Over in the UK we had a guy called Peter Zinoieff(I think that is the spelling)
EMS(Electronic Music Studios) built the aforementioned VCS3 or Putney as it was known as.
This synth looked like a piece of 60's furniture with teak side casing.
The connections between the modules were done with patch pins on a graph type pin board. If Osc 1 ws to connect to reverb then it was locate on the horizontal axis and connect to the vertical axis at its co ordinate(harder to explain than show)
The BBC had a huge version of this synthesiser in their Radiophonic Workshop, all the Dr.Who sci fi music was written on this using two full size keyboards.
Roxy Music & King Crimson were the main users of the VCS3 but a great example of it's use can be heard on Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' the track 'On The Run'
Post Number: 457
|Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 9:23 am: |
Yes, Bob Moog is a great loss.
How many innovators like this will we see in a lifetime ?
And of course artists like Emo and Walter/Wendy Carlos helped define the sounds we take for granted now days.
An intersting tid bit..several years ago I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Mr.Emerson and one of his techs at N.E.A.R fest. His rather imposing modular really wasn't much more than an elaborate mini with some custom programers to switch sounds on the fly, and an extra filter or two. The scope at the top was for show and the sequencers were seldom used live.(except the end of Karn Evil 9)
I think it's a shame that this generation of technology is out of vogue, including the VSC3,the mini,original Prophets, etc. Back then you actually had to play the beast.