A little Moog modular goodness

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Kevin Lightner
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A little Moog modular goodness

Post by Kevin Lightner » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:37 pm

This somewhat grainy photo below is of two separate systems stacked together.

The bottom half is basically a rehoused Moog 3P with some additional modules including two Synthesizers.com Q120 interface panels.
It belongs to the University of Southern California Irvine.
The Q120 panels were added in order to facilitate interfacing with a Buchla 200 system (not shown )also owned by the university.

The top Moog 2P is quite a rarity.
It used to be at Sound Arts Studios and was owned by the late Paul Beaver.
Many of the modules inside have stickers that read "Property of Paul Beaver" or "Property of Robert Moog."
I've seen old modules before with tags like this for Bob, but never any for Paul.

This system is unique in that many modules are very early ones.
Several built on perf-board and not regular etched PCBs.
it also has some mods performed to the 901Bs and I have to say that these 901s are the best tracking 901Bs I've ever seen.
They're very accurate across 4 octaves, most knobs center perfectly and even the range switching is fairly good.
Waveforms are very true too, even the sine waves.
Real gems as 901Bs go.
The system also has some custom modules including an env follower and noise module.

Anyway, they'd been here way too long being serviced and are finally done.
But I thought I'd take a low light pic to show off all the pretty lamps. :)

Last edited by Kevin Lightner on Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Better to be king for a night than schmuck for a lifetime. - R. Pupkin

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Re: A little Moog modular goodness

Post by unfiltered37 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:00 am

I trade you my 2000 subaru with a broken taillight and my left nut for it.

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Re: A little Moog modular goodness

Post by ARP » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:53 am

Thanks for sharing, it's gotta be tough to see it go :(
"Although they heard the music..they didn't understand the tune"

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Re: A little Moog modular goodness

Post by AlakaLazlo » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:27 pm

Those top two cabs look familiar.... :D
See you tomorrow.

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Re: A little Moog modular goodness

Post by mikael488 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:17 pm

The mods were probably done by someone at Sound Arts sometime in '76 or '77 because Dan Wyman told me a few years ago
that they stabilized the older 901s with a stabilizing transistor pair.

From what I understand Paul Beaver's model IIIP w/optional sequencer cabinet (and possibly a model 10 as well) ended up with Dan Wyman & Co. when they took over the studio after Beaver's death in Jan 1975. I believe VSE member "Esus" is the current owner of that synth so I'm not sure where the early modules with the Paul Beaver stickers come from. But who knows, maybe they come from Beaver & Krause's original 1966/67 system (?). On the other hand, I don't know whether they kept that synt since both of them bought new model IIIP's w/sequencer cabinets in '68 and '69.

Beaver & Krause's albums "In a Wild Sanctuary", "Gandharva" and "All Good Men" were all recorded with the two IIIP's. Moreover, these Moog's are featured on many movie soundtracks and TV shows eg "Performance", "The Illustrated man", "The Medical center", "The Final program" etc. For these soundtracks Paul Beaver generally worked on the music side of things while Krause worked on special effects (as he he had done on several of their studio albums).

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Re: A little Moog modular goodness

Post by AlakaLazlo » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:50 pm


Thanks for the historical info. Sound Arts built the system for me in the mid-to-late 70s. My best guess now is 76 as I was just out of highschool when I got it. I'm trying to definatively track each module back to its original sourse system. The 901 mods include a low tracking pot on the back of each 901b which makes adjusting possible without removing them from the cabinet. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were part of the very early Beaver and Krause system that were subsequently modded by Dan & Co. Some of the modules date from 1965, and the envelope follower/noise module is on perf board. It also has the very old crinkle finish 4u blank panel from what was probably an old studio system.

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Re: A little Moog modular goodness

Post by BrianK » Sun Dec 25, 2011 2:32 am

There is another guy I know in LA with some Sound Arts modules from Paul Beaver.

I know Paul and Bernie were early "complainers" about the stability of the oscillators, even in the '60s. Though the Buchla wasn't much better, not many people used Buchla for tonal music! I'm sure some of their pressure helped create the Minimoog/921 circuits, although other people had found stabilized osc's by 1970, too. It wasn't magic, I just think that when Bob built the early modular systems, they were more for artsy experimental sounds than multi-layered tonal synth music that came along, where it really started to matter.

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