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Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:14 am
by dtirer
I'm interested in getting a Moog Prodigy, and maybe interfacing it with some sort of MIDI / CV Converter and a sequencer. With the Prodigy MKII, can I send Note on/off messages for specific notes? Or do I actually need to trigger the the notes by playing the keys on the prodigy?

How about the MKI? And how about modifications that allow such functionality?

I don't have much experience with sequencing analog gear. I know the MKII has a few CV inputs (Osc In, VCF in, sync in, etc...) im just not sure how they all function exactly.

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:10 pm
by Portamental
Hi and welcome to the group.

You can do all you want and more, with a Prodigy Mk1 as you call it, or Rev 1.

You got to learn how to walk before running though. The technical aspects are too long to cover in one post, but here are some pointers.

You can sequence the Prodigy from midi with a midi-to-CV converter. The process is very simple, just plug in a few cables. There's a catch though. A Rev1 prodigy uses S-trig instead of the more common V-trig used nowadays. Make sure you select a midi-to-CV unit that support S-trigs. There are other options. You can build (or buy) a special patch cable that converts an S-trig to V-trig. You can also mod a Rev1 to replace the S-trig with V-trig.

You can play a Prodigy into a midi system. For that, you need a CV-to-Midi converter. This is harder to find. To do this, I use a Roland FC-300 foot controller where the expression pedal inputs will serve as CV source, coded to midi and spread on a midi chain.

Here are my two heavily modded Prodigys. On both units, the S-trig cinch jones plug has been replaced with a standard quarter inch jack and modded internally to work with V-trig.

The Prodigy in an incredible machine with a totally gorgeous sound and very heavy bass capabilities. The filter on it is the most organic of all the vintage Moogs, after the Model D. The panel layout is a bit non-standard but that's only a small detail.

First things first... Find and buy a rev 1. A rev 2 is nice but hard to find and not strictly required for simple sequencing.

Hope this helps.

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Edit : typos again.

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:51 pm
by thealien666
Good post by Portamental.

Hello and welcome dtirer.

I'll add this to help you better understand some principles behind CV interfacing.

V-Trig = a positive voltage pulse coming from an external source (other device) to trigger the envelopes. (it means Voltage Triggering)
S-Trig = a momentary short of the two wires coming out of the S-Trigger connector to trigger the envelopes. (it means Short Triggering) EDIT:make that Switch Triggering.
Some synths, like a few of the Moog models, use S-Trig. Some others, use V-Trig.

KYBD IN = a positive voltage sent from another device to control the pitch or notes of the synth. Usually adds 1 octave with each 1 volt increase. But not always. Some synthesizers use a different voltage control. But Moog is 1 volt per octave.
KYBD OUT = a positive voltage generated by the synth to control other synths, corresponding to 1 volt per octave.

An analog sequencer simply generates different pitch control voltages (to be sent to KYBD IN), according to how each step in the sequence has been set by a potentiometer, and also generates V-Trig or S-Trig signals for each step to trigger the envelopes, to be sent to a synthesizer.

Since all of this is analog, it means that everything has to be calibrated precisely in order to have the synthesizer play in tune.

A digital sequencer consist of a series of numbers corresponding to the different note values (MIDI note message) for each step in the sequence, and Note-on and Note-off messages.
A MIDI-to-CV interface is usually calibrated precisely to convert those numbers into precise voltages, and trigger signals to be sent to an analog synth.

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:11 pm
by Portamental
Thanks Alien.. that should keep him busy for a while :lol:

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:27 pm
by Kevin Lightner
Actually S-trig means Switch Trigger, but carry on.... :)

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:37 pm
by thealien666
Switch-Trigger ? Really ? Well I'll be a monkey's uncle ! :oops:
:lol:

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:33 pm
by dtirer
Wow thanks guys! This is great, just what I needed

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:43 pm
by dtirer
So if that's what keyboard in does, what is Oscar In used for?
Also does Key In control the gate of the note?

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:19 pm
by CZ Rider
dtirer wrote:How about the MKI? And how about modifications that allow such functionality?

I don't have much experience with sequencing analog gear. I know the MKII has a few CV inputs (Osc In, VCF in, sync in, etc...) im just not sure how they all function exactly.

The early model Prodigy does not have any CV in/out, unless it has been modified. Acording to the service documents serials below 4610 would be the ones with only an audio output. Identified by the single 1/4" audio out on the back. A photo to compare the older (top) to the later models (bottom) with the CV interface.
Image
If you want to sequence, I would recommend looking for one of the later Prodigy models. The early ones can be modded, but involves drilling holes and soldering connections.

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:03 pm
by Portamental
Right CZ.

It all depends on what you call Rev1, or Rev2 or whatever... I call Rev 1 the one above 4600 with factory installed CV group. And Rev 2 the upgraded Rev1. Original below 4600 would be Rev 0.

Rev2 never shipped ready made from the factory to my knowledge. Either a field or factory upgrade... very rare indeed.

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:11 pm
by Voltor07
The original wouldn't be a revision, would it? A revision is, by definition, an attempt to upgrade the original. :wink:

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:00 am
by ebo
I use two Prodigy''s, both are the first version ,no cv ,gate, filter in
but with the Prodigy Kenton socket kid and the Pro 2000 or Pro Solo , they worked perfect
http://youtu.be/rPeWAosKgq8

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:30 am
by CZ Rider
On the old R.A.Moog drawings the revisions were assigned letters, with the first revision "A". Probably why there isn't a Minimoog Model 4, but in Moog talk the Model D.
There is still a page up at Synhouse on where to add jacks/sockets for their Midijack to an early Prodigy:
Prodigy mod page from Synhouse
Or if you can find a complete copy, the official Moog Prodigy service manual has a section outlining all of the mods. I have yet to find a PDF file of the complete service manual, only parts of it.
So I guess my Prodigy would be modified to a revision D? Has been modded to output the sum of the keyboard/osc 1 range sw./osc mod/ and pitch wheel for the pitch CV out, so I can control other modular gear from it.
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Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:27 pm
by Ledbetter
Here's alink to Kenton:

http://www.kentonuk.com/synthselector/s ... digy.shtml

Have you thought about a Little Phatty instead? Prodigy prices are high because of the "historical" value, and they're pretty old now. I don't play mine much anymore and would never gig with it. The Little Phatty already has every thing you need for sequencing. Just a thought.

Re: Moog Prodigy - Sequencing

Posted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:38 pm
by Portamental
CZ Rider wrote:There is still a page up at Synhouse on where to add jacks/sockets for their Midijack to an early Prodigy:


There was a Synhouse MIDIjack inside the very first vintage Moog I bought. I turned it into this :

Image

The job was simple, I don't think I overlooked anything. It never worked. I did not troubleshoot it any further.

The MG-1 was badly beaten up. Paid too much for it. Many keys did not respond, but the sound engine worked. The unit belonged to a DJ. MIDIjack stopped working I now assume, probably the reason he sold it. MG-1 has been refurbished since then, now works great.