Technical Limitations of Moog Modular Synthesiser

System 55 • System 35 • Model 15
Post Reply
peter1894
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:54 am

Technical Limitations of Moog Modular Synthesiser

Post by peter1894 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:25 am

Hello Moog enthusiasts! ;)

I am writing a paper for my University course on the ways in which the physical constraints and affordances of the design of the Moog modular synth has affected compositional practices ( I'm using terminology here I've borrowed from writers like Paul Thebrege' and James Mooney who have written papers on compositional matters).
What methods of composition did they synthesiser encourage? Would notable users, such as Keith Emerson, Wendy Carlos, have realized their music differently on a Buchla synthesiser, for example?

I'm aware of the surface differences between Moog and Buchla machinery; I'm hoping to come up with original points that can't be found on a half hour google search around the topic; in order to do this I've had to teach myself a fair bit about voltage-control oscillators, potentiometers, subtractive synthessis and other things using the Computer Music Journal (Curtis Rhodes) amongst other books.

In terms of a particular model, I suppose I am aiming to talk primarily about the System 15.

I was wondering if anyone had a couple of minutes to shed a little light on particular modules which had features on note, or anything else that springs to mind on the topic? I was hoping to write in the style of Point-Evidence-Explanation:

"The low-pass filter of the Moog. has been noted as being a key part of the distinctive sound of the synthesizer. What was it that made the low pass filter unique?"

I'm trying to make my way through the the technical service manual, which I have attached. But it's dense reading! So if anyone can help me with this, then much appreciated.

I look forward to your responses! If anything I have said is unclear, then please let me know =)

Peter

User avatar
MC
Posts: 2874
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:20 pm
Location: Secluded Tranquil Country

Re: Technical Limitations of Moog Modular Synthesiser

Post by MC » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:58 pm

First post and you're asking us to write your thesis? Yes the technical service manual is a dense document, researching it is your job.

Good luck, what time tomorrow is it due?
Gear list: '04 Saturn Ion, John Deere X300 tractor, ganged set of seven reel mowers for 3 acres of lawn, herd of sheep for backup lawn mowers, two tiger cats for mouse population control Oh you meant MUSIC gear Oops I hit the 255 character limi

Trigger
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:16 pm

Re: Technical Limitations of Moog Modular Synthesiser

Post by Trigger » Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:10 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

User avatar
paramnesia
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:35 am
Location: Asheville, NC
Contact:

Re: Technical Limitations of Moog Modular Synthesiser

Post by paramnesia » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:24 pm

check original manuals over at http://www.synthfool.com/docs/Moog/modular/

you might search for the original 1981 ‘The Moog Modular Synthesizer Owner’s Manual’, 190pgs. I only have a PDF. It is an unabridged copy of the 1981 manual by Dan Wyman. It still carries the 1981 Copyright to Moog Music, Inc.

The Table of Contents is as follows:
———————————————

Preface {Robert Moog}
Acknowledgements

Ch1 An introduction to Modular Synthesis (p1-3)
--- Primary Modular System Standards
--- Servicing and Warranty Information

Ch2 For the Complete Synthesist (p4-11)
--- Some Suggestions on a Working Approach to Modular Systems
--- Connecting the Synthesizer to a Monitor System
--- General Setup Information

Ch3 Moog Professional Systems (p12-18)
--- Table of available modules {illustrated}

Ch4 Technical Descriptions (p19-85)
--- Sequencer (86-93)

Ch5 Making the Connections (p94-129)
--- Basic Operations of the Modular Systems
--- Special Notes on Patch Illustrations
--- Sound Generation Patches
--- Varying Control Voltages
--- Concentration on Individual Modules

Ch6 Larger Systems Operation (p130-154)
--- Control Panel Switching, System 35 and 55
--- Individual Modules Operation

Ch7 Sequencer Complement Operations (p155-174)

Ch8 Appendix (p175-188)
--- 951, 952 Keyboard Tuning Procedure
--- An Effective Notational System for Modular Patches
--- Definition of Terms {Glossary}

Ch9 Bibliography (p189-190)
Sub37TE V1.2 / 4 X CP-251, 3 x MF-104M, MF-102, MF-107, MF-108M, 4 x Mother32 + 5 x 104HP Eurorack, Windows 7 - 64 Bit | Ableton Live 9.5 + MaxMSP https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/458782

M00G
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:58 pm

Re: Technical Limitations of Moog Modular Synthesiser

Post by M00G » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:40 am

---

And MOOG Archives is always a great browse and lots of tech info...

http://moogarchives.com

EricK
Posts: 5972
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 2:09 pm

Re: Technical Limitations of Moog Modular Synthesiser

Post by EricK » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:47 pm

Well, if you are going to write about the limitations that artists like Carlos faced, keep in mind she wasn't working with the System 15.

This topic sounds like it could be way more broad and technical than you might be prepared for.
Support the Bob Moog Foundation:
https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=4043

I think I hear the mothership coming.

peter1894
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:54 am

Re: Technical Limitations of Moog Modular Synthesiser

Post by peter1894 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:40 pm

EricK wrote:Well, if you are going to write about the limitations that artists like Carlos faced, keep in mind she wasn't working with the System 15.

This topic sounds like it could be way more broad and technical than you might be prepared for.



I think the question/topic is possible. It requires some critical thinking and investigation on what the system 15 could and could not do in relation to it's successors.
It requires me to gain an understanding of quite a few fundamental things; I think the best thing would be for me to find first hand accounts or journals of notably creative practitioners. The fact that the choices of modules included were tailored to the user throws a spanner in the works, but surely

I do apologise, I am of course, very new to the subject of synthesisers in general; it must be somewhat painfull to read a post such as the above. I will try my best to accumulate knowledge and help out others on this forum when I have done so.

User avatar
Flareless
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:47 am
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Technical Limitations of Moog Modular Synthesiser

Post by Flareless » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:28 pm

Watch the documentary I Dream of Wires. You can find it on Netflix. It might help answer some of your questions.

peter1894
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:54 am

Re: Technical Limitations of Moog Modular Synthesiser

Post by peter1894 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:15 pm

Flareless wrote:Watch the documentary I Dream of Wires. You can find it on Netflix. It might help answer some of your questions.


Personally I found this documentary very entertaining but lacking a bit of critical analysis

User avatar
Vsyevolod
Posts: 712
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:38 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Technical Limitations of Moog Modular Synthesiser

Post by Vsyevolod » Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:53 pm

Get your hands on a Model 15 and compose with it for a couple of years. All your questions will then be answered. Problem is, you'll have even more questions than you started with.

Trying to write a paper about a synthesizer that you have little to no hands on experience with is like trying to write about dancing when you don't have feet.

Stephen




.

JnGd
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:37 pm

Re: Technical Limitations of Moog Modular Synthesiser

Post by JnGd » Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:03 pm

Hi,

Sir,

listen to Klaus Schulze's "Mirage" album...some clues in there !

Post Reply