Newbie Model D Question

Tips and techniques for Minimoog Analog Synthesizers
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Newbie Model D Question

Post by abmusic » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:02 pm


Newbie Model D question about tuning…

I’ve noticed that there’s some play on the master tune knob to get it bang on with the A440 (and to play with my other gear/DAW in rock solid tune)…I’d say about .5 or maybe a little over...also Oscillator three needs to be just before 12 o’clock for the least amount of beating with Oscillator one.

I always let it warm up for 10 mins before playing and have checked all modulation routings are off. Once those knobs are dialed in though it plays great through its whole range…I feel like I might be making a mountain out of a mole hill but wanted to be sure.

Is this more or less within normal operating variances/part and parcel of the Model D’s behavior? Only had it for about a week so seems weird that it’d be falling out of tune so quickly.


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Re: Newbie Model D Question

Post by peterlanders » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:55 am

My first post too, but I can answer this!

I got my new Model D in September, and what you describe is right in line with what I've seen on mine as well as everything I've ever read about vintage models.

I find after 20 minutes my synth settles down and stays stable with the fine tune set to about -0.3. As for the second and third oscillators, truly locking them in tune perfectly is essentially impossible, so don't bother trying! It's that tiny bit of drift that creates the Minimoog sound. That said, in my case I can get closest with oscillator two right at the middle position and three just the slightest bit right of centre. But I always set it by ear, not eye.

After that, barring a change in conditions (temperature, humidity, whatever) the thing stays in tune perfectly for hours. If I *do* have to tweak it at some point, it's very slight.

The factory calibration is probably being done with a lot more precision than they could have done back in the 70s, but it's still being done in North Carolina and I'm up here in Canada where I suspect I'm dealing with very different conditions.

These wonderful machines may be brand new, but they're using some pretty old-school technology. Don't expect it to behave in an entirely predictable way. And really, if that was what I wanted, I'd have bought a more modern synth.

Have fun with yours; mine has been one of the best investments I've ever made.

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Re: Newbie Model D Question

Post by facon » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:55 am

It takes around 30 minutes for mine to the tuning to stabilize (longer if it was in the cold). The master tune knob usually lands between -1.5 to -1.5 for a while, then slowly goes towards zero. Between -.5 and .5 sounds totally acceptable to me.

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Re: Newbie Model D Question

Post by EricK » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:49 pm

It's generally not going to be 100% accuracy regarding the panel markings. Perhaps at first, but eventually there will be discrepancies which will prompt some routine maintenance. This is just the nature of the beast. Their Voyagers are the same way and modular stuff is also.

Congrats on a fine synth.
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