The saddest music news of the week was the announcement by Bob Moog's family that he is suffering from an inoperable brain tumor. Bob popularised the synthesizer and helped make modern music possible. As far as I'm concerned, there are two good ways to pay tribute to Bob. The first is to sign his family guestbook at the Caringbridge website. The other option is to buy one of Bob Moog's beautiful, expensive and fashionably wood-covered products:
Etherwave Pro Theremin
Bob started out selling Theremins in 1954. At the height of the cold war, they were suspiciously Soviet (Lenin had
been a big fan), and fantastically obscure, but were the core of Bob?s business for a decade. The $1495 Etherwave Pro
is probably the ultimate modern Theremin, with control voltage outputs to interface with analog synths. If $1.5k sounds
like a lot, it?s nothing compared with the original
1930s RCA Theremins,
which now fetch around $10,000.
Minimoog Voyager When the original Minimoog was launched in 1971, it was the first time a synthesizer was designed to be a playable, portable musical instrument. Bob rejected a selection of whizzy-looking plastic designs in favour of wooden box and a metal front panel. In 2002, Bob regained the rights to use his name, and launched the Minimoog Voyager, a subtly updated but still all-analog monophonic synth, wrapped in a choice of Walnut or Maple. I think it?s the most desireable mainstream synth you can buy, but at $2995 for the no-frills model, it should be. Still, it?s the price of a Dual 2.7GHz G5, but in twenty years time, which one do you think will be worth more?
The Moogerfooger Range During the filming of the last Dr Who series, a visiting geek saw an actor performing the voice of the Daleks. He was speaking into a microphone connected to a Moogerfooger MF102 Ring Modulator pedal, part of Moog?s range of expensive ($279-$449), analog guitar effects. They?re about to launch a new analog delay pedal, to replace the Limited Edition MF-104, which regularly fetches over $1000 on eBay.