Thursday, September 22, 2011
Bob Moog's basic patch sheet diagram for customized P1 Modular Moog from approximately 1976 or earlier.
It just hit me (again) - why sounds on synths are often called patches. Probably because the first ever sounds had to be patched together with cables. I'm sure I knew this fact in my past, but I had totally forgotten it. One of the best things about getting old is being happily surprised by facts that you had forgotten you already knew.
Patch sheets used to be big business. I ordered quite a few in my day, especially for my CZs and DXs. You could find tons of small ads for them in Keyboard. Then came RAM and ROM cartridges, data cassettes, diskettes and patch editing software.
But here might be the grand-daddy of all patch sheets. :)
This patch sheet was one of many that were found among the catalogs and other papers included with my Modular Moog. The patch looks to have been drawn and provided by Bob Moog for the new owner to try out after initially setting up the modular. The "Bob" on the first page lines up rather perfectly with other signatures I've seen from him online.
There was actually a pile of used an unused patch sheets included. A few of the filled-in patch sheets may have also been designed by Bob Moog with patch names like "Bubbles" and"'Copter Blades", while others are clearly dated and in another person's handwriting entirely (the previous owner no doubt) - "Clavinet (Oct 81)", "Rhodes Sound (Mar/82)", "Oboe (Jan/83)", "Bass Dr. (Jan/85). To this day I continue to use photocopies of the unused patch sheet to create 'back-ups' of my own patches.
I've dated the patch sheet with 1976 based on the fact that this dated modular and module price sheet was also included in that pile of papers, but it could have been that the price sheet was acquired by the original owner at a later date. Plus, considering that the Moog catalog included with the machine was the 1967 short form catalog, it's possible that the machine was bought much earlier.Or, it could also be that the 1967 catalog was still relevant and in circulation years later.
I've often been asked what "model" this modular is and based on the modular information I've found on Moogarchives.com, I concluded that it was a slightly customized 1P (without the optional 960/961 sequencer - DANG!). Customizations included an extra 901B Oscillator, 902 VCA, and 911 Envelope Generator (three of each instead of the standard two). Plus this modular has a 903A Random Signal Generator that replaced the 903 White Noise module in Moog Modulars around 1969 -suggesting that this modular was built after 1969 (thanks to "CZ rider" from the Vintage Synth Explorer forums for that little nugget of info!). If you are interested in knowing what other modules came with the unit, you can see all the module #s in the patch sheet.
I originally posted these scans in the Vintage Synth Explorer forums after one member posted the simple question: "What was your first Moog?"
Normally I don't contribute much to forums - I'm more of a forum lurker type - but I just couldn't resist telling my Modular Moog story. I included the patch sheet scan because I thought it added to the story and would be of general interest to boot. The scans received some positive feedback so I thought readers of the blog might be interested in seeing them as well.
Interestingly, as part of the deal of buying the modular, I also had to take an almost complete set of Scientific American's. That's a lot of magazines. And I quickly found out that it wasn't just synth ads I was addicted to.
Mid-century cigarette and car ads are crazy awesome sauce.