Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Moog signal processors "We make sound effective" ad, Contemporary Keyboard 1979

Moog signal processors "We make sound effective" full page black and white advertisement, including the Moog 12 Stage Phaser, Moog Three Band Parametric Equalizer, Moog Ten Band Graphic Equalizer and Moog 16 Channel Vocoder from page 35 in the March 1979 issue of Contemporary Keyboard.

Whenever I first glance at this ad, my mind automatically giggles at the thought of Moog manufacturing a karaoke unit.Come on... tell me that didn't cross your mind when you first saw it.

But then my eyes are automatically drawn to that Moog vocoder. And there is absolutely nothing funny about that gorgeous looking beast. Unless you are using it to tell your neighbour's kids to get off your lawn in a robot voice. Then it's definitely funny.

Of the four instruments featured in this advertisement - Moog 12 Stage Phaser, Moog Three Band Parametric Equalizer, Moog Ten Band Graphic Equalizer and Moog 16 Channel Vocoder - the two equalizers had already been featured in its own witty "All Equalizers are not Created Equal" advertisement.

That equalizers advertisement ran between April 1978 and September 1978, and looking back now, one of the most interesting features in that ad is the branding - the Moog logo is accompanied by it's new "Signal Processors" friend. Comparing it to this ad that ran about a year later and only seems to have run once, and I notice that "Signal Processors" doesn't have its own little logo treatment any more. Now the Moog logo is all alone again, and in the ad copy the units are referred to as "The Signal Processors by Moog". Its a small change, but still interesting to ponder.

The other two instruments in this advertisement are interesting as well.

Readers of Contemporary Keyboard would have been able to read more info on the "Moog Phase Shifter" in the Spec Sheet section of the July 1979 issue of Contemporary Keyboard: 
"Moog Phase Shifter. This phase shifter lets you choose the number of stages (up to 12) of phase shift you can have, in increments of two. The number of resonant stages is also selectable (up to 12). A mix control is provided for adjusting the amount of resonance you hear. You can also select whether you're hearing the phasing stages in series with themselves or mixed with the dry signal.  An internal sweep oscillator is provided which can be linked with an external sweep oscillator or voltage pedal. The cutoff frequency can also be controlled from the front panel. A rotating speaker effect with a start and stop switch is supplied that can be controlled by a footswitch. A gain control is provided on the front panel, as are an on/off switch with accompanying LED indicator, an overload indicator, and a effect in/out switch with LED indicator. Moog, 2500 Walden Ave., Buffalo NY 14225."
And then we get to the main course. The big gun. The Moog Vocoder. It may be at the bottom of the rack in the photo, but its mentioned first for good reason. It is... in a word... dreamy. I dream of adding one of those to my studio.

If you had happened to be flipping around that same issue of Contemporary Keyboard you would have also found this small 1/16-page advertisement from Bode Sound Co.

Look familiar? It should. And sure enough, Google Moog Vocoder and chances are Bode's name will pop up as well. According to Vintage Synth Explorer's Moog Vocoder page, the Moog design is almost identical to the Bode vocoder. And you can see that in the images. Switch for switch, dial for dial. Pretty dang close.

The Harald Bode page on Wikipedia provides a bit more information. According to the page, the Bode Vocoder 7702, Bode Frequency Shifter and Bode Ring Modulator were "also licensed to Moog Music".

I also found an August 2011 MATRIXSYNTH auction post for a Moog Vocoder with a good little write up on the it.  Scroll down the page and you will see a sell-sheet for the vocoder with that "Signal Processors" logo branding. But this time the logos are arranged using the "Signal Processors by Moog" format.

A rather creative demo of what I think is that very vocoder can be found on YouTube.

Definitely a handy device to have around for singing in key. Karaoke machine not included.



Unknown said...

Thank you so so much for your work!! I have to do an assignment about the impact of synths in the audio industry and this blog was a godsend

RetroSynthAds said...

Thanks! Glad I could help!!!!

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