Thursday, October 4, 2012

Moog Opus 3 "Inter-office memo" ad, Contemporary Keyboard 1979

Moog Opus 3 "Inter-office memo" full page colour advertisement from page 66 in the November 1979 issue of Contemporary Keyboard Magazine.


Honestly, a little surprised to see Moog using a gimmick like this in it's ads. Its not necessarily a bad thing. Just not really a Moog thing. But most people I talk with like this advertisement, and more importantly, respond to it with a little chuckle, so who am I to judge. 

The premise is that the Marketing department has come up with an idea for a new instrument. They write a memo to the Design Engineering department, who then come up with the finished product, and write a memo back.

Depending on your current job, you probably gave the ad a little chuckle because:
  1. You are a musician and think it's a fun ad slightly mocking businesses' obsession with memos
  2. You are a marketing/communications person and you think this is a tongue-in-cheek ad by the Marketing department created solely to get under the skin of the engineers in the company by positioning themselves as the real brains behind the operation
  3. You are an engineer and you think this is a funny ad because Marketers live in a fantasy world where they come up with all the great ideas
So, really, no matter who you are, you will enjoy the ad. 

There is actually a fair bit of ad copy to read, but for those lazy readers, Moog uses the idea of proof-reading as a way to highlight all of the most important features.

Okay, now that I've thought through it all... changing my mind. This ad is *genius*.

There is another reason to love this ad that is not readily apparent. The first time it ran, it was placed right across the page from this Moog Prodigy "Synth heard around the word" ad. That's right - a Moog 1-2 punch. Kapow!

Unfortunately, this ad only ran a couple of times at the end of 1979 and beginning of 1980, although it did get a bit more coverage in the December 1979 issue of CK in the spec sheet section. It has some good detailed info, as well as my favorite bit of info - the 1979 price:
"Moog keyboard. The Opus 3 is a 49-note keyboard instrument that creates string, brass, and organ sounds. The string voice has a separate equalization section consisting of a 3-mode filter with variable cutoff frequency and Q. The organ voice has five mixable footage stops and a tone control. The brass voice is switchable over a three-octave range (16', 8', 4'). The string and organ voices may be routed trough a chorus circuit with adjustable depth, speed and delay.  The organ and brass voices may also be routed through a VCF. Also included is an articulation mode switch which provides either a cancelling mode, which retriggers new notes and cancels sustaining tones, or an overlap mode, where notes with long release times continue to sound regardless of any additional notes played. This enables the user to create layered sound regardless of any additional notes played.  This enables the user to create layered sound with brass and strings retaining independent articulation.  LFO modulation can be routed to either the tone generators of the VCF to produce vibrato of wah-wah-like effects. The modulation speed is indicated by a blinking LED. A pitch-bend wheel is also provided. The unit measures 29 3/4" (75.5cm) wide, 5 3/8" (14.6 cm) high, and 15" (38.1 cm) deep. It weights 20 pounds (9 kg). Price is $1,195.00. Moog Music, 2500 Walden Ave., Buffalo, NY 14225."
I couldn't find a lot more info on the Opus 3 in CK after early 1980, until the January 1983 issue of CK when the synth pops up in a Keyboard contest. 

That's three years later! Not too shabby, really.

The Opus 3 had a pretty good life.

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