Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Moog Retail Price List, June 28, 1980

Moog 2-page fold out Retail Price List from June 28, 1980.

What isn't to love about this price sheet?

A list of awesome Moog synths? Check!  Retail prices for those synth history buffs like me? Yup!  And last but definitely not least, Tom Schuman from Spyro Gyra. No wonder he is smiling, by the time this price list came out, the guy was still barely into his twenties and already had three albums under his belt.

AND he's playing a Moog Liberation keytar. That would definitely make me smile too.

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If this photo of Tom appears familiar, it probably means you are old.

Or a fan of vintage synth ads.

Or both.

Because a full colour version appeared in a July 1980 Moog Liberation advertisement, around the same time this price list did. As mentioned in the blog post for that ad, 1980 really was the year that the Keytar broke out.

Which makes it a good year indeed.

As mentioned above, as a synth history buff, I love to see prices listed. Most ads don't include prices and its like a puzzle missing one of the most important pieces.  I've posted a few other Moog price lists (with more to come!) and its fun (and a little terrifying) to watch inflation unfold.
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For example, The July 1, 1974 Moog Retail Price List contains some of the same products, and I've included a few of those below for comparison. 

1974 - $1,595.00
1980 - $1,995.00

Percussion Controller:
1974 - $249.00 
1980 - $350.00

Ribbon Controller:
1974 - $295.00
1980 - $$395.00

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Also, the March 1, 1976 Moog Professional Systems Price List gives us a good comparison for their modular systems.

System 15:
1976 - $3,845.00
1980 - $4,960.00

System 35:
1976 - $5,935
1980 - $7,980

System 55:
1976 - $9,675
1980 - $12,000

Time to look for more Keytar ads.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Moog Multimoog synthesizer reference sheet, 1980

Moog Multimoog synthesizer reference sheet from 1980.

I  reference info. The more data the better. And this, and the other reference sheets deliver. Gorgeous photo on one side. Gorgeous info on the other. Yum.

While recently flipping through old blog posts I noticed I never finished off my 1980 Moog reference sheet family. Well, time to fix that!

For someone who gets distracted as easily as I do, I'm surprised I had already managed to get five of them up there, including, in no particular order (click on the images to go to their respective blog posts):


The Multimoog is probably the Moog synthesizer I'm least familiar with. And at first glance, I had mistaken it for its baby brother - the Micromoog. Looking at the two reference sheets its easy to see why.

And those similarities are not just cosmetic - as noted in the November 1978 Spec Sheet write-up for the Multimoog:
"Moog synthesizer: The Multimoog features two audio oscillators, an LFO, fully variable waveshaping, a 3.5 octave keyboard, switchable single or multiple triggering, a pitchbend ribbon and a modulation wheel. The keyboard also has a force sensor in it, the output of which can be used to control pitch, LFO speed, volume, etc. The Multimoog is basically an expanded version of the Micromoog and features many more open-system features not included on the Micro, such as glide output voltage on-off, ribbon control voltage routing, and keyboard triggering control. Norlin Music. 7373 N. Cicero Ave., Lincolnwood, IL. 60646."
I have to say, I love the variable waveshaping on the Micromoog (waveform control knob that moves gradually from saw through square through narrow pulse waveforms rather than clicking to each individual waveform), and its looks like its implemented the same on the Multi.  Sweet.

One other feature mentioned in the spec sheet got my attention: the "... more open-system features...". A few Google searches later and I'm on Muff Wigglers reading:
"Multimoogs can be chained together. The back panel has a generous I/O system which lets a synth be a master or a slave unit."
Whaaaaaat? Chaining Multimoogs? That's awesome. The back page of the reference sheet does list the jaw-dropping number of in's and out's the Multimoog ha, but unfortunately I couldn't find any videos of two Multimoog's joined together. Dang.

But I think anyone who has been hanging around vintage Moog forums and Web sites will agree its most outstanding feature is it's "force-sensitive" keyboard, now more commonly known as pressure sensitivity. A nice - and rare - feature for a late 1970s synthesizer.

As such, the Multimoog's pressure sensitivity played prominently in the Multimoog's advertising campaigns. Chick Corea called it "a very expressive addition". And the

There are a number of Multimoog video demos on Youtube that show off it's pressure sensitivity nicely. I'll end the blog post with this one. What a lovely growl that Moog filter creates...