Moog Interface newsletter, Vol. 4 January - March 1984
Like Deadpool at the end of the second movie, I'm kinda cleaning up my timeline... or, in this case, my blogger drafts. And here's a pretty easy one to knock off the list - so I'm keeping it short and sweet.
So far, I've posted five of these, and now this is the sixth. You can find the others here - click on each image to be taken to their blog posts!
My Retro Synth Ads blogger tradition dictates that I create a top 10 list for these newsletters. But since I'm running short on time these days, I thought I'd take it down to five for this baby. But, by no means should you get the idea that this newsletter isn't as worthy as the rest - its just as yummy... as you'll soon see:
Top 5 reasons this newsletter is awesome:
5. Memory Moog Plus info - and lots of it! In particular, the addition of MIDI and a sequencer. Almost one-and-a-half pages devoted to these two topics. Sweet!
4. Within seconds of beginning to read the newsletter, we get references to the Eurythmics and Stevie Nicks. What's not to love about that.
3. The article "Digital Synthesis - a Perspective": Moog's response to some of the newer digital synths coming onto the market, and a hint at things that were to come from Moog... but we'll get to that in a second...
2. Tom Rhea joins the company as Director of Marketing! In fact, he wrote the Digital Synthesis article in this newsletter referenced above in #3.
1. And finally - the most interesting to me at the moment... Steve Levine joins as Director of Research! I personally hadn't known much about him before reading this little bio, and am impressed. Most interestingly, it says that he was currently developing Moog's first FULLY DIGITAL MUSIC SYNTHESIZER.
At first I thought this was referring to the Moog SL-8 - the 8-voice, stereo polyphonic synthesizer announced at '83 NAMM that I wrote about in this Moog Producer C64 sequencer post. But that synthesizer was still analog with digitally-CONTROLLED oscillators - not a fully digital synthesizer.
And it was already designed with prototype cards making the rounds at trade shows prior to when this newsletter came out in 1984.
So, does that mean out there somewhere, at the very least, are some early plans for a Moog digital synthesizer?
And if so, how far along did the design get?
And does it have a groovy digital name?
So many questions. If anyone knows anything, let me know!
UPDATE! Mu:zines tweeted back to me with reference to an article in their online archives from the November 1983 issue of Electronics & Music Maker. In the article "Industry Profile - Moog Music", President David Luce talks about the SL-8, and then drops this little nugget:
"We also have some programmes going in the direction of sampling machines. This is a big step, but one of the reasons that I feel now is the appropriate time is that if we resolve what I think are some of the fundamental problems associated with digital synthesis perse."
Wowza. Moog Samplers. Yum.