Thursday, February 10, 2011

Moog Prodigy synthesizer reference sheet, 1980

Gah - here's exactly what I'm talking about! Wait... let me back up.

In my last blog post, I mentioned that Moog's Prodigy always had to be a bit different. And, for some reason, this idea has carried on into Moog's 1980 reference sheet family. It's kinda subtle, but if you look at all of the other reference sheets I've posted, you will see it.

See it now? Yerp. The background in the photo! In all the other reference sheets I've come across in this series, the background is a single colour with vertical shading.

But nooooooooooo! The Prodigy just had to be a bit different (again). This time by showing up to the photo-shoot with a textured background. Normally I'm into 'different', but in the case of a family of reference sheets, I'm a creature of habit in a lot of ways. I need consistency.

And this reference sheet is missing consistency in other aspects too. For example, take a look at the title at the top. For all the other ones I've posted, the title has been:
  • micromoog synthesizer
  • minimoog synthesizer
  • polymoog synthesizer
But with the Prodigy, they not only dropped in 'moog' at the beginning, but took out 'synthesizer'. I'm guessing this is because the Prodigy doesn't have the word "Moog" directly in the name of the instrument, and you need to have the word "moog" somewhere at the top of the front page. But still... gah! Consistency, people!

Luckily, Moog does stick to a lot of the 'standards' found in the other reference sheets. For example, they don't miss a chance to mention "the patented Moog filter for rich, full-bodied leadline sounds". I also really like the line, "The sound and quality of a primary instrument at the price of an accessory". Moog were always especially good at promoting their low-end synths. Low-end as in "price", AND low-end as in "bass" :o)

Moog keeps the standards going on the back of the sheet too. The first thing the company points out under the "features" section is the "temperature regulated ultra stable audio oscillators (Heated chip technology)". Moog was big on promoting that one, especially for the Micromoog.

The back of the reference sheet also contains some other promotion-type features I can't recall hearing about anywhere else for the Prodigy.

The first is the "E-Z-SEE(TM) control knobs" mentioned under the "Features" section. These knobs were apparently designed "so that position of the indicator line can be viewed from any playing angle". Trademarked? Really? I had never heard of these knobs referred to in this way. And a quick Google search didn't bring up anything either.

Also - they have a whole sub-section titled "Burn-In (Aging)". "Before final calibration, units are burned in for 72 hrs. at ambient of approximately 72F". I know what burn-in is, but I thought all synths of this time period would have had to go through burn-in. Was the Prodigy different in this respect, or was Moog just grasping for content on the back on this sheet?

Now, don't get me wrong. It may look like I'm slagging Moog and this sheet in particular. Never! This sheet contains a wack of good reference information. And Moog is well... well... MOOG!

I'm just saying that *if* they wanted to use up a bit more room on the back of the sheet, rather than highlighting "burn-in", Moog should have included a wire-frame diagram!

I *heart* wire frame diagrams. :o)

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