Moog Minimoog Model D

The Minimoog Model D is the stuff of synthesizer legend. Before the Minimoog, synthesizers were huge pieces of kit that were custom built and looked like something a mad professor had dreamed up; huge modular systems with a myriad of knobs and patchwork of wires more akin to a 1950s telephone exchange than a musical instrument. To get even a squeak out of these megaliths seemingly required a degree in astro physics. To create music from them was a whole different adventure.

The Minimoog changed everything. Inventors Bill Hemsath and Robert Moog managed to distil the essence of the modular system by hard-wiring the most basic but essential of components into a compact keyboard. The first synthesizer to be sold in music shops, it allowed musicians to create and play amazing new sounds both in the studio and live. In 1970 Keith Emerson was the first musician to tour with a Minimoog, followed soon after by the likes of Rick Wakeman.

Although only a monophonic instrument (only one note can be played at a time) It featured three oscillators offering multiple waveforms (one of which can be used as an LFO) that can be individually tuned, routed the legendary Moog 4 pole Filter to produce amazingly rich and complex sounds. The inclusion of the Pitch and Modulation wheels gives the minimoog the ability to become an amazingly expressive lead instrument. As Rick Wakeman said of the invention of the Minimoog,  "For the first time you could go on [stage] and give the guitarist a run for his money..”!

Originally selling for $1,495 in 1970, the Minimoog was not a cheap option and original versions continue to hold a high premium price. In 2002 Robert Moog redesigned the Minimoog which was released as the Minimoog Voyager. It has many new features, including a three dimensional touch pad, MIDI I/O, extensive patching facilities, patch storage and a velocity and aftertouch sensitive keyboard.

In May 2016, Moog released a limited-run reissue of the Model D featuring the same sound engine as the original but with some additional features including enhanced CV routing options and basic MIDI implementation.

The original Minimoog Model D has been the powerhouse behind many track and some of it prestigious users include Keith Emerson , Rick Wakeman, Chick Corea, Kraftwerk, Jan Hammer, Jean-Michel Jarre, Yes, Vangelis, Pink Floyd, Herbie Hancock Nine Inch Nails, Vince Clarke, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, Tangerine Dream, Ultravox, , George Duke, Blondie, Rush, The Chemical Brothers, The Orb,  808 State, Toto and many, many more!


Minimoog Specification (1970–81)


Synthesis type: Subtractive

Polyphony – Monophonic

Oscillators – 3 VCO’s

Memory – None

Filter – 24dB/oct, 4-pole lowpass filter with cutoff, resonance, envelope generator, keyboard tracking

VCA – ADS Envelope generator

Keyboard – 44 keys, single-trigger, low-note priority

Arpeg/Seq – None

Control – CV /GATE

Minimoog Model D - Split mini keyboard less wooden case

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1976 MOOG MINIMOOG MODEL D - Superb, original osc, pro-serviced, GWO, Ex Cond.

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minimoog synthesizer. Original c.1976

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Posted in 1970's Synth, Monophonic, Subtractive Synth, Synthesizers.