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August 22nd, 2005

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10:56 am - deadjournal
Bob Moog is dead at 71.
RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP) -- Robert A. Moog, whose self-named synthesizers turned electric currents into sound and opened the musical wave that became electronica, has died. He was 71.

Moog was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, detected in April. He died Sunday at his home in Asheville, according to his company's Web site.

A childhood interest in the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments, would lead Moog to a create a career and business that tied the name Moog as tightly to synthesizers as the name Les Paul is to electric guitars.

As a Ph.D student in engineering physics at Cornell University, Moog -- rhymes with vogue -- in 1964 developed his first voltage-controlled synthesizer modules with composer Herbert Deutsch. By the end of that year, R.A. Moog Co. marketed the first commercial modular synthesizer.

The instrument allowed musicians, first in a studio and later on stage, to generate a range of sounds that could mimic nature or seem otherworldly by flipping a switch, twisting a dial, or sliding a knob.

Other synthesizers were already on the market in 1964, but Moog's stood out for being small, light and versatile.
I didn't know about the brain tumor. That's awfully sad. The headline on moogmusic.com is "Bob's Body Leaves Us." So go and get your Hugo Montenegro, your W(alter|endy) Carlos, your Perrey & Kingsley, go and get your Moog Cookbook or nearly any other artist in the past 30 years what have used synthesizers in their music, and have yourself a sawtooth memorial.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 22nd, 2005 03:38 pm (UTC)
This sucks. I just had a conversation with a friend of mine, a musician turned technician, who was telling me how much she enjoyed working with Moog synthesizers back in college. I don't think she's heard about Bob's death yet, and I'm not sure I want to break the news to her.

I'm glad the write-up includes a mention of Moog's interest in the theremin. Moog did a lot of work with audio/musical electronics in addition to the modular synths he's famous for.
[User Picture]
Date:August 22nd, 2005 03:45 pm (UTC)
did you see the movie when it was at coolidge corner? it rocked.
[User Picture]
Date:August 22nd, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC)
damn stupid mortality. I saw the same movie gis did. . .he was a really neat guy.
[User Picture]
Date:August 22nd, 2005 06:46 pm (UTC)
I'll be tweaking a filter or two in his honor today.

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