Bob Moog Foundation features legendary Modular Synth & hosts innovative new company at NAMM 2015

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Bob Moog Foundation booth at last year's NAMM Show

The Bob Moog Foundation has announced its return to NAMM, the global music industry trade show held in Anaheim, CA, from January 22-25, 2015.

Furthering the success of their innovative educational project, Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool, and their preservation efforts of the Bob Moog Foundation Archives, the Foundation will provide NAMM attendees with a rare education and insight into innovative synthesizer technology, past, present, and future.

The Foundation will celebrate strides in innovation as it shares its expanded booth space with bourgeoning new company, ‘Vo. ‘Vo features inventor Paul Vo’s groundbreaking work incorporating Acoustic Synthesis. Best known for his invention of the technology behind the Moog Guitar and the more recent Vo-96 Acoustic Synthesizer, Vo observes, “through Acoustic Synthesis, we can explore the sonic possibilities of acoustic instruments, and even previously unimagined objects of acoustic art, with the same depth we now explore electronic instruments.”

Michelle Moog-Koussa, Executive Director, Bob Moog Foundation

Michael Koehler, CEO of ‘Vo, shares his vision for the company. “The world was amazed in 2007 when the Moog Guitar was released and again in 2013 with the Vo-96. This year, ‘Vo will give NAMM-goers a taste of where Paul has taken his original concept with a sneak peek of our next product.” Koehler goes on to share his feelings on ‘Vo’s relationship with the Bob Moog Foundation.

“‘Vo is about innovation at its core. The Bob Moog Foundation is about innovation at its core. It is natural for our companies to have a mutually supportive relationship. We are extremely proud to be with them at NAMM and are looking forward to where the future will bring us.”

Steve Porcaro and Michael Boddicker checking out the vintage Moog Modular

The Foundation will also be honoring musical history as it hosts Michael Boddicker’s behemoth custom Moog modular synthesizer. Michael Boddicker is a preeminent session synthesist who has worked with artists including Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Donna Summer, Quincy Jones, Barbara Streisand, George Benson, Olivia Newton-John, Joe Cocker, and Whitney Houston. A long-time close friend of Bob Moog, Boddicker is also known for his work scoring Flashdance, Buckaroo Banzai, Apocalypse Now, and more.

As a result of his extensive work, Boddicker’s Moog modular is one of the most recorded synthesizers in music history. The instrument will be demonstrated throughout the weekend by the Foundation’s Archive and Education Specialist, Marc Doty. This marks the third year in a row that that Foundation is featuring vintage Moog modular systems in their booth, a representation of their commitment make electronic music history accessible people of all walks of life.

More information: Bob Moog Foundation


Moog recommences manufacturing large format modular synthesizers

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Moog Music has announced that is manufacturing a limited amount of three of the System 55, the System 35 and the Model 15, three large format modular synths.

Moog System 55

January 19, 2014 Asheville, NC: 50 years ago the Moog modular synthesizer represented as radical a transition as Kandinski’s abstracts or Kodak’s cameras – offering both a break from yesterday and a startling glimpse of tomorrow. And, as with all cultural explosions, the impact of Dr. Moog’s invention was impossible to evaluate from the epicentre. It’s only now, 50 years down the line that we can get some measure of the importance, and the sheer untapped potentiality of the Moog Modular Synthesizer.

Today, it is with great excitement that we announce our plans to recommence a limited run manufacturing of three of our most sought after 5U large format modular synthesizers: The System 55, the System 35 and the Model 15. These three modular synthesizer systems were originally created and manufactured by Moog in 1973.

To commemorate the announcement, we shot a short film at our factory about the deeply inspiring and multifaceted relationship artists have with modular synthesizers. The video features electronic music pioneers such as Suzanne Ciani, Malcolm Cecil, David Borden, Dick Hyman and Herb Deutsch alongside performances by contemporary modular artists like Holy Ghost! (DFA), Gavin Russom (ECSTATIC/Entropy Trax), Max Ravitz AKA Patricia (L.I.E.S./Spectral Sound/Opal Tapes), Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith (Western Vinyl), Jacques Greene (Vase/LuckyMe) and M. Geddes Gengras (Stones Throw). Each artist played a patch live, in one take, with no overdubs on one or more of the new Moog Modular systems.

The System 55 is available for purchase for 35,000 USD; System 35 is $22,000 USD, and the Model 15 costs $10,000 USD.

More information: Moog Music / Moog Modular


Z3 Audiolabs releases Bondage modular effect plugin

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Z3 Audiolabs has announced the release of Bondage, a fully modular fx plug-in that allows complex multi-effect patching.

Z3 Audiolabs Bondage

Bondage is a fully modular multi-effect VST plugin which contains 17 modules. Beside the five effect modules it offers 5 modulation sources, a MIDI-in module, four modifiers, an X-fade module, a four-channel mixer and a scope to provide visual reference of your signals.

The fully modular structure allows you every possible routing you want to achieve. For complex routings Bondage allows you to hide all the cables so that you can see your knobs again.

Like all Z3 Audiolabs products every parameter provides a MIDI learn function, just rightclick on a controller and move any fader, button or knob on your MIDI hardware controller and use it in your live performance.

Bondage comes with 32 well selected presets.

Bondage for Windows (VST) costs 29.90 EUR. Until January 31st, a 30% discount is available with coupon code happy2015 at checkout.

More information: Z3 Audiolabs / Bondage


Expert Sleepers intros FH-1 USB MIDI Host Eurorack module

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Expert Sleepers FH-1

Expert Sleepers has introduced FH-1, a new Eurorack module.

The FH-1 ‘faderHost’ is a USB MIDI Host in an 8HP Eurorack module, allowing you to directly connect a USB MIDI controller to your modular synthesizer.

Using a suitable connector box “USB MIDI controller” here includes an iPad or plain old computer.

As well as simple direct control of the output CVs from MIDI CCs, the FH-1 also offers

  • LFOs on each output
  • Step sequencers
  • Polyphonic MIDI/CV conversion
  • and much more

FH-1 will be unveiled at the NAMM show, January 2015, and is expected to be available around April 2015.

More information: Expert Sleepers / FH-1


MuTools updates MuLab & MUX modular synth to v6.2.7


MuTools has released version 6.2.7 of the MuLab music production studio and MUX modular synth and effect plug-in for Windows and Mac.

Changes in MuLab / MUX v6.2.7

  • New:
    • New “Event Recorder” module. (MuLab only, not yet in the MUX Modular Plug-In version).
    • New: Each MUX module can have its own custom note key names. These key names can also be imported and exported to a text file.
    • Sequence parts: New “Consolidate” function which renders the loop into a new straightforward sequence and deletes any unplayed events.
    • New function: Sample -> Reload.
  • Improved:
    • Increased the number of events that a VST can send to the host in a single process slice.
    • Doing track -> “Choose Target Module” and dropping a module on a track to set its target are both undoable actions now.
    • Session’s Event Recording Setup: Grid editor field now also includes grid scrolling buttons. (more consistent UI).
    • Scrolling and zooming can now also be done using keyboard shortcuts.
    • New preference “Scrollbar Size”.
    • Event Monitor now also has an event output, events are simply bypassed, but this way the Event Monitor is more usable in a rack.
    • Event Monitor now also has a On/Off switch, and when switched off it pauses monitoring.
    • Audio Envelope Follower: Improved algorithm for converting the audio envelope into a modulation signal. Much more accurate now.
    • The level meter of a mixer strip (of a rack) now is draggable and represents the mixer strip module.
    • MultiSampla: Pitch and filter LFO & ENV Amplitude defaults to 100% instead of 0%.
    • Composer, note editor, multi-sample editor: Shift+click+drag upon a part/note/zone now starts a selection lasso.
    • Browsers: Clicking an object/file previewed it, but only once if it was not already highlighted. Now each click previews it again.
    • While moving markers in composer, audio- and sequence-editor, then the current marker position is displayed in the info box.
    • When saving a preset file using a file name that differs from the object name, the popup question alert now explicitly includes both these different names.
    • File browsers: More file browsers now memorize their last location.
    • Improved support for changing the samplerate or blocksize during a session.
    • MuLab: Finetuned behavior when doing Audio Setup.
    • Previously the whole session was reloaded, including all plug-ins, which also caused editors to close etc.
    • Now the session stays intact and only when the samplerate has changed or blocksize has increased then all plug-ins are updated.
    • MUX Modular Plug-In: Demo version now properly fades to soft noise instead of fading to silence (almost silent noise).
    • MUX Modular Plug-In: VST wrapper: More tight checks on the info given by the host. (eg avoiding negative tempo values from host).
  • Fixed:
    • Sample -> Replace function: Fixed an issue with the markers.
    • When moving rack slot modules, the process on/off tool tip could show an irrelevant “Num Voices”.
    • Pasting a module into a deep modular editor using a keyboard shortcut pasted the module at the far bottom-right of the editor, which was not intended. Now the pasted module is positioned at the mouse position.
    • Fixed an issue with the MUX Modular presets not showing the proper icon in the browser.
    • Fixed a broken link to the docs wrt “Couldn’t save user settings”.
    • Fixed a problem when inserting a new MUX meta-parameter map line.
    • Inactive audio recorders still created a little empty audio file.
    • Non-resizable windows had the “Edit Size” in their context menu, which was irrelevant.
    • Mixing desk open/close state setting was not saved.
    • Lists: When mouse was at top or bottom item, list could unexpectedly make big jumps.
    • Fixed a possible crash bug when inserting a mixer strip into a rack.
    • MUX Modular Plug-In: Fixed a bug that could cause a crash or a hang when clicking the keyboard in the multi-sample editor.

MuLab is available for purchase for 69 EUR; MUX Modular is 59 EUR. A bundle of both costs 99 EUR.

More information: MuTools


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