Using the Moog synthesizer


University of California’s Division of the Arts has published a modestly-titled article Using the Moog Synthesizer.

In fact, it looks like a pretty comprehensive guide to the UCSC Modular Moog, that is ‘representative of most studio machines’.

It opens:

Moog synthesizers were custom assembled for each order. There were two types of case, a nice looking wooden console, and a portable box covered in black crinkly paper. There were some standard setups, but most studios chose their modules a la carte. Prices in 1969 ranged from $125 for an envelope generator through 395 for an oscillator to 1,225 for a sequencer. (At that time a hamburger cost fifteen cents.) The order form included a map so you could specify where you wanted your modules, but they could easily be moved around. Almost all of us bought only a few modules at a time, and many systems still have empty space.

and covers:

Large Moog System

Continued below...

  • 901 Voltage Controlled Oscillator
  • 901A,901B VCO
  • 902 Voltage Controlled Amplifier
  • 911 Envelope Generator
  • 904A Voltage Controlled Low Pass Filter
  • 904B Voltage Controlled High Pass Filter
  • 904C Filter Coupler 907
  • 907 Fixed Filter Bank
  • 960 Sequencer

Plenty of circuit diagrams, descriptions and information.

My favourite line?

GETTING AN OSCILLATOR TO PLAY IN TUNE WITH THE KEYBOARD

You can’t.

Actually, it goes on to say:

For best results (Funky but usable) set the fixed control voltage and control voltage vernier at 0 and the Frequency range at 8 or 4. Patch from the voltage out of the keyboard to the control input of the oscillator. Hit the lowest key repeatedly as you adjust the Range control of the keyboard so that the oscillator pitch is not changed. (Pull the patch cord to check.) Now play octaves and adjust the keyboard Scale knob until things sound right.

Into classic Moog? Well worth a read.