MATRIXSYNTH: A blunt and totally biased viewpoint on electronic synthesizers from Bob Moog

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A blunt and totally biased viewpoint on electronic synthesizers from Bob Moog

1977 ad via Retro Synth Ads where you'll find the write-up.

Update via Michelle Moog-Koussa of The Bob Moog Foundation in the comments: "This is indeed a very cool ad on the face of it, but I can tell you for sure that this was not written by Bob Moog. To those of us who knew him well, this is evident in so many ways.

The first glaring example is......did they say Walter Carlos?? In 1977?? Bob was highly sensitive to Wendy's personal life, and to address the issue, he always called her Wendy (and sometimes just "Carlos") especially in 1977 when her transformation was nearly complete. The use of Walter here is grossly insensitive and an obvious pandering to the public who knew the artist as such from the initial release of "Switched-On Bach" nearly nine years prior.

Second, Bob was a stickler for grammar and an excellent writer. This ad is riddled with enough grammatical errors to make Bob's fingers itch for the red pen he always kept in his breast pocket.

Lastly, (and I'm being charitable by just stopping here) Bob did not think the Polymoog was "musical engineering at its finest". While Bob understood the desirability of polyphonic analog instrument, he always knew there was a high cost: the integrity of the sound and the reliability of the instrument would be compromised. The Polymoog, which was not designed by Bob, proved the later with its 200% repair rate. No instrument Bob ever worked on himself had a 200% repair rate or even one close.

By 1977 when this ad was published, Bob had been pushed to the periphery of synth design at Moog Music and was in a tiny office designing amps and effect pedals for Norlin and acting as the face of the company. He agreed to be the spokesman for the company only to keep his "whisky drinking, golf playing S-OB bosses" (his words) happy, not because he agreed with what he deemed to be a compromise to his commitment to the highest level of quality and a general downturn of "musical engineering" as he knew it. Bob left the company a year later, disgusted with the direction it was taking.

This ad has a slick marketing department's fingerprints all over it, not Bob's.

I usually keep pretty quiet about this stuff, but sometimes a realminimoog has to speak up."

2 comments:

  1. This is indeed a very cool ad on the face of it, but I can tell you for sure that this was not written by Bob Moog. To those of us who knew him well, this is evident in so many ways.

    The first glaring example is......did they say Walter Carlos?? In 1977?? Bob was highly sensitive to Wendy's personal life, and to address the issue, he always called her Wendy (and sometimes just "Carlos") especially in 1977 when her transformation was nearly complete. The use of Walter here is grossly insensitive and an obvious pandering to the public who knew the artist as such from the initial release of "Switched-On Bach" nearly nine years prior.

    Second, Bob was a stickler for grammar and an excellent writer. This ad is riddled with enough grammatical errors to make Bob's fingers itch for the red pen he always kept in his breast pocket.

    Lastly, (and I'm being charitable by just stopping here) Bob did not think the Polymoog was "musical engineering at its finest". While Bob understood the desirability of polyphonic analog instrument, he always knew there was a high cost: the integrity of the sound and the reliability of the instrument would be compromised. The Polymoog, which was not designed by Bob, proved the later with its 200% repair rate. No instrument Bob ever worked on himself had a 200% repair rate or even one close.

    By 1977 when this ad was published, Bob had been pushed to the periphery of synth design at Moog Music and was in a tiny office designing amps and effect pedals for Norlin and acting as the face of the company. He agreed to be the spokesman for the company only to keep his "whisky drinking, golf playing S-OB bosses" (his words) happy, not because he agreed with what he deemed to be a compromise to his commitment to the highest level of quality and a general downturn of "musical engineering" as he knew it. Bob left the company a year later, disgusted with the direction it was taking.

    This ad has a slick marketing department's fingerprints all over it, not Bob's.

    I usually keep pretty quiet about this stuff, but sometimes a realminimoog has to speak up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My apologies - I meant no disrespect to the Moog name or Bob himself when I posted the ad and my commentary. A very slick marketing department indeed.

    I'm glad you spoke up and provided valuable insight into the history of the company and Bob Moog himself.

    I've updated my blog post with a link back to your comment.

    ReplyDelete

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