Moog unveils relaunched modular synths in video featuring M. Geddes Gengras, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, and more

Moog unveils relaunched modular synths in video featuring M. Geddes Gengras, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, and more

Like so many other pieces of musical hardware that predate the digital age, large-format modular synthesizers began to fade from use as cheaper and less cumbersome alternatives took over. But as the esteemed synth-heads in the video below will tell you, the near limitless sonic possibilities offered by these analog behemoths will always make them relevant, especially in today’s electro-focused landscape.

To that end, Moog recently announced that three of their most iconic modular synth models will be coming back into production for a limited run this year. These monophonic workhorses have been circuited and soldered entirely by hand to match each machine’s original schematics, no small feat given that Moog hasn’t manufactured any synths this big since the 1970s. The company first made its modular mission known last year when it chopped the brain salad of prog rockers everywhere by releasing a recreated version of the Keith Emerson Moog Modular. Although rebuilding this colossal synth took three years to pull off, it also provided company engineers with the bedrock of knowledge to rebuild the three smaller models coming out this year.

Getting your hands on one of these new/old Moogs won’t be cheap, though. The System 55 is the most expensive with a price tag of $35,000 while the System 35 runs a little less for $22,000. The smallest synth, the Model 15, can be yours for just $10,000. (Still, none of these prices compare to the sticker shock of the Emerson Moog, available for a Tarkus-busting $150K.) Of course, looking and hearing is free, and there sure is plenty of that to do in this documentary Moog made about its synth rebirth. Running just shy of 20 minutes, the video mixes Adam Curtis-style found visuals along with commentary from such legends of synthesis as Malcolm Cecil, Suzanne Ciani, and Dick Hyman. But best of all, the company also turned to some of today’s most intriguing synth minds to construct on-the-spot patches with the new Moogs. While the entire video is worth watching, of particular note are performances by the virtuosic Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and our boy M. Geddes Gengras, who to say the least seemed quite hyped to be surrounded by all those modular synthesizers:

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