The passing of Dr. Bob Moog



CNN and others note the passing of Robert “Bob” Moog today. He was really a pioneer of the synthesizer. He has lived in Asheville for some years. I remember way back in grade school he came to our school and demonstrated one of his early synthesizers I think it had been the minimoog. (It’s so many years I can’t recall). I do recall him demonstrating the different synthesized sounds he could get by combining different waveforms. This was about the time that electronic keyboards were just starting to become popular.


The square wave by itself could sound close to a clarinet, etc. etc. By making other combinations as well as modifying the sound envelope he suggested that instrument sounds could be synthesized. This was the thinking that led to the home keyboard with 100′s of instrument sounds. Think about it – this man is the grandfather of MIDI.

I also went to UNC-Asheville and was a student in the Audio Engineering department where Bob Moog had an occasional presense, I remember a series of lectures in particular on Electronic instruments (The Theremin et al…) He had quite a unique perspective given that he had played such a role in the development of electronic instruments. I know several people from school that worked at one time or another in his workshop building Theremin’s.

It’s hard to believe it, but a pioneer has passed from our midst.

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