Even though his name is nearly synonymous with synthesizers, Bob Moog didn’t invent the instrument. In fact, his Minimoog wasn’t even his first creation or the most powerful. But the Minimoog found its way into the studio, where session players wanted a compact synth to use on dates. Sensing a new market, Moog took the most requested modules from his large modular systems and put them into an easy-to-use package that didn’t require patch cords or programming knowledge. It was unveiled at AES in 1970 and priced at $1,200.
The pro community saw the Minimoog as an audio tool, but the response at NAMM from music dealers was less rosy, especially in an era when synths simply weren’t sold in music stores. But with time, sales took off, and by 1980, when production was halted, more than 12,000 Minimoogs had been sold, although Moog had sold his interest in the company by then. Years later, Moog bought the company back, and today, Moog Music offers keyboard and rackmount versions of the Minimoog (now updated with MIDI, preset memories and more), but its thick, chunky, phat, classic sound remains faithful to the original.