Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Moog Guitar

I previously analogized my experience with the Moog Guitar with Adrian Belew's audition with Frank Zappa, where Adrian didn't think he did as well as he could have and wanted to try again in a quieter environment. Here, Fareed Haque of Garaj Mahal has that chance.

The setting that Fareed mentions that gets boring after a while is what would be considered harmonic mode on a Sustainer, which emulates what happens when you stand next to a cranked amp. I've heard Moog's setup described as more of a built-in eBow. What I would like to have seen, which I might have if I had made it to Sweetwater in April, is Fareed making use of the mute mode and the autowah.

I'm going to step back and consider my instrument, the Telecaster. There are a body of techniques and a set of elements you only see on a Tele. The whole bridge, with the metal sides to hold the ashtray cover, the three saddles, that doesn't exist for other guitars, and certainly Leo Fender dropped most of it when he made his second design, the Stratocaster. The knobs being right up close, within pinky range. A Tele guy looks at that and says "Yeah!" Most other guitarists look and say "Huh?" I really think that there's a Moog mindset. Look at a Little Phatty.

Nobody makes keyboards like Moog anymore. I played and fell in like with the Yamaha MM6 at Gearfest, and this is a digital synth with banks of the General MIDI-specified sound types. While the sounds might be different on other instruments out there, the setup is largely the same. You don't really have that with a Moog. You don't have a "Rhodes" patch or a grand piano patch for a Moog. You have Moog sounds, and if you don't get the Moog mindset, you don't get it.

One of the things I saw at the Moog booth was the Etherwave CV, which has outs that relate to the pitch and volume antennas, which are pluggable into the Little Phatty to allow you to play that keyboard using the Theremin.

Evidently, you can do the same with the Moog Guitar.

And that is something. That is a demo. That's doing something new.

And just so you know, it's pronounced mow-guh , not moo-guh .


Sammy said...

That's very cool. For about two minutes.

Dave Jacoby said...

I don't know. I could imagine it becoming an interesting thing, useful in a band context. And the guy (Garage Majal guy) can play.