Vintage Moog SynthesizersBuying Guide

Explore the synthesizers of the 1970s and '80s that made Moog a household name.

Moog synthesizers are undoubtedly the most famous synthesizers ever built, all beginning in the 1960s, when the company started building experimental modular synthesizers so large and complicated that they took up entire rooms.

Eventually, throughout the 1970s and '80s, Moog made its name as a leading brand making an array of wonderful music-making products for professional working musicians. But what exactly were those instruments that made Moog what we know it as today? Scroll through the guide below to take a chronological journey through that classic Moog era and see the products that made the brand.

Moog Synths of the 1970s

From the Moog Minimoog Model D to the Moog Prodigy.

  • Moog Minimoog Model D 1971 - 1982

    The Minimoog Model D is the very first non-modular synthesizer from Moog and was the first synthesizer truly built as a production model for working musicians. It features 3 oscillators, one of which can be used as an LFO. The most famous and acclaimed feature of this synth is its filter—a revolutionary technological development that has set the standard for nearly every synthesizer that has followed. The Minimoog inspired countless hits throughout music history, including N.W.A.'s "Dopeman" produced by Dr. Dre and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" by Pink Floyd.

  • Moog Satellite 1973 - 1979

    The Moog Satellite is one of the most simple vintage synthesizers released by Moog. The Satellite is a single-VCO preset-based monophonic synthesizer with brass, reeds, strings, bell, and lunar presets. The presets are accessible via the vintage-style flip switches found below the keyboard. The synthesizer features controls for modulation, pitch bend, and filter sweeps. The Moog Satellite is known to be used by Vangelis—a famous composer of such film scores as Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner, and more.

  • Moog Sonic Six 1972 - 1979

    The Moog Sonic Six is a much different synthesizer than most other Moog offerings of this era, clearly evidenced by the keyboard's aesthetic. The design of the Sonic Six originated outside of Moog, when an ex-Moog employee working for muSonics designed the Sonic V. When Moog became Moog muSonics, the Sonic V was developed further, in the form of a more portable keyboard with the Sonic Six. The Moog Sonic Six is a duophonic synthesizer with 2 analog oscillators and 2 independent LFOs. It also features a ring modulator and an on-board noise generator. It comes in a sturdy suitcase package, with a built-in speaker and amplifier.

  • Moog MicroMoog 1975 - 1979

    The Moog Micromoog is one of the more affordable and simple synth designs of the 1970s. It's a monophonic synthesizer featuring a single oscillator and a filter that closely resembles the famous filter found in the Minimoog. This filter can be used on its own or in conjunction with other instruments. The Micromoog also features a ribbon controller and pitch-bending controls and was one of the first synthesizers to offer sub-octave capabilities. The Micormoog has been used and favored by famous musicians such as Kraftwerk, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea.

  • Moog Polymoog 203a 1975 - 1978

    The Moog Polymoog 203a spawned out of a project that sought to build a multi-instrument system called the "Constellation." The concept of the Constellation system was to combine two synthesizers—one monophonic (Lyra) and one polyphonic (Apollo)—along with the Taurus I pedal synthesizer in an all-encompassing unit. The complete Constellation project was never fully released, but the Apollo polyphonic synthesizer was eventually released on its own as the Polymoog. The Polymoog 203a is a preset-based synthesizer featuring eight distinct sounds: Piano, Organ, Harpsichord, Clavi, Strings, Vibes, Brass, and Funk. The synth features Var (variation) mode that allows these presets to be customized at the users leisure. Some features of the Polymoog 203a include a 3-band EQ, sample-and-hold, a pitch ribbon controller, and envelope controls.

  • Moog Taurus I 1974 - 1981

    The Moog Taurus I was another part of the never released Constellation system mentioned above featuring a polyphonic synthesizer (Apollo) a monophonic synthesizer (Lyra) and a bass pedal synthesizer, the Taurus I. The Taurus I features 3 built-in presets along with one user programmable preset. The presets featured are Bass, Tuba, and Taurus. This monophonic bass synthesizer features 2 oscillators spanning a 5-octave range with an octave-selector button allowing users to change register mid-performance. It also features decay and portamento effects, as well as the famous low-pass filter found in other Moog synthesizers. The Moog Taurus was widely used by many of the most famous rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s including Led Zeppelin, Rush, and U2.

  • Moog Multimoog 1978 -1981

    The Moog Multimoog is often referred to as the big brother of the Micromoog and is a more affordable version of the Minimoog. It is a monophonic synthesizer that features 2 oscillators, a ribbon controller, analog VCO with variable waveforms, LFO, flexible sample and hold, and the famous Moog 24/dB filter. One of the most interesting features of this synthesizer is its implementation of one of the earliest versions of aftertouch.

  • Moog Prodigy 1979 - 1984

    The Moog Prodigy is another affordable monophonic synthesizer. Although this synth does not have design contributions from Robert Moog, the Prodigy still remains a highly regarded vintage analog synthesizer. The synth features 2 VCOs, triangle and pulse waveforms, the famous 24/db low pass filter, an A/D/S envelope generator, and LFO with both triangle or square waveforms. Additionally, the Prodigy offers portamento, pitch, and modulation control wheels. The Moog Prodigy has been used by famous artists like Depeche Mode, Fatboy Slim, and Blur.

Moog Synths of the 1980s

Hits from the Moog Opus 3 to the Moog Memorymoog.

Editors, Presets, Patches, and Manuals

Explore a variety of materials to learn more about how to use these classic synths,

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Editorial content by Michael Green

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