In 1970, Bob Moog released the Minimoog Model D, the first portable modular synthesizer. The instrument featured knobs and buttons to control sounds as opposed to the cumbersome patch cables found on earlier modular synths. Though the Minimoog couldn’t play more than one note at a time (leaving chords and layers out of the question), the high quality of the sound attracted a diverse group of musicians over the years. Notable artists who used the synth include Sun Ra, Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, Parliament, Herbie Hancock, J. Dilla and Dr. Dre.
In 2002, Moog released an updated version of the Model D called the Voyager with new technology including a memory bank of 128 presets, touchpad modulation control and MIDI compatibility, among others. Love for the Model D didn’t wane, however, and in 2016 Moog released a limited-edition reissue of the iconic synth. Some of these reissues are still available and have a list price of $3,499.
For those who don’t have the means to invest in this legendary instrument, Moog just released an iOS app version of the Model D. Available for just $5, this software recreation of has all the features of the traditional synth, and also includes a few modern updates. Most notably, the app allows for chords and four-note polyphony. It also includes an easy-to-use arpeggiator, a ping-pong delay module, a real-time looping recorder and a modulation effect module called the Bender.
The Minimoog Model D app comes with over 160 presets and supports AUv3 Audio Unit extensions, which allow for it to be used in programs like GarageBand and Ableton. Available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, your presets are easily backed-up to iCloud. Whether you’re a Moog lover or new to the brand, this is app is $5 well-spent.
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