It’s hard to overstate the influence of the Minimoog Model D. The original synthesizer swung in the 1970’s and was instrumental (oh!) in shaping the sounds of Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder, Phil Collins, and Gary Numan—and with it, a host of popular music. Moog has now evolved its classic counterpart, without losing what made it stand out in the first place.
Authenticity is key to this latest release. There is a handcrafted aluminum frame, which is held together by a handcrafted Appalachian wood cabinet. Moog says all components are “carefully sourced and crafted to capture the indescribable feel of the original Minimoog Model D.” Then there is the sound. According to Moog, the sound engine and signal path remain identical to the machine designed in the 1970s.
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However, the originality only takes you so far, which is why this latest model retains the modifications made for the 2016 reissue. These include a custom analog LFO with triangular and square waveforms, and an excellent Fatar keybase with speed and afterpressure available via top-plate CV jacks. With built-in booths, MIDI integration, and finally, improved tilt wheel calibration. If all of this baffles you, you’ll understand this: the mixer’s feedback modulation that allows the Minimoog Model D to ramp up speed and scream with the turn of a knob. (Scream is a good word when it comes to synths, right?)
For 2022, you also get a spring-loaded stepping wheel that returns to center on release. This was apparently a common artist request aided by ease of play and “wild performance flourishes”. There are improvements to MIDI, too, to allow you to integrate Unity more seamlessly into modern studio setups, rather than being in a corner while you stick yourself to ProTools for the umpteenth day in a row.
The little hurdle? All this greatness doesn’t come cheap: The new Minimoog Model D will set you back £5,999 / $4,999, which is enough to make even Pink Floyd fans cough loudly (they then turn said cough into a 23-minute rock classic). However, if that’s a little rich, you can always get the original app version instead. It now works on Mac as well as iPhone/iPad and is currently on sale at 50% off £12.99 / $14.99. paper.