Robert Moog changed the music landscape forever when he released the first commercial synthesizer in the 60s. Since then, the name Moog has become synonymous with synthesis and iconic pieces of hardware like the Minimoog. Now, the Bob Moog Foundation opened Moogseum, a museum dedicated to the work of Moog and other important musical devices, in Asheville, North Carolina.
The museum had its smooth opening this week, but will officially hold a grand opening on August 15. . The 1,400-square-foot space features an immersive viewing dome that allows guests to "enter inside a circuit board" to see how electricity becomes solid and a recreation of Bob Moog's desk. There are also rare objects on display, prototype synthesizer modules from the late 60's, many of Moog's personal work documents, a practical exhibition to learn about sound synthesis, Minimoogs to play and more.
When Robert Moog debuted The Moog Synthesizer in 1964, it was a completely different alternative to what was available in the market. At that time, synthesizers could easily cost six figures, were programmed by the use of punched cards and took up enormous amounts of space. A famous example is the RCA Mark II sound synthesizer, which needed a full room and cost around $ 500,000 to develop. In contrast, the Moog synthesizer was cheap, priced at $ 10,000. You could also play with a keyboard and it was relatively compact.
This accessibility and the keyboard interface opened the synthesis to a new world of users. Micky Dolenz of The Monkees was one of the first to adopt it, and the band introduced it on their 1967 album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd. But it was the 1968 album Grammy winner by Wendy Carlos Switched-On Bach that really pushed the Moog synthesizer to the limelight . Since then, Moog synthesizers have also been used over the years by The Beatles, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, MGMT and many other artists.
If you are interested in popping for the Moogseum, it is located at 56 Broadway Street in Asheville, North Carolina, and is open every day from 11 am to 5 pm, except Sundays and Tuesdays.