Design studio Pentagram and web development team Counterpoint have worked with Moog Music to turn its legendary analogue synthesizer – the Minimoog Model D – into a virtual experience you can play in your browser.
If you're a fan of electronic music, get ready to sink hours into possibly the best website you'll come across all year. Designed as a whimsical tribute to the Minimoog Model D - the renowned synthesizer used by the likes of Kraftwerk, Gary Numan and Bob Marley - the Mini Moog Factory allows you to explore the rich history of the archetypal instrument, listen to tracks that have put the machine to good use, and even create and share your own samples courtesy of the site's free emulator.
Sounds good, right? Released to coincide with the anniversary of electronic music pioneer Bob Moog's birthday, the Mini Moog Factory has been brought to life with the help of charming illustrations by Rob Pybus and the sound design of Pentagram's experiential visionary Yuri Suzuki, the latter having previously collaborated with Moog on 2016's Global Synthesizer Project.
After landing on the page, you'll be presented with a cutaway of a factory and various rooms to explore. Click on their digital doors, and you'll be taken through to the Jukebox, where you can listen to a collection of over 45 tracks which use the Minimoog Model D, or the Practice Room, where an interactive virtual version of the synthesizer is waiting for you to record your own tracks.
Other rooms include the Archive, where you can learn more about the synthesizer from the people who designed it and discover more about its impact on the world. In the theatre, you can sit back and enjoy performances which have used the Minimoog Model D on stage, and in the Build-a-synth room, you can do just that: print and "build" your own mini Minimoog.
Elsewhere there's a fun and easy-to-use Instagram filter which uses your facial expressions and body movements to trigger the Minimoog's controls. In the Model D App, you can learn more about the sound and workflow of the classic synthesizer. With over 160 presets included as standard, anyone on iOS and macOS can dive right in and explore the intricacies of electronic sound design.
Topping off the whole glorious experience is a Gift Shop, where you can pick up accessories, clothing, and collectables dedicated to the Minimoog Model D. From tee shirts to coffee mugs and even bumper stickers, there's something for everyone.
For Yuri, who is passionate about Moog's synthesizers, the past two years spent working on the project have been an incredible journey. "Their synthesizers' special sound and beautiful design hold a special place in my heart," he explains. I still vividly remember our first discussion years ago, where we envisioned a web experience that celebrates the Minimoog Model D. Our goal was to craft a tightly interactive and fun experience that would capture the essence of Dr Bob Moog and his team's groundbreaking innovation.
"Throughout the project, the collaboration has been tight-knit and extremely enjoyable. We have exchanged numerous ideas on how to make the introduction of this beautiful innovation both fun and captivating. I am grateful to everyone involved in this project for their hard work and dedication.
"I invite you to visit the website and immerse yourself in the discovery of the Minimoog Model D - a true testament to the innovation and creativity of its creators."
So what are you waiting for? Slip on your headphones, click on over to the Mini Moog Factory, and experiment with the instrument that puts synthesizers on the map.
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