Moog Minitaur – The New Tabletop Monophonic Bass Synth (NAMM 2012)

Serious news for synth enthusiasts this week: Moog has just announced a new synth called Minitaur that will be on display at NAMM 2012 and hit the market this spring. It’s a monophonic synth based on their classic Tarus bass pedals that boasts USB / MIDI connectivity, one knob per function and a tiny footprint. At $679 ($599 street) it’s less expensive than any other synth that Moog has ever produced. Read on to get a glimpse of this exciting new offering from Moog Music.
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MOOG MUSIC UNVEILS MINITAUR BASS SYNTH

A few weeks back, just before the new year, Moog Music announced that they would be unveiling a “new insrument” at NAMM 2012. Of course that sent synth enthusiasts on a a mad dash to find  patent information, copyright applications and any other tidbit that would give a clue to what this new device might be. After weeks of rumors and speculation on blogs and forums, Moog announced this week that the new instrument will be a tabletop monophonic synth based on the legendary Moog Tarus bass pedals and offered for a fraction of the cost of the original Tarus series instruments.

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Compact Design, Big Sound, Extensive Control

There’s not much to disagree with about the Minitaur specs so far – it looks pretty amazing. It’s small enough to fit on a desktop, boasts USB and MIDI connectivity and has that classic Moog sound for under $1000. But the most exciting aspect of this new device is the level of control that the Minitaur packs into a very small package by way of  knobs to control every parameter in real-time. Moog explains, “the Minitaur is a compact and powerful analog bass synthesizer that features a classic one knob per function design.”

Create Digital Music‘s Peter Kirn explains this sentiment from a user perspective: “For the first time since the Rogue, you get a truly entry-level Moog synth with a one-knob-per-function interface – something that the Slim Phatty, while it sounds fantastic, lacks. And you get a lot of goodness for your $700 or so: a steel case, two saw and square waves, the Taurus-style ladder filter, and envelopes a la Minimoog. That gives you Moog-y sounds, and then you add in modern Moog-y control: MIDI DIN, MIDI over USB, and analog inputs for pitch, filter, volume, and gate.”

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Below are the complete details on the Minitaur from Moog Music. We hope to learn more at NAMM 2012 and in the coming months when they actually release to the public. So far this is looking to be one of the hottest synthesizers to hit the market for 2012.

Minitaur is a powerful, compact Analog Bass Synthesizer that features a classic one knob per function design. It is the first instrument in the Taurus family that does not have foot pedals. At only 8.5″ x 5.25″ and less than 3lbs, the Minitaur puts legendary analog Moog bass into a package designed to fit seamlessly into today’s performance and production environments. There are no confusing or convoluted menus to dig through. Plug in a MIDI controller or hook it up to your computer and start playing immediately. Don’t be fooled by it’s size. Minitaur delivers all the growl, snarl and low end assosiciated with the Taurus family of Bass Synthesizers in a rugged performance package that is small enough to take with you anywhere.

• One knob per function interface for tweaking and creating new sounds on the fly. It also makes live performance a blast.

• Two oscillators with Sawtooth (Original Taurus) and Square wave-shapes for each VCO. Recreate sounds of the original Taurus with sawtooth waves, or create new sounds with square waves or a combination of both.

• 2 Mixer VCAs for VCO levels control of Oscillators 1 and 2.

• Moog Ladder Filter with adjustable resonance delivers classic Taurus 1 and 3 bass and boom.

•Two Minimoog style ADSR Envelope Generators for modulating VCF and VCA. The Decay and Release segments are controlled by the Decay knob, while the Release segment is enabled or disabled via Release On/Off switch.

• Midi-syncable LFO with Controls for Rate, VCO LFO Amount, and VCF LFO Amount

• DIN MIDI and MIDI over USB offer complete control of the Minitaur’s sound engine.

• Analog Control inputs for Pitch, Filter, Volume and Gate. Use an EP2 or CV to connect and control MInitaur with everything from Modulars to Moogerfoogers.

• External audio input for processing external audio through the Mixer and Filter section of Minitaur.

• Headphone output with 1/8″ connection.

• Compact rugged steel chassis that is built like a tank.

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Michael Walsh is the Editor of Dubspot’s Blog, a producer of audio/visual art and a journalist living in Southern California. Read more of his work at soundsdefygravity.com

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