Google Doodle lets you play all day

May 23, 2012|By Dave Rosenthal

Today's Goodle Doodle honors the birthday of Robert Moog, the engineering genius and music pioneer who brought us the synthesizer. It's one of those super-creative doodles, allowing you to play the mini-synthesizer, warping notes in various ways. You can even record your music.

For a breakdown of the synthesizer's main components, including mixers and oscillators, the Moog company's chief engineer has offered a video introduction. And here's an entertaining video primer that will help you adjust all those funny-looking knobs.

Moog's invention became an icon of the '60s and '70s, adopted by such musicians as the Beatles and Steve Wonder. The futuristic sound was a perfect accompaniment for a generation known for breaking boundaries -- in music and beyond. On the company website, Moog is quoted as saying: “I got a copy of Midnight Cowboy the other day ... . There’s a psychedelic scene where everybody’s stoned, and that’s where they used the Moog. You know, you really couldn’t get stoned back then without having some synthesizer music playing. You had to do things right.”

Moog died in 2005, at age 71, of a brain tumor.

For more on the visionary, you can read "Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer" by Trevor Pinch and Frank Trocco.

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