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Moog’s first new Minimoog Model D goes to Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor
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Moog’s first new Minimoog Model D goes to Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor

by Stephen Charlton2016/08/01

Moog recently re-issued their classic Minimoog Model D, which has been out of production since 1981. They revealed recently on Twitter that the first new Model D went straight to Trent Reznor’s studio. The industrial rock genius has promised new Nine Inch Nails material in 2016, so perhaps it’ll be featured on that.

Trent Reznor’s history with the Minimoog

Reznor has made no secret of his love for Moog synthesizers. For years he’s used the Minimoog Voyager, which was a 2002 re-design based on the Model D. Reznor commented in a documentary on the subject:

“I can’t overestimate how important the Voyager has been. It managed to satisfy any Minimoog need I had. I always got one in back-up in case something might happen. It’s part of every project I’ve ever done.”

The monophonic, analog Minimoog Model D was introduced in 1970. The unit was notable as the world’s first portable synthesizer. It packaged modular elements into a rig that could be used for live performance. It appeared on seminal releases such as Bob Marley’s Catch a Fire, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Handbuilt Minimoog Model D now shipping worldwide

The new Model D will set regular folks back $3,749 and is available now worldwide via Moog dealers. The synths are handmade in Moog’s factory in Asheville, NC. The nature of the building process means only a handful of Model Ds can be produced each month.

Reznor is not the only well-known musician to enjoy a new Model D. London-based synth designer and sound artist Yuri Suzuki received No. 0020. He also demoed the unit briefly on his Twitter.

Devo vocalist and keyboardist Mark Mothersbaugh got his hands on No. 0032. Dutch composer and producer Junkie XL received No. 0068. No doubt we’ll be hearing a lot of this synth in upcoming releases with the pedigree of its new owners.

Moog state that no changes have been made to the original sound engine or audio signal path. However they have made modifications to expand it beyond the factory specs of the 1970s original. These include a Fatar keybed with velocity and after pressure available through top-panel CV jacks, CV outputs for pitch and gate, a dedicated analog LFO with square and triangle waveshapes and basic MIDI integration. Moog have also included a mixer overload mod, which allows thicker and more overdriven tones.

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About The Author
Stephen Charlton

Stephen Charlton is a musician, journalist and editor.

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