Moog Music, Possibly THE most iconic name in synthesis has just announced a move to the inMusic family. With a 70-year history Moog have remained true to their roots and as such have remained a relatively small-scale business. With this announcement, it looks as though things are about to change dramatically for the company.
Moog: a potted history
Founded by Dr. Robert Moog in 1953, the company revolutionized the music industry with the invention of the modular synthesizer. The Moog range of synthesizers would lead a sonic revolution that continues to influence artists and musicians worldwide. Moog started off by producing Theremins, the musical staple of the 1950’s B-Movie. During the 60’s Moog diversified into modular synthesis. Moog’s modular synthesizer provided musicians with unprecedented control over sound, leading to a seismic shift in music production.
With the dawn of the 70s came the introduction of the synth that changed it all – The Model D Mini Moog. In the words of Mini-Moog fanatic Rick Wakeman “This was the first time a keyboard instrument could compete on stage with an electric guitar”.
Despite Moog ruling the synthesized roost throughout the 70s, the 1980s saw a dramatic downfall in its fortunes. With increased competition from competitors such as Yamaha and Roland who were pioneering digital synthesis, Moog eventually ceased operations in 1993.
With an upsurge in interest and appreciation of analogue synthesis Robert Moog eventually resurrected the company in 2002. He moved the company from its traditional home of NY state to Asheville, North Carolina. This move brought about a remarkable revival for the company. Moog Music, Inc. established their new manufacturing facility in Asheville, where they continued to design, engineer, and build their renowned analogue synthesizers. The company’s headquarters, along with its production facilities, remain in Asheville to this day.
Throughout its history, Moog Music,Inc has maintained a strong emphasis on top-quality craftsmanship and has strived to produce its instruments in-house, ensuring meticulous attention to detail and preserving the signature Moog sound. Time will only tell if this ethos will remain now that they are owned by inMusic.
Who are inMusic?
The inMusic group is a renowned and diversified family of music technology brands. With a focus on innovation, performance, and quality, the inMusic group has established itself as a leading player in various sectors of the music technology market. inMusic’s origin story began with the acquisition of DJ equipment manufacturer, Numark in 1992. inMusic’s founder and CEO Jack O’Donnell was working for Stanton Magnetics, makers of styli aimed largely at the DJ market. He heard that Numark was available to buy and when Stanton refused his suggestion to purchase the assets, he bought the flailing company himself. O’Donnell then went on to acquire an impressive portfolio of Music tech companies. inMusic currently own over 20 brands including industry stalwarts such as Akai Professional, M-Audio and Rane to name just a few.
And now inMusic can add one of the most prestigious brands in the history of electronic music technology to its already impressive roster. The iconic household name that is ‘Moog’!
What can we expect?
So should the many committed members of the cult of Moog be concerned over this move? Only time will tell. In the press release posted on Moog’s website they clearly state they will be keeping their engineering, designing and production in their hometown of Asheville, North Carolina.
But what, if like many other brands under the inMusic umbrella, they start to show rapid growth? Is it inconceivable that some of the production could be outsourced? Let’s face it, most people buying a genuine Moog product are buying into the heritage of that company. That and their dedication to only producing the highest quality products, both in terms of sound and build quality. With such a prestige item its reputation may take a hit if the manufacturer turned to let’s say China.
On the other hand, with the huge investments that will no doubt be going into the company, there is a lot of scope for exciting new developments. It’s true to say that inMusic will bring with it a wealth of knowledge and experience in the sector. And with more efficient distribution in place, the prices of their products may well drop.
Hopefully, the marriage of these two companies will ensure the ongoing legacy of one the most important and iconic names in music technology.