In the late ’60s and early ’70s Bob Moog helped pioneer electronic music by developing the Moog Synthesizer, a powerfully dynamic, yet cleanly designed audio synthesizer still touted by musicians across the world. Today the audio engineers at Moog Music are advancing the consumer friendly heritage of the company by releasing Animoog, their first professional quality, standalone synthesizer for the iPad. The app is available in the iTunes store this week for the introductory price of $0.99, but it’ll eventually sell for $29.99.
Aesthetically, the app maintains the analog feel of an old school Moog, but, of course, instead of physically turning knobs, gentles swipes and taps are all you need to make some noise. When you hold the iPad horizontally, the lower third of the screen contains a keyboard octave to play notes. The real power is housed above, where the user designs how these notes sound. Moog Music chief engineer Cyril Lance told Wired that the goal while developing the app was to focus on “[creating] a new musical instrument that fully embraced the iPad’s touch interface and rich graphics.” Using Anistropic Synth Engine technology, the user is able to adjust the feel of the sound by simply dragging a constellation-like object across an iPad friendly 2-D field. Besides this intuitive playback mode, other useful tabs include KB scale to change the progression of the keyboard (i.e. chromatic, blues or whole tone), Env/Mod to run your sound through filters, and Timbres, where you can create completely customized sounds from the ground up by combining dozens of blips, beeps and squelches from scratch.
Of course, any satisfying sounds you stumble upon can be saved as presets, and the program is completely midi compatible. Whether you plan on incorporating Animoog into your virtual studio or just want to waste a few hours, this week’s $0.99 price tag is a steal for anyone looking to digitally re-live the analog production days of yonder. [Download Animoog here.]