Robert Arthur Moog, commonly called Bob Moog (May 23, 1934 – August 21, 2005) was an American pioneer of electronic music, best known as the inventor of the Moog synthesizer.The Moogsynthesizerwas one of the first widely used electronic musical instruments. Early developmental work on the components of the synthesizer occurred at theColumbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, now theComputer Music Center. While there, Moog developed thevoltage controlled oscillators,ADSRenvelope generators, and other synthesizer modules with composerHerbert Deutsch.
Moog created the first voltage-controlled subtractive synthesizer to utilize a keyboard as a controller and demonstrated it at theAESconvention in 1964. In 1966, Moog filed a patent application for his uniquelow-pass filter U.S. Patent 3,475,623, which issued in October 1969. He held several dozenpatents.
Moog employed histheremincompany (R. A. Moog Co., which would later become Moog Music) to manufacture and market his synthesizers. Unlike the few other 1960s synthesizer manufacturers, Moog shipped a piano-stylekeyboardas the standard user interface to his synthesizers. Moog also established standards for analog synthesizer control interfacing, with a logarithmic one volt-per-octave pitch control and a separate pulse triggering signal.
The first Moog instruments weremodular synthesizers. In 1971 Moog Music began production of theMinimoogModel D which was among the first widely available, portable and relatively affordable synthesizers.
One of Moog's earliest musical customers wasWendy Carloswhom he credits with providing feedback that was valuable to the further development of Moog synthesizers. Through his involvement in electronic music, Moog developed close professional relationships with artists such asDon Buchla,Keith Emerson,Rick Wakeman,John Cage,Gershon Kingsley,Clara Rockmore, and Pamelia Kurstin.
In a 2000 interview, Moog said "I'm an engineer. I see myself as a toolmaker and the musicians are my customers. They use my tools."