East Coast Rocker

Putting You in the Front Row

NAMM 2015 Wrap-Up: Products You’ll See In Music Stores

Moog Theramini demo - photo by Donna Balancia

Moog Theramini demo – photo by Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA — Synthesizers, new apps, and guitars dominated NAMMShow 2015 as music retailers got a sneak peek of what will soon hit the stores.

Favorites included Moog’s $300 Theremini, Orange Music Education’s Musicboard, and Taylor Guitar’s latest line of guitars.

Bob Moog began building theremins in 1954 — they are considered one of the  oldest electronic instruments.  The theremin is the only instrument known that you play without touching.  Moog has come a long way since those days building theremins in the basement with his father.

The theremin is a single oscillator instrument that uses two metal rod antennas to control pitch and amplitude.

Make Noise photo by Donna Balancia

Make Noise – Photo by Donna Balancia

The left antenna — a horizontal hoop —  reduces the amplitude as the left hand is moved closer to it. Meanwhile, the right antenna — a vertical pole —  increases the pitch as the right hand is moved towards it.

Moog’s company has sold more theremins to more professionals than anyone in history.  While there are a range from which to choose, for the price and the convenient size, EastCoastRocker.com likes the Theremini.

Up-and-comer in the category is Make Noise Music, who have come up with a cool, portable synthesizer.

The Musicboard - photo by Donna Balancia

The Musicboard – photo by Donna Balancia

Another cool innovation, this one in the area of music education — is the Musicboard by Orange Music Education.

The invention enables teachers to engage students with an interactive board that plays notes and changes keys with the touch of a wand.

Music education is the key to success in music retail.  Orange Amplification, the parent company to OME, is based in the U.K.

Blackbird Guitars- story by East Coast Rocker

Blackbird Guitars – photo by Donna Balancia

Guitars of all shapes and sizes about at NAMM, but our two favorites are California’s

own Taylor Guitars and Blackbird Guitars.  Taylor’s Big Baby line is popular, and if Taylor is good enough for San Diego’s Jason Mraz, it’s good enough for us.

Our other favorite is up-and-comer in the category, Blackbird guitars, which makes its instruments from all-natural products.

For more NAMM VIDEO go to the YouTube Channel of EastCoastRocker.com’s sister site: California Rocker YouTube Channel.


Moog Synthesizer Genome Project Complete

Moog Synthesizer painstakingly recreated East Coast Rocker

The Moog Synthesizer. It no longer shoots rockets.

ASHEVILLE, NC – It has taken three years, but Moog Music engineering team has reverse-engineered and built a 1:1 re-creation of one of the world’s most famous keyboards: Keith Emerson’s Moog Modular, using original processes and components.

Moog Synthesizer

Known as “The Synthesizer Genome Project,” the revitalization of the keyboard was painstakingly undertaken by engineers at Moog Music’s Asheville, N.C. headquarters.

When it was created in 1970, the original Emerson Modular included the following:

·       81 total modules / custom panels

·       12 unique, custom built modules including: sample and hold, preset programmer, custom LFO’s and DRONE VCO Control

·       903 Noise Source and 905 Reverb

·       First synthesizer with performance presets

·       Shoots rockets

The Emerson System, by Moog Custom Engineering, is to be released later this month and is based on the original Emerson Modular. The Emerson System will include the following:

·       Every standard module printed from original circuit board films

·       Original/vintage and new old stock components sourced from around the world

·       All face places are reproduced using original transparencies and techniques

·       Each module is hand build and soldered with original schematics and service manuals as guides

·       No longer shoots rockets

Bob Moog East Coast Rocker

Bob Moog

More information is to come.  The Moog Music 500 series modules and electronic musical instruments are designed and lovingly handcrafted at the Moog factory in downtown Asheville, N.C. Moog Music and its customers carry on the legacy of Dr. Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer and Founder of Moog Music Inc.

The company puts on the annual Moogfest in Asheville.  This year the lineup features Kraftwerk 3D and Pet Shop Boys.

For more information, go to Moog Music and Moogfest websites.