The Secret Life Of A Classic 1970s Moog Synth

Beloved by musicians and designers alike, Moog synthesizers have inspired three generations of music, including Kraftwerk, Daft Punk, David Bowie, the Beastie Boys, and deadMau5. Now, these synth-loving musicians (and more) have been shrunk down in size by Dorothy, the London-based print maker, as part of its new poster: a cutaway view of the Lilliputian world within the Moog’s first portable synthesizer, the 1970 Minimoog.

Before the Minimoog, synthesizers were big, modular, room-filling machines that could only be used in a studio. The Minimoog, although bulky by the standards of today’s svelter synths, was the first synthesizer that a musician could realistically use at home, arguably driving the Golden Age of electronic music by making it accessible. In its cheapest configurations, it cost less than five grand, and weighed less than 30 pounds, making it about as big as a carry-on suitcase.

Like Dorothy’s last print envisioning the inside the original Macintosh, the studio’s Minimoog poster is heavy on synth-culture references, and light on schematic accuracy. In Dorothy’s imagination, the inside of a Minimoog is filled with tiny people, partying inside a 24-hour electronica club.

There are some great touches, if you squint close enough. There’s Giorgio Moroder, playing the piano for Donna Summer; Daft Punk, DJ-ing a party full of Tron characters; a Berlin-era David Bowie and Iggy Pop jamming with Brian Eno; the Beastie Boys partying with the giant robot from their Intergalactic video; and Sun Ra, presiding over his Arkestra. (Space is the place!) There’s even a little rhyming Clockwork Orange reference: because the film’s score was performed on a Moog, it’s filled with Droogs.

Inside Information: Minimoog is available as three-color litho print, and is available to buy directly from Dorothy for $40 here.

[All Images: courtesy Dorothy]JB