«Here it is! A compact, moderately priced electronic music synthesizer designed for live performance.» This is the way the Minimoog is introduced on the very first promotional brochure, in the midst of 1971.

The Minimoog synthesizer required several months of research and development and 4 prototypes, before leading to the commercial model. More than 12,000 units were sold until 1981. They were quite far from the 10 modular units per month that Moog Music produced in the late 60’s.

The very first Minimoog prototype was called Model A. Three other versions, B, C and D, followed. This last model is the final and most common incarnation of the Minimoog synthesizer and the only one that was put into production in large numbers. The choice of wood rather than plastic for the cabinet prevailed from the beginning, simply because Robert Moog preferred to follow the advice of musician friends, rather than drawings coming from Moog’s industrial engineers. The Model D was first introduced at the NAMM convention in June 1971. It was Moog’s first exposure to the music instruments industry - and the industry's first exposure to synthesizers. The reception is rather cold as, according Robert Moog himself, «Most dealers didn't know what to make of a musical instrument with words like Oscillator Bank and Filter printed on the front panel.»

The Minimoog knew an unparalleled success during the 1970’s. Artists and bands like Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Keith Emerson, Jean-Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze, and Rick Wakeman used the synthesizer, notably for the typical sound and its very warm quality, which is excellent for basses and lead sounds.

More information on the Vintage Synth Explorer website

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The original minimoog has particular characteritics for which it was both loved by many musicians to this day. Arturia minimoog V brings back the sound and special characteristics in a virtual instrument.

We decided to reproduce the legendary interface with the same look and feel than the original because of its particular "mood" and because many musicians wish to use the same interface they used in the past.

But the reproduction of this synthesizer does not stop to the look and feel, we also recreated its inside characteristics.

So what makes the sound of the minimoog ?

First, the oscillators. We recreate the exact characteristics of each oscillator, with their particular sound. As with any discrete component analog oscillator, the minimoog V produces "free-running" waveforms that we have captured in our sound. (see TAE oscillators. page)

Listen to the high frequencies and compare TAE with another technology on a minimoog sound...
(Good monitoring system required)

Secondly, the filter. Many digital filters have some characteristics which are very far from their analog references. The minimoog V filter has the same characteristics as the original minimoog one, i.e. its frequency and emphasis are completely independent. The minimoog V filter is an true emulation of the renowned typical 24dB moog 4 stages filter. Another feature of the minimoog filter is the emphasis decreases when the cutoff frequency is low. This allows a special characteristic of sound that lets the bass pass throught the filter when playing lower sounds.

The soft clipping behaviour of the minimoog amplification stages is also very important in the sound character, adding some pleasant harmonics to the sound, making basses sound more powerful.


Listen to a simple soft clipping example :
(Good monitoring system required)

The second example has more bass, is punchier and is louder than the first one, with the same peak level.

We have gone to great lengths to remain true to the original in that important respect.

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Sound MAP: Explore hundreds of sounds using our revolutionary Sound MAP. Locate areas you like and pick a sound that will stimulate your creativity. Morph sounds on the MAP by clicking anywhere you like. Add filters to make your search easier, or get back to the traditional list of presets, by sound-designer or by type. Be creative, be funky, be a sound-traveller.

Vocal Filter: Did you ever think of making a Minimoog talk? Well we thought of it and came with a very exciting solution called the Vocal Filter. Sonic results can be spectacular, similar to those sounds from Kubrick movies.


Circuitry improvements: While we built around the core Minimoog structure, we also added a few options in the circuits. The Keyboard Follow can now be deactivated
on VCO2. In addition, we extended the modulation matrix and added a few sources
and destinations. The Pan and Vocal Filter can now be used as destinations. Two random signals based on a Sample&Hold are added as inputs. We also allowed for using the voice number (from the polyphonic range) as a discreet source, which proved very interesting
to control different parameters.


Automation: What if a Minimoog offered automation - not as a control option but as a sound-design tool? Pick up to four parameters and record realtime changes within the preset. This is an entirely new sound palette that will arise, just by the traditional Minimoog scenery.  

We added some very useful enhancements to the original minimoog, of course - polyphony, and many other simple and powerful features.

Polyphony ? that's what a generation of minimoog users dreamt of ! But today all soft synthesizers are polyphonic - so we bring this to you in the minimoogV.

We also added more features, always with keeping in mind the original simplicity of the Minimoog.

  • Delay & chorus : simple parameters, but rich sound. The chorus sound was carefully evaluated and improved to have a "creamy" sound without blurring natural attack and transients of the minimoog sound.
  • Modulation matrix : it allows you to connect many midi controllers to any of the modulable parameters of the instrument. So you can have a live control of your sound.
  • LFO : an extra oscillator was added for modulation purposes. You can connect this LFO to any modulable parameter via the modulation matrix and free up the minimoogV's third oscilators to add to the sound or for other modulation possibilities.
  • Arpeggiator : it allows the keyboardist to have automatic note sequencing of a chord. With this feature you can simply play and hold notes on your keyboard and obtain many special effects and note patterns.
  • PWM : oscillators can be modulated in pulse width, which is a unique feature of the minimoog V, and which cannot be found on any other minimoog emulation on the market. This allows for a new level of tone control of the oscillators, and allows you to make sounds that are otherwise impossible on a minimoog.

Here is a example with PWM with a simple oscillator :


All these features are accessible via a dedicated panel on the minimoog V :




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You can make a large range of sound with the minimoogV. This instrument is particularly efficient and simple for bass and leads. Inserting a minimoog V sound into your mix is fast and easy.

You can pick up one of the 300 provided presets, made by renowned sound designers and begin to play. All parameters are directly accessible, so you can tweak the sound to easily fit in your song.

But for what kind of sound the minimoog is the best ? Every minimoog owner will say "BASS". In fact the minimoog was mainly used for bass and lead sounds, because it was monophonic. But it is not the only reason. Its simple but efficient architecture, the specific shape of the filter, the characteristics of oscillators and the soft clipping output stage give the minimoog a warm and unique sound. The minimoog V reproduces this unique warm sound, and that's why you can play this kind of powerful, loud basses with this instrument.

The lead sounds are also as clear as with the original minimoog, with the glide portamento and its very particular envelope response which makes its sound more playable.

But you can do more ! With its polyphonic capability, arpeggiator, modulation matrix and effects, you can make an incredible array of sounds, all while keeping the ease of use and true sound of the minimoog architecture.