January 18, 2013

Moog Factory Tour: New Technology Preview

We have reached the end of our Moog Factory Tour series with a look at a new technology Moog are developing. With a sensoriactuator and ferromagnetism, Moog and their engineering department are dubbing this new technology LEV 96. Essentially what they are developing is something that takes natural harmonic tones and transfers them into the onboard analog circuit to produce unique tones and sound palettes. The initial design is being used with an acoustic guitar but in the future, LEV-96 could potentially be affixed to a number of different surfaces. This little control surface boasts over 90 individual control systems so you can expect that the sonic possibilites here are potentially endless with enough creativity and exploration.

Unfortunately this is the end of the road for our Moog Factory Tour series as well as any new Moog news to announce before Winter NAMM 2013. We will of course be sharing any news we find out about the Sub Phatty and any other secrets Moog have been hiding for the NAMM show. We would like to sincerely thank every one at Moog Music Inc. for letting us into their home and allowing us to witness their operation first hand. We truly enjoyed meeting the staff and checking out all the gear that Moog has to offer both old and new. If you can’t get enough Moog yourself, be sure to check out the other videos in our Moog Factory Tour series and as always for the best deals on Moog gear visit



I’m really excited to be able to bring you guys into one of our prototyping rooms. Here in the factory we’re constantly designing new technologies, new instruments, and sometimes the elements of that research and that development and that technology that we are working on begin to take us into new directions. What we’re working on in this room is one of those cases. Right now we are currently working on a concept project, a technology that we have sort of dubbed around the factory as LEV 96. At this point and time we are calling it a concept project because were not sure what direction we want to take this when we go into production. The forms that you are seeing it in today are ways for us to flesh out that technology. We currently have a small group of beta testers. A lot of them are very widely known musicians that we are building these concept projects for and sending out to them to get their feedback. What they love about it, what they weren’t as excited about, maybe what things they expected to see from it and didn’t and maybe some things that they didn’t expect that came out to them. We’ll use that the same way Bob did back in the fifties and sixties with his direct work with artists that allowed him to fold those opinions and that feedback into his designs in such a way to give these instruments the staying power that they have today nearly sixty years later. 

The technology that goes into LEV 96 is something we are really excited about. Essentially what we have is a sensory actuator device. It can be affixed to anything that is ferromagnetic, anything that responds to magnetism. In this case we have attached it to an acoustic guitar but in the future it could really be attached to anything. Anything that is magnetic we can control the vibrations and the harmonic content present in that medium. So with the acoustic guitar for instance, the metal string we are able to use electromagnetism to control the vibrations of those strings, to control the harmonics if we want to accent a series of harmonics or deemphasize another series. We can control that very accurately in this instrument.

Now in addition to being able to control which harmonics are present and which are not present we can also cycle through those harmonics, we can arpeggiate through them, we can create modulations that move back and forth, and give you a wonderful, amazing, unique new sound that even outside of the original Moog guitar has never been heard before.