Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Robert Moog Google Doodle

The Google Doodle for Robert Moog's birthday is going to go down as a landmark, this much is for sure. It is a full fledged tone generator with all the wave modulation that one can ask for, and comes with a four track recording and playback button. And all of it with a very amazing range of controls. While modern listeners may be quick to call it a crazy squelchy sound, those of us who have witnessed the evolution of the synthesizer will be all starry eyed and ranting about this for a while.

Screen snippet of the Google Doodle for Robert Moog's 78th birthday

The app, built using the web audio research that the madmen at Googleplex have been doing for a while comes with 19 fully functioning knobs, a modulation wheel, a four track recorder, and volume control for individual oscillators. The three oscillators are paired with filters that let you tweak the attack, decay, sustain and contour, and an on/off switch for the modulation wheel. It works with a keyboard (QWERTY and the numpad) as well as with a mouse, but if you are trying to build a melody, the keyboard is the obvious choice. So, skipping the jargon, here is a Doodle that lets you create your own sound, modulate and envelop it the way you want, and then record up to 30 seconds and four tracks of it, play it back, and share it.

It took me a while (a huge while actually) to figure out all that it contained, and once I did, I was awestruck and nostalgic for quite a while. Before I return to the magic of this doodle, a quick look at the world of Robert Moog and what he did for the modern sound.
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