Keith Emerson’s massive modular synthesiser was the centrepiece of his persona as the virtuoso keyboard player in progressive rock super group Emerson, Lake, & Palmer. The custom rig was his throne. Moog just spent three years reverse-engineering the thing. Who’s got $90,000 lying around to buy it?
So far, Moog is only teasing the official detailed announcement, to be made on 23 April at the beginning of Moogfest. But we do have some details, specifically pertaining to Moog’s painstaking reproduction. The original synth’s 81 modules have been reproduced as faithfully as possible. Of those, 67 were standard modules that were printed on original films, and whenever possible the components are vintage old stock, sourced from all over the world. Emerson’s synth also had 14 custom modules. Everything was built from original schematics, but in the case of custom mods, I’m frankly surprised they were able to dig them up.
According to Moog the synth will cost “at least” $90,000, which is absurd. But wow. What an ambitious project.
Below, we see the two synths, old and new, next to each other.
Top picture: Keith Emerson with Bob Moog in 1999, via AP Photo