Today the Google homepage honors Robert Moog, father of the modern synthesizer, by letting users play, record and share a synth melody of their own. The doodle was revealed on what would have been Moog’s 76th birthday.
“At their best Google doodles are a bit like Dr. Moog’s inventions. They operate at the nexus of art and technology and are seriously fun,” Chief Doodler Ryan Germick told Rolling Stone. “If it wasn’t for the geek genius of Dr. Moog, it would be a much less funky world.”
Today virtually all electronic artists owe a little to Moog, the man who figured out how to turn electric currents into sound.
Germick said he was thrilled to work on this project, since he is a fan of synth-savvy musicians like Prince and Parliament. Last year Germick was responsible for the popular guitar-based interactive doodle paying homage to Les Paul. Both doodler are playable re-imaginings of instruments with instant recording and social sharing capabilities.
Google’s Moog-inspired logo transformation, dubbed the “Goog,” has been designed so that the number keys on the computer keyboard can also be used to play the notes on the screen.
“Keeping with the theme of 1960s music technology, there is also a 4-track tape recorder so you can record, play back and share songs via short links or Google+,” reads a blog post on the Bob Moog Foundation. The foundation has taken an interest in Google’s creation by releasing an instructional video tutorial on making music using synthesizer.
“Electronic music is so ubiquitous that it’s easy to overlook how fascinating the underlying technology is,” chief designer Joey Hurst told Rolling Stone. “The synthesizer gives both the musician and the instrument maker an infinite array of possibilities.”
The Goog replicates Moog’s most noted namesake synthesizers, complete with a keyboard, mixers, filters and oscillators.
“Dr. Moog had a knack for choosing and arranging just the right electronic components to create instruments that are to this day cherished for their sound and usability,” Hurst said.
Moog’s electronic design continues to be used in modern-day synthesizers like the Minimoog Voyager (updated by Moog himself in 2002), Little Phatty and the iPad and iPhone app Animoog.