For the first time since 1997, Moog engineers held a two-day workshop at the annual Moogfest festival in North Carolina. An educational, patchable analog synthesizer named Werkstatt-Ø1 was created for the event, and 125 participants were given the assistance needed to build the device for themselves. In the weeks following Moogfest, the company received a number of requests to make the Werkstatt more widely available. Moog has responded by offering a "no soldering required" version of the kit for limited release.
The Werkstatt synth was created as an educational tool for teaching electronics assembly and analog circuit design. It formed the basis of a Moogfest 2014 synth building workshop at the end of April hosted by a team of Moog engineers led by Product Development Specialist Steve Dunnington. The design of the Werkstatt analog synth has since been modified to make it suitable for a non-workshop setting, and the self-assembly kit made available through select retailers throughout the US.
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"Assembly of the Werkstatt-Ø1 is extremely simple, so any user can quickly build and also study the circuits of an analog synthesizer that's based on classic Moog circuits at home," says Dunnington. "While we can't duplicate the experience of the Moogfest 2014 Engineering VIP Workshop, Werkstatt-Ø1 will still offer a valuable and fun educational experience for customers."
To assemble the synth, users will need a screwdriver and a pair of wire cutters. The printed circuitboard that comes with the kit already sports switches, dials, knobs and a full octave keyboard. Though Moog doesn't recommend modification of any of its products, as the Werkstatt was designed for educational use, its board includes a number of test points, jumpers and a 16 x 6 experimentation pad to cater for tweaks and hacks.
The printed board is placed within a metal enclosure, and then a face showing the various functions positioned on top. A power input port and audio output jack can be found to the rear of the unit.
The Werkstatt-Ø1 is a single voltage-controlled oscillator with a nine octave frequency range (8 Hz - 16 kHz), selectable saw or pulse waveforms and adjustable square pulse width modulation. Its voltage-controlled filter section is home to a 4-pool Moog Ladder Filter (20 Hz - 20 kHz), and a variable resonance control capable of driving the filter into self oscillation. Modulation source selection is offered as a dual waveform low frequency oscillation with 0.2 Hz - 600 Hz sweep range, and a variable attack/delay envelope with on/off sustain, each with variable control.
The unit features a breadboard-like patchable header and comes with patch cables for control voltage experimentation. The header includes a dedicated external audio input, a voltage controlled filter, and a voltage controlled amplifier. Controlled voltage outs are paired, and include dedicated keyboard, envelope generator, voltage controlled filter, gate, and trigger outputs.
The Werkstatt-Ø1 Moogfest 2014 Kit is available now in very limited numbers for US$329 from just 14 dealers.
The analog synth is introduced in the video below by Moog engineering technician Rosser Douglas.
Product page: Werkstatt-Ø1