Google honours synthesiser creator


Users of Google's search engine today found an interactive musical “doodle” that can be played using a mouse.

The Moog synthesiser graphic has playable keys and users can alter the sound by clicking on several “knobs” on the screen.

The latest in the series of customised artworks which celebrate people and events on the search engine has been created to mark what would have been the 78th birthday of the instrument’s creator Robert Moog.

It even allows surfers to record their compositions on what looks like a retro tape recorder on the screen.

New York-born Moog’s self-named synthesisers turned electric currents into sound, influencing bands like the Beach Boys and the Beatles before influencing what would become electronica and prog rock. He died from a brain tumour in August 2005 at 71.

A childhood interest in the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments, lead Moog to a create a career and business that tied the name Moog as tightly to synthesisers as the name Les Paul is to electric guitars.

Despite travelling in circles that included jet-setting rockers, he always considered himself a technician. “I’m an engineer. I see myself as a toolmaker, and the musicians are my customers,” he said in 2000. “They use the tools.”