Musical instrument pioneer Robert Moog would have enjoyed his 78th birthday today and it is celebrated with a wonderful Google doodle that is much more than a doodle. In fact the “doodle” is a full synth which you can control, play and record with using your mouse, once you start playing you can switch to your computer keyboard to use the doodle.
First commerically sold Moog synthesiser prototype from 1964
Moog built his first electronic instrument at the age of 14 and went on to produce a series of legendary keyboard synthesisers starting in the 1960s, many of which are still used in music production today. Though founder Robert Moog died in 2005 aged 71, the Moog company is still going strong and making innovative musical products. Of course they still produce the legendary keyboard based synthesisers they are most famous for, however the company also produces a wide range of music making products from guitars, effects units and sound modules to computer and smartphone apps.
If you want to have a serious stab at making music with the Google doodle the best way to start is by reading the excellent quick start guide on the Moog Music site. As a bit of inspiration Moog Music made the video below using the doodle as an instrument, alongside others. There are lots more demonstrations of the doodle on YouTube already, mostly renditions of "Happy Birthday"!