Polymoog Unleashed

In late 1975, the Polymoog finally left the drawing board and began rolling off the production line at Cheektowaga with the first models shipping at the beginning of 1976. The machine now sported a full 71 key, E to D, 6 octave velocity sensitive Pratt & Read weighted keyboard. This could be split in 2 ways (upper and lower). It had 8 presets or "modes" in Moogspeak, (String, Piano, Organ, Harpsi, Funk, Clav, Vibes and Brass) and there was also "Var". This "variation" mode opened up the true synthesizer potential of the Polymoog which was designed so that the user would take one of the presets as a starting point and then modify it. The machine also came with a pitch controller ribbon, an extensive filter modulation section, (which allowed self oscillation from its own LFO) a three band equaliser section, volume control for each of the 3 keyboard sections, envelopes with variable keyboard tracking and the VCF had a sample and hold mode.

This description of the Polymoog sound architecture is admittedly brief but it is covered in much more detail later.








The Polymoog also came with and optional Polypedal (Model 285a) unit. Not to be confused with the Taurus pedal, developed for the "Constellation" concept, the Polypedal was not another synthesizer. It could best be described as the heftiest foot pedal on the planet, but its function was as a performance controller for the main synth. The Polypedal had two main pedals; the left pedal controlled the pitch or filter (upward VCF sweep and/or pitch bend, selected by two central push buttons) whilst the right pedal controlled swell (volume). Two smaller silver pedals controlled the trigger mode (single or multi) and sustain. The remaining central push













button could select external sync. Two rotary controls at the back of the unit adjusted the pitch amount from low to high and configured the trigger from single to multi....







Shaun Brooks 2005