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Vintage Minimoog calibration


Robert Liberman

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The latest cover story on the 40th anniversary of the Minimoog triggered this.

 

I've had my Minimoog since 1972. I used to have a Conn Strobotuner which I'd use to calibrate the mini. It's long gone and I need to do another calibration. Are there any digital chromatic tuners which could be used for calibration? Any other options or suggestions?

 

Thanks!

Robert

Yamaha Motif 8, Waldorf Q, E-mu E5000, Minimoog Model D (1972), Memorymoog
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Thanks. Are there any decent ones which do not use an audio interface? Also, I have a Mac and it looks like the Peterson is not compatible.

 

I had 3 Minimoogs over decades and have 1 left,- calibrated these myself all the time and do.

Take a cheap hardware or freeware software tuner and calibrate the Moogs A440 testtone first, then do the other calibration/tunig procedure by ear and over a longer timespan because the Moog is drifting anyway.

It´s also a good idea to calibrate the PSU before.

 

It´s true it is faster w/ a strobotuner and/or oscilloscope but I remember the day I was too lazy and went to a service tech who did it w/ a scope in minutes while I was there in person.

It looked and sounded accurate but a week later I had to redo it myself.

Since then, I do it over a day w/ breaks, redo until it´s stable and forget it for the next 3 years or so.

 

Here´s a freeware software tuner for PC and Mac:

http://tuneit.free.fr/Site/Home.html

 

A.C.

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Your ear is far more discerning than a strobe tuner. Set the 1V/Oct tracking by disconnecting osc 3 from the keyboard and letting it drone, then play octaves on the osc you are setting and adjust for minimal beating.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Your ear is far more discerning than a strobe tuner.

 

Exactly !

 

Set the 1V/Oct tracking by disconnecting osc 3 from the keyboard and letting it drone, then play octaves on the osc you are setting and adjust for minimal beating.

 

This might work as a relative tuning reference, but unfortunately OSC #3 is the less stable OSC of the 3 OSCs.

 

The most important thing is to have stable 18V from the PSU,- there are trimmers to adjust it w/ help of a volt-meter. The location of reading points is in the manual.

If it´s not possible, there´s a overhaul of the PSU needed,- otherwise there are no stable CVs available.

 

Also, younger Minimoog D models w/ trimmers HI / SCALE / OCT / SHIFT, offer more accurate calibration IF the voltage deviding resistors in the keys electronics are in good condition.

If not, pressing lowest A, highest A and A below highest A on the keyboard alternately can fool you too because the keyboards devision in semi-tone steps is out of spec then.

In this case the resistors have to be replaced,- and there´s more to check,- the crimped contacts of the OSC-board holders as well as worn out wafers in the octave range switches.

 

Well,- it all depends on the age of the synth.

 

A.C.

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The most important thing is to have stable 18V from the PSU

 

Silly rabbit

 

+/-10V is the highest rails on the minimoog.

 

Sure you're not confusing it with the Oberheim SEM...?

 

Hi,- sorry, must been a typo,- it´s +/- 10V and you find the notes on page 12 of the Minimoog tech service manual.

 

A.C.

 

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Robert, what happened to your Conn Strobe Tuner?

 

I still have mine and its mint. I still have the original box. I used it to tune my synths back in the old days. Great tuner, it made calibrating easier. A few years ago I took it out of the box and checked the tuning of some areas of my Rhodes. A useful tool. Want to borrow it?

 

 

Mike T.

 

 

 

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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Hi Mike T -

 

You're a musician right? Well, you know what happens when you're low on cash - you start selling stuff. Many years ago I also used to tune pianos on the side, and would used the Conn to confirm my temperaments. When I stopped tuning the Conn just sat around so when I needed some cash I sold it.

 

Wow, that's so nice of you to offer to let me use yours, but I have no idea how I could take you up on your offer. I've seen used Conns on eBay for $75-$100 so I was thinking of just picking one up.

 

Thanks!

Robert

Yamaha Motif 8, Waldorf Q, E-mu E5000, Minimoog Model D (1972), Memorymoog
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I've still got one of the old brown conn's with tubes. Works great. I bought it from my band director when I was a kid. I've had it for 40 years. I'll have to remember that for the noobs. " Yea, I've got strobe tuners older than you, sonny boy".....
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Robert:

 

I know what you mean about having to sell of equipment. Some years ago I had to have a "fire sale" to pay off taxes. My Oberheim, Mini Moogs, and a variety of other stuff. :facepalm:

 

I haven't checked out used Conn's on evilbay. I had no idea of what the going what was these days. That might end up being cheaper than the gas money trying to get to me in PA to borrow it.

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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You probably felt the washing machine came in handy once in awhile too. Even though it sounds like she was the one using it. :poke:

 

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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