Moog's New Taurus Bass Synth
By James Grahame
Bob Moog's original Taurus Bass synth was a favorite of Rush, The Police, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Phil Collins, Asia, Weezer and many others. The Taurus has been out of production since 1981, but Moog announced at NAMM 2010 that a new version of "the fattest synth ever" is slated to hit stores early this year.
The New Taurus Bass Pedals carry a list price of $1995, and less than 1000 will be manufactured. The unit features 13 velocity sensitive bass pedals, a dual oscillator 100% analog synthesis engine, MIDI (standard and bi-directional USB), 4 factory presets and 48 user-programmable patches.
How does it sound? Moog's Cyril Lance reports, "I was skeptical about how many people really wanted a Taurus but I'm used to being wrong about these things! The response was overwhelming and the excitement the announcement generated was incredible.
I began an exhaustive study into every aspect of the Taurus 1 sound engine: measuring, listening, analyzing, and most importantly, trying to get inside what I consider the soul of the instrument. At the same time, we began the process of determining what a new Taurus 3 should be. As most of you know, at Moog we continually strive to create something new and unique while capturing the essence of what Bob started over 50 years ago.
Last week, I sat in the control room of the beautiful Echo Mountain Recording Studio in Asheville with my partners Steve Dunnington and Amos Gaynes and Taurus aficionado Michael Caloroso. We listened critically to Michael's Taurus 1 and our Taurus 3, making sure the T3 shared every detail and nuance of the original.
The results are stunning. The Taurus 3 not only captures the original sounds of the Taurus 1 in full, but instantly expands upon its capabilities and offers many new dimensions to its sonic palette including LFOs, external CVs, and transposable arpeggiators."
It's a niche product, but the New Taurus is a beautiful combination of classic design and modern engineering that should find a home in many musician's rigs. That said, those musicians have far more foot coordination than I.