Moog Taurus I

Moog Taurus Image

Inspired by organ pedal boards, Moog released the Taurus Pedal Synthesizer - a monophonic analog bass synthesizer you play with your feet (so you can play other instruments with your hands). Originally, the Taurus was going to be part of a larger ensemble system called the Constellation. It was to include two keyboard synthesizers, the Apollo (polyphonic) and the Lyra (monophonic), and the Taurus foot pedalboard synthesizer. The Constellation project never made it to production, but the Taurus was released on its own, while the Apollo keyboard went on to evolve in to the Polymoog.

The Taurus has three Preset sounds and one User programmable. The three preset sounds are Bass, Tuba and Taurus. Most users prefer the Variable preset which lets them synthesize their own sounds using the simple VCO, VCF and VCA controls. The shaping controls are hidden behind a plastic window to prevent accidental foot tweaking.

The Taurus is monophonic, with sound generation coming from a simple two-oscillator design that can be tuned across a 5-octave range. An Octave button lets you shift the pedal keyboard up or down an octave, the direction must be set using the Octave switch in the Variables section. There's also a Glide (portamento) effect and a Decay effect. The amount of Glide and Decay are also set in the Variables section. Like any Moog, there is a 24 dB/oct lowpass filter with controls for Emphasis, Contour Amount/Attack/Decay and Cut-Off. Two gigantic foot-sliders flank the sides of the Taurus and they are used to adjust the Filter cut-off and VCA Loudness on the fly using your feet. It has been used by Rush, Yes, Genesis, U2 and the Police.

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4 Visitor comments
Brandon Devers
December 8, 2011 @ 4:14 pm
The Taurus I has an intriguing (but interesting) sound. It was prominently featured on the Phil Collins hit “I Don’t Care Anymore.”
Matt
January 31, 2011 @ 10:08 am
I'm pretty sure Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys played this on the 1976 album "15 Big Ones" and 1977's "The Beach Boys Love You."
Ian
April 10, 2010 @ 6:32 pm
I bought a set of these pedals about 5 years ago after seeing a local ad. I remember turning up and praying that it was the mrk1 rather than the much less desirable mrk2. Only paid £80 so quite a find. The sound is SERIOUSLY fat! It sounds a bit like an early RA minimoog I had, maybe even fatter! The only problem I had personally with it was it ended up being totally useless in my studio as I'd have to bash out tunes with my fists! A midi'd one would be excellent though :)
Benjamin Edge
March 27, 2010 @ 1:30 pm
This pedal synth was actually intended to be produced and sold starting in 1974 as part of what was known as the Constellation ensemble of synthesizers, which included two keyboard synthesizers that never got off the ground. They were known as the Lyra (monophonic) and the Apollo (polyphonic), and were respective test-beds for the Multimoog and the Polymoog.

Two proto Apollos were known to be produced; one of these was used by Keith Emerson on the Emerson, Lake & Palmer 1973 Brain Salad Surgery album.
 
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  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 2 VCO's (square & sawtooth waveforms)
  • Memory - 3 programmed sounds, 1 user
  • Filter - 1 24dB/oct lowpass w/ cutoff, contour, emphasis
  • VCA - Attack + Decay + Sustain
  • Keyboard - 13 pedal-keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Control - None
  • Date Produced - 1975-1981

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