Taurus 3 Bass Pedals

Every instrument has a story…

The Taurus 3 story starts for me at the 2006 NAMM show just months after Bob Moog’s passing, when we were secretly showing Little Phatty prototypes to a select few.  This was my first NAMM show and I was a newcomer to the world of electronic musical instruments.

The first day, I stood leaning against the wall across from our booth, watching a blank poster with a picture of Bob quickly fill up with adoring messages and tributes to someone who had touched so many lives.  It was an incredibly moving experience and quite a surreal way to take in the responsibility that had been passed on to us.

Many, after writing a goodbye note to Bob on the poster, told me about “the time I met Bob” or how Bob’s instruments had changed their lives. Invariably, the question followed, “When are you guys going to make another Taurus?”

At the time I didn’t have an answer but this became a much-debated question among folks at Moog Music as the requests continued. Should we release the Taurus again?  What exactly would it be?  Would people really want to buy it?  And most importantly: What made the Taurus 1 such a coveted instrument?

Over the last few years we have repeatedly asked these questions until Mike Adams proposed last year that we put this to our customers.  It was a simple proposal and one that I think truly reflects on the vital relationship between you, our customers, and us here at Moog Music.  The proposal was that if enough of you committed in advance to purchase a new Moog Taurus, we would begin the task of designing such an instrument.

Personally, 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.  Thus, the genesis of the Taurus 3 began…

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 afficianado 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.  We are extremely proud and excited for you to begin making music with this instrument!

In the Echo Mountain studio we confirmed that this new instrument has its own personality and soul, something you can only know for certain when you feel it. Creating  such instruments is the essence of what we do.

As we prepare to ship the first Taurus 3 pedals, this is really only the very beginning of the story.  We are waiting for you to continue it…

Thank you to all the early adopters who made the commitment to us at Moog to go forward with this project.  Your faith in us allowed us to create this instrument, and your enthusiasm, comments, suggestions and discussions were all essential to its successful development. We consider ourselves to be the luckiest company in the world to be blessed with you all.

I am deeply proud of what we have produced in the past few years.  It’s been a whirlwind of continued improvements to our existing product lines as well as innovations such as the Little Phatty, the MultiPedal and the Moog Guitar.  Our inspiration lies in what you do with these innovations.  Our job is to provide you with tools that you fall in love with, tools that have an inexhaustible vocabulary and work to expand our sonic universe.

The Taurus 3 fits the bill.  We hope you enjoy it immensely and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
           
Cyril Lance
Chief Technical Alchemist - 2008

 

Performance Interface

13-note velocity sensitive bass pedals

1 Volume Footwheel Controller with optical mechanism

1 Programmable Footwheel Controller with optical mechanism

9 Footswitches for selecting Bank and Presets, Transpose, Glide On/Off, Decay On/Off, and Octave Up/Down


Synthesizer Sound Engine

100% Analog Audio signal path based entirely on the highly acclaimed Taurus I synthesizer circuits

2 x VCOs (Voltage Controlled Oscillators) with sawtooth waveform outputs

1 x VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter) with 24dB/Octave Lowpass Filter with the classic Moog Ladder Filter topology. 20Hz-20KHz Frequency Response

1 x VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier)


Synthesizer Modifiers

1 ASD (Attack-Sustain-Decay) VCA Envelope

1 AD (Attack-Sustain-Decay) VCF Envelope

1 x LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) with Triangle, Square, Sawtooth, and Ramp waveforms with adjustable amounts to the VCOs and VCF. The LFO is syncable to MIDI Clock or Tap Tempo

1 x Arpeggiator with Latch Mode for generating recurring musical patterns from Bass Pedal Input. The Arpeggiator is syncable to MIDI Clock or Tap Tempo


Programming Interface

52 Presets total in non-volatile memory consisting of one bank of 4 factory presets, and 12 banks of 4 user-programmable presets

Preset selection can be performed with the Value knob, or the combination of Bank footswitch, Bass Pedal, and Preset footswitch

Factory Presets include the classic Taurus, Bass, and Tuba presets, plus the new Taurus III preset

Two selectable levels of LED illuminated switches access the classic Taurus parameters or the Taurus 3 LFO and Arpeggiator parameters for editing with the Control Footwheel or the Value Knob

15-segment LED bargraph displays the value of the currently selected parameter


Classic Taurus Parameters in the OSCILLATOR section

B.FREQ: Oscillator B Frequency coarse offset to Oscillator A

BEAT: Oscillator B Frequency fine offset to Oscillator A

GLIDE: Glide Rate

OCTAVE: Low, Medium or High

MIX: sets the loudness ratio between Oscillators A and B

ATTACK: sets the Rise time for the VCA Envelope Generator when a note is played

SUSTAIN: sets the maximum level for the VCA Envelope Generator when a note is held

DECAY: sets the fall time for the VCA Envelope Generator when a note is released


Classic Taurus Parameters in the FILTER section

CUTOFF: sets the lowpass filter cutoff frequency

RESONANCE: sets the amount of signal fed from the output to the input of the lowpass filter. Can be set for filter self-oscillation

ATTACK: sets the Rise time for the VCF Envelope Generator when a note is played

DECAY: sets the fall time for the VCF Envelope Generator when a note is released

AMOUNT: sets how much the VCF cutoff frequency is modified by the VCF Envelope Generator signal


Taurus 3 Parameters in the LFO Section

SQUARE: Radio button type switch selects the LFO square waveform

TRIANGLE: Radio button type switch selects the LFO triangle waveform

RAMP: Radio button type switch selects the LFO ramp waveform

SAW: Radio button type switch selects the LFO sawtooth waveform

RATE: sets the LFO Rate

LFO FILTER AMOUNT: sets the amount the LFO modulates the filter cutoff frequency

LFO PITCH AMOUNT: sets the amount the LFO modulates the VCOs frequencies

LFO SYNC: On/Off switch enables starting the LFO waveform cycle with each note played on the Bass Pedals


Taurus 3 Parameters in the ARPEGGIATOR Section

PATTERN: sets the pattern of the arpeggiator

ORDER: sets the order that the pattern of the arpeggiator is output

OCTAVE: sets the number of octaves for the arpeggiator pattern

ON/OFF: turns the arpeggiator on or off


LATCH: turns the arpeggiator latch function on or off

VALUE knob is used for selecting presets or editing parameters

PRESET switch toggles between the current stored preset and its edited form

MASTER switch selects a menu of Advanced Preset functions, Global settings, and System Utilities

CURSOR switch navigates the screen of the LCD User Interface

STORE switch initiates the storing of presets

Field-upgradeable firmware using MIDI SysEx


MIDI Implementation

Presets selectable by MIDI Program Change messages

Taurus Sound engine can be played by MIDI Note messages

Preset parameters controllable by MIDI Control Change (CC) messages

Bass pedals transmit MIDI Note On/Note Off messages with user selectable velocity resolution

Volume Footwheel transmits MIDI CC 7 (Volume) data

Control Footwheel transmits MIDI CC corresponding to selected parameter

Presets and Global Settings can be sent or received through MIDI SysEx


I/O panel

HI-Z Output:  output jack outputs the Taurus audio signal from the classic higher impedance Taurus output stage. For use with Bass Amplifier instrument inputs

LO-Z Output:  output jack outputs the Taurus audio signal from a low impedance output stage. For use with line-level inputs

PITCH CV Input:  TRS jack accepts expression pedal (such as Moog EP-2) or 0V to +5V Control Voltage inputs for modifying the VCOs frequencies

FILTER CV Input:  TRS jack accepts expression pedal (such as Moog EP-2) or 0V to +5V Control Voltage inputs for modifying the VCF cutoff frequency

VOLUME CV Input:  TRS jack accepts expression pedal (such as Moog EP-2) or 0V to +5V Control Voltage inputs for modifying the VCA gain

GATE Input:  input jack accepts +5V gate signal for triggering the Taurus EGs

MIDI In: standard DIN MIDI input connector

MIDI Out: standard DIN MIDI output connector

USB: bi-directional USB MIDI port

Power Inlet: IEC connector accepts 90-250V AC 50-60 Hz

Power Switch: turns unit On or Off


Chassis Specifications

Rugged metal enclosure with steel feet, front panel, structural panels and extruded aluminum back panel

Weight: 45lbs

Dimensions: 25" wide X 24" deep X 8 1/2" high

Taurus 3 Sound Samples

Category Name Added Format Description Download Link
Manual Control a Taurus 3 with a Voyager 2011-04-22 PDF

A quick reference to show which Taurus 3 parameters can be controlled via MIDI from the Voyager knob panel.

t3_voyager.pdf
Manual Taurus 3 User's Manual 2011-04-22 PDF

Download the Taurus 3 User's Manual and learn all about this Bass Beast.

t3_manual_web.pdf
Software Taurus III Firmware Update v2.0.2 2012-06-21 ZIP TaurusFWUpdate_v2_0_2_5Jul12_MAC.zip, TaurusFWUpdate_v2_0_2_5Jul12_WIN.zip
Taurus 3 - Behind-the-Scenes - Critical Listening Tests
See video
Happy Birthday Bob Moog
See video
Stefan Lessard on the Taurus 3 Bass Pedals
See video
Carolina Chocolate Drops x Taurus 3.MOV
See video
MusicRadar.com Taurus 3 Review

"It's amazing just how versatile these two sawtooth oscillators are in combination with the juicy Moog filter - not just for basses but for leads too. The T3 really does have something very unique about its sound that's hard to nail, even on other Moog synths, and the way the oscillators phase and bubble but never cancel is lovely, while the lows are smooth and musical and the filter opens up nicely in the highs too, with a wicked sizzle."

Click here to read the full review.

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