- Sight & Sound
March 1st, 2017
Many years ago, a young Bob Moog started tinkering with electronic circuitry in the basement of his home. This sparked a fascination that grew into what we now know as the foundation of modern electronic sound.
Recognizing this process as the essence of our creative culture, we celebrate electronic experimentation by announcing the 6th Annual Moog Circuit Bending Challenge.
Circuit bending is an electronic art form pioneered by Reed Ghazala in the 1960s that combines sonic artistry, electricity, and creativity. By altering the internal circuitry of electronic devices such as keyboards, drum machines, and children's toys, circuit benders are able to discover and control new sounds not intended in the original design. Moog is proud to continue Reed's tradition of chance electronic design via our yearly circuit bending contest.
This Year's Contest
This year, Moog’s circuit bending contest is challenging entrants to take a battery-powered device and circuit bend it into an instrument capable of creating new and unique sounds for a total budget of $70 or less.
Entrants will create and post videos on YouTube featuring their completed instruments and documenting the process of their creation. Moog will select three finalists and invite them to showcase their creations at Moogfest in May of 2017 where judges will determine a winner of the contest.
Last year's winner, the Vola V-System, utilized a patchable video-game-inspired sequencer with interchangable sound cartridges made from the circuits of various sound-making toys:
Contestants will circuit bend an existing device to create a unique musical instrument that can be easily recreated by others while following these guidelines:
● The device you bend must be battery-operated with a power no greater than 9 volts.
● Project must be completed for a total cost of $70 or less. This includes the device you bend and all parts you use to bend it.
● You’ll need to create a bill of materials, build instructions, and photos sequencing the build step by step.
Once you’ve created your instrument, create and upload a video to YouTube and title it "Moog Circuit Bending Challenge 2017." Send an email with the subject Moog Circuit Bending Challenge 2017 to [email protected] with your bill of materials, photos, and the YouTube link to your entry. Your video will be evaluated by Moog and its staff, and three finalists will be chosen. Audio quality and concise editing will be taken into consideration. The better you document, the better we can judge. All entries must be uploaded by April 3, 2017.
The three finalists chosen by Moog on April 4, 2017 will receive (2) passes to Moogfest 2017 as well as a Moog merch package.
A winner will be chosen on the basis of reliable functionality, creativity, craftsmanship, artistic appearance, overall sound, and the popularity of the device with the public.
The winner will be chosen on the final day of Moogfest 2017. Official rules can be found here.
Grand Prize: Minimoog Model D
2nd Place: Moog Sub 37
3rd Place: Moog Sub Phatty