Minimoog hacked and racked

Battleship grey Studio Electronics Midimoog built for Kraftwerk, synth mods

Battleship grey Studio Electronics Midimoog built for Kraftwerk

It’s unquestionably the single most iconic keyboard ever produced, but despite its legendary status among musicians and its pivotal role in shaping the modern synth as we know it, there was a time when the Minimoog was ripe for modification just like any other synth.

There have been a number of different approaches to modifying the Moog over the years – addressing everything from oscillator tuning stability through to grafting on additional LFO circuits – but the company that really took the Minimoog concept to the next level was California’s Studio Electronics. During the 1980s, SE became one of the go-to companies for dragging the Minimoog kicking and screaming into the modern era, offering MIDI retrofits and a range of other mods. The company’s own Midimoog synth, launched in the late 80s, was based around original Model D circuit boards, torn from their original keyboard housing and mounted in rack enclosures, updated with MIDI interfaces and a small, tasteful selection of additional features. Of course, not everyone agreed with pillaging circuits from original Minimoogs, but the resulting rack-mount instruments still proved popular, offering a modernised take on a classic synth.

The Midimoog was eventually renamed the Midimini and – once supplies of Model D circuit boards dried up – SE began to build their own synth circuits from scratch to continue production. Over the next few years, the business grew into creating original synths such as the ATC-1 Tone Chameleon and SE-1.

In 2015, Studio Electronics celebrates its 30th birthday, making it one of the longest-established analogue synth manufacturers still in existence. The company continues to produce a range of analogue synths to this day, from the recently released Boomstar units all the way up to the mighty CODE and OMEGA polyphonic rack modules.

From their roots in straightforward mods and the blasphemous hacking of the Midimoog, SE set the foundation for a long, successful business in analogue synths.

Of course, whether you’d want to modify a Minimoog at all in 2015 is a different matter entirely; with second-hand prices now extending well into four figures, it’s a safe assumption that most owners would go out of their way to keep their prized Model D as close to its original condition as possible. But for those who are willing to tinker with a classic, the results speak for themselves…

16th June, 2015


  • What about the Mute Synth II?

  • Great read. Thanks.

  • The extensive envelope control on the x0xi0 is really the defining feature…but all in all, a wonderful, wonderful mod that transforms the x0xi0 into something else entirely…

  • Well, going back, the E! and and SuperMAX for the Yamaha DX7 are pretty amazing, but maybe not so much for your audience. The SCI Pro One TurboCPU+MIDI might be though.

  • What about Europa for Jupiter-6 and Gligli for Prophet-600? They’re great inexpensive massive upgrades. Gligli is even free.

  • There is no link for the Tubbutec mod in the article. Here is the link:


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