The Mood Synthesizer: An Interactive Instrument Google Doodle

May 24, 2012

The Mood Synthesizer: An Interactive Instrument Google Doodle

According to Google, Dr. Robert Moog is "something of a patron saint of the nerdy arts and a hero to many of us here." In the 1960s Moog crafted and invented the electronic analog Moog Synthesizer, bringing an entirely new genre of music and sound to the world.

To honor Moog's 78th birthday, Google built a digital, interactive Moog-inspired instrument as their Google Doodle for May 23rd. The Doodle is controlled with either the mouse or keyboard controls and has the ability to record and share the user/musician's creations. It's loaded with capability surprising for a temporary banner and is beautifully crafted.

Daft Punk's "Aerodynamic" on the Google Moog by Brett Domino

Moog's synthesizers were some of the first accepted and widely used electronic instruments with quality sound through timbre and tones. Now regarded as art pieces, the keyboards came to define a generation of music and was featured heavily in songs by artists such as The Beatles, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, Kraftwerk and many others.

Design, moog, google

"Much like the musical machines Bob Moog created, this doodle was synthesized from a number of smaller components to form a unique instrument," says Google Software Engineer, Joey Hurst. "When experienced with Google Chrome, sound is generated natively using the Web Audio API—a doodle first (for other browsers the Flash plugin is used). This doodle also takes advantage of JavaScript, Closure libraries, CSS3 and tools like Google Web Fonts, the Google+ API, the Google URL Shortener and App Engine...Keeping with the theme of 1960s music technology, we’ve patched the keyboard into a 4-track tape recorder so you can record, play back and share songs via short links or Google+."

If you'd like an in-depth look at the controls, this video walks you through all of the components:

Some other hand-picked posts you might enjoy on our Design Blog:

The HoloDesk: Microsoft Researching Virtual 3D Interaction
An Interactive and Animated Starry Night by Petros Vrellis
Tradition Meets Tech: A St. Patrick's Day Google Doodle Story

Jessica Patterson

Jessica Patterson

Hi, I'm Jessica. I'm a Designer and Writer at Drawbackwards and write for the Design Blog at I enjoy vintage things, letterpress, publication design, and long walks around the Cesar Chavez Park pond. You can follow me on twitter at @jessdoodled for lots of fun randomness.

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Senior UX Designer / Portland, OR, US

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