Synthesizers have been part of my life for close to 30 years. I started from an article in Radio Electronics about building the PAIA synthesizer. I built the kits from scratch etching my own pc boards to designing and building custom contacts for the keyboard. In fact I had a speaker on the bottom of the keyboard so I could get feedback from it (an Emerson thing). After seeing California Jam on TV and seeing Emerson's Moog I thought I have to make mine look like his. So, after many facelifts from the basic 2700 I designed the panels and cabinet, including a fully patched Minimoog (paid $650 used in 1975), to look something like Emerson's.
About a year ago, my son Evan was asking about the broken up synthesizer in the corner of the basement and wanted to know if he could play it. I told him it would take a lot of work to get a sound out of it. I made him a deal that if he would start playing and taking piano lessons again I would rebuild it. Without prodding he started to practice on his own and wanted me to call the piano teacher for lessons. So, I had to live up to my end of the deal.
I started to research Analog Synths on the internet and found Synthesizers.Com. Of course, I fell in love with the systems because of that Moog look and the rest is history. So I built my own cabinets out of oak and stained them black. I created custom control voltage panels to route common triggers and control voltages throughout the modules. This way I could have pseudo preset patches.
It has been a lot of fun building this for my son. Evan has learned a lot about electronics and how sounds are produced. Hopefully, he will have the same belief I had when I was young, that nothing is impossible.
MoogFest 2006 in NYCEvan with Jordan Rudess
Evan with Keith Emerson