NEWS: Moogfest Presents: 5th Annual Moog Circuit Bending Challenge 2016


Moog Music was born when a young Bob Moog started tinkering with electronic circuitry. As a boy, Moog built small radios, amps, and Theremins in his basement workshop with his father and the rest is history.

Circuit-bending is a chance art form pioneered by Reed Ghazala in 1966. It combines art, sonic artistry and creativity. By altering the internal circuitry of electronic devices such as keyboards, drum machines, and children’s toys, circuit benders are able to produce new sounds not intended in the original design. MOOGFEST is proud to continue Reed’s tradition of chance electronic design via our yearly circuit-bending contest.

In celebration of this creative curiosity that fueled a young Bob Moog and all of those that follow in his footsteps, Moog is sponsoring its 5th Annual Circuit Bending Contest.

moogfest circut bending
This year, Moog’s circuit bending challenge is to take a battery powered device and circuit bend it into an instrument capable of creating new and unique sounds. We want others to be inspired by your device, and share in the experience of creating something new and exciting. Your project has to be completed in a manner that can be replicated by others. You’ll need to create a step by step list of instructions so that anyone else can replicate the process and create the same instrument. Just to make things a bit more interesting, you’ll need to complete the entire project for $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 2016 where judges will decide a winner of the contest.

Last year’s Circuit Bending Challenge produced some of the most innovative instruments to date. We received so many amazing builds that we had to expand our finalist lineup to include the top 5 entries.

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 2016.”

Send an email with the subject Moog Circuit Bending Challenge 2016 to with your Build 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 MIDNIGHT EST on March 27th, 2016.

The three finalists chosen by Moog on March 28th, 2016 will receive (2) passes to Moogfest 2016, 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 2016. Official rules can be found here.

1st Grand Prize Moog Sub 37
2nd Place Moog Sub Phatty
3rd Place Moog Minitaur

Ryan Germick, Google
John Paul Titlow, Fast Company
Amos Gaynes, Moog
Andy Hughes, Moog
Chris Wilson, Google




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