One of the kind of modular synthesiser that has been dominating since 1960s is the legendary Buchla series and this article will provide you with indepth knowledge about this fantastic invention.
Advent of Buchla
Buchla modular synthesisers were the invention of the incredible engineer from Berkeley, California, Don Buchla. The synthesisers are named after him. Although the ownership of the company went through some hands, the name remained carved in the history of electronic musical instrument.
Buchla subsequently released various series of modular synthesisers since 1960s. From the 100 series until 200e. Due to a smaller demand for modular synthesisers and a higher demand in digital synthesisers in the 1980s, Buchla modular system drop down and lean back to cope up with modern technology of the time like MIDI controllers. Buchla subsequently manufactured some of the most advance and alien-looking MIDI controllers in the 1980s like Thunder, Lightning and mighty Marimba Lumina.
The constroversy around Buchla 200e series
Don Buchla backed off and stayed out of the scene until 2004. with his come back he brought the upgraded version of the legendary 1970s classic Buchla 200 series modular synthesiser, named ‘Buchla 200e series’.
With 200e series not only curiosity but also controversial addressing of 200e series kind shrouded the crowd of synthesiser-head as well. The most controversy arose due to the heavy confusion of what kind of synthesiser 200e series points to. This confusion rolls from not purely analog, neither Hybrid, nor digitally-controlled-analogue. It is addressed as hybrid but not a sort of totally hybrid and so on that left the synth-heads puzzled. Even though the marketing team decided to stick with market it as purely analog synthesis, the synthesisers connoisseur agree otherwise.
The differences between 200e and classic 200
This magnificent little piece is compared with the size of a minimoog with its control panel sticking up, but in reality it is little larger than Minimoog. This may have released in 2004 but don’t let the release fool you. This beast still sounds like the classic 200 series. There were various excitement in the owner of original 200 series rose assuming that the new 200e series would fit and be played in conjunction with the old 200 series. This was the assumption when the first announcement of Buchla 200e was out. Well, it proved otherwise with vague disappointment in the air.
The modules of Buchla 200e series
With the new Buchla 200e series, there are 16 modules available to poke around. What are these modules, what do they and what is their exact functionality, these are the things are purely guess work at the first glimpse. This because Don Buchla always used different terminology for these modular components than the typical modular synthesiser. This notion arose from Don Buchla’s vision of calling out Buchla Modular synthesiser in a different way. This was not just the naming convention but he indeed, made the functionality different as well. Each of these strange modular served some specificity and discreet purpose than those of the typical modular synthesiser. So, either you just straight jump in and start to poke and play around or you can go through manuals or some assistance, and learn to get a hang of Buchla.
The design of Buchla 200e series
Look wise, 200e series is unbeatable. You will feel like you are inside of the cockpit of an aeroplane or spaceship. There are massive number of knobs, LEDs, sockets, ports, a screen that had never existed in any of the previous Buchla products.
This look itself is sufficient enough to snatch your attention right away. Buchla always had a sharp eye for their design. Buchla design always stood out from the rest. The whole 200e series lights up in series of circular motion upon turning on and if that is not an ultimate intro before you get your hands on tweaking knobs, I don’t know what is.
The issues of Buchla 200e series
With the 200e series, people are kind of concerned about the longevity of the controls due its cheap plastic products used in the manufacturing as well as a nine-ply instead of the classic solid wood end.
Despite of these, people still used this instrument and were quite happy about the performance. 200e series followed the same classic path of combination of audio signals and control signals mechanism. One of the popular artists that used a 200e is deadMau5.