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Getting a Buchla Easel
Old 31st March 2015
  #1
Getting a Buchla Easel

So, I sold my Prophet 5 in order to purchase a Buchla Music Easel. Been wanting to get into Buchla synthesis for some time now.

I will give updates once it arrives.

Just had to tell fellow 'Slutz, you are the only people that 'understand.'
Old 31st March 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
Hate to be a downer, but unless you're getting it second-hand, you might be in for a long wait:

Don Buchla Takes Owners of His Former Synth Company to Court - Create Digital Music

"Without any real first-hand knowledge of the situation, it’s still hard to imagine the Buchla company continuing to operate successfully under the shadow of this lawsuit – least of all if the document’s allegations are true, and it was already unable to pay suppliers or fill orders."
Old 31st March 2015 | Show parent
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimwolf View Post
Hate to be a downer, but unless you're getting it second-hand, you might be in for a long wait:

Don Buchla Takes Owners of His Former Synth Company to Court - Create Digital Music

"Without any real first-hand knowledge of the situation, it’s still hard to imagine the Buchla company continuing to operate successfully under the shadow of this lawsuit – least of all if the document’s allegations are true, and it was already unable to pay suppliers or fill orders."
OT for a sec: God, that whole situation sounds depressing and horrible. I rewrote some manual stuff for Don Buchla years ago, as an internship project in my instructional writing program. I didn't know him well, but he's a good guy. Hope this works out somehow.

Sorry for the side track.
Old 31st March 2015
  #4
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Yeah, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I'm just glad I got mine already. Most fun synth I have, and sounds amazing
Old 1st April 2015
  #5
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damn that sucks! Why do so many synth companies end up in massive legal issues that result in the owner/startup person not only loosing his business, but the trademark of their own last name?
Old 1st April 2015
  #6
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Musicncars's Avatar
 

Blame shady attorneys.
Old 1st April 2015 | Show parent
  #7
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Coorec's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Estin View Post
damn that sucks! Why do so many synth companies end up in massive legal issues that result in the owner/startup person not only loosing his business, but the trademark of their own last name?
They are top-engineers. Not top-businessman. With only very few exceptions.
Old 1st April 2015
  #8
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Duke Murdock's Avatar
Dang that sucks, I'd like to have one of these eventually. As if 4k didn't put it far enough out of reach, legal troubles don't exactly help. Maybe I'll go for an original... oh wait that's 33k. Hope you enjoy yours.
Old 1st April 2015
  #9
Thanks for the head's up. I wasn't aware there were legal problems. As far as I knew the company was under Don's control still.
Old 1st April 2015
  #10
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rids's Avatar
 

As great as the P5 is, I say that's a really nice trade. I've been wanting a Music Easel myself. Report back and let us know what you think
Old 1st April 2015
  #11
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Sounds like steve jobs' storry.

Hope they sort it out. Shame the company starter and the whole concept maker is in a situation like that. We dont know what happened though.

It kind of resembles roger lynn's story with akai. But then again we dont know what happened between BEMI and Don but would be very dissapointing for him to walk away with not being paid for his work.
Old 1st April 2015
  #12
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You need to check out the threads on the easel re-release at muffs - seems to be a lot of issues with quality control on the new ones.
Old 1st April 2015
  #13
Gear Addict
issues with quality control on the first numbers not anymore.
Old 1st April 2015
  #14
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yeah mine didn't have any issues and I got it in november
Old 2nd April 2015 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyFM View Post
Sounds like steve jobs' storry.
"Steve Job's" story? Steve Jobs was the con man, not the one whom was conned.
Old 2nd April 2015
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

May I suggest a Doepfer P6 case with hand-selected modules from different manufactures as an alternative?

None of the Doepfer cachet, but probably better build quality and probably less money. Oh...and no waiting list.
Old 2nd April 2015
  #17
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rids's Avatar
 

A Buchla is a Buchla. When you want a Buchla, most likely nothing else is going to do because of it's esoteric modules.
Old 2nd April 2015
  #18
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Lumin One's Avatar
i hope to join you in owning an easel sooner than later.
Old 2nd April 2015
  #19
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rids's Avatar
 

Can you guys post some sound clips of your Easels? Being that most of us won't have access to one anytime soon.

Last edited by rids; 2nd April 2015 at 06:52 AM..
Old 2nd April 2015 | Show parent
  #20
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login's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rids View Post
A Buchla is a Buchla. When you want a Buchla, most likely nothing else is going to do because of it's esoteric modules.
Arent there already some alternatives in eurorack land?

Also it's incredible a company with such expensive products have so much financial problems.
Old 2nd April 2015
  #21
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Buchla is buchla. You either get that or you don't. You can match the functionality in euro, but it's going to cost you the same amount. Then you'd have a mismatch of modules not an instrument like the easel
Old 2nd April 2015 | Show parent
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by login View Post
it's incredible a company with such expensive products have so much financial problems.
Hmm, think Laffer Curve...
Old 2nd April 2015 | Show parent
  #23
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rids's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pelican View Post
You can match the functionality in euro, but it's going to cost you the same amount. Then you'd have a mismatch of modules not an instrument like the easel
Exactly. Also, the Easel is a Semi Modular, not a modular. So it's actually a self contained instrument with the flexibility of a modular system.
Old 2nd April 2015
  #24
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I'd hold off on buying anything from BEMI until the lawsuit has been resolved.
Old 2nd April 2015
  #25
I don't get the Buchla thing. I appreciate he is a genius and basically invented the synthesizer, but there is a reason Moog is Moog, and Buchla is Buchla. That's just me though, and I only desire to make and listen to sounds within the confines of Western theory.

I think a lot of Marc Verbos' new modules look pretty neat and sound quite good as well seemig to marry some of the east/west coast modular stuff. He makes some pretty madd techno.

Guys like Subotnik refused the use of any keyboard and found the idea of using electronic instuments for "old music" to be silly. Yet....you look at the touch pads they have out now...they may not be ebony and ivory but c'mon, its a friggin keyboard.

I would absolutely LOVE to have one, or borrow one to mess around with just for the experience. The newer stuff they are coming out with looks neat, but its my understanding Don Buchla had very little if anything to do with them.

This is the typical sad case of the elder statesman getting discriminated against for being old, and getting pushed out by shareholders and board members. Nothing new really.

There is a documentary about Don Buchla that I saw a was released at some film festival recently. Don't think its out on DVD/Bluray yet. There is a long triler for it out there if you look.
Old 2nd April 2015
  #26
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jbuonacc's Avatar
?? the Easel design with the touch sensitive "keyboard" has been around for decades.
Old 3rd April 2015 | Show parent
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGEK8D View Post
I don't get the Buchla thing. I appreciate he is a genius and basically invented the synthesizer, but there is a reason Moog is Moog, and Buchla is Buchla. That's just me though, and I only desire to make and listen to sounds within the confines of Western theory.
I agree, I mainly stick to east coast style synthesis in the eurorack realm. I don't really get all those other things like function generators (ie. maths) and waveshaping/folder dual sine oscillators. The thought of people having a complete system without a single filter boggles my mind.

Last edited by Estin; 3rd April 2015 at 06:06 PM..
Old 3rd April 2015 | Show parent
  #28
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shadowfac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Estin View Post
I agree, I mainly stick to western style stuff in the eurorack realm. I don't really get all those other things like function generators (ie. maths) and waveshaping/folder dual sine oscillators. The thought of people having a complete system without a single filter boggles my mind.
Errr.... let's not confuse Western music theory (based on the division of the octave in 12 tones) with West-coast style of sound synthesis (based in modulating the oscillators at audio rates to achieve complex spectra).

Actually, if you're more into subtractive synthesis (harmonically rich oscillators into filters and VCAs), then you're doing East-coast synthesis. If you also quantize your pitch CVs into chromatic/major/minor scales, then you're doing Western music using East-coast synthesis.

There's nothing special about not having a filter, and such a thing does not necessarily leads to non-Western music. The DX7 doesn't have filters and it's mostly used for Western music. The filter is only used to shape the spectrum of a sound, which can be also achieved by other means (like FM or Waveshaping).

You should try challenging yourself to record a song using no filters at all. Start with harmonically-simple waveforms like sines and triangles, and use controlled modulation and distortion to add harmonic content.
Old 3rd April 2015 | Show parent
  #29
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Sorry for the confusion I meant "east coast subtractive synthesis" IE. typical signal flow of OSC's-mixer-filter-VCA with LFO's and ENV somewhere in the path. I am all over the board before my morning coffee it seems. Thank you for the input though, it was rather informative. I have a lot to learn that is for sure.



Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac View Post
Errr.... let's not confuse Western music theory (based on the division of the octave in 12 tones) with West-coast style of sound synthesis (based in modulating the oscillators at audio rates to achieve complex spectra).

Actually, if you're more into subtractive synthesis (harmonically rich oscillators into filters and VCAs), then you're doing East-coast synthesis. If you also quantize your pitch CVs into chromatic/major/minor scales, then you're doing Western music using East-coast synthesis.

There's nothing special about not having a filter, and such a thing does not necessarily leads to non-Western music. The DX7 doesn't have filters and it's mostly used for Western music. The filter is only used to shape the spectrum of a sound, which can be also achieved by other means (like FM or Waveshaping).

You should try challenging yourself to record a song using no filters at all. Start with harmonically-simple waveforms like sines and triangles, and use controlled modulation and distortion to add harmonic content.

Last edited by Estin; 3rd April 2015 at 06:13 PM..
Old 3rd April 2015 | Show parent
  #30
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shadowfac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Estin View Post
Sorry for the confusion I meant "east coast subtractive synthesis" IE. typical signal flow of OSC's-mixer-filter-VCA with LFO's and ENV somewhere in the path. I am all over the board before my morning coffee it seems.
No problem. Actually the distinction is a bit ridiculous and not clear at all, especially nowadays that most synths let you combine multiple types of synthesis.

Likewise, most synths these days can be used for both Western and non-Western music. There are CV quantizers and MIDI-to-CV converters that can work with the 1.2V/oct Buchla standard, and many synths can perform microtuning.

I'd say the Buchla Easel is very balanced in these regards. You can either use the keyboard and "tune" the synth to A-440 (or whatever), or not. You can use it as a basic subtractive synth (VCO->VCF->VCA) or not.
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