Buchla 200 Modular Synth

The original Buchla Music Box was the brainchild of Don Buchla and came from a commission by composers Ramon Sender and Morton Subotnick. First built in 1963, this synthesizer was composed of several “modules” that generated or modified a music event. Each box served a specific function: oscillator, filter, sample and hold, etc. This would have an effect on the pitch, timbre, amplitude and spacial location of the sound. The idea was to allow musicians and composers to create sounds suited to their own specifications. Previously, one had to utilize either discrete audio generators such as test oscillators or via musique concrete, recorded sounds from natural sources. Although it was a fresh and exciting idea and an excellent way to get new sounds, this was very time-consuming and arduous. The Buchla Box allowed musicians to bend and manipulate sound all in one device. This would lead to the many kinds of electronic instruments available today.

The system features unusually high functional density, extended dynamic range, self-contained monitoring (preview) facilities, and unrestrained expandability. Interesting new techniques for polyphonic signal generation, dynamic spectral and timbral modification, complex pattern generation, and control of spatial location and movement are introduced. Organization is optimized for compactness, ease of access, and ready comprehension.

Connections within the system are made with color-coded patchcords, for maximum graphic visual feedback, zero crosstalk, optimal utilization of panel space, and unlimited flexibility and expandability. A clear and consistent distinction is maintained, both in modular function and in interconnection, between signals (the raw material of electronic music), control voltages (defining parametric structure, e.g. pitch, timbre, intensity, location), and timing pulses (defining event times and durations).

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~ by steelberryclones on January 9, 2009.

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