MATRIXSYNTH: Buchla 200e Finger Controller Video

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Buchla 200e Finger Controller Video

Title link takes you to a video of the Buchla 200e finger controller. Anyone know the official name for the device?

105 comments:

  1. It looks like a rackversion of the Buchla Thunder . But could not find
    exact name.

    http://www.buchla.com/historical/thunder/images/thunderhand.jpg

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  2. its part of the "model 222e multi-dimensional kinesthetic input port" as listed on the buchla site"

    http://www.buchla.com/200e/222e.html

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  3. someone needs to strap it on their dick while having sex and record the output.

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  4. is there a way to save google vids to your computer hard drive?

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  5. while all other modular synth manufacturers are creating things that should have been made last century buchla is the only guy making this century product....shame i will never get to see play or own one

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  6. Well, my roland v-synth has this sort of Beam and I don' t need this stupid ring on my hand lol
    The buchla owner will have to pay attention not to lose it ...
    The sound is thousand miles of the look

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  7. thunder thunder lightning, buchla very frightning!

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  8. Jesus, is it just me?

    I just don't understand the culture of the mega expensive modular user.

    If we are to believe the video evidence on youtube etc these people spend tens of thousands of dollars on these things and then make either something close to arcade game sounds or nonsensical rambling cacophonous dins.

    baffled!

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  9. not everyone is interested in making acid bass sounds and phaser strings

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  10. its just you

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  11. I think they should send me one to review.

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  12. My God..I just read the price on that thing..wow..all those wires and knobs and blinky lights..for pac man sounds...why so expensive?

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  13. cause its mothafuckin art.

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  14. Almost each module they make is a separate computer. How much does a cheap computer with analog + digital circuitry and logic for managing presets cost? Add front panel + knobs and that's what they cost. I know of nothing else like it technically.

    I can see what they charge as a fair reflection of their complexity.


    However, sonically as a system, the whole seems to be less than the sum of its parts.

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  15. you narrow minded twits who say its only making pac man sound, yes we all know a modular synth only makes ONE sound, for christ sake!

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  16. Having played one for a bit at Namm, I can say it is far more than the sum of its parts.

    Learning to play any real instrument requires a good deal of patience and dedication (ask anyone who plays violin). The Buchla is no exception.

    That said, composers who like to explore new and challenging sounds tend to gravitate towards the Buchla. I can listen to Merzbow all day long but I'd rather stick M-80s in my ears than listen to Keith Emerson or some fag ProgRock shit.

    When I first walked up to one of the Buchla system at NAMM I was very suprised. I played a few notes on the 222e and heard a dead on flute patch. A push of a patch button and full on noise glitches.

    The next person who tries to play the lucky man solo should be forced to eat a transistor ladder sandwich.

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  17. thats like saying why buy a Zero Oscillator when you could buy FM7 or a DX7

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  18. Dr. Future forgot to take the sotfware development and prototyping into account. this system was designed from the ground up unlike other circuitry in other new modulars which borrows from previous instrumnets.

    I know the OSC code was EXTREMELY expensive due to the complexity.

    The cost of the software for this sort of thing often dwarfs what the hardware development costs.

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  19. I've never heard from an owner of one of these who didn't think it was the greatest fricking thing ever, worth every penny, and allowed them to make the sounds in their head that nothing else can make, etc etc.

    I've also never heard a sound clip made by one of these that lived up to the hype, much less even interested me.

    I'm not sure how to reconcile these two facts, but there it is. Buy one and you'll be completely happy and satisfied but make music that bores everyone else? I dunno... looks cool for sure, though, and I'm glad in this age of boring cheap also-ran knockoffs somebody still makes crazy unique things like this, even if it isn't (apparently) targetted at the likes of me.

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  20. the harvestman1/27/07, 8:45 PM

    I stopped complaining about the Buchla system's price when I actually got the chance to use one. One of the very few truly forward-thinking modular instrument designs in the last 25 years, and pretty fairly priced for how it's built and what you get. Amazing. It'll be remembered a lot better than the latest ladder filter the month or whatever nostalgia-stroking effort of the day, given a long enough timeline.

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  21. Well I don't own one since it's really darn expensive, --note that I did not say overpriced. (and can be a long wait), but I've played one for hours and could easily go on doing so. Is it perfect? Far from it but it is a superb piece of work that doesn't go about recreating much of anything aside from it's own 40 year history.

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  22. For something that looks like it was reverse engineered from an area 51 UFO, It's kinda of a let down when you listen to any of the demos. I'm sure the R & D and materials, labor can justify the price,and it is truly something to gawk at. But it doesn't sound any better than the many far less expensive modulars currently on the market. I dare say it doesn't sound half as good as it looks.

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  23. I honestly would be very sad, disappointed and angry if Buchla systems were to ever be discontinued....
    I hope this NEVER happens.
    So who knows?
    Appreciate it and all that goes behind it and open up to all that YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT.
    You just might be surprised, and if you aren't,...well you knew it all already anyway,.... right?

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  24. Who wants new Music Easels?...
    ME,ME,ME,ME,MEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

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  25. Anyone that judges Emerson's amazing command of the keyboard by Lucky Man cannot complain that others are judging Buchlas by these sorry demos.
    They haven't heard what a Buchla can really do and you obviously haven't a clue what Emerson can really do.

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  26. Anonymous said...
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  27. Wow, that last person was so anonymous they didn't say anything at all....

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  28. There's a reason there are no demos on the Buchla website...like Serge not having demos (or a website). Demos only demo what one user is doing with an instrument at one time.

    Get your hands on one and then make a decision.

    Also, I'm guessing if you are about to complain that you can't get your hands on one to demo one you probably dont even have the cash to buy one.

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  29. It has nothing to do with not being able to afford it or thinking it's too expensive. I applaud Buchla for not cutting any corners or making any compromises and just making this crazy thing the way HE wanted it to be. I'm personally tired of all the cheap me-too crap being released that gets broken or boring after a year or two. I look back to thirty years ago when synths cost 10x as much and people had to sacrifice for their instrument, and then spent years learning how to use and play it, and realize we've definitely lost something in this age where every week you can download a new folder worth of softsynths.

    But seriously, every person who defends this thing always says "demos are useless" blah blah blah... do you just make music for yourself to listen to? I mean, isn't the point of making music to communicate with other people in some fashion? Shouldn't this music making device be capable of making some music, demo or not, that people other than the creator actually enjoy or at least appreciate listening to?

    I'm not trying to be an a-hole here, but any time someone mentions that these demos are all abstract boring noises or banjos (which they all have been) someone chimes in with how the Buchla's power is unlimited and you just don't understand until you play with it yourself and and and...

    Come on, give me a break, at some point SOMEBODY has to be able to create SOMETHING from this thing that I would like, no? And if it is spectacularly unsuitable to making anything I like, given that I have a huge range of musical interests across many genres including very experimental music, isn't it safe to say this thing is maybe a little less infinitely flexible than is claimed?

    I really don't understand the defensiveness that borders on hostility from its defenders. Bottom line it is (apparently) great at making weird abstract noises and not much else. Fine, there it is. Don't sugar coat it...

    And to reiterate, kudos to Buchla for making it... I wish his aesthetic sensibilites were more along the lines of my own, because the thing looks fantastically flexible and wonderful, but the sounds it produces do very little for me. If there is any jealousy involved, its that I wish the guy would make something just as tricked out, and complex, and expensive, but that made sounds that I actually like.

    Eh, whatever...

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  30. ^^^^
    Or maybe they just don't live on the West coast of the USA?

    I wonder how many Europeans bought a Buchla without personally playing one beforehand?

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  31. Ive always had a rather odd fascination with these devices.

    They are modular synthesizers with digital oscillators that for some reason always look like a fisher price toy and end up costing as much as a car.

    but for some reason i still want one.
    its cute and cuddly and completely caters to the inner geek in all of us.

    I think the fact that after all these years, buchla STILL refuses to put a traditional keyboard on their synth makes a clear statement about what demographic these machines are made for.
    They are not made for musicians, they are made for developing sounds.

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  32. > There's a reason there are no demos on the Buchla website...like Serge not having demos (or a website). Demos only demo what one user is doing with an instrument at one time.

    Bullshit.

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  33. i agree - demos showcasing some of its possible applications would help sales. i wouldn't know where i could possibly try out a Buchla in europe. Not everybody has
    such a deep knowledge of synth design to appreciate Buchlas visionary designs and showcasing a broad variety of user demos with explantions would help speading the word. I respect Buchlas individual and "no compromise" approach for the design of his unique instrumets, but wished he'd
    be more into sharing his knowlegde
    and promote his instruments to the
    interested synth geeks.
    I can partly understand why people
    might consider this as sort of arrogant.
    Price point is high, but considering the building quality and R&D costs it is ok. I mean you wouldn't argue with Rolls Royce about not cutting down production costs by using artifical leather or plastic instead of the wooden panels.
    However you look at the Buchla its
    difficult to compare it to any other synth and has to be measured as an instrument at its own right.
    And of course you wouldn't buy one for your "detuned wall of Saw" lead or warm phaser pads and
    it's layout seems to be the wet deam of every serious control voltage afficiando. Modulation motherland. I read the comments actually before watching the video and have to say that i just loved it. But thats just me. Now
    it hurts even more not having the money to buy one and i have to go back to my crappy Air Fx ;-)
    I wish they would build a new Music easel for max 1800 Euros.

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  34. yeah good point...no synth makers should post demo's, people might not be able fully grasp everthing it can do and then say bad things about it ? come on thats the lamest excuse i've heard yet.
    I think the reason is because these machines look so damn cool and then when you hear it your saying to yourself WTF? Thats it? I can do that with my door bell.

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  35. I own a 200e, I've played a ton of different synths over the years.

    The 200e is a synthesizer capable of pretty much any sound any other synthesizer is capable of. Being a Buchla its just easier to get the plucky "banjo" sounds out of, just like its easy to get pads out of the PS series or bass out of the 303. However, these instruments are capable of more sounds then I've seen in online demos.

    Online samples are not needed to boost sales. The 200e has been Buchlas most successful instrument to date. I think people (for the most part) finally get what he has always tried to do, make a NEW unique instrument for himself and other sophisticated musicians bored of the same old sounds/interface.

    I would never base an opinion of anything after reading about or hearing it online. There are too many whiners and boasters and generally conflicting opinions and interests. Best to try something if you are curious.

    RE: the price - it costs what it costs. The development costs are/were outrageous.. I know this. Don isn't getting rich off this thing... The 200e was his answer to people bugging him to get into synthesizer design again after 20 years and now he’s offered up and advanced instrument at a 1/3 of the cost that one of his vintage instruments sell for on the 2nd hand market these days.

    Try one, I am not saying its for everyone but talking about something you haven’t ever played with is totally pointless.

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  36. "but talking about something you haven’t ever played with is totally pointless."

    Ummm... No?

    Read what you've written.

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  37. Did Don really even design this thing, besides the looks? It seems much more digital than analog. Is he a computer programmer?

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  38. I thought the indian looking dude may have designed it.

    Either way, Don had input. I like when teams design things.

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  39. OK I just read all 38 comments and THEN saw the video....the video looked to me like it's an out take of some guy trying to wind his self winding watch at NAMM, but I'll fall into my usual rant, Buchla, Barbour, Grenader, Blacet you name 'em , these guys are artists....they all work to their vision and not to market focus studies like Roland, Korg, et al and like artists they deserve the support of the community at large because they offer insights into the world that are unique and moving and ultimately make it a better and more interesting place and yes some of their art is very expensive and YOU may think it sucks, and can't figure out why people would pay that much for it but then I'd say move down the aisle and find some art you like better, there are plenty of choices.....'nuff said

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  40. Doktor Future said...

    "but talking about something you haven’t ever played with is totally pointless."

    - Ummm... No? Read what you've written.

    Paul..

    I must not get your point since I've played on a 200e.. I think I am eligible to talk about it.

    Also, Don did design it both hardware and software. Yasi is Dons assistant, he’s come up with a lot of software and hardware concepts but Don is the designer. Don designs the interface and also the “functional description” which he gives to a coder to describe the intended functionality that they are to make happen.

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  41. What dif does it make who made the pudding?
    Most of you can't eat it anyways.
    We who can, enjoy the taste.
    Bob Moog and Alan Pearlman had less control over their designs when they were in business than Don does now and it's possible to make stupid sounds with an Arp2500 or Moog 55 too.
    Do you people seriously believe the 200e can't make good sounds or is just for looks?
    It's a serious tool for serious synthesists and most serious synthesists don't waste time putting up demos.

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  42. I still think it only makes weird noises, not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm also happy to be proven wrong... but yeah, you're going to have to prove it, not just write flowery declarations of the thousand ways it can synthesize any possible sound.

    That said, I will confess... even though weird noises aren't really my thing musically, in the back of my mind I have this plan to squirrel away enough money to buy a remote cabin, a generator, a Buchla 200e, enough supplies to last a year, and a Fear and Loathing style stash of hard core psychedelics...

    ...and I promise to make a demo or two for y'all once I can get away from those goddamn bats...

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  43. I think we should give Eldhart a 200e to make some awesome saxaphone sounds with.

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  44. (scratching my head)..what is a serious synthesist ? The guy in the video with who looks like Erkel ?

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  45. A little clarification to the guy who typed, "Being a Buchla its just easier to get the plucky 'banjo' sounds,"

    200e's make plucky banjo sounds 200's make warm mallet sounds
    100's make bubbles & trumpets

    C'mon, get it straight already!

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  46. To anyone who wants to hear it do more "traditional" sounds, listen to this. That's 100% 200e, bass, percussion, everything. You can read more about it here. After listening to it, listen to Doktor Future's mash-up here.

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  47. Reed said...

    A little clarification to the guy who typed, "Being a Buchla its just easier to get the plucky 'banjo' sounds,"

    200e's make plucky banjo sounds 200's make warm mallet sounds 100's make bubbles & trumpets

    C'mon, get it straight already!

    ---------------------------

    I wrote that reed... what do I know about buchla 100s, 200s or 200es?... I'll keep my mouth shut from now on

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  48. I would also love a new Music Easel, but I'm pretty sure it would cost more than €1800. :)
    I'd probably get at least one, even if it was more like €5000.

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  49. matrix said...

    To anyone who wants to hear it do more "traditional" sounds, listen to this. That's 100% 200e, bass, percussion, everything. You can read more about it here. After listening to it, listen to Doktor Future's mash-up here.

    -------------------------------------

    dude, credit where credit is due, I love your blog but can you be serious?

    That 'music' is ham-handed clumsy feeble rubbish.

    A few casio cz-101s being sequenced by a blind man with a bbc microcomputer could do better.

    I laughed.

    Seriously.

    It's like saying "oh yeah? you want to see something, huh? look at THIS!" and then pulling the curtain back to reveal a rusted old burnt out car up on bricks with its wheels missing and a puddle of oil beneath.

    I can see it now:

    Modular Man: Yes Mr Scorcese, I've finished the soundtrack, it took years of work and tens of thousands of dollars but it's finished. Da-DAAAAAAA.

    (hits play: spring doink boing wooooOOOoooOOOOoommm doing bonk)

    You can guess the rest.

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  50. just judging the demo movies, have a look on youtube about the EMS SYNTHI AKS. The sound is way more interesting than the buchla.
    At 2000$ I wouldn' t want a Buchla. At 6000$ I still prefer the synthi.

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  51. I've seen videos of Emu modulars doing blips and blinks.
    But I've also enjoyed Pat Gleeson's Planets by Holst.
    If you know the original orchestral version of this work, you appreciate that Gleeson approached his Emu as an orchestra and not a blip machine.
    It's all up to the synthesist as it is with any modular.
    Bummer that no good demos have come out yet for the 200e, but they will one day.
    I am laughing here that somebody believes it cannot do amazing thing just relying on Buchla's history and the modules in the instrument.

    People with Porsches don't need to drive around streets racing to prove their cars are fast.
    We know they are.
    But it is up to a talented driver to take such an automobile to the limit.

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  52. "People with Porsches don't need to drive around streets racing to prove their cars are fast.
    We know they are.
    But it is up to a talented driver to take such an automobile to the limit."

    I don't know, I'd find it odd if every single Porsche owner bragged it was the fastest car ever made, but then they all refused to ever demonstrate it, claiming it was beneath them to do so, or self evident because the speed gauge says it does 200mph, or whatever. And hey, even if you don't drive YOUR Porsche fast, the fact remains there is plenty of hard evidence out there of Porsche's on test tracks driving just as fast and handling just as well as everyone claims that they are able to drive. Kind of strange though that every last Buchla owner has theirs sitting under a cover in the garage...

    I hear lots of fancy overblown descriptions of how amazing it is, but here's the deal: bottom line, the thing is designed to produce sounds not words. Let's hear this amazing variety of great sounds, surely SOMEBODY has made some.

    If the hype is to be believed, it can apparently synthesize anything you can possibly imagine with only one exception: a decent demo. Its one Achilles heel, as it were. Strange hole to have in its arsenal, if you ask me, but I suppose I should stop being so cynical and just belieeeeeeve, man...

    And for the last time I'd like to reiterate that I'm happy Buchla made the machine he wanted to make without catering to asshats like myself who want it to do everything. BUT, and this is a big but in the grand tradition of Sir Mix Alot (who frankly could have really used one of these things to fill in the all too palpable synthetic-banjo hole which left one feeling vaguely empty and unfulfilled after listening to his otherwise fine tunes)... if its strength is making weird noises that 99% of people could care less about, let's own up to that and stop saying it is the ultimate synthesis machine that can create ANYTHING, when in fact it has some significant gaps in the creating-anything-melodic-that-most-people-would-call-music department, and is in reality the ultimate weird noise machine.

    There's nothing wrong with that. Noises are cool. Making them is fun. And the machine is still really fricking cool.

    You are still welcome to prove me wrong with a 30 second mp3 of some glorious, melodic, sonic bliss. I've read enough vague words about theoretical potential though, so save your breath there...

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  53. Could this be an example of "The Emperor has no clothes" ? Someone finally noticed the thing isn't musical, just an awesome looking and very expensive machine that can make funny noises, in a very serious and complicated way?

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  54. > It's a serious tool for serious synthesists and most serious synthesists don't waste time putting up demos.

    Most serious painters don't waste time putting their ideas on canvas.

    /me whaps you on your little anonymous head with a Nerf bat.

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  55. > I think we should give Eldhart a 200e to make some awesome saxaphone sounds with.

    He has better things to do with his time. Like making mockups of synths to mess with your heads.

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  56. Jean Michel1/28/07, 1:52 PM

    Is it broken or out of order ?

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  57. put it this way:
    i sold most of my collection in order to afford a 200e.
    Never regretted it.
    It makes me a lot more creative than my previous instuments.
    I am able to make sounds that are usable in a song context or i can lose myself for 24 hours in quad space, coming up with shit you wouldn't like anyway.
    I relate to the 200e interface a lot more than any other instrument i owned.
    I am not saying this to "justify my buy".
    As a matter of fact, i keep on selling equipment/saving money to get more 200e modules, since i have a modest configuration.
    The point is, i spent all this money and i am happy i took the plunge.
    Just like the rest of the other 200e owners.

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  58. Doctor Yesterday1/28/07, 2:23 PM

    Cost? Take the oscillator. Break it down by function. Then, spec out every function in other vendors' modules. Tell us which is more expensive. Do it for every module.

    Only the 266e Source of Undertainty and the 281e Quad Function Generator end up being more expensive than other manufacturers on a price-per-feature basis.

    Then, you need to realize that every module can store its settings to be retrieved later.

    Demo for better sales? The original 200 series was manufactured from something like 1970 to 1987. I think the grand to total on modules sold was 440 or something. I believe in the 2 years the 200e has be available it is approaching that mark.

    You do not like the sounds you hear? This is not a retro machine. It is not supposed to sound like a moog -24db filter based synth. It will probably be another 30 years before everyone "gets" the 200e.

    It will proabably be a couple of years before people learn to play their 200e and start to make real music with it.

    You want immediate? Get a rompler. I see there is a new Korg M series coming out.

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  59. I think my biggest fear in buying a 200e would be becoming one of these guys: constantly talking about how amazing and revolutionary it is, never producing any actual music, and dismissing anyone who questions me or it with an arrogant retort about how they might as well use romplers.

    Maybe in (another!) two years someone will have figured it out enough to produce some real music...? Wow. I sure hope you're right about that, and not singing that same song two years down the road...

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  60. "This is not a retro machine. It is not supposed to sound like a moog -24db filter based synth."

    Yep, but its sound is certainly not modern. Agressiv and garbage sounds doesn' t mean always interesting sounds.
    What I hear from the buchla reminds me my old Technics SX k250, when I court-circuited the circuits with a medal. I had strange sounds similar to the buchla, some where interesting but It was in 1983 and my technics was a 400$ organ ;)

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  61. > What I hear from the buchla reminds me my old
    > Technics SX k250, when I court-circuited the circuits
    > with a medal.

    Oh no! I could have saved $15000 if you only had told me this earlier!
    Seriously i'd rather bring a 200e on stage rather than a circuit bent organ. But, hey that's just me. I'm not a "dude with table" kind of guy. A lot of people are and are happy with it. I'm happy doodling with my 200e. Why do i have to make _magical sound examples_ for you guys? 30 second jesus kind of stuff. A year ago everyone were screaming about demos. Now that a few has been posted they are not "good enough". What are you expecting? As many people here has touched already, no synth makes magic by itself. It has to be mastered first. It has the potential and so does your old organ. It's a matter of mastering it dude.

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  62. Ken Kesey said "You are either on the bus, or off the bus"

    Ya'll need to eat a 300-400 mics of LSD or a handful of mushrooms and realize that this thing was designed and built by Don-Fucking-Buchla!!!! It is going into to unexplored territory. It's difficult to use and people have not learned to use them proficiently yet. The 200e is not a knock-off of any other system, including the Buchla 200. Kind of like the Fizmo. Some people got the Fizmo, bought one, and think it is the shizz-nat. Other people never caught on to what was unique and special about the Fizmo. Or the V-Synth. Or the Yamaha FS1r. Name any odd-ball machine that has pushed the envelope and I will show you a machine that is difficult to use, complex to program, and takes dedication to make interesting "musical sounds."

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  63. Wow, blink your eyes and there are sixty, somewhat heated, replies.

    I know this may seem basic and stupid, but what do the people who are ragging on the existing 200e examples want to see in a demo? There's an obvious disconnect between the people who own a 200e, and think that they are wonderful for the type of music they want to make, and the people who think that the 200e is an unmusical banjo generator. I think that this mostly comes down to a question of musical taste. I imagine that people who don't like any of the examples mostly just don't like the styles of music that are represented. Perhaps if the people who are doing the complaining, which I notice are mostly Anonymous Cowards (in Slashdot terms), posted links to examples of what they think are good examples, the 200e crowd, of which I am a member, might understand better.

    I put up a few 200e examples here, and several other people have also posted examples. Most 200e owners probably have studios that have other instruments, of varying degrees or normality, but we like to use the 200e. We like what the 200e allows us to do.

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  64. not 200e but you(everyone) should listen some works of Morton Subotnik."Touch" for example.
    http://www.mortonsubotnick.com/
    there are some nice photos of early buchlas

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  65. another anonymous said:
    What dif does it make who made the pudding?
    Most of you can't eat it anyways.
    We who can, enjoy the taste.
    ----------------------------

    How dare you? That's the most arrogant thing I've read in this thread or on any other blog for a long time.

    >>>Most of you can't eat it anyways.
    We who can, enjoy the taste.>>>

    Well, I could and I don't and I'm glad I don't have your attitude.

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  66. There is no need to bash Buchla if you do not like his instruments. There is no need to bash MOTM; some people are happy that they can buy a moog-ish modular.

    That fact that people can be so divided of modular synthesizers is hi-larious!!!

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  67. I'm not sure what sort of demo I want to hear. I just know I'm not hearing it, I guess?

    Let me put it this way: my impression from the demos I've heard is that its strength is in creating strange noises and textures for experimental music. I also get the impression it is a machine where process is more important than results. It seems like the ultimate modular trap: you buy one and get totally into it and stop using everything else, but the music you end up recording (if any) is less interesting musically and more interesting technically. All brain and no soul. People listen to it and theorize about what you modulated with what through what to get whatever you got, rather than just listening to the music and grooving.

    NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH ANY OF THE ABOVE. It has its place, and for some people its the only thing they're interested in. Cool for them, enjoy the Buchla!

    But don't feed me lines about how it can synthesize anything when it clearly doesn't! The music described above is niche at best, self indulgent at worst. It was suggested in another post that I should take a large quantity of LSD, sit down with the Buchla, and then I'll see the light... I actually see that as a very telling suggestion. For me an acid trip is a very personal experience where you're thrown out of yourself to sort through nonsense and hopefully come out the other side mentally stronger and spiritually wiser (or not... kids, say no to drugs!). But do I really want to sit down with someone else who is tripping on acid and listen to them babble about the nonsense and noise they are sorting through for eight hours? No thanks... for the person doing it, the process of going through it all can be rewarding, for everyone else the actual artistic result is not so interesting... it just hopefully makes them a more interesting person to talk to when they're sober and coherent.

    Yes it comes down to musical taste! But my point is the range of musical taste this synth appears to appeal to is very narrow and pretty much limited to one subsection of the already small "experimental" section of music. I'm sure it's a fantastic synth! But let's not pretend that because it can make fourteen types of navel gazing bug music that it has amazing range and can synthesize anything*! (*By anything, we of course mean any sort of bug music you might want to make, what else is there after all other than romplers playing prog rock?).

    So, ummm, what would I like to hear in a demo? I'd like to hear a demo that proves me wrong about all of the above...

    ReplyDelete
  68. Get over your self1/28/07, 4:35 PM

    > But let's not pretend that because it can make fourteen types of navel gazing bug music that it has amazing range and can synthesize anything*

    Susan Cianni synthesized the sound of 7-up pouring into a glass on a Buchla 200 for a TV spot in the 70s. It has an amazing range. Getting at that range requires effort, practice, and patience.

    You would not expect a person who just bought a stradavarius and has never play violin before to sound like a master over night. In fact, for the first year all they could make are nasty screeching sounds if they are lucky.

    ReplyDelete
  69. > So, ummm, what would I like to hear in a demo? I'd like to hear a demo that proves me wrong about all of the above...

    I'd like to hear you put your money where your mouth is. Lets hear a demo of your music. Lets hear your master command of a modular synthesizer, rompler, 303, or what have you.

    Prove me wrong that you are just a troll without a studio or talent.

    ReplyDelete
  70. I'll bet all he has is an Electribe - the one with the tube in it.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Where did I say I was looking for mastery of the Buchla or music? All I was basically saying was I am looking for a demo that shows it can be used successfully outside the context of experimental non-melodic music...

    And yes, I actually do in fact have an Electribe with a tube in it... two of them in fact! What a joke I am, as a person, a musician, and an artist.

    Attack the messenger is apparently your best response... that's fine, it's telling. I'll shut up now and you can go on talking the thing up to anyone who will listen...

    I actually do think the machine is cool, as I've said repeatedly, and I even think the demos are sort of interesting. If I heard them in person with full attention I'd probably be more interested, or I might not depending on my mood. The subway track for instance that was just posted is pretty cool sounding. But at the end of the day, I'm a melody sort of guy at heart, as gauche and pedestrian as that may be, I yam who I yam. Then again, probably 95% of music listeners are like me, which is probably why I don't understand how people can claim the thing is so flexible and has so much range, when it doesn't seem to create anything that appeals to us, the unenlightened masses.

    Maybe the problem is that some people don't get that I'm not criticizing the box, which is what it is, I'm criticizing the people who keep claiming it's something that it's (apparently) not...

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have some tubes to go light up... some melodies to play... sad, talentless, uncool troll that I am...

    ReplyDelete
  72. "Susan Cianni synthesized the sound of 7-up pouring into a glass on a Buchla 200 for a TV spot in the 70s. "


    Thats funny as I' ve designed the sounds for the actual 7up' spots. I' ve created the sound of pouring into a glass too. It' s just a mix of 4 samples.
    To come back to the buchla, it seems very hard to use ... so how can you keep your soul during the process ?. I use a Ems Synthi AKS that gives me very interesting sounds in a short time.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Since the first time I put out the call for demos, they have been getting better.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I dunno, but there is something about a kid hunched over an Electribe using an arpeggiator trying to make acid-bass lines spouting off about the "quality" of Buchla 200e demos... The phrase "doesn't mean much" comes to mind. Lets hear some of your all-orignal sounding filter sweeps.

    ReplyDelete
  75. You still don't seem to get it. I have no problem with the "quality" of the demos, I have a problem with the fact they are all of the same genre.

    And by the way I'm not a kid, but Mozart was making better music than I ever will at age six, so I try not to disparage people based solely on their age...

    As for your assumption that you can't make good music with cheap gear, well, I'll let that speak for itself... kind of funny in the context of a Buchla discussion though, it's like you're drawing a big fat target on your ass... I'll resist the bait.

    ReplyDelete
  76. QUOTE: kind of funny in the context of a Buchla discussion though, it's like you're drawing a big fat target on your ass... I'll resist the bait.

    ---------------

    Awwww.... is junior getting cwanky? I think we need to give him his bottle and put him in the corner for a time out.

    ReplyDelete
  77. > It will probably be another 30 years before everyone "gets" the 200e.

    By then they'll be non-functional with nobody to fix them. And we'll have buchla 200e's on a cellphone.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Looking at the front page of MatrixSynth, I now know exactly what sort of Buchla demo I want to hear...

    Give one to Herbie, and let me hear what he comes up with.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Too much to comment on but i have to step on these dirty rumors as I've heard them a few times:

    " The original 200 series was manufactured from something like 1970 to 1987. I think the grand to total on modules sold was 440 or something."


    the 200 series was in production from 1970 - 1983, many more then 440 modules were produced... more then 30 music easels were made... uh i am sure I am forgetting other Buchla myths.

    I can tell who wrote that based on the info.. quit spreadin those lies! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  80. "...for the person doing it, the process of going through it all can be rewarding, for everyone else the actual artistic result is not so interesting..."

    Well that settles it then. It's the ultimate "drug" for the most hardcore of synth addicts. $20k? That's just what you are gonna have to pay if you plan to get into "hard" synthesis.

    "Give one to Herbie, and let me hear what he comes up with."

    Unfortuanetly, Herbie seems to have lost all his soul, and his love of interesting instruments. :(

    ReplyDelete
  81. The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.

    When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.

    Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Did someone let Mike Peake in?

    ReplyDelete
  83. Well I think makes and even 86 posts,... if I counted correctly.
    Anymore opinions anyone?

    ReplyDelete
  84. Eric Cartman1/28/07, 8:42 PM

    No more opinions.

    Screw you guys, I'm goin' home.

    ReplyDelete
  85. holy crap i need to get some popcorn and read this thread.

    ReplyDelete
  86. This is the thread that never ends.
    Yes it goes on and on my friends.
    Some people started replyin' it,
    Not knowing what it was,
    And they'll keep replyin' it
    Forever just because...

    This is the thread that never ends....

    ReplyDelete
  87. Don't know whats more interesting..some of these comments or the demos themselves ?

    ReplyDelete
  88. demos of what?

    there's demos of something?

    ReplyDelete
  89. A Buchla is not like other synths. Buchla himself refers to a whole Buchla setup as an "instrument." That sounds incredibly arrogant. But if you ever get to spend some time (a few hours minimum) with a Buchla you'll probably start out frustrated. I was and I knew how to patch a real modular synth (Moog, Emu). Then I tossed out my notion of the way things "should" be and started trying to figure out the Buchla (it was a music easel) from the designers point of view. Then I started "getting" it. It is an instrument and requires a learning curve that's different than other synths.

    If I had the money and had to choose between the Buchla or something else, I'd buy something else only because of what I like to do. The Buchla synths are truly amazing and revolutionary and are the ultimate for some people.

    The reason you don't hear people recording demos of stuff other than Bleeps and Glitches is because that's why they got the Buchla in the first place. Its sounds like beeps and bloops to me and you, it sounds like music to them. If they wanted a cool bass and nice mallet tone, they would have used some other synth.

    It's like microtonal music, some people will only ever hear it as a noise, some people think it's far more expressive and interesting than regular 12 tone scale music. I'm somewhere in between.

    I have a Machinedrum. It's not velocity sensitive, it doesn't have a million sounds on board, and it's expensive. I could approximate what I do on the Machinedrum with a Korg ER-1 and a sampler. But for me, the Machinedrum is greater than the sum of its parts and that's why I keep it. Good sounds, good interface and I can work as fast as I think of stuff. That's what a Buchla is like for people who buy them.

    If the Buchla owners are happy with what they have and think it was worth the money, then what is there to argue about?

    ReplyDelete
  90. If I can be so bold, I'd like to sum the argument up (as i see it).

    1. The majority of the criticism is not being leveled at the buchla itself , rather it is being leveled at what people do with it or claim can be done with it.

    2. It's not about the price, expensive gear *can* sound bad. There are plenty of examples of this in music tech history.

    3. If you're a synthesis obsessive and are more interested in process than result then this machine is for you.

    4. That's ok.

    5. It's ok to be perplexed by that and to post that opinion.

    Finally, this is the one that made me smile a little and crystalised the divide:

    "Susan Cianni synthesized the sound of 7-up pouring into a glass on a Buchla 200 for a TV spot in the 70s. "

    Well, that's certainly an achievement but there was a viable alternative in the 70s:

    1. 7-up
    2. Glass
    2. Microphone
    3. Tape machine

    ReplyDelete
  91. I'd like to comment on the video itself.

    I can see that being on topic is not very important to anyone but here we go anyhow:

    1. The video is of a buchla demonstrator at NAMM. If anyone ought to have mastered the system, this man be him.

    2. His pitch to get you to invest in this relatively expensive system? He slips an apparently easy to lose device on to his finger, waves it around for a minute and produces slightly varied buzzing, zipping noises.

    Were I witnessing this demonstration first hand, I would attempting to back away without making eye contact.

    ReplyDelete
  92. maybe the truly creative people find creative ways to make music and don't pay a fortune for an instrument

    ReplyDelete
  93. why has the time to read all this blabbery?! i will say this... having played a buchla 200e for a little while, i was impressed by the looks, disappointed by the feel - post felt cheap and wobbly and, most importantly, unimpressed by the sound. it sounded like a bad digital synth. if it was a fraction of the price, it would be cool because it sounded different in that this thing that sounds like a $100 CZ-101 could actually be patched, but the current prices are just insane. when i watched the video i was expecting something worth watching but felt like it was a total waste of time. someone at buchla needs to show people what this machine is really capable of, if it really is something special. there's no excuse for not posting some clips of it programmed the way it was meant to be programmed.

    ReplyDelete
  94. I love this!
    This is my first post here.

    I have a 200e.

    I use it to make 'stupid noise'.

    I had a large serge, a huge modcan, one of the first WIARD 300 full systems, fenix, large motm etc. etc. etc.

    Sold them all in 2005.

    Got a 200e and NEVER looked back.

    If I made my living off musick, this would be the last thing I would get. I don't. I make music for myself and the people who care to buy my cdrs. (about 150 poeple in 2006! wow!)

    Wanna hear what my stuff sounds like? Go find my records. Wanna know what they are called? Im not telling! Why would I let anyone know what I use?

    Wanna play with a 200e and live in Chicago. Drop me an email.
    Lets hookup and make some musick.

    bookla200e@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  95. Oh...and want to know more about the 200e?

    I suggest you read:

    Reading the Illegible -
    by Craig Dworkin

    ReplyDelete
  96. Scribble boy1/29/07, 11:02 AM

    What is a Buchla 200e good for? FM Synthesis, Non-linear waveshaping, Chance music, Pluck sounds, percussive sounds, and Man machine symbiosis.

    What is a Buchla 200e NOT good for? Filter centric subtractive synthesis. Trance. Acid. Prog-rock. Switched-on Bach. Not that any of that is "wrong" or "bad" or inherantly "inferior," it is all just different from what the Buchla instruments are all about.

    Some people hit the nail on the head: the west cost philosophy does have as much to do with the interactive process as with the sound. Is that wrong? No.

    Do the demos sound "bad?" Personally, I do not think so. I think they sound very different than one might expect from a modular synthesizer. The demos certainly do not sound "analog" and that certainly spoils some peoples aesthetic. I can accept the "digital" sound, but, I know some people do not care for it. Its just a matter of taste.

    Some people are experiencing sticker shock. Yes, it does *look* expensive, but, as someone suggested, if you break it down by function, it is actually less expensive than some other vendors systems.

    "This bickering is pointless" - Governor Tarkin

    ReplyDelete
  97. One thing I do find funny: Stockhausen and Dockstader and the rest of them were making avant-garde weird noises decades before Emerson, Tangerine Dream, etc started working that 24dB filter. And yet, poor ELP and that dead horse "Lucky Man" are always dragged out as an example of how the Buchla is not intended to produce old, stale, boring, genres of music.

    Yes, yes, I understand... these are Next Century Random Noises... keep telling yourself that. Personally I think we're all treading water at the moment...

    ReplyDelete
  98. I have no doubt a 200e could do techno and trance just fine.
    But why bother?
    They are simple and easy to do genres and require no talent or training.
    Simple music for simpletons.
    That's all it is.
    Quite obvious why they don't understand the Buchla.
    They would criticize a piano for the same reasons because they can't play a piano.

    ReplyDelete
  99. I happen to own a 200e, but I do not agree with your "simple music for simpltons" argument at all. People can say the same thing of bug music.

    ReplyDelete
  100. I agree...I make shit tekkkno with the 200e all the time! (The 250e just makes it too fun to turn off the lights and pretend im The Electrifying Mojo on WGPR)

    Wanna know what, my tekkno sounds just as shitty with the 200e as it did back when I used a 303 / 909 ...but I gotta say this 200e truly proves the old adage that often getting there is much more fun than your actual destination...

    ok...gotta go trim my beard...Im working with the SOU after work!

    http://members.aol.com/mindwebart4/john_cage.gif

    ReplyDelete
  101. It is threads like this that make me wish that EMF was open and this blog closed.

    ReplyDelete
  102. As the person who filmed this video, I can attest that my camera has extremely crappy audio. I filmed this to give the general public an idea how radical some synths can be. If I had the cash, I would get one immediately. But then again what do I know. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete

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