MATRIXSYNTH: Barry Schrader, Morton Subotnick and John Payne - CalArts studio B-304

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Barry Schrader, Morton Subotnick and John Payne - CalArts studio B-304

"The following flickr stream was from CalArts studio B-304 taken in the fall of 1976 featuring Barry Schrader, Morton Subotnick and John Payne and a whole lotta Buchla 500. John as you may remember came up a couple of months ago on Matrixsynth in the posting regarding Mort's use of the 300 at Ircam [link]. He went on in later years to become the Assistant Dean of the CIA School of Music and founder of it's Music Tech department. Photo b_304.2 has a good view of the entire studio, save the three other JBL's which are out of frame (it was a quad studio - there was one in each corner)."

b_304.1 pictured.
"Barry Schrader, Morton Subotnick and John Payne stand in front of the Buchla 500 in CalArts' sudio B-304 in the fall of 1976."

via Peter Grenader. Title link takes you to the full set. Be sure to click on each image followed by All Sizes to see the full shot.

Posts featuring Barry Schrader
Posts featuring Morton Subotnic
Posts featuring John Payne

Update: As always check the comments for more info.

via Peter:
"There are two more 500's that I know off - at Evergreen and another somewhere in Europe (pardon the senior moment, i don't remember where exactly). This is not to say there aren't others...I'm just not aware of any. The one in the photo here was the first - the development system Don constructed while on staff at CalArts. I do know the 500 was adondoned quickly and resurfaced as the 300 series which included direct routing of computer control the various modules (259 VCO and 292C Gate for example) -and- the digital VCOs."

"the box screwed into the side of the main cabinet is a speaker selector which i f i remember correctly wasn't on line. Another bit of trivia - this was taken about the time of Mort's Game Room project that Gary Chang, Jill Frazer, Darrell Johansen, Sue Harvey and I worked on. The room next to 304 (other side of the wall which is shown behind the Buchla) was 305. It had a large 100 system (three cabinets) and for the Game Room we cut a hole in the base of that wall to run audio cables out from the tape machines to play quad audio snippets into the game area. This also took signals directly from the game board in 305 where signals were decoded and sent to the various controllers (audio, film, Buchla-controlled OCR light dimmers, etc.).

Against the other wall - opposite the one behind the 500 - was studi oB-303, which was pretty much a duplicate of this one sans the computer control - so it was a 200 studio, not a 500 studio. It also had the huge JBL monitors which were hung form the ceiling on metal brackets made by Chas Smith (which are still in place today). There's a photo of 303 at Barry's Schrader's website: link

Most people preferred working in 303, mainly because the 258's were easier to get to. On the 500 system they were all on the top row, which was a pain for most. The upside - studio time was easy to book in 304 for this reason I spent a lot of the early mornings here - tarting usually at 4AM and going until classes began around 9."

via an anonymous comment:
"Evergreen has/had an early 300 its computer is non functional. There were 3 500s from what i understand, 1 went to Norway, 1 to a campus studio in NY and the 3rd was of course at CalArts..

the Norway one was moved around a lot as it was purchased by 2 or 3 studios/organizations and because of its fragile nature it didnt survive.. it was apparently parted out after it became nonfunctional.

The CalARTs system was also disassembled and parts were sold to various buyers around the US in the famouse 90's sale ..nobody is too sure what happened to the digial components..

the 3rd that was in NY was sold to a collector in the 90's, tho it should be noted that that system was returned to Buchla for upgrading/overhaul in the late 70's and was reassembled with 300 series components, so it is more of a 300 now then 500... I don't believe it has been tested or turned on in over a decade.

another note, there were 2 versions of the 300.. the early system used tech from the 500 (the gating matrix for example - which controlled early versions of the 281 and 292B gates - the remote function on later 281s and 292Cs was never implemented) the later 300s were more of a self contained system ( with 200 modules for processing ) which eventually became the Touché and the 400."

8 comments:

  1. Nice pictures, thanks a lot Peter!

    ReplyDelete
  2. this would be the first 500 i've seen in a real world enviroment. the only other one that i have seen a photograph of is the one on the buchla offical site's historical section.

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks for sharing peter - rick

    ReplyDelete
  4. There are two more 500's that I know off - at Evergreen and another somewhere in Europe (pardon the senior moment, i don't remember where exactly). This is not to say there aren't others...I'm just not aware of any. The one in the photo here was the first - the development system Don constructed while on staff at CalArts. I do know the 500 was adondoned quickly and resurfaced as the 300 series which included direct routing of computer control the various modules (259 VCO and 292C Gate for example) -and- the digital VCOs.

    - P

    ReplyDelete
  5. Man, dyslexia sucks...

    I just noticed on my comments for photo b-304.2 I list the computer as being on the left and the side cabinet on the right. Of course i'ts really the other way around.

    You should see me with Op Amps...

    But while I'm here - the box screwed into the side of the main cabinet is a speaker selector which i f i remember correctly wasn't on line. Another bit of trivia - this was taken about the time of Mort's Game Room project that Gary Chang, Jill Frazer, Darrell Johansen, Sue Harvey and I worked on. The room next to 304 (other side of the wall which is shown behind the Buchla) was 305. It had a large 100 system (three cabinets) and for the Game Room we cut a hole in the base of that wall to run audio cables out from the tape machines to play quad audio snippets into the game area. This also took signals directly from the game board in 305 where signals were decoded and sent to the various controllers (audio, film, Buchla-controlled OCR light dimmers, etc.).

    Against the other wall - opposite the one behind the 500 - was studi oB-303, which was pretty much a duplicate of this one sans the computer control - so it was a 200 studio, not a 500 studio. It also had the huge JBL monitors which were hung form the ceiling on metal brackets made by Chas Smith (which are still in place today). There's a photo of 303 at Barry's Schrader's website:

    http://www.barryschrader.com/dashboard/gallerytool/image.htm?00000007.jpg

    Most people preferred working in 303, mainly because the 258's were easier to get to. On the 500 system they were all on the top row, which was a pain for most. The upside - studio time was easy to book in 304 for this reason I spent a lot of the early mornings here - tarting usually at 4AM and going until classes began around 9.

    sorry for the long post.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Evergreen has/had an early 300 its computer is non functional. There were 3 500s from what i understand, 1 went to Norway, 1 to a campus studio in NY and the 3rd was of course at CalArts..

    the Norway one was moved around a lot as it was purchased by 2 or 3 studios/organizations and because of its fragile nature it didnt survive.. it was apparently parted out after it became nonfunctional.

    The CalARTs system was also disassembled and parts were sold to various buyers around the US in the famouse 90's sale ..nobody is too sure what happened to the digial components..

    the 3rd that was in NY was sold to a collector in the 90's, tho it should be noted that that system was returned to Buchla for upgrading/overhaul in the late 70's and was reassembled with 300 series components, so it is more of a 300 now then 500... I don't believe it has been tested or turned on in over a decade.

    another note, there were 2 versions of the 300.. the early system used tech from the 500 (the gating matrix for example - which controlled early versions of the 281 and 292B gates - the remote function on later 281s and 292Cs was never implemented) the later 300s were more of a self contained system ( with 200 modules for processing ) which eventually became the touche and the 400.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have an LP record from 1980 featuring a composition by Jan Greenwald, "Duration 2." According to the liner notes it was realized at Cal Arts.

    "Duration 2 was computed on the Nova 1200 Data General computer & transferred via an interface program to the Buchla 500 digital-to-analog synthesizer."

    The record is CRI SD 443

    ReplyDelete
  8. B304 now contains nothing but a g5 running protools LE. There was a tx816, but it got sold. Someone put a lamp in there towards the year's end... that was rather inspiring.

    ReplyDelete

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