MATRIXSYNTH: Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Don Buchla Has Passed Away

It has come to my attention that Don Buchla passed away on Wednesday, September 14, at the age of 79. Anyone coming to this site should be well aware of who he is; who he was to the world of synthesizers. For those that aren't, he was by all means one of the fathers of the modern day synthesizer. Credit usually goes to Bob Moog, mainly for two reasons. One, Bob Moog chose the standard keyboard as the main interface for his synthesizers as they were more accessible to musicians. Two, Bob Moog's approach focused mainly on reproducing the sounds of acoustic instruments. Wendy Carlos' Switch on Bach and Keith Emerson's use of the Moog Modular brought Moog synthesizers to the mainstream.

Don Buchla's instruments, however, focused mainly on the exploration of sound. Artists attracted to his instrument fell more into the realm of what was known as musique concrete. Musique concrete mainly focused on the manipulation of sound, initially composed with electro-acoustic instruments recorded and manipulated on analog tape.

via wikipedia: "Buchla formed his electronic music equipment company, Buchla and Associates, in 1962 in Berkeley, California. Buchla was commissioned by avant garde music composers Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender, both of the San Francisco Tape Music Center, to create an electronic instrument for live performance. Under a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation Buchla completed his first modular synthesizer in 1963." On the other hand (also via wikipedia): "Moog created the first voltage-controlled subtractive synthesizer to utilize a keyboard as a controller and demonstrated it at the AES convention in 1964." Update: Wikipedia appears to be incorrect on Buchla.  Don Buchla started working on instruments in 1963, and the 100 was his first VC system completed in 1965. It was then sold in 66/67. The first name of the company was Buchla Associates in 66/67 followed by Buchla & Associates in 70/71. This New York times obituary has a good write-up on Don Buchla's work beyond just synthesizers. It also has 1965 as the date for the completion of his first synth.

Please note, this post isn't about who came first. In my opinion they both did and they both had different approaches. Most of you will be familiar with the terms East and West Coast synthesis. They pertain to these two different approaches with Buchla on the West and Moog on the East.

Don Buchla's passing is bittersweet. On the one hand his creations have finally gained popularity and respect in the modern day synthesizer community - a decade ago the focus was primarily on Bob Moog. On the other hand, he passed away not being able to do what he himself wanted to do in the end. He sold the rights to the Buchla name to BEMI, only to later take them to court. The case was settled, but I have been told it was far short from the initial agreement. It is also my understanding that Don Buchla was discouraged from working on creating new instruments.

One thing to consider is that although there were/are many Buchla clones out there that paid tribute to Don's work, it is my understanding that Don wasn't paid licensing for them and that Don wasn't necessarily thrilled by them. Think about it for a bit. One, people cloned his work, two, he did not get paid for his original creations, and three, people buying clones were putting their budgets towards clones vs. his new creations, for example, the 258 clone vs the new 261e. I was told from a reliable resource, that Don never had any interest in re-hashing old products. In a sense, they were more works of art, and he was always interested in creating something new, rather than re-hashing the old. However, I was told he was fine with people creating clones for personal use, just not for sale.

Writing this post is extremely difficult. I didn't know Don personally, but I did meet him a few times at NAMM. The first time I met him was a bit awkward because he doesn't talk fluff. His answers were very short, and he just kind of stood there as if implying, "are we done yet". I then realized, he wasn't implying that at all, he was just hanging out. The second time I met him, I said hello and didn't elaborate much. He then engaged in conversation with me. It was a simple thing, but something I will never forget. The video below with Don Buchla being interviewed by Mark Vail, captures the way I felt perfectly. If you were ever fortunate to meet him in person you will know what I mean. I'm going to miss him greatly, and will always wish I got to know him better.

And a message from Moog Music:

"Dear Don,

There are no words that can accurately portray the profound impact you have had on our lives. We are deeply inspired by your artistry, and your ground-breaking achievements will always inform the work we hold most closely to our hearts. You and Bob, through your distinctive styles, collaboration and friendship, have laid the foundation for our future. Your influence endures in our minds, hearts and hands as we craft tools that give rise to joyful experimentations. We will never truly capture the elegance and beauty that you and Bob achieved, but we promise to never stop trying.

From everyone at Moog, thank you for inspiring us and giving meaning to our life's work.

Your Friends At Moog"

Published on Aug 27, 2015 Redaktion Megasynth

And a rare performance of Don playing live with his instruments and Alessandro Cortini of Nine Inch Nails (NIN):

Everything Ends Here

Uploaded on Nov 18, 2011 Alessandro Cortini

"San Francisco Electronic Music Festival 2010

Alessandro Cortini + Don Buchla, performing the piece "everything ends here", from Blindoldfreak's 1st EP, 1."

Robert Henke and Lumiere II.2

This one in via 060171:

"Yesterday i was at Lumiere II.2 by Robert Henke in Utrecht the Netherlands. The performance was part of the International Computer Music Conference 2016.

By change we had seats next to Roberts desk and took this pic. (sorry Gregory Taylor from Cycling '74)
Rober (Monolake) controls four big lasers with the sound, these sounds are also the music. The laserlight projection is super vivid, a real spectacle, combined with multi channel audio.

Last year is saw version II in Amsterdam, where Robert also gave a lecture at STEIM about the technique. (Ableton and Max for live and the special lasers)

quality videos are at:"

Deep Web from Robert Henke on Vimeo.





Deep Web is a monumental immersive audiovisual installation and live performance created by light artist Christopher Bauder and composer and musician Robert Henke. Presented in enormous pitch dark indoor spaces, Deep Web plunges the audience into a ballet of iridescent kinetic light and surround sound. The work was presented as a preview at CTM 2016 Festival Berlin and will be followed by its original presentation at the Festival of Lights Lyon in December 2016.

The generative, luminous architectural structure weaves 175 motorized spheres and 12 high power laser systems into a 25 meter wide and 10 meter high super-structure, bringing to life a luminous analogy to the nodes and connections of digital networks. Moving up and down, and choreographed and synchronized to an original multi-channel musical score by Robert Henke, the spheres are illuminated by blasts of colourful laser beams resulting in three-dimensional sculptural light drawings and arrangements in cavernous darkness.

The installation brings together decades of separate research and experimentation by two artists with unique visions and passions for sound and light, and by innovative companies working in these fields. High-end laser system manufacturer LaserAnimation Sollinger provided the technical expertise and development for this very specific spatial laser setup. The high precision motor winch systems with real time feedback and the main control software are provided by Design Studio WHITEvoid in collaboration with Kinetic Lights. This novel combination of computer controlled kinetic elements and laser systems allows for setting animated end points to normally infinite laser beams. DEEP WEB uses light as a tangible material to construct threedimensional vector drawings in thin air.

The work was originally commissioned by the Festival of Lights Lyon 2015, and developed in cooperation with local producer Tetro. Due to the festival’s cancellation after the tragic events in Paris, Berliners had the unique chance to attend an exclusive preview before the project will be presented in December 2016 in Lyon for the Festival of Lights 2016.

The Artists:

The u808 4HP Module

Published on Sep 16, 2016 Jan Ostman

"Just a short demo of the u808 module.

You cant feel the bass like I do but it has that classic fameous low bassdrum off all kind.

A really nice module."

Metasonix s-2000

via this auction

Sequencer practice

Published on Sep 16, 2016 Old Beats

Moog Voyager - Bass
Moog Little Phatty - 1°Seq.
Moog Mother 32 - 2°Seq.
DSI Prophet 08 - moving Pad (VCA open W/ Filter Mod.)
DSI Evolver - Synth Seq.
Novation Bass Station 2 - Synth Seq.
Roland Alpha Juno 2 - Sweep Down
Yamaha TX81Z - Electrical noise
AKAI VX 90 - Timpani Percussion
Novation Drum Station - 808 Kit
Jomox AirBase 99 - Drums
Alesis SR 16 - Drums & Reverse Hat
TC Electronic M350
TC Electronic Flashback
Lexicon MX 300
Boss CE 20
EHX Small Stone
TC Electronic HOF
Allen & Heath Zed 428 mixer
Audio directly from the mixer
Sequenced and Synced with Ableton Live only MIDI
Novation X Station triggering midi patterns on Live

2hp eurorack modules at Knobcon 2016

Published on Sep 16, 2016

"2hp makes fine eurorack modules to fit the smallest spaces. check em out!"

Mutable Music Things - Ears

Published on Sep 16, 2016 DivKidVideo

"The new collaboration between Mutable Instruments and Music Thing Modular has everyone excited and here's the new module! Ears is a new version of the Mikrophonie with added gate output and envelope follower.

The video goes through features, patches, jumper settings, interfacing with a guitar and drum machine (separate patches) and playing with an electric toothbrush. Be careful and avoid the taste of contact mic in your mouth! ;-)"

New Pics and Info on the Mystery Vintage Mini Synthesizer BB

New pics and info added to the main post here.

DANIEL BALAVOINE - Tous les cris les SOS

Published on Nov 11, 2012 loubboy Maitre

This one in via AHC:

"Rather famous French singer Daniel Balavoine, huge fan of Peter Gabriel at this time, was, as far as know, the second artist in France to buy the CMI Fairlight for his album 'Sauver l'amour'.

Here's a live version with a DX7 and Simmons drums

He used to play PPG Waveand TR 808 for this (and last) album."

Side note: Some of you might remember this one from 2010 here. That video was pulled from YouTube so I updated that post with this one.

Stranger Things Theme Song - Live on Hardware Synths - Arp Odyssey, Korg Volcas, Electribe, KingKorg

Published on Jul 26, 2016 pyrofiliac

And another track:

Live Synthwave Jam - Juno 106, Juno 60, SH101, JX-3P, Poly800, Korg Volcas

Published on Mar 21, 2016 pyrofiliac

"All sounds besides volca sample (drums) completely analog. No midi, just clock sync, arps, and sequencers."

Mungo Broken Delay - d0 CV Disturbances Patch

Published on Sep 16, 2016 Richard Devine

"Second patch using the karplus strong feedback setting with the Mungo d0 dual channel delay. This time taking both sine outputs and one from the final output from the MakeNoise DPO (only sound source). One sine was running into the d0 delay line A, and the other into B. The clocking source was the MakeNoise wogglebug, using clocked and gate bursts out to create random gestures and clusters. The wooglebug clock was then sent to a mult which was then clocked to the 4ms SCM input, shifted and rotated, to skew the timing even more for dotted tails and decays. Both sine outputs ran into the Optomix, strike input via the S5 output on the 4ms SCM. The changes in delay time A/B from the random stepped output from the wogglebug. This is the second experiment using the d0 as the main processing source, which can generate some very interesting broken glitchy iterations in the feedback path. The entire mix was ran into a Eventide space pedal for light reverb effect."

Nightshift Jam

Published on Sep 16, 2016 Jörg Schaaf

"I used the DAW like a tape machine for this track. No MIDI, no quantisation - just recording one track after the other. The rhythm has been produced on the Spectralis 2 with samples, I created with my little modular system. I am controlling 4 different FXs while the song is running in realtime during the mixdown. It's a funny experience working like that again.
The Accelerator plays the chords, the bass and the solo.
The Spectralis plays the rhythm and some special SFX samples.
External outboard effects: Strymon Timeline, Boss SX-700, Soundcraft signature internal lexicon FXs.

Video: EOS-700D digital cam with a Canon 50mm/1.8 lense.
Video Cut: Final Cut Pro X
Logic Audio

The track is available at my bandcamp page:"

Korg MS-20 Synthesizer Module

via this auction

AKAI AX-60 SN 10729-00574

via this auction

Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 Rev SN 0482

via this auction

"This is a very rare Rev 2 version with the sought after SSM chips. It's in great shape and fully functional. Huge warm analog tone, maybe the most classic of all the polysynths, the Rev 2 is THE Prophet 5 to get as it has a warmer tone than the Rev 3 versions with the Curtis Chips. A must have for any serious synth collection. It does have very minor imperfections but overall I would say it's in super clean near minty shape (considering its age, this is saying quite a lot). It looks to have been babied most of its life, not road worn or rusty or having ever seen lots of use, even the bottom is in excellent shape. The synth is 100% fully functional and sounds amazing. It was recently fully serviced Wine Country (the original SCI guys and the place to get SCI gear serviced). Includes original footswitch and manual."

KORG Mono/Poly Vintage Analog Synthesizer SN 376107

via this auction

Qu-Bit Chord Review -

Published on Sep 14, 2016 BBoy Tech Report

An Update on Vermona's Analog '14 Keyboard Synthesizer

via Vermona:

"How time flies. It dates back to January 2015, when we presented a first prototype of our ’14 Analogsynthesizer at the NAMM show. We also showed the unit on this year’s winter NAMM as well as on Superbooth 16 (1), along with an announced delivery date for this summer. Well, the summer slowly ends... but where is the ’14 Analogsynthesizer?

Previous history
Last year, we were happy celebrating our company’s 25th anniversary. VERMONA is an important part of this – a brand we revived in 2001 by introducing the DRM1 (2). To celebrate this jubilee year, we planned for something special: an uncompromising instrument, handmade in our Elektroakustischen Manfaktur: The ’14 Analogsynthesizer.

Much too early, Bernd Haller (3), the company’s co-founder, experienced engineer of electronics and passionate musician, deceased early in the same year. All of a sudden we had to rethink our plans and projects. We decided to postpone the synthesizer-project for the time being.

Current status
We revisited the project early this year and have now reached the exciting stage.

The ’14 Analogsynthesizer is no of-the-peg-instrument. Each unit is carefully manufactured by hand and needs its time to reach completion. From mid October on, we will accept first orders and start delivery in November. More details about the order process, scope of delivery, pricing and unit limitations will be announced early in October.

Since the first public appearance of the ’14 Analogsynthesizer, we consistently receive requests for this instrument. We thank you for your patience and your persistence. The wait is soon over and we assure, it was worthwhile!

Your VERMONA crew from the
Elektroakustischen Manufaktur, Erlbach"

Jim from @Five12Inc with Atomic Shadow

via @AtomicShadow

"Jim from @Five12Inc in the Command Center yesterday. Check out his Numerology 4 sequencer!"

3 Minutes With the Roland TB-03

Published on Sep 16, 2016 sonicstate

"From Knobcon 2016 - Katie Kilobyte spends 3 minutes with the new Roland Boutique TB-03

Live Synth Jam 46 : Korg Volca Keys, Microkorg, Arturia Microbrute & Teenage Engineering PO-12

Published on Sep 16, 2016 Todd Smith

"Support my music, visit my Bandcamp !!

It's nice to have all my pieces of gear to select from to make music again, I did learn a few lessons while on limited gear. I tried WAY to hard to cram all my gear into all my jams. I kinda let the piece fall into place now and try not to 'force' anything.

The synthesizers used in this jam are The Korg Volca Keys, Korg Microkorg, Arturia Microbrute and Teenage Engineering PO-12. the Arturia Microbrute supplies the low end sub bass. Korg Volca Keys handles the synth lead sequence. Last but not least, the Teenage Engineering PO-12 gives the beat while I play the Korg Microkorg live.

: Gear Used :

Korg Microkorg
Korg Volca Keys
Arturia Microbrute
Teenage Engineering PO-12
Midi Solutions Quarda Thru
Behringer Micromix MX400
Tascam US-144mkII Audio Interface
Waves Supertap 6 ( VST )
Waves TrueVerb ( VST )
Waves Vcomp ( VST )
Ableton Live 8 ( Used as digital mixer / multi track )"

Pittsburgh Modular SV-1 Blackbox Preview

Published on Sep 16, 2016 sonicstate

"We''re looking at the Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms SV-1 Blackbox in an upcoming review, here's an example of the sound"

Roland Boutiques – TR-09 / TB-03 / VP-03 "The Future. Redefined." Live streaming from Berlin

Published on Sep 16, 2016 RolandChannel

Patch n Tweak

© Matrixsynth - All posts are presented here for informative, historical and educative purposes as applicable within fair use.
MATRIXSYNTH is supported by affiliate links that use cookies to track clickthroughs and sales. See the privacy policy for details.