MATRIXSYNTH: Buchla 252e Polyrythmic Delays

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Buchla 252e Polyrythmic Delays

video upload by Kent

"This is a tough one to write up and summarize. It certainly evolved into something rather different than intended.
The primary reason being that the 252e and/or 251e lost their programming twice! Twice for the 252e (the core of the show) and once for the 251e.
I’ve never had the Atmel products lose their minds like this before. I think that they are rather sensitive to low voltage conditions (brown outs) as they power up as this when they lost their minds. The currently loading preset gets scrambled or wiped. As can be see in the short ancillary video below, the 252e became unresponsive.
That’s two trips to the 10-panel case in order to be reflashed with firmware and three runs at programming the damn thing.

I was so exasperated that I nearly pulled everything so that I could start on the other 3 ideas that I wish to explore and execute. I did promise myself that I would endeavor to be less concerned with perfection and be more concerned with simply getting anything of interest out into the world. It doesn’t have to be novel. It doesn’t have to be world-changing. It just needs to get out there if there is even anything 51% interesting in the recording; I do have some standards after all!
I brewed up a double espresso and hit ‘record’.

It started as an E Minor progression with evolution to… Fuck if I know anymore. That stuff got deleted. I eventually threw in some Whole Tone stuff (especially noticeable toward the end) and smashed it all together in gobs of delay via new toys from X1L3: a Shard, an Underwurlde (messed up delay), and a circuit bent and high augmented with Korg MS20-ish circuits (plus a delay) drum machine that used to be a Yamaha DD-7. It is now a rather more interesting and useful X1L3 DDX.

the BLUE rings on the 252e went to the upper macro oscillator of the 1979 DAO
The GREEN rings to the lower part of the DAO (ratcheted bell sounds)
Both using their internal VCAs, which I also used to modulate “Color” & “Timbre” at times.
Both voices went into the Analogue Systems RS-290 delay. The Blue voice also went, in parallel, to the Underwurlde which then went to the 290. It’s a cheat for keeping delay nonsense in synch even though the Underwurlde was hand synced to tempo.
RED rings were the 259e into a 292e LPG. Lots going on there and the Pendulum/Ratchet was acting as a burst generator. I was using the 251e for that but didn’t want program that again.


CSR doing its scaling job plus attenuation of audio signals along with manual muting of both audio and gates/triggers. Love it.
254e was being controlled by the Buchla 266e to quasi-randomly filter out some of the drum rolls/fills for the Green ring. It also had a manual Gate voltage connected to it so that I could inject tones into the X1L3 Shard.

Northern Light Modular 2TT
Taking the clock from a channel of the 251e and distributing it, mangling it, and doing its thing. All Eurorack connects to this as well.

X1L3 (pronounced “Exile”) DDX:
It provided percussion in 3/4 via Malekko Varigate 4. I also played it manually at times. It ran into the TipTop Áudio Z-DSP with the Valhalla “Shimmer” card but set to program #8 for pitched echo.

Lots of Eurorack. Some mentioned specifically at the end of the video. I left out a lot as I wanted to get this video posted. Best Supporting Cast:
2x Folktek Matters. All Even Beat Count percussion.
Tyme Sefaris Mk1 & Mk2… Connected to Matters
Audio Damage (I know, right?!) Grainshifter on one of the Matters.
Lots of Eurorack sequencing.
As I look back on what was used, much of the processing was changed due to reprogramming things. All compression pulled and I just mixed it ‘live’ without multi-tracking.

Time to tear this patch down!"

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