Mark Verbos’ Buchla Tech

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For modular synth enthusiasts, specifically the Buchla Electric Music Box, Mark Verbos’ Buchla Tech blog “chronicles one man’s experience building, repairing, cloning and adding to the Buchla Electric Music Box. A manifesto of a very specific obsession.”

Here are just a few of the reasons Mark gives for beginning Buchla Tech:

The Buchla 200 is the best modular electronic instrument ever made.

1. Don Buchla designed the front panel of his instruments first and the electronics second. A musician himself, this means that each module was an idea for a musician’s tool rather than an engineer’s.

2. Audio paths and control paths are totally divided. The control path uses unshielded stacking banana cables. The audio path uses 1/8″ mini cables. On early modules the control paths and signal paths even used separate power rails! The audio signals are line level, just like all the signals in a recording studio, so patching in and out of the system is seamless. The stacking bananas are great for control signals, they mult simply. The EF Johnson banana jacks come in a variety of colors, which Don used to code what the jacks are used for.

3. Controls sweep within a musically useful range. This is in some ways related to #2. Because audio processing modules never have to concern themselves with CV signals and vice versa, the controls don’t have half of their rotation representing useless values, like a Serge.

4. “Unencumbered by engineering expediency or presumed musical asthetics…” Taken from the 248 catalog page.

Check out Buchla Tech here!


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