The Buchla Series 200e Modular Synthesizer

Buchla and Associates has updated its website with full info on the Electric Music Box, Buchla Series 200e:

This year we’re celebrating 45 years of building bizarre electronic musical instruments. What better way to celebrate than to revisit some old instruments – namely the 200 series Electric Music Boxes, manufactured from 1970 to the mid ’80’s.

Why the 200 series?

Because it’s Don’s favorite synth, and he wants an updated version.

Updated how, you ask. Still straight analog synthesis. Still programmed with knobs, switches and patchcords. Same power supply voltages, same form factors. In fact, completely interchangeable with 200 series modules built in the ’70s.

But with some new twists.

For a few years we’ve been designing MIDI controllers (Thunder, Lightning, the Marimba Lumina, and the Piano Bar, among others). But our controllers couldn’t even talk to our own 200 series instruments (designed before MIDI was even dreamed of).

Situation rectified. Check out the new 225e. The top half is a full-blown MIDI interface that can relate every nuance of expression that your controller can produce to any aspect of the 200e’s sound palette.

The 225e’s bottom section addresses another shortcoming: how do we save a patch so that retrieval is instantaneous at some future time? Simple! Just push the store button, name the preset, and your preset is forever stashed.

Other improvements include internal MIDI buses, invisible supplies, high density modules, more voltage controlled parameters, the addition of a router for signals and control voltages, the merging of a swirler with the system interface, the addition of velocity to the dynamics manager, and a reworking of the output section of the complex oscillator.

Functionally new modules include an arbitrary function generator, a duophonic pitch class generator, a triple morphing filter, a multi-dimensional kinesthetic input port, and a pitch shifter / balanced modulator.

Select some modules, button them up in a 200e cabinet, and you’re off and running with the most sophisticated analog system ever built.

Here’s a list of the available modules for the Buchla 200e Electric Music Box:

  • 201e Powered Cabinet/Box
  • 206e Mixer / Preset Manager
  • 210e Control and Signal Router
  • 222e Multi Dimensional Kinesthetic Input Port
  • 225e MIDI Decoder / Preset Manager
  • 227e System Interface
  • 250e Arbitrary Function Generator
  • 255 Control Voltage Processor
  • 256e Quad Control Voltage Processor
  • 260e Duophonic Pitch Class Generator
  • 261e Complex Waveform Generator
  • 266e Source of Uncertainty
  • 281e Quad Function Generator
  • 285e Frequency Shifter / Balanced Modulator
  • 291e Triple Morphing Filter
  • 292e Quad Dynamics Manager
  • 297 Infinite Phase Shifter
I know that there are a lot of Synthtopia readers that are Buchla users – so let me know what you think of the 200e series in the comments.

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