The Buchla Skylab Modular Synthesizer

Buchla Skylab modular synthesizer

Buchla And Associates are introducing the Buchla Skylab – a new compact modular system – at the 2012 NAMM Show.

Buchla describes the Skylab as “a system with the most bang that you can get in a highly portable system. Carry it on the plane with your patch intact. Get to the gig, open your case, plug into the sound system, and voila!, you’re ready to wail.”

The Buchla Skylab

  • 1 Model 201e-3 Passive Frame
  • 1 Model 201e-10 Powered Cabinet
  • 1 Model 207e Mixer / Mike Preamp
  • 1 Model 223e Tactile Input Port (4 panel units)
  • 1 Model 225e Midi Decoder/Preset Manager
  • 1 Model 251e Quad Sequential Voltage Source
  • 1 Model 259e Twisted Waveform Generator
  • 1 Model 261e Complex Waveform Generator
  • 1 Model 267e Uncertainty Source/Dual Filter
  • 1 Model 281e Quad Function Generator
  • 1 Model 285e Freq Shifter / Balanced Modulator
  • 1 Model 292e Quad Dynamics Manager

The 13 module Buchla Skylab is priced at $14,950. Details are available at the Buchla site.

Buchla will also be showing the new 267e Uncertainty Source / Dual Filter.

The Model 267e combines a noise source, a random voltage source, and a simple two channel filter.

Noise comes in three flavors. White noise is electrically flat, but acoustically balanced toward the high end of the spectrum (+3 db/octave). Integrated white noise has a low spectral bias (-3 db/octave). Musically flat noise has a flat spectrum (constant energy per octave) and is a particularly useful source for subsequent processing.

Fluctuating Random Voltages are continuously variable, with voltage control of bandwidth over the range of .05 to 50 Hz, making possible changes that vary from barely perceptible movement to rapid fluctuation. Applied pulses sample these voltages, providing stored random voltages with wide time correlations possible. Externally applied control voltages may be randomized to any desired extent.

Two bandpass filters are provided, with voltage control of pitch, bandwidth and modulation index, but without the morphing or summing capability of the 291e. The filter’s inputs are normalized to the flat noise described above.

All settings of the 267e may be stored and recalled under control of the model 225e or 206e preset manager.

The 267e Uncertainty Source / Dual Filter is priced at $950.

13 thoughts on “The Buchla Skylab Modular Synthesizer

  1. Have fun explaining to TSA what the hell it is…

    I knew before I read the article is was going to be expensive, but didn’t think it would be THAT expensive!

  2. $15k, eh? Yeah, gimme three, so I can stack them like Wakeman’s old collection of MiniMoogs. The deal with a Buchla is simple: its from Mars and meant only for the truly serious. It would be a huge shame to have one of these and not meld with it. The late Richard Lainhart found a great solo voice in one, but its not a disposable slab-synth. You have to partner with it in a way that is unique, even to many other modulars. Its as much a paint box as a set instrument. Having started from piano, I am rather tied to the good ol’ AGO keyboard. I don’t have enough Martian in me to play a Buchla!

  3. Well, yeah, it looks cool and all but didn’t the real Skylab also cost insanely huge amounts of $$$$ only to crash into the atmosphere and burn up?

  4. That controller resembles a touch panel that was first seen in the old Atari magazine back in the late 80’s named the Thunderbird. This system looks like something out of my dreams!

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