At the 2015 NAMM Show, Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments introduced the Polyphonic Rhythm Generator – a high-end step sequencer that is one of the most complex and powerful hardware step sequencers ever created.
The new sequencer is:
- polyphonic – it can sequence three lines, completely independently;
- polyrhthmic – it can be used to create complex rhythmic patterns, and includes a powerful Euclidean pattern generator; and
- polymetric – it can create sequences of different lengths, syncing them either by a shared pulse (creating cyclic interlocking patterns), by a shared down beat (creating complex time signatures) or they can run completely independently.
Here’s an in-depth intro video from the NAMM Show, featuring Buchla engineer Charles Seeholzer. Note that the new Buchla sequencer is insanely deep, and this video digs deep into the many options that it offers:
The 252e Buchla Polyphonic Rhythm Generator
The interface features 11 concentric rings, each with their own ability to generate complex patterns. The rings vary in number of steps from 3 to 16. Three sequences can run, on any of the rings.
Sequences on different rings can be synced in several ways. They can be synced by the unit of the sequence, so a sequence with 3 steps would repeat twice in the time it takes for a 6-step sequence.
Sequences on different rings can be synced so that their cycles align. This lets you create sequences where 5 notes play in the same time as 7 notes in another sequence, for example.
Sequences can also be free-running, with different BPMs.
The Polyphonic Rhythm Generator also includes a built-in Euclidian rhythmic library. Sequences of any length can use Euclidian rhythms of any note density. The start point of the Euclidian rhythms can also be shifted forward or back in relation to other patterns.
Three clocks drive the rings, which are freely assignable to 4 pulse and 2 CV outputs, allowing an amazing amount of flexibility to shift, cross-trigger and explore totally new musical possibilities. A rich MIDI implementation compliments the user interface that invites experimentation.
The 252e Buchla Polyphonic Rhythm Generator is priced at $2,499. See the Buchla site for more info.