Buchla Polyphonic Rhythm Generator Hands-On Demo


At the 2015 NAMM Show, Buchla kicked off this year of amazing step sequencer releases by introducing the powerful Polyphonic Rhythm Generator.

The Buchla Polyphonic Rhythm Generator is a high-end 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.

At the time, we were able to get an deep overview of the sequencer by Buchla engineer Charles Seeholzer, but not a demonstration of the sequencer in a musical context.

Now Buchla synthesist Todd Barton has filled that gap, with a series of videos, embedded below, that are an unofficial ‘video manual’ for the Polyphonic Rhythm Generator:

The first video in the series is in shaky-cam Bourne-o-vision, but it offers a brief audio introduction to the possibilities of the of the Buchla 252e.

In this rhythmic demo, 11 rings are programmed via the sequencers’ Euclidean generator. There are 3 independent clocks synchronized “on cycle”. An array of Pulses and CVs from a 281e are randomly selecting which 3 rings to play, resulting in the changing rhythmic patterns.

In the subsequent videos, Barton gives an overview of the Polyphonic Rhythm Generator and then digs into pulse editing, CV programming, clocks and more.

The 252e Buchla Polyphonic Rhythm Generator is available for US $2,499 from BEMI.

12 thoughts on “Buchla Polyphonic Rhythm Generator Hands-On Demo

    1. It’s obvious that the Patterning developer took a few interface ideas from this sequencer, but unfortunately the app is a toy next to this.

      It would be great if Patterning actually supported Euclidean Rhythms, as they promised, or any of the advanced sequencing capabilities that the Buchla offers. There is no reason why an iPad app + a MIDI/CV interface should not be able to offer the same sequencing capabilities as this!

      1. Patterning is great. If it’s just a toy, it’s a very useful one. I sequence a Moog with it which produces crazy results. And it totally does do Euclidean, always has. I’m not sure what you mean by that.

  1. overprized crap as usual from BEMI (not Buchla). besides you cannot buy it anywhere but Devine of course has already 6 units of it ^^

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