Sensel let us know that their new Buchla Thunder Overlay, created in partnership with Buchla USA, is now available.
The Buchla Thunder Overlay is inspired by Buchla’s Thunder musical instrument interface, from 1989. The original Thunder was an esoteric device, with fewer than 100 built.
30 years later, the Buchla Thunder Overlay + Morph combination offers a cost-effective alternative to the original design. It supports MIDI Polyphonic Expression protocol (MPE), letting you use the Thunder as a multi-dimensional controller for software like Xfer Records Serum, Madrona Labs Aalto, FXpansion Strobe2 and Cypher2, Steinberg HALion and Synapse Audio The Legend.
Here’s a video intro to the Morph & Buchla Thunder Overlay from Synthplex 2019:
Here’s what Sensel has to say about the Buchla Thunder Overlay:
With its naturalistic layout and feel, The Buchla Thunder Overlay doesn’t require any training or particular playing technique – just plug it in (or connect via Bluetooth) and let your hands and imagination go where they will. Each of the 27 ‘keys’ transmits a different note and responds to pressure and movement in every direction for MPE synths, enabling per-finger modulation of multiple simultaneous parameters.
MPE compatibility is by no means a requirement, though, as the Buchla Thunder Overlay outputs regular MIDI CCs, too. It even works with modular setups, using compatible USB MIDI to CV converters.
The Buchla Thunder Overlay also introduces a new preset system to the Morph, with nine instantly switchable mappings stored in memory: hop from controlling your favourite synth to operating the faders of your DAW mixer, or change all note assignments at the touch of a button. The SenselApp, meanwhile, makes programming your own MPE and MIDI mappings – not to mention computer keyboard commands, mouse movements and HID data for gaming – a snap.
Particularly well-suited to complex, evolving synth patches and multisampled acoustic instruments, the Buchla Thunder Overlay is an inspiring and affordable entry point into the rapidly expanding world of MPE, and a deep, powerful general MIDI controller for any music software.
Pricing and Availability
The Buchla Thunder Overlay is available now, priced $59 or bundled with the Sensel Morph for $269. See the Sensel site for more info.