New Program Manager Card Brings Presets To Buchla Music Easel

Buchla USA has introduced the Program Manager Card for the Buchla Music Easel, an add-on that brings presets to the iconic all-in-one synth design from 1973.

When Buchla introduced the Music Easel, it included the program interface – a card connector that let you create patches on circuit boards and physically swap patches. While clunky by today’s standards, this modular synth interface was way ahead of its time and laid the groundwork for the iProgram Card, a 2013 expansion card for the Easel that added patch memory and WiFi connectivity.

The Buchla Program Manager is the latest take on this idea, and is designed to take full advantage of the program interface, storing up to 48 Easel presets and interfacing with your computer with a class-compliant MIDI connection.

The Buchla Program Manager App for Mac and Windows gives you the power to manage banks, create programs, and import and export your presets for sharing. Also available is a optional embed kit to install the card into your 208, making it easier to view the screen and keep a lower profile.

Music Easel Compatibility

The Program Manager Card is compatible out-of-the-box with the Easel Command 208C and upcoming Music Easel. It can be used with the 2013-2017 Music Easels with a DIY modification to the card’s connectors or to the Easel itself.

Pricing and Availability

The Program Manager Card is available now for $499 USD.

22 thoughts on “New Program Manager Card Brings Presets To Buchla Music Easel

  1. Sarcasm much? Heh. I kind of agree with you, but modular players, especially with Buchlas, operate on a different plane. 48 may seem small in a world of 1000 presets in every softsynth, but its a lot when you consider how the players are all over the thing in real-time. Its a more focused approach than the orchestra’s worth of sounds in a typical synth.

    Note the embed kit ( a +) and the DIY requirement to employ the memory card (boo). Modular synths are fiddly by nature, but that’s also what players love about them.

      1. You can embed the card internally if you want. Some users prefer to have it sticking out the top and removable because there are lots of aftermarket options that plug into that slot.

  2. 48 presets is the limit of the card, when connected to a computer with the app, there are “unlimited” presets…only limited by available storage on your drive.

    You can get the embed kit which puts most of the card guts into the Easel. I prefer it external.

    For newer Easels, nothing else is required. Plug in the card and you’re good to go. The DIY is for older Easels.

    1. I know, right? Just like those scammers that keep trying to sell us pianos for 20k. I mean, they have like one sound, no MIDI, and you can’t even save presets. What’s up with that?

      1. my upright piano is over 200 years old. its weight is a metric ton.
        it has this complex physical modeling engine (lol) that doesn’t need upgrades of some sorts.
        just needs a little tuning every now and then. 😉

        you can’t compare that to grandfathers low voltage electronics that are worth 10 cent today. 😉

        1. lets just say the piano has stand its test in time.
          who is going to waste a thought about Buchla in 150 years?
          nobody 😉
          its just a footnote in history

  3. I’m glad for Buchla owners that this exists. That said, the overall approach feels, to me, like an archaic way of working. I also echo the sentiments above where it seems like a physically fragile implementation. I wonder if it might have been better to have a cable – like an old SCSI type connection – to the synth itself and have that lead to a sturdy break out box that housed the card and computer connections.

  4. The development of this fugspencive (funny+ugly+expencive) fart machine is insane!
    Originally it was made in 1963. By 2022 it was possible to store 48 pressets!
    By 2081, it will be able to store even 96 pressets, maybe even for the same price.

    But is it OK to make fun of this instrument?
    It actually sounds very good, and it looks kinda cool, too.
    I’d love to have one even if this new card is silly an expencive.

    1. No, actually, the Music Easel was made in 1973. And it was way ahead of its time considering it only came out a few months after the Minimoog. There was/is so much more you can do with the Music Easel than the Minimoog. People who get the Easel (me included, and I don’t use it to make “fart” noises) get it for it’s old-school way of working, so adding this 48 preset card is just a nice little added bonus.

    1. yes. Unfortunately people love to $#!+ all over anything they don’t understand and share their worthless, toxic opinions with everyone. more like Snobtopia.

  5. At times, Synthtopia is like Twitter for synthesizers. If you want the tasty crab meat, you have to deal with the crusty shell, yo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *