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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Modular Synthesis
To build a Buchla System
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Per



Joined: Jun 09, 2004
Posts: 165
Location: Sweden
Audio files: 7
G2 patch files: 3

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:24 am    Post subject: To build a Buchla System Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Building a Buchla system

Buchla modules are extremely expensive. A system of reasonable size has the same price tag as a new small car.
I have built a system lately, and here are my experiences of lowering the costs:
One way is to use modules from Eurorack or Moog i conjunction with the Buchla, there is a separate post on that topic.
In my 27 space Buchla modular, only one is a brand new Buchla module. Most of it is 2nd hand, and there is also some clones built by Roman and Mark Verbos.
Ebay has 2nd hand modules for sale. Cheaper than new, even though the prices are fairly high. I have also bought from friends that change modules in their system.
On the same time, the price level of 2nd hand modules i stable. If you buy one, you can sell it for the same price.
The clones are normally cheaper than the original, but the price has been high due to the fact that BEMI have difficulties to deliver new modules to the market.
There are several Eurorack modules that copies Buchla modules. Doepfer has made copies of both the LPG and the SoU. They are pretty good but can not be compared to the original units.
Mark Verbos, who make Buchla clones has a series of Eurorack modules inspired by the Buchla design. I have not used them, but I guess they are good, according to how good his clones are.
On big difference is still the depth av versatility of the Buchla modules. For example, the 291e Triple Morphing filter can be used as a three to one voltage controlled mixer, a triple amplitude and frequency modulation unit, a formant filter, an EQ, a sequencing filter pattern module, a 3 x VCA and probably more than that.
Another aspect of the Buchla project is what modules that are essential,.
The sound of the Buchla is its VCO and the sound of the vactrols in the low pass gate.
The Source of Uncertainty may be seen as an expensive S/H, but it is not. The note patterns and interval that it produces is definitely an essential part of the Buchla sound and the Buchla experience.
The normal start kit is a four unit boat with a Complex Waveform Generator, a Quad Dynamics Manager, a Quad Function Generator (Envelope generators or LFOs) and a Midi Control module.

Another side of building a system is the amount 0f analog mist that the VCOs produce. With a few Buchla Complex Waveform Generators, it is quite possible to fill the whole soundscape. The Buchla System 7, a 24-boat monster with a price of USD 30 000 has only four VCOs.
I have eight VCOs i my Buchla, and it is almost impossible to put hem all in work because of the analog mist effect. I should sell one or two, but they are different and I like them all.
And so the warning. It can become a habit.
I started with three 2nd hand modules and no boat.
I now have a 29-boat that has 27 places filled, and is planning the next expansion.
It has cost me a great deal of the money I had saved for my retirement.
But I rather be poor but having a great time with great gear, than unable to have a great time, lacking great gear,
Per Wikstrom


20140917_204541.jpg
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The Buchla. To the left is a 2 x 4 Buchla boat (or rack) with a Roman-buildt Easel clone, and a Verbos Frequency Oscillator clone.
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20140917_204541.jpg


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varice



Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 918
Location: Northeastern shore of Toledo Bend
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: To build a Buchla System Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow, it looks like you have built great Buchla system there Per Exclamation

Per wrote:
Building a Buchla system...

...It has cost me a great deal of the money I had saved for my retirement.
But I rather be poor but having a great time with great gear, than unable to have a great time, lacking great gear...

I have retired and now living off of my savings… and still struggle with decisions about purchasing new (or more) gear Exclamation

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Per



Joined: Jun 09, 2004
Posts: 165
Location: Sweden
Audio files: 7
G2 patch files: 3

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Better be poor with a good studio than rich with a bad studio.
Per
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Blue Hell
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Joined: Apr 03, 2004
Posts: 22546
Location: The Netherlands, Enschede
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That looks like great fun!
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Per



Joined: Jun 09, 2004
Posts: 165
Location: Sweden
Audio files: 7
G2 patch files: 3

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Honestly, It is not a joke. In periods of unemployment, sadness and bad economy, that appears now and then, my synth rig has been a true friend that make me forget all bad things for a while. Like drugs, but no hangover.
Lets get natural high with fine electronic machines!
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BobTheDog



Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 4023
Location: England
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey Per, that looks very nice.

Pleased for you.
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r o l a n d k u i t



Joined: Jul 18, 2014
Posts: 58
Location: The Netherlands / Sweden
G2 patch files: 3

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Per, you are so right in this! Idea

Your gear looks great!
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Per



Joined: Jun 09, 2004
Posts: 165
Location: Sweden
Audio files: 7
G2 patch files: 3

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:17 am    Post subject: back in adveture Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you. Today an Pendulum /Ratchet arrived so now the rack is full. I worked with G2 and Eurorack for several years but one day it became boring. I knew it too well. This source in this destination, I knew it befor connecting. It was no adventure and no exploration anymore. With Buchla I am back int the frontier territory again.
Per
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jurekprzezdziecki



Joined: Mar 22, 2016
Posts: 63
Location: warsaw

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

your system is very cool and your approach as well. i have build my Buchla system in the similar way, already own 25 modules. i strongly recommend a custom made converter i have ordered from tony Synovaron. it makes Buchla and Eurorack talk with a bliss.

i put a link to a movie that shows this kind of connection:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQjIYe_Zomo
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SToKE



Joined: Feb 28, 2017
Posts: 3
Location: Brooklyn NY

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

heres a few of my modest explorations...

https://www.stoke.media/menu

welcome to buchla
i'm currently obsessing about cwejman too
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