This DIY synth inspired by Buchla’s (I always want to say Count before I say Buchla for some reason) Music Easel popped up over on Matrix synth and it just struck me as a really nice looking synth. The layout looks clean and highly functional as well.

I’ve always wondered why people tend to overlook the aluminium styled front paneled gear from the late 70’s and early 80’s in favor of the rose or cherry wood side paneled Moog inspired DIY synths. I tend to lean towards the former myself, there’s something shiny and nostalgically futuristic I like about it. Indeed, this synth could easily be envisioned sitting on a table in the back of Dr. Huer’s office, right next to the book magnifier they made into some sort of futuristic gadget.

Here’s some commentary about the synth from the builder:

The heart’s of this design are my two Oakley VCO’s that I am going to take apart and give a new life as complex VCO’s. Jörgen Bergfors has designed a beautiful Complex VCO here. The core of my Complex VCO is Oakley VCO. Waveshaping is by Bergfors and Ian Fritz. Two waveshapes can be selected by voltage and mixed to MIX-OUT. The second VCO is simpler with just basic waveforms and Buchla’s timbre generator from Music Easel. Timbre can be modulated by voltage.

8-step VCP sequencer is from Fonitronik. It is an interesting design where you can select Gray code patterns (256 patterns) with voltage.There are three options for every step; normal 8-step sequence, skipped, ADC-controlled gray code. I am going to integrate Electric Druids TAP-tempo clock to this sequencer so that you can choose the tempos on fly.

There are two LFO’s that use the same PIC-chip as in the sequencers TAP-tempo clock. This is a very versatile digital LFO-chip with TAP-tempo/external clock, six waveforms, wave distort and tempo multiplier. More information is here.

To save time I decided to order Doepfer-modules that I am going to adapt in my own design. A-149-1 and A-149-2 generate random quantized and stored voltages as in Buchla’s Source of Uncertainty. Two A-101-2 LPG’s as Buchla’s Low Pass Gates. A-134 PAN can do voltage controlled panning or two signal morphing.

See this post @ Matrixsynth for more info and audio samples.

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