Buchla USA (BUSA) Music Easel

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Chad Sterling
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Buchla USA (BUSA) Music Easel

Post by Chad Sterling » Fri May 17, 2019 10:42 pm

Hey,

I have been saving up my money and finally have what I need to buy a new Buchla Music Easel. I have been wanting a synth that is west coast / modular / experimental to give me different sounds from what I already get from my Moog Voyager, Dave Smith, Oberheim, Elektron, etc.

I am looking at getting the new BUSA Revision of the music easel. I have heard people complain about Buchla build quality concerning various issues. I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with the build quality of their Music Easels. Hopefully now that BUSA has bought out BEMI it is better?

I am also torn between getting this or a Make Noise Black & Gold Shared System Plus.

Are you glad you bought your Easel?

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slam
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Post by slam » Fri May 17, 2019 10:54 pm

I’m very glad I bought my easel. It is a total blast to play.

The Make Noise System does look cool too, but I have never messed with it.

My hunch is that the make noise is more versatile but the easel is more fun.

I would wait until you find a good deal on one or the other and then but right away. You might want to place a wanted ad and see what pops up. There are deals to be had.

jsheaucsb
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Post by jsheaucsb » Sat May 18, 2019 12:57 am

The easel is what got me into Buchla and I adore it as an electronic instrument. It is capable of a wide range of sounds and sonically its imho in a league of its own

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southphillysynths
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Post by southphillysynths » Sat May 18, 2019 8:47 am

I've had extensive use with make noise stuff in a shared system and broken out individual modules. I have also had hands on experience (though much less) on an easel.

slam
That's a pretty good hunch, there is something about those sliders and less patch cables that you can do so much with the easel and get a huge wide range of sounds just with one patch and sliders.

The shared system does have a wider range of capability for sure but it does not cover the exact sound of the easel. The easel really is an extremely deep sound, especially the FM and lpgs are just so liquid.

If you have the money for the easel I would strongly recommend one, if you don't like it you would have an easy time swapping it for a shared system. Would be much harder to do the reverse of that due to costs and desires of most people, would just be a harder sale. If the shared system happened for you down the road you can always swap a few modules here and there as well. The easel will limit you in that way which is a good thing, you will work to get what you want just out of the 208 which I think is more rewarding.

Hope this helps!
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construct09
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Post by construct09 » Sat May 18, 2019 5:26 pm

Get a clone, rarely hear of any issues with the Buchla easel clones

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ArguZ
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Post by ArguZ » Sun May 19, 2019 3:05 am

Of course you can get a clone.
The thing is, how much can you trust the seller or the builder or the combination of both.
There are now minimum six different versions from multiple sources and generations.
They share some functions, some flaws but basically cost the same as a new BUSA one , just that you do not get warranty, or Midi, or an Arpeggiator , or a second out etc etc.
Sound wise it is absolutely personal, some like the more snappy BUSA one, some like the more muffled clones.
Also the case is a huge factor and what PSU is being used.
I just say, do not decide with your wallet or third hand opinion.
Try to spend a few hours with a candidate, play it, trigger it externally, use midi, use the Arpeggiator, use the USB midi card or even an expansion card and see what is that makes and Easel interesting for you.

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Lewis#
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Post by Lewis# » Sun May 19, 2019 4:54 am

I completely agree with southphilly - I own a Shared system and a 200e:

Sound: nothing sounds like the 200e - the LPGs are fabulous.

Versatility: The Shared system has more possibilities (very good sequencer, great Echophon delay, lots more patching possibilities).

With the MakeNoise system you definitely will enjoy the Westcoast techniques, but the sound ist still more "classical" - go for the Easel!

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CliffordMilk
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Post by CliffordMilk » Sun May 19, 2019 11:47 am

My Easel is an early BEMI version and the build quality is great. I believe there were a few of this batch that had build issues but that was sorted out pretty quickly. I certainly wouldn’t worry about that side of things with Buchla USA.

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ws9848
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Post by ws9848 » Sun May 19, 2019 12:48 pm

I have a BEMI easel and I really like it. I have never played with a clone. I did have a problem when I blew out one f the board when I was doing something stupid :doh: I was able to send it back and they fixed it for me. So that was very nice.

jsheaucsb
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Post by jsheaucsb » Sun May 19, 2019 1:36 pm

I also have a BEMI easel and love it. The one thing of note with the Reissue is that there are 4 stored CV touch plates on the right of the 218e, while there are only 3 with the clone. Also not sure if the clone had midi. The bemi accepts midi clock and the arp rate becomes a syncable clock divider. Insanely useful for my purposes.

Chad Sterling
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Post by Chad Sterling » Mon May 20, 2019 8:22 pm

I just bought the Music Easel today!!!!!!!!!

jsheaucsb
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Post by jsheaucsb » Mon May 20, 2019 8:53 pm

Congrats!!! Hope you enjoy it!

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pinhole_sunrise
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Post by pinhole_sunrise » Tue May 21, 2019 12:24 pm

southphillysynths wrote:I've had extensive use with make noise stuff in a shared system and broken out individual modules. I have also had hands on experience (though much less) on an easel.

slam
That's a pretty good hunch, there is something about those sliders and less patch cables that you can do so much with the easel and get a huge wide range of sounds just with one patch and sliders.

The shared system does have a wider range of capability for sure but it does not cover the exact sound of the easel. The easel really is an extremely deep sound, especially the FM and lpgs are just so liquid.

If you have the money for the easel I would strongly recommend one, if you don't like it you would have an easy time swapping it for a shared system. Would be much harder to do the reverse of that due to costs and desires of most people, would just be a harder sale. If the shared system happened for you down the road you can always swap a few modules here and there as well. The easel will limit you in that way which is a good thing, you will work to get what you want just out of the 208 which I think is more rewarding.

Hope this helps!
Yes it does, thank you! I’ve been through a number of Eurorack setups over the years, generally sticking with a set of modules over 6 months or so in order to work within those set limits, very few external effects aside from a looper. The Make Noise System is awesome I would agree after using one for a while.

This!
“there is something about those sliders and less patch cables that you can do so much with the easel and get a huge wide range of sounds just with one patch and sliders.”
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