Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

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Jd1979
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Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Jd1979 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:35 pm

So I have been considering taking the leap into the Buchla word as I absolutely love the tone, however I am apprehensive to jump in as I have never had the opportunity to get my hands on a system to try them. Was wondering if the Buchla oscillators are quantized and how well do they track if controlled by external gear?

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by architexture » Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:37 pm

> Are Buchla oscillators quanitzed?

No

> how well do they track if controlled by external gear

Depends on which oscillator. Some of them track far better than others. I have two 259 clones and a music easel, they track fine but I"ve heard that tracking on many of the e modules is poor.

I'm certain someone else will weigh in with more info on individual osc's

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by jimfowler » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:34 pm

Tracking on my 259r and 258C (clones) is very good throughout the usable range. I get that people say "it's Buchla...it's not supposed to be in tune" but I don't find that acceptable.
Last edited by jimfowler on Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by REcDeso12oi » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:40 pm

Hey!

So with the 200e hybrid digital/analog oscillators the tracking is OK. But if you're trying to get 6 octaves of perfect tracking maybe look elsewhere. not saying it can't happen, just saying its not really the point. In my opinion tho I think not so perfect tracking is part of the charm! Analog or digital, i usually start by getting 3 octaves of c as close as i can, then go from there. Some of the in between notes are a bit out of tune but I LOVE that.

On a side note, I've never had that much trouble getting my 208r, 259r, or 258r to track well over several octaves, but the way i have them set up it's not a set and forget type of setup. I usually tune them the same way I do the 200e Oscs in that I adjust the cv in so that as many c's as possible are in tune.

As an overall note, this is an elaborate, wonderfully thought out sonic playground. If you want perfectly in tune fat basslines or a perfectly in tune monophonic lead synth, these can do it, but you're going to be wrestling with them for a while. If you try to toss out everything you know about electronic music, and approach it with a new, fresh, loving perspective you will bond and fall in love with the instrument immediately. Or at least i did :)

Really hope all this helps
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dougcl
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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by dougcl » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:21 pm

Jd1979 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:35 pm
Was wondering if the Buchla oscillators are quantized and how well do they track if controlled by external gear?
Yes the 261e and 259e are quantized, but not in the way you want. They jump in roughly 0.5Hz amounts.

Regarding 1.2v/oct tracking, since that is probably what you are asking, not so well.

However, with a USB firmware card or 225e, they can be driven in accurate semitones using MIDI.

Doug

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Jd1979 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:35 pm

dougcl wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:21 pm
Jd1979 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:35 pm
Was wondering if the Buchla oscillators are quantized and how well do they track if controlled by external gear?
Yes the 261e and 259e are quantized, but not in the way you want. They jump in roughly 0.5Hz amounts.

Regarding 1.2v/oct tracking, since that is probably what you are asking, not so well.

However, with a USB firmware card or 225e, they can be driven in accurate semitones using MIDI.

Doug
Thanks for responding Doug...exactly what I was asking!! I appreciate you taking time to assist.

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Tonefloat01 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:09 pm

REcDeso12oi wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:40 pm
Hey!

So with the 200e hybrid digital/analog oscillators the tracking is OK.

If you want perfectly in tune fat basslines or a perfectly in tune monophonic lead synth, these can do it, but you're going to be wrestling with them for a while.

Really hope all this helps
Hmmm...struggle to make in tune bass lines?
This is something that was really planning on doing with a Buchla system.
But if I buy the 225e Midi module this wouldn’t be a problem right guys?
Just looking for some reassurance in this area because it’s crucial that I can do this.
Thanks in advance for your continued support in answering my (our) questions.
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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Jd1979 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:43 pm

jimfowler wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:34 pm
Tracking on my 259r and 258C (clones) is very good throughout the usable range. I get that people say "it's Buchla...it's not supposed to be in tune" but I don't find that acceptable.
I don’t either as I have an expectation that if I’m paying good money for something I would expect it to perform at a certain level. This is why I have been so drawn to Wiard 300 and STS Serge for so long. Excellent quality!! I love the Buchla sound though but I am nervous about dropping $15k on a system if I can’t play in tune as I would ultimately want it to integrate with my other synths. Hope that makes sense.

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Tonefloat01
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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Tonefloat01 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:00 am

Jd1979 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:43 pm
jimfowler wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:34 pm
Tracking on my 259r and 258C (clones) is very good throughout the usable range. I get that people say "it's Buchla...it's not supposed to be in tune" but I don't find that acceptable.
I don’t either as I have an expectation that if I’m paying good money for something I would expect it to perform at a certain level. This is why I have been so drawn to Wiard 300 and STS Serge for so long. Excellent quality!! I love the Buchla sound though but I am nervous about dropping $15k on a system if I can’t play in tune as I would ultimately want it to integrate with my other synths. Hope that makes sense.

Yup, this is exactly my concern as well, especially for 15k...
Looks like we’re both considering a purchase of a system here.
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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Jd1979 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:07 am

Tonefloat01 wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:00 am
Jd1979 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:43 pm
jimfowler wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:34 pm
Tracking on my 259r and 258C (clones) is very good throughout the usable range. I get that people say "it's Buchla...it's not supposed to be in tune" but I don't find that acceptable.
I don’t either as I have an expectation that if I’m paying good money for something I would expect it to perform at a certain level. This is why I have been so drawn to Wiard 300 and STS Serge for so long. Excellent quality!! I love the Buchla sound though but I am nervous about dropping $15k on a system if I can’t play in tune as I would ultimately want it to integrate with my other synths. Hope that makes sense.

Yup, this is exactly my concern as well, especially for 15k...
Looks like we’re both considering a purchase of a system here.
Yes sir...it’s a tough one for me because I have various formats of gear and my vision is to create a full synth eco system where everything is all connected for performance. So it is uber critical that each of them are stable and track very well together. A lot of the concern I have heard from Buchla is the tracking is flaky, so I figured I would ask the people that have experience before going full steam down the path. Two people have gotten me very hooked on the Buchla sound: Suzanne Ciani and Amon Tobin. Suzanne is a crazy inspiration to me. Amin Tobin has a Buchla 200 clone and his past couple albums have been amazing displays of the diverse level of sounds possible with the Buchla sound. What kind of music down you plan to make?

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by mutierend » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:17 pm

There have been many discussions about the 259e and 261e pitch tracking. Both aren't great at it. The best solution is to use MIDI, either 225e, 225h, or the USB card+Mac. IMHO, if you don't want to use MIDI and you need accurate pitch, you should seriously reconsider getting into Buchla. Otherwise, you will need an additional module with a quantizer, such as the NLM 2OC, or voltage scaling, such as the Studio.H CSR.

Just get the 225e and save yourself the heartburn. :)

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by slam » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:23 pm

I’m not sure Buchla is right for you. There are definitely cheaper paths to explore that will be easier for you to integrate into your current setup.

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Tonefloat01 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:27 pm

If getting a 225e will make the various Buchla oscillators track well then that’s not a problem for me.
I had planned on getting one of these modules anyway for both the midi and preset storage.
If the 225e won’t help with tracking pitch correctly then you’re probably right that Buchla isn’t for me.
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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by mritenburg » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:02 pm

Tonefloat01 wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:27 pm
If getting a 225e will make the various Buchla oscillators track well then that’s not a problem for me.
Keep in mind that the 225e only enables perfect tracking for ‘e’ oscillators (259e, 261e, and DPO) and only when using the internal busses A-D. If you patch analog style using busses E-H you will still deal with the tracking issues previously discussed.

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by slam » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:22 pm

Tonefloat01 wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:27 pm
If getting a 225e will make the various Buchla oscillators track well then that’s not a problem for me.
I had planned on getting one of these modules anyway for both the midi and preset storage.
If the 225e won’t help with tracking pitch correctly then you’re probably right that Buchla isn’t for me.
I imagine you could do what you want but it would not IMHO be playing to the strengths of Buchla.

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by jimfowler » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:30 pm

"Hmmm...struggle to make in tune bass lines?"

Nope, totally 100% doable. You can make in-tune and foundation-rattling bass lines with this if you want.

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Tonefloat01 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:33 pm

jimfowler wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:30 pm
"Hmmm...struggle to make in tune bass lines?"

Nope, totally 100% doable. You can make in-tune and foundation-rattling bass lines with this if you want.

Great, well thank goodness it can cover the meat and veg as well as the blips and bleeps.
Thanks for the reassurance :guinness:
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Default1
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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Default1 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:37 am

The 200e can also be made to track accurately over CV. What's more, its reproducible and can even go micro-tonal. Here is a pentatonic gamelan scale played from the 252e. The CV output goes from 252e directly into the CV input of the oscillators.

Not only did I want to show that Buchla can track accurately over CV, but the world needs more 252e videos. Enjoy!

http://thesonnydownsquartet.bandcamp.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFJ8EW ... -wbwwAVY8Q
The Sonny Downs Quartet is now also on available on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Tonefloat01 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:39 am

Default1 wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:37 am
The 200e can also be made to track accurately over CV. What's more, its reproducible and can even go micro-tonal. Here is a pentatonic gamelan scale played from the 252e. The CV output goes from 252e directly into the CV input of the oscillators.

Not only did I want to show that Buchla can track accurately over CV, but the world needs more 252e videos. Enjoy!

Very nice sounds that you have there, a very good video! :tu:
I wasn’t planning on purchasing a 252e but that video makes me reconsider getting one eventually.
What oscillators were you using in your video?

Thanks!
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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Default1 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:58 pm

Hi there!

The bass tone is the mod osc from a 261e. The two treble tones are the complex oscs from two 261es.

Just my 2c, but the mod osc from the 261e sounds really nice as an audio osc. Its actually a favourite, especially to run through a filter. Fattest square wave I have heard.
http://thesonnydownsquartet.bandcamp.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFJ8EW ... -wbwwAVY8Q
The Sonny Downs Quartet is now also on available on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by petejm » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:40 pm

Oh heck, that was lovely! Bravo!

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by AutomaticGainsay » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:52 pm

The moment you ask how well Buchla oscillators are controlled by external sources, and especially the moment you ask how well Buchla oscillators align to traditional tunings and scales is the moment where you're kind of missing what Don's influence and intention was.
"Now, don't misquote me and say I'm against keyboards. I've been misquoted on that one enough. A keyboard is a useful input structure if what you want is rapid simultaneous access to a large number of sounds of fixed pitch, but it's much less useful for controlling some other aspects of sound."
-DB

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by slam » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:01 pm

AutomaticGainsay wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:52 pm
The moment you ask how well Buchla oscillators are controlled by external sources, and especially the moment you ask how well Buchla oscillators align to traditional tunings and scales is the moment where you're kind of missing what Don's influence and intention was.
Yeah that is how I feel about it. The wrong tool for the job. I think if you wrangle with it enough it could be done but I’m not sure it is worth the bother,

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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Tonefloat01 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:18 am

AutomaticGainsay wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:52 pm
The moment you ask how well Buchla oscillators are controlled by external sources, and especially the moment you ask how well Buchla oscillators align to traditional tunings and scales is the moment where you're kind of missing what Don's influence and intention was.
I understand this point of view and you’re most likely right...
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Re: Are Buchla Oscillators quantized?

Post by Tonefloat01 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:24 am

slam wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:01 pm
AutomaticGainsay wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:52 pm
The moment you ask how well Buchla oscillators are controlled by external sources, and especially the moment you ask how well Buchla oscillators align to traditional tunings and scales is the moment where you're kind of missing what Don's influence and intention was.
Yeah that is how I feel about it. The wrong tool for the job. I think if you wrangle with it enough it could be done but I’m not sure it is worth the bother,
Understood...
I really Don’t feel like pounding a square peg into a round hole to get it to do what I envisioned so best I move on.
Thanks for everyone’s input, stay safe out there.
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