Noisebug "just say no" press release

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by mutierend » Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:18 pm

maxl0rd wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:05 pm
The development environments for some of the older modules would be very challenging to bring back. The code was probably written very quickly. It is what it is. People still somehow manage to make records with it.
Eric said that Buchla has been working on bug fixes in 200e modules, so it's not impossible to anticipate future firmware updates.
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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by anselmi » Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:24 pm

maxl0rd wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:05 pm
I have two observations which temper my expectations for the future here.

I saw Don talk at a conference a long time ago. It was when SEAMUS gave him a lifetime achievement award. The internet tells me that this was 2002, which makes me feel old. Anyway, someone asked him if he would make analog synthesizer modules again, and he hemmed and hawed and said "I don't know maybe. I'll think about it." Maybe he was just playing them close to his chest, but two years later in 2004 he comes out with basically the entire 200e system out of nowhere. It appears that an entire system, which is still miles ahead of much of the industry in several respects, was knocked out in almost no time, like 17 or 18 years ago. Yes, a few very important modules were added later, etc. My point is: there is probably no one left alive working in this business that can duplicate this kind of output.

The second observation is that the digital side of the 200e is that old. You'd just as well wait for bug fixes to the Buchla 400 software than the 225e. It's probably not going to happen. Time has moved on. The development environments for some of the older modules would be very challenging to bring back. The code was probably written very quickly. It is what it is. People still somehow manage to make records with it.

I think focusing on iterating and perfecting the Easel has been a smart move. A criticism leveled against Buchla products was always that they were brilliant but unpolished. There's probably another 20 years of work left polishing the rest of the catalog. Maybe more. Don inspired dozens of other synth designers who are currently all competing with each other in the market to make wilder and wilder stuff. You know where to go for that. It makes sense for his company to now work on making the classic instruments _available_ and _reliable_. That is what is required to make the instruments something people use instead of historical curiosities.
I agree with most of you said

In this case I think it would be very healthy to free the code and involve other people to input their view and innovation of the same old ideas.
Maybe this is not a good thing in bussines language, but it would be great that some of the passionate people out there can access the code and bring their own version of it. I´m sure this would fix most important issues in small time

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by KSS » Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:50 pm

mutierend wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:13 pm
Y'all are either going to love or hate this month's episode of the Source of Uncertainty podcast. :deadbanana:
Is this already out? Not a regular listener, and would like to hear what you might be referring to. Can you narrow it down forme? On the site there don't appear to be dates only episode numbers?

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by djs » Sun Mar 28, 2021 6:26 pm

anselmi wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:24 pm
In this case I think it would be very healthy to free the code and involve other people to input their view and innovation of the same old ideas.
Maybe this is not a good thing in bussines language, but it would be great that some of the passionate people out there can access the code and bring their own version of it. I´m sure this would fix most important issues in small time
They may not own the rights to the source code. Are the E series programmed in house, or subcontracted out?
"Noise is what the Earth is made of" - David Bowie

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by anselmi » Sun Mar 28, 2021 6:49 pm

djs wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 6:26 pm
anselmi wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:24 pm
In this case I think it would be very healthy to free the code and involve other people to input their view and innovation of the same old ideas.
Maybe this is not a good thing in bussines language, but it would be great that some of the passionate people out there can access the code and bring their own version of it. I´m sure this would fix most important issues in small time
They may not own the rights to the source code. Are the E series programmed in house, or subcontracted out?
I have no idea... :despair:

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by mutierend » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:44 pm

KSS wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:50 pm
Is this already out? Not a regular listener, and would like to hear what you might be referring to. Can you narrow it down forme? On the site there don't appear to be dates only episode numbers?
New episodes come out on the last Wednesday of the month.
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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by Kent » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:01 pm

mutierend wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:18 pm
maxl0rd wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:05 pm
The development environments for some of the older modules would be very challenging to bring back. The code was probably written very quickly. It is what it is. People still somehow manage to make records with it.
Eric said that Buchla has been working on bug fixes in 200e modules, so it's not impossible to anticipate future firmware updates.
Take that with a large grain of salt. As usual, concerning the 200e, we should temper expectations as other, more lucrative avenues receive investment; especially in these early years. I try to remain positive about these things, and I wish BUSA all the success possible as they take the brand in a direction that they’ve deemed sustainable and profitable. I’d love to see bug fixes, and will be rather surprised (along with grateful and celebratory) if my cherished 223e receives the attention it merits. If, on the upcoming “Source of Uncertainty” show, BUSA commits the brand to bug fixes, based upon an actual roadmap and not an open-ended timeline; I’ll eat Don Buchla’s NAMM hat.
I’m an ignoramus, with no special access, and am left with the impression that there are no coders ($$$) employed at BUSA (not over the past 18 months or so) and that they are doing what is feasible & executable with what they currently can muster. It’s been in-sourcing & out-sourcing analog designs, licensing rights to Arturia and Softube, the Red Panel stuff :hmm: , more Easel, etc.
With that said, Eric’s jumping onto the SoU podcast (largely 200e focused) could be an indicator of some 200e news. I suspect it’ll chiefly pertain to the 200 modules being reissued though, which is a damp :despair: from me. It is a fairly obvious business move (he’s spoken of it before) but is certainly not innovation on the surface of it. I find it boring and that market has been well fed for over a decade by multiple channels. It is kind of like reissuing the Delorean; quite the nostalgia trip. Back to The Future indeed. Yet we apes like our nostalgia and moist reminiscences. Moog sold System 55s alongside their more innovative offerings, so why not?
All of the above is the expected business stuff. I’d do the same or similar ( Perhaps... I lack access to a bunch of required stuff that would better inform a plan), if in a similar situation.

For better or for worse, BUSA is not currently being operated like a personal cottage business and sole proprietorship. There are arguments to be made as to why this could be a good thing but I won’t delve into those as it is 3AM!
The brand is no longer “Don’s baby” and there is no “Don-like” figure working his arcane magic behind the scenes. Good luck finding another Don. The closest we’ve got is likely Alex & Co. at Keen. I don’t follow much in the way of Eurorack but will offer that Scott Jaeger at IME fits that mould to a good degree.

There are investors, and investors want to see a return on their investments; and who could blame them for that aspect? It’s not like Lyonel bought the brand in order to keep his 200e running and updated for the next decades. I’m not aware if any of the marjor financial stakeholders even play modular in a serious manner, let alone the 200e.
Back to bug fixes: paying even a single person to work on code is not cheap. There were more “No”s than “Yes”s regarding willingness to work on the code; according to what I’ve heard over the years.
Bug fixes, especially long-standing ones to which users have become accustomed, show little to no financial return. Service can often be leveraged as marketing stories but, in the case of the 200e, that is another investment of very limited financial value. Then again, if some well-off person decided to pull the trigger on a 50k system, after hearing of the bug-fixes, it would help!

Additionally, there is some lack of clarity as to whom coded what and there are instances wherein the code is rather messy. When the 250e was brought up to v30 (just after the war... Crimean War...), B&A had to bring back the original coder in order to make sense of it and to get to a conclusion sooner rather than later.

It would be wonderful if BUSA would unburden themselves from this Sword of Damocles and go the Mutable Instruments route of exposing the code to outside development. They could grant any kind of license regarding this. It would be better to focus upon their current, less expensive and more expedient path of being a hardware provider.
From the outside, it seems likely smarter to make this old stuff open-source in order to not have to deal with expensive lawsuits stemming from their side. In my profession (much larger audio manufacturing companies), I’ve only seen open-source work out for the good; when done well and with the proper hardware business model. Hell, there are also profitable software companies that are big champions and enablers of open source (Red Hat, Adobe, Wordpress, and a bunch of other multi-million/billion Dollar companies).
As a guy that is 2 IQ points above a layperson regarding this subject, it appears that there is nothing in the code that can’t be improved upon, written from scratch, or is some kind of trade secret.

The ‘competition’ is already there, in terms of persons able to follow the low-scale cottage industry model. Neither of the two main advancers of the 200e format are treading on anything proprietary nor ethically challenging to BUSA. Both produce fully e-series compliant modules that either fix existing issues in the 200e or expand upon it’s palette in useful and/or novel ways.

The Godfather has passed on. It could well be time to pass on the coding legacy (Don don’t code) to the world. Free James Brown.

Take the above as not entirely thought through in these early morning hours. I’ll revisit this after some sleep.

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by ArguZ » Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:51 am

:coffee-cheers: Best thing to go with my morning coffee...
Thanks Kent :)
The 248 project is a clear indication that this would be the way to go.

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by tIB » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:10 am

ArguZ wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:51 am
:coffee-cheers: Best thing to go with my morning coffee...
Thanks Kent :)
The 248 project is a clear indication that this would be the way to go.
Agreed, though I'd be (very pleasantly) surprised if BUSA see it the same way. Qué Sera!

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by Kent » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:46 am

ArguZ wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:51 am
:coffee-cheers: Best thing to go with my morning coffee...
Thanks Kent :)
The 248 project is a clear indication that this would be the way to go.
Gerne!

When you mention the 248, are stating that this is something that you are doing, BUSA has stated that they are officially doing (yaaawwwnnn...), or are you commenting upon the fact that the DIY version proved market success?
I recall that Roman made the source code available and open source. Is BUSA running with that?
I dunno whatchoo mean...

Yes, time for :coffee-machine:

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by tIB » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:33 am

The 248 firmware has been taken on and made good by the community - it's a great example of how code savvy users have solved issues in buchla land.

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by mermott » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:42 am

mutierend wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:18 pm
maxl0rd wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:05 pm
The development environments for some of the older modules would be very challenging to bring back. The code was probably written very quickly. It is what it is. People still somehow manage to make records with it.
Eric said that Buchla has been working on bug fixes in 200e modules, so it's not impossible to anticipate future firmware updates.
That is very nice to read.

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by Kent » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:26 am

mermott wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:42 am
mutierend wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:18 pm
maxl0rd wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:05 pm
The development environments for some of the older modules would be very challenging to bring back. The code was probably written very quickly. It is what it is. People still somehow manage to make records with it.
Eric said that Buchla has been working on bug fixes in 200e modules, so it's not impossible to anticipate future firmware updates.
That is very nice to read.
Listening to the exact wording will be important.

I'm interested to hear whether actual work, with a release schedule (we don't have to know what it is), is underway or whether it is a case of 'having looked at or catalogued, or viewed the long-standing bug list we created or the feature request thread to which we all contributed over the years.'

I like surprises and would prefer to remain hopeful. It'll take action.

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by mermott » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:34 am

Nice read Kent. I can't help hoping for a less patrimonial path for Buchla though. Do the most accurate 200 series clones, the official 21st century ones, ok. You can have a Thunder flavoured overlay for the Sinsel, ok. This is not being bold at all.

If the next big project is reissuing the now glorious 200 series after following endless years of painful Easel adjustments that’s disappointing, for me, mainly a 200e user, since this will have to stay the focus for some time. If i am one that’s in good part because i supported that Buchla did and would do something else. Having witnessed the reactions to the Complex 259e from it’s release to it’s rebirth as Twisted, the path from « this is not what we expect at all» to « this is interesting for a change » seems shorter than it used to be. Now the many twists in Eurorack digital oscillation. The last deep and desirable module from Buchla was the 252e, five years ago. It has already been reverse-engineered by someone who attempted to sell it in another format. Specific 100 series to 200 concepts, sounds, interface design and graphics are now available in as many variations as you may want in a more popular format. Are LPGs more of a Buchla or a Make Noise staple today ? These are not exotic anymore.

Drawing sound, shaping composition and looking for different timbres and articulations through more complex or exotic patching/programming, trying to make the best of current analog tech plus digital tech. This is being taken care of for the 200e format by other designers. I would like to see Buchla USA take risks (i don’t want to hear reliving the Easel was taking a risk). That’s the best way to be true to the legacy.

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by mermott » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:52 am

Now for some distraction, the first "Buchala" video that popped on YT if i remember well, crusty old pixels and all :
« After talking with Don Buchala and getting new chords, it was able to be brought back to life [...] The Buchala is NOT FOR SALE. »



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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by batchas » Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:27 am

mermott wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:52 am
Now for some distraction, the first "Buchala" video that popped on YT if i remember well, crusty old pixels and all :
« After talking with Don Buchala and getting new chords, it was able to be brought back to life [...] The Buchala is NOT FOR SALE. »


Not the first :hihi:
Not to derail the thread, I add here only the links.
Older: video 1
I remember David Morley's videos which popped earlier and impressed me back then. video 1, video 2.
The yt video with "The Moog - Buchla Piano Bar" is even older (2006)...
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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by mermott » Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:56 am

Yes, and Buchlajoe too !


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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by batchas » Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:10 am

mermott wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:56 am
Yes, and Buchlajoe too !
Indeed :sb:
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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by anselmi » Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:32 pm

Kent wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:01 pm
If, on the upcoming “Source of Uncertainty” show, BUSA commits the brand to bug fixes, based upon an actual roadmap and not an open-ended timeline; I’ll eat Don Buchla’s NAMM hat.
:hihi:
as iconic as Indiana Jones´

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by dumaisaudio » Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:53 pm

I have to think they'll focus on making complete easels before anything else, and I believe Eric said as much the last time he was on the podcast. The 208c seems to be back in stock at several places now, so hopefully that is an indication that they've made some improvements in manufacturing and getting units out the door. Fixing issues with, and making more 218's and selling complete easels would be the next logical step, and probably the best decision financially. They can sell a midi equipped, eurorack compatible easel at $4-5k all day long, but the 200e world is much more niche given the entry price. I don't think they'd be ending contracts with longstanding dealers if they didn't have a good plan to move forward and make money, and to do that, they need product. I know I'm ready to buy an easel once they're ready.

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by roya » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:37 am

I did write Eric about opening the code so we can help fixing bugs. Seems like currently this is not something he wants to do.

Too bad as I’m sure the community can easily fix the issues and even improve the modules. I only see positive things coming out from such a move... no secret sauce in the code except maybe the preset managment stuff which has been reversed engineered at least twice.
anselmi wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:24 pm
maxl0rd wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:05 pm
I have two observations which temper my expectations for the future here.

I saw Don talk at a conference a long time ago. It was when SEAMUS gave him a lifetime achievement award. The internet tells me that this was 2002, which makes me feel old. Anyway, someone asked him if he would make analog synthesizer modules again, and he hemmed and hawed and said "I don't know maybe. I'll think about it." Maybe he was just playing them close to his chest, but two years later in 2004 he comes out with basically the entire 200e system out of nowhere. It appears that an entire system, which is still miles ahead of much of the industry in several respects, was knocked out in almost no time, like 17 or 18 years ago. Yes, a few very important modules were added later, etc. My point is: there is probably no one left alive working in this business that can duplicate this kind of output.

The second observation is that the digital side of the 200e is that old. You'd just as well wait for bug fixes to the Buchla 400 software than the 225e. It's probably not going to happen. Time has moved on. The development environments for some of the older modules would be very challenging to bring back. The code was probably written very quickly. It is what it is. People still somehow manage to make records with it.

I think focusing on iterating and perfecting the Easel has been a smart move. A criticism leveled against Buchla products was always that they were brilliant but unpolished. There's probably another 20 years of work left polishing the rest of the catalog. Maybe more. Don inspired dozens of other synth designers who are currently all competing with each other in the market to make wilder and wilder stuff. You know where to go for that. It makes sense for his company to now work on making the classic instruments _available_ and _reliable_. That is what is required to make the instruments something people use instead of historical curiosities.
I agree with most of you said

In this case I think it would be very healthy to free the code and involve other people to input their view and innovation of the same old ideas.
Maybe this is not a good thing in bussines language, but it would be great that some of the passionate people out there can access the code and bring their own version of it. I´m sure this would fix most important issues in small time

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by Pagoda-100 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:51 am

dumaisaudio wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:53 pm
I have to think they'll focus on making complete easels before anything else, and I believe Eric said as much the last time he was on the podcast. The 208c seems to be back in stock at several places now, so hopefully that is an indication that they've made some improvements in manufacturing and getting units out the door. Fixing issues with, and making more 218's and selling complete easels would be the next logical step, and probably the best decision financially. They can sell a midi equipped, eurorack compatible easel at $4-5k all day long, but the 200e world is much more niche given the entry price. I don't think they'd be ending contracts with longstanding dealers if they didn't have a good plan to move forward and make money, and to do that, they need product. I know I'm ready to buy an easel once they're ready.
I would bet a few bucks on exactly this as the next thing we see.That and stand alone "218's". With the release of more 208c's just this week I am thinking that process is picking up. One can only guess that the folks who have them and are enjoying them, are eager to get a 218 of some sorts. (I know I am) So that customer group plus the ones that would jump in on a complete "new Easel" sounds healthy if you ask me. After that I have no idea what I would bet on as the next thing.

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by tIB » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:07 pm

roya wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:37 am
I did write Eric about opening the code so we can help fixing bugs. Seems like currently this is not something he wants to do.
Sad though not unsurprising - assume the code is something BUSA feels was part of their purchase. Seems pretty pointless though, given the preset thing has already been worked out and it doesn't appear they have anyone able to fix and move forward what is already there.

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by maxl0rd » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:33 pm

It is just not that simple, unfortunately.

For example, most products are built on proprietary tool chains that are a poor fit for open source. The firmware may depend on proprietary libraries licensed from a third party. Most importantly, working on firmware without schematics is a royal pain in the butt, that I would never attempt again. (Thanks, Roman!) There’s no way they are going to release all of the information required for the general public to contribute effectively. I’m sure Eric has good reasons.

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by tIB » Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:48 pm

maxl0rd wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:33 pm
It is just not that simple, unfortunately.

For example, most products are built on proprietary tool chains that are a poor fit for open source. The firmware may depend on proprietary libraries licensed from a third party. Most importantly, working on firmware without schematics is a royal pain in the butt, that I would never attempt again. (Thanks, Roman!) There’s no way they are going to release all of the information required for the general public to contribute effectively. I’m sure Eric has good reasons.
Thanks for the info - what I said should be taken with a huge pinch of salt as I've no understanding at all of the work involved (or the nature of it), so it's interesting to gain a bit of insight as to why it's a non starter.

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