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Buchla vs Eurorack
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Buchla, EMS & Serge  
Author Buchla vs Eurorack
Memecos
Hello wigglers, I've always loved the west coast synthesis. In fact, I have tons of west coast based eurorack modules. I'm thinking of switching to Buchla but I don't know if it's really worth it. Of course with my euro module I can emulate quite well the Buchla sound but what I don't like about euro is the aesthetic / user interface fragmentation due to the fact that the modules are made by different manufacturers. I'd like to have a homogeneous and complete system, not only for functionality but also aesthetically. I know that Buchla is soo expensive but I fell in love with it. Of course I would not buy Bemi modules but I would make 200 series clones, no problem with diy. So the real question is, is it worth to switch from eurorack Buchla based modules to buchla clones?
missingtwin
First of all, BEMI is no more.

Do you prefer 50 year old synth designs vs.
modern riffs on those same designs?

Building clones is not more expensive than eurorack.
Try it out. Now that you’re smitten, I’m sure you will.
davidh
for aesthetic ? draw a big panel with aesthetic you like, make it done by Schaeffer AG, and screw all the euro behind, for less than a Buchla
you may also have to change the knobs, and you will have the best looking modular

also Grayscale make alternative homogeneous panels
Portabella
davidh wrote:
for aesthetic ? draw a big panel with aesthetic you like, make it done by Schaeffer AG, and screw all the euro behind, for less than a Buchla
you may also have to change the knobs, and you will have the best looking modular

also Grayscale make alternative homogeneous panels


oh lord jesus that's a splendid idea.. why I never came on this my own.

MY ASS IS BLEEDING Dead Banana SlayerBadger! screaming goo yo
Pailo
I like all the 200 stuff.
Built a lot of it after I had a eurorack system.
I would say its totally worth doing.
mutierend
Memecos wrote:
is it worth to switch from eurorack Buchla based modules to buchla clones?


No, it isn't. If you already have an investment in eurorack that gives you the Buchla sound, you should stick with that, especially with Red Panel coming out soon. Even with DIY, your costs for achieving in Buchla what you have in eurorack will be substantially higher.

I like the idea of repaneling euro modules into the Buchla format. A 4U panel and banana jacks over a Sputnik Dual Oscillator would be pretty amazing.
Fuzz
It might be worth giving it a try based on you wanting a cohesive system. The larger size, patching with banana cables, and a focus on tactile controllers all help in making it feel like a complete instrument. But take the 200 clones with a heaping spoonful of salt. Many of them are buggy and don’t work correctly.
01235813
What really turns me on to buchla is control voltage being separated from sound.

Intuitively, it just feels like the way to go.
lisa
01235813 wrote:
What really turns me on to buchla is control voltage being separated from sound.

Interesting, I’ve always wondered what the advantage of that separation would be. It can’t just be ”sound quality”, can it? I mean, who goes into Buchla mainly for the clean and pristine sound quality?
js213
I'm actually in the process of convincing myself to switch (or more likely add on.) I started a small 4u Serge system, and I fell in love with the larger size. Even in Euro I prefer modules that are larger and more spread out. I'm tired of trying to turn small pots with 2 fingers when I can barely hold onto them because of the other pots that are too close.
Shledge
lisa wrote:
01235813 wrote:
What really turns me on to buchla is control voltage being separated from sound.

Interesting, I’ve always wondered what the advantage of that separation would be. It can’t just be ”sound quality”, can it? I mean, who goes into Buchla mainly for the clean and pristine sound quality?


It causes a lot of restrictions that put me off. What if you want to use an external audio signal for CV, for example? Can't without additional modules and conversion.
REcDeso12oi
Memecos wrote:
Hello wigglers, I've always loved the west coast synthesis. In fact, I have tons of west coast based eurorack modules. I'm thinking of switching to Buchla but I don't know if it's really worth it. Of course with my euro module I can emulate quite well the Buchla sound but what I don't like about euro is the aesthetic / user interface fragmentation due to the fact that the modules are made by different manufacturers. I'd like to have a homogeneous and complete system, not only for functionality but also aesthetically. I know that Buchla is soo expensive but I fell in love with it. Of course I would not buy Bemi modules but I would make 200 series clones, no problem with diy. So the real question is, is it worth to switch from eurorack Buchla based modules to buchla clones?


I get where you're coming from. In my opinion there's a charm to the esthetics of Buchla that my eurorack hasn't ever been able to match and every time I sell a 200e module or an Easel I immediately regret it.. it just has a sound and an actual presence that I miss.

As someone who just dove into the DIY Buchla world though, I would just warn that some of the builds can get kinda complicated fairly fast, like the 208 for example. Not that you have to be a pro engineer to build one well, just that they can be time consuming to troubleshoot and tracking down obsolete parts on eBay can be a huge pain as well. So, I know it would be more expensive but finding a veteran wiggler who has built tons of modules to build you a couple might be more immediately gratifying than diving head first into DIY like I did, and still cheaper than 200e.. but maybe not euro.

Also I would recommend not trying to replace your euro with Buchla. In my mind they both can exist in harmony. Doesn't have to be either / or. I paired down my Eurorack considerably to start diving into Buchla, but I'm really glad I hung onto some key modules as I keep going back to them for very specific things.

Just my two cents, hope it helps.
mritenburg
Shledge wrote:
lisa wrote:
01235813 wrote:
What really turns me on to buchla is control voltage being separated from sound.

Interesting, I’ve always wondered what the advantage of that separation would be. It can’t just be ”sound quality”, can it? I mean, who goes into Buchla mainly for the clean and pristine sound quality?


It causes a lot of restrictions that put me off. What if you want to use an external audio signal for CV, for example? Can't without additional modules and conversion.


There's a Don Buchla interview from Keyboard magazine where he goes into the idea behind separating audio from CV and how it allows for optimization of each path. Whether you agree with it or not, it's an interesting read.

https://www.keyboardmag.com/.amp/artists/the-horizons-of-instrument-de sign-a-conversation-with-don-buchla
Shledge
The optimisation isn't really one that can be demonstrated. It's a poor design decision in my opinion, especially when other modular formats are largely signal agnostic without any issues.
Memecos
davidh wrote:
for aesthetic ? draw a big panel with aesthetic you like, make it done by Schaeffer AG, and screw all the euro behind, for less than a Buchla
you may also have to change the knobs, and you will have the best looking modular

also Grayscale make alternative homogeneous panels


Yes, that's a good idea man
Memecos
Fuzz wrote:
It might be worth giving it a try based on you wanting a cohesive system. The larger size, patching with banana cables, and a focus on tactile controllers all help in making it feel like a complete instrument. But take the 200 clones with a heaping spoonful of salt. Many of them are buggy and don’t work correctly.


Really? I've heard about that but for the 200e series, not the 200. Are the 200 series modules so buggy?
Memecos
01235813 wrote:
What really turns me on to buchla is control voltage being separated from sound.

Intuitively, it just feels like the way to go.


That's the point
Memecos
REcDeso12oi wrote:
Memecos wrote:
Hello wigglers, I've always loved the west coast synthesis. In fact, I have tons of west coast based eurorack modules. I'm thinking of switching to Buchla but I don't know if it's really worth it. Of course with my euro module I can emulate quite well the Buchla sound but what I don't like about euro is the aesthetic / user interface fragmentation due to the fact that the modules are made by different manufacturers. I'd like to have a homogeneous and complete system, not only for functionality but also aesthetically. I know that Buchla is soo expensive but I fell in love with it. Of course I would not buy Bemi modules but I would make 200 series clones, no problem with diy. So the real question is, is it worth to switch from eurorack Buchla based modules to buchla clones?


I get where you're coming from. In my opinion there's a charm to the esthetics of Buchla that my eurorack hasn't ever been able to match and every time I sell a 200e module or an Easel I immediately regret it.. it just has a sound and an actual presence that I miss.

As someone who just dove into the DIY Buchla world though, I would just warn that some of the builds can get kinda complicated fairly fast, like the 208 for example. Not that you have to be a pro engineer to build one well, just that they can be time consuming to troubleshoot and tracking down obsolete parts on eBay can be a huge pain as well. So, I know it would be more expensive but finding a veteran wiggler who has built tons of modules to build you a couple might be more immediately gratifying than diving head first into DIY like I did, and still cheaper than 200e.. but maybe not euro.

Also I would recommend not trying to replace your euro with Buchla. In my mind they both can exist in harmony. Doesn't have to be either / or. I paired down my Eurorack considerably to start diving into Buchla, but I'm really glad I hung onto some key modules as I keep going back to them for very specific things.

Just my two cents, hope it helps.


Thanks for your point of view man, I'll keep that in mind.
Memecos
mritenburg wrote:
Shledge wrote:
lisa wrote:
01235813 wrote:
What really turns me on to buchla is control voltage being separated from sound.

Interesting, I’ve always wondered what the advantage of that separation would be. It can’t just be ”sound quality”, can it? I mean, who goes into Buchla mainly for the clean and pristine sound quality?


It causes a lot of restrictions that put me off. What if you want to use an external audio signal for CV, for example? Can't without additional modules and conversion.


There's a Don Buchla interview from Keyboard magazine where he goes into the idea behind separating audio from CV and how it allows for optimization of each path. Whether you agree with it or not, it's an interesting read.

https://www.keyboardmag.com/.amp/artists/the-horizons-of-instrument-de sign-a-conversation-with-don-buchla


I think this is a good restriction
tobb
lisa wrote:
01235813 wrote:
What really turns me on to buchla is control voltage being separated from sound.

Interesting, I’ve always wondered what the advantage of that separation would be. It can’t just be ”sound quality”, can it? I mean, who goes into Buchla mainly for the clean and pristine sound quality?


Nobody,its about pristine signals (2 different type of signals) not sound...only you are talking about pristine sound here...
mutierend
Memecos wrote:
Fuzz wrote:
But take the 200 clones with a heaping spoonful of salt. Many of them are buggy and don’t work correctly.


Really? I've heard about that but for the 200e series, not the 200. Are the 200 series modules so buggy?


With a clone, the designers have to approximate some of the designs and use the parts that are available to them. Some things just don't work right or are weird. The external inputs on my 248r are very noisy, making them unusable. Suzanne Ciani has three 248 clones and they each have their own quirks.
Memecos
mutierend wrote:
Memecos wrote:
Fuzz wrote:
But take the 200 clones with a heaping spoonful of salt. Many of them are buggy and don’t work correctly.


Really? I've heard about that but for the 200e series, not the 200. Are the 200 series modules so buggy?


With a clone, the designers have to approximate some of the designs and use the parts that are available to them. Some things just don't work right or are weird. The external inputs on my 248r are very noisy, making them unusable. Suzanne Ciani has three 248 clones and they each have their own quirks.


This was not what I expected...
Shledge
Memecos wrote:
mutierend wrote:
Memecos wrote:
Fuzz wrote:
But take the 200 clones with a heaping spoonful of salt. Many of them are buggy and don’t work correctly.


Really? I've heard about that but for the 200e series, not the 200. Are the 200 series modules so buggy?


With a clone, the designers have to approximate some of the designs and use the parts that are available to them. Some things just don't work right or are weird. The external inputs on my 248r are very noisy, making them unusable. Suzanne Ciani has three 248 clones and they each have their own quirks.


This was not what I expected...


Next time you're doing a numbers run, be a little more discreet.
Ginko
I'm not sure it is exactly what you are saying here but I would say that selling / trading in my experience is the worst way to get value out of your kit. I haven't really been involved in Euro for a while but when I was, DIY modules didn't really hold any value - I still have everything I DIYed bar one module. So if you were thinking of selling to fund new stuff I think you will find yourself short.

I need to dust of what Eurorack I have left, I was doing the same as you and exploring West Coast ideas. I have a 258j, Triple Wavefolder and Resonant LPG amongst other bits of DIY which are all fantastic modules that I used for years!
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