Buchla owners can you explain what's happening here?

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Buchla owners can you explain what's happening here?

Post by zerodivide » Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:45 pm

Hello Buchla friends, I'm a euro guy who's fascinated by the Buchla sound. I'm trying to understand how these percussive plucks are being made in these videos, they are quite special. What exactly is happening here to achieve this sound? Would love to replicate this in Euro format in principle at least. many thanks in advance




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Post by lisa » Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:21 pm

An exclusive, all Alesis Ion track! The best synth ever made. :guinness:


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Post by zerodivide » Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:32 pm

yeah I understand how LPGs work and how to get plucks but the tamber is super rich. and theres some crazy tempo shifting going on

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Post by 01235813 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:37 pm

Sending randomized timbre through a vactrol based LPG which is being gated by a really tight envelope is a go to for my easel. As stated above you can also bring some FM/AM modulation in, sometimes this works better than others.

I really like randomizing timbre.

Edit: spelling
Last edited by 01235813 on Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by vgermuse » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:43 pm

agreed with all above...and these plucks love reverb and panning -- that would be great to know what is being used. :party:

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Post by zerodivide » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:44 pm

SO i got the Arturia emulation of the Easel and learned these types of patches are created using the Pulse sequencer to make super short bursts of sound. Seems much faster than a normal gate in eurorack

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Post by Default1 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:44 pm

Now, I'll be happy if others chime in and correct me here, as my knowledge of electronics is limited and I have been corrected before, but:

My understanding is that the plucked sound of Buchla comes from the fact that vactrols are used in the gates. This introduces an inherent delay in the opening of the envelope, as this is an electro-optical circuit, the light has to turn on to open up the envelope.

When I compare with regular VCAs, say on my Prophet 6, when you turn the attack time right up you get a click, because it turns on so damn fast.

If you turn up the attack time on a buchla, there is no distortion and click. It still sounds percussive, because it is fast enough to generate explosive percussion, but not fast enough that it will just open up a gate on a signal that is at peak voltage and induce a very high frequency click. Hence, the nice woody percussion. So, if you are after something similar in Eurorack, I would seek out something with vactrols (ie. electro-optical) gates.
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Post by zerodivide » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:53 pm

Default1 wrote:Now, I'll be happy if others chime in and correct me here, as my knowledge of electronics is limited and I have been corrected before, but:

My understanding is that the plucked sound of Buchla comes from the fact that vactrols are used in the gates. This introduces an inherent delay in the opening of the envelope, as this is an electro-optical circuit, the light has to turn on to open up the envelope.

When I compare with regular VCAs, say on my Prophet 6, when you turn the attack time right up you get a click, because it turns on so damn fast.

If you turn up the attack time on a buchla, there is no distortion and click. It still sounds percussive, because it is fast enough to generate explosive percussion, but not fast enough that it will just open up a gate on a signal that is at peak voltage and induce a very high frequency click. Hence, the nice woody percussion. So, if you are after something similar in Eurorack, I would seek out something with vactrols (ie. electro-optical) gates.
Thanks for that but yes I'm already using Vactrol-based Low Pass gates in my eurorack. But I still can't come even close to getting in the ballpark of this sound. My modular can sound plucky but I still can't seem to emulate this tamber

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Post by zerodivide » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:53 pm

I'm also curious how that "ratcheting" is achieved

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Post by Default1 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:13 pm

Ahhhh... the ratcheting. That I perhaps can explain.

Set one envelope of a quad function generators to cycle. This will provide a rapid pinging of the vactrol. Then, you can have another one of the quad function generators set for a slow attack and fast decay, and feed that signal into the attack time of the first. So, you will have a rapid pulse which gradually slows down as the envelope of the second envelop builds up.

I hope this explains it. Its easier to show, than it is to explain in writing.

I can post a video of this technique if you like, just not today, as the buchla is all patched up, and I have to record my current piece before unpatching. Let me know if you are interested.

Of course, it may not exactly sound like the videos you have referenced: those two artists are superlative and I may not be able to achieve that exact sound. :mrgreen:
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Post by Yes Powder » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:31 pm

zerodivide wrote:Thanks for that but yes I'm already using Vactrol-based Low Pass gates in my eurorack. But I still can't come even close to getting in the ballpark of this sound. My modular can sound plucky but I still can't seem to emulate this tamber
Play around with cross-modulating your audio sources, or modulating them with attenuated noise.
Winning at the Vactrol Lottery™ also helps.

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Post by Oxix52 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:52 pm

The ratcheting in my video is the 251e sequencing the 259e. No envelope tricks in this one. It's actually a pretty simple patch. The 259e-->291e-->292e is responsible for the plucks.
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Post by zerodivide » Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:35 am

Default1 wrote:Ahhhh... the ratcheting. That I perhaps can explain.

Set one envelope of a quad function generators to cycle. This will provide a rapid pinging of the vactrol. Then, you can have another one of the quad function generators set for a slow attack and fast decay, and feed that signal into the attack time of the first. So, you will have a rapid pulse which gradually slows down as the envelope of the second envelop builds up.

I hope this explains it. Its easier to show, than it is to explain in writing.

I can post a video of this technique if you like, just not today, as the buchla is all patched up, and I have to record my current piece before unpatching. Let me know if you are interested.

Of course, it may not exactly sound like the videos you have referenced: those two artists are superlative and I may not be able to achieve that exact sound. :mrgreen:
that would be amazing :) thank you

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Post by zerodivide » Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:36 am

Oxix52 wrote:The ratcheting in my video is the 251e sequencing the 259e. No envelope tricks in this one. It's actually a pretty simple patch. The 259e-->291e-->292e is responsible for the plucks.
really lovely stuff mate. inspirational even thank you :)

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Post by arnoux » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:41 am

Interesting topic indeed,

talking about ratcheting, in the instagram video by Jonathan Fitoussi how do you achieve it in the Easel? Always being fascinated about that rhythmic pace (very present in the album 5 Steps which I know was made with a bigger system).

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Post by zerodivide » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:21 pm

so deconstructing more, it seems theres this like wooden "knocking" sound in the transient of the sound. that's the thing I'm trying to re-create in my eurorack. Any ideas what gives the Easel this character?

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Post by Umcorps » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:30 am

arnoux wrote:
talking about ratcheting, in the instagram video by Jonathan Fitoussi how do you achieve it in the Easel?
I don't think its possible on a raw Easel (though am ready to be contradicted on that) because its not easy to mix CVs.

I've done a fairly basic ratchet patch on my Easel using the 208 Toolbox to mix the pulser with the envelope in looping mode and use that to modulate the gate. You have to fiddle around to get the timing of the envelope in sync. The Toolbox can also add a variable delay at the end of an envelope loop cycle which helps with that bit.

Little sketch of the patch in action here

https://www.instagram.com/p/BubgtvEA2RL/

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Post by arnoux » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:45 am

Umcorps wrote:
arnoux wrote:
talking about ratcheting, in the instagram video by Jonathan Fitoussi how do you achieve it in the Easel?
I don't think its possible on a raw Easel (though am ready to be contradicted on that) because its not easy to mix CVs.

I've done a fairly basic ratchet patch on my Easel using the 208 Toolbox to mix the pulser with the envelope in looping mode and use that to modulate the gate. You have to fiddle around to get the timing of the envelope in sync. The Toolbox can also add a variable delay at the end of an envelope loop cycle which helps with that bit.

Little sketch of the patch in action here

https://www.instagram.com/p/BubgtvEA2RL/
Many thanks! I don't have an Easel unfortunately but hopefully one day I will, so I keep investigating its potential. I'm shooting in the dark as I don't know that much and I'm just now looking at a picture, but what if you influence the pulser with the CV out of the keyboard? Wouldn't an octave jump up double the speed of the pulser freq?

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Post by authorless » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:32 am

arnoux wrote:
Umcorps wrote:
arnoux wrote:
talking about ratcheting, in the instagram video by Jonathan Fitoussi how do you achieve it in the Easel?
I don't think its possible on a raw Easel (though am ready to be contradicted on that) because its not easy to mix CVs.

I've done a fairly basic ratchet patch on my Easel using the 208 Toolbox to mix the pulser with the envelope in looping mode and use that to modulate the gate. You have to fiddle around to get the timing of the envelope in sync. The Toolbox can also add a variable delay at the end of an envelope loop cycle which helps with that bit.

Little sketch of the patch in action here

https://www.instagram.com/p/BubgtvEA2RL/
Many thanks! I don't have an Easel unfortunately but hopefully one day I will, so I keep investigating its potential. I'm shooting in the dark as I don't know that much and I'm just now looking at a picture, but what if you influence the pulser with the CV out of the keyboard? Wouldn't an octave jump up double the speed of the pulser freq?
Not if the pulser doesn't track 1.2v/oct.
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Post by Default1 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:39 pm

Well, I did say I would post a video on some ratcheting methods, so here goes. I haven't tried to emulate any other artists here, as that would be presumptuous! So, here is a complex done affected by several techniques, probably none of which are used in the original videos in this thread!

Perhaps others will post their own techniques?

[video][/video]
http://thesonnydownsquartet.bandcamp.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFJ8EW ... -wbwwAVY8Q
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Post by syncretism » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:38 pm

Great tones and moods here, Default1!

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Post by zerodivide » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:44 am

Default1 wrote:Well, I did say I would post a video on some ratcheting methods, so here goes. I haven't tried to emulate any other artists here, as that would be presumptuous! So, here is a complex done affected by several techniques, probably none of which are used in the original videos in this thread!

Perhaps others will post their own techniques?

[video][/video]
this is amazing thank you!

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Post by zerodivide » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:08 am

check out this video I found for ratcheting tricks:


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Post by Umcorps » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:58 am

arnoux wrote: Many thanks! I don't have an Easel unfortunately but hopefully one day I will, so I keep investigating its potential. I'm shooting in the dark as I don't know that much and I'm just now looking at a picture, but what if you influence the pulser with the CV out of the keyboard? Wouldn't an octave jump up double the speed of the pulser freq?
It's kind of possible but you have to jump through a lot of hoops and the results are very limited.

First you have to decouple the main oscillator from the keyboard so the pitch is controlled only by the step sequencer.

Then you have to set up a cycling envelope to drive the sequencer - you can't use the pulser for that in this case. Patch the envelope to the 208 pulse input and set the sequencer trigger to keyboard.

Set the pulser to control Gate 1 level.

Now you have to match the envelope cycle duration to the pulser, so use minimum attack and decay and use the sustain to set the duration. Its virtually impossible to get this right so the two will drift in and out of phase which isn't a bad effect but it does take it more into Steve Reich territory than Berlin school.

Finally set up a preset pads on the 218 to provide enough voltage to double the pulser and patch that to the pulser mod input.

You have to decouple the 218 because the preset pads are added to the keyboard and will transpose the sequence otherwise. So one you've set the sequence up, it's fixed. You can't change it on the fly.

Like I say, limited.

Here is a very crappy phone video of the thing in action. Sorry about the LF noise. I was holding the phone too close to my face and breathing on the mic.

So, yeah, it can be done. Whether its worth the effort is a different question :hihi:

[video][/video]

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Post by arnoux » Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:16 am

Umcorps

many thanks for the super detailed reply and the video, really appreciated. On paper sounds rather complicated for sure, especially in a live patching context. So.. there's always that Marble in Buchla format.. :hihi:

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