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The Forgotten Buchlas
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Buchla, EMS & Serge Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next [all]
Author The Forgotten Buchlas
Been reading up on my Buchla history lately, and two units that stick out for me (mainly because of their unicorn-like status) are the 400 and 700.

What is the deal with these things? how many were produced? Are any still working? Has anyone here seen/used them? The 700 in particular sounds interesting with all of its synthesis options.

I'd be very interested in getting more information, too

And I did. It was the Kimball display at Guitar Expo, NYC. Some sort of open to the public trade show. I'm not sure of the year. Maybe '85 but I could be off. It definitely had a keyboard, I presume that was Kimball's contribution. There was a big color video monitor so people could see the display. I think I asked the price and it was way out of my range. Like $8-12K, I forget. It reminded me of a more advanced version of the Alpha Syntauri concept. I know I already had a C64 & MIDI interface then. So I saw this as more advanced but still I could sequence on a computer already for hundreds, not thousands. I don't think Kimball's version made it out of working prototype.

There was some 700 discussion a couple years ago when one came up on ebay. I only remember it used some prone to failure exotic video chip.
theglyph wrote:

what the fuck?
hmmm..... isn't this one a bit more unicorny?

I dunno, I think the 700 has a bit more unicorn horn than the Touché.
the 700 always seemed unicornest to me

the 400 is quite close though
First time i hear an see a 700 beside pictures eek! screaming goo yo
Look and sound Awesome to me zombie

700 for sure!
Shasta Cults
400 is the most common and reliable.. and also the easiest to use.. there were touchplate and keyboard versions.. Buchla licensed the 400 to kimball who marketed it with their keyboard attached (called the 406 in this config).. Buchla also sold these without the kimball logo.

about a dozen 700s assembled.. only know of 4 that are fully functional.. perhaps another couple that are sorta working.

the pic on my flickr was when i was working on a few of them, one of which is in the CANTOS collection.
I had a chance to purchase a Touche' many years ago and hesitated because I didn't really know what it was.

By the time i came to my senses, it was already gone...

Sadly, one of my greatest regrets!

bumping this, anybody else got any info on these!?!??!

there have to be some owners who can post sounds... somewhere!
David Rosenboom used the Touche on his very eclectic (not entirely Touche) album "Future Travel". The 400 had a complex sequencer/controller section which is extremely interesting. The 700...saw one in person once; it's amazing to see (didn't hear it).
no videos on the info highway of the 700?

add that to the "when i'm rich" list (or better known as "never"). anyone know what these have gone for (if there is any known price for one today)?
Shasta Cults
700s rarely pop up for sale.. when/if they do chances are it will be very expensive and have problems.. I've repaired/helped repair several (4) and it would take some serious work to get me to do another one... they simply are not easy to fix for many reasons.

I should make some videos of the touche/400/700.. I am just so busy working i don't have a lot of time to play around unfortunately.. one day maybe I'll have more time for that sort of thing.

there are some sounds of the various weird buchlas on my soundcloud (link below) i had a decent 700 track a few years back.. sadly my recording gear was an hour a way so that one didn't make it to the archive.. the 700 is not one I've spent a ton of time playing.. but I am sure there are weeks of my life in repairs on those.
@rick - these machines are so mysterious, and you have firsthand experience!

the thing that makes me most curious is the possibility for sound contained within - i imagine these went so deep into FM territory that they make sounds that simply aren't replicable in any form today!

i could be wrong though.

but yeah, can you spare some details about the synthesis engines?
Shasta Cults
they are all pretty similar using non linear digital waveshaping (like the current 259e) .. you could specify your own tables in the 400 and 700.. 700 also has several FM algorithms..

info here:

the software languages are similar GUI based known as MIDAS for the 400 and 700 but the touche used its own language written by rosenboom called FOIL.. patch was available for the 500, 300 and 400.

more 700 stuff:
Shasta Cults
if someone sets up a kickstarter and can help raise cash so i can take a week off i would do some demos of these wink
Some live 700 video can be found here.
i watched an ebay auction end for a 700 a few years ago but i hesitated due to not knowing how much it would sell for in partially working condition, the screen was out and from what i have read was pretty common. the auction ended at something like 3k usd and i was so sad since it was actually within my reach

very frustrating
Shasta Cults
that video sounds pretty good.. its just manipulation of the basic "preset" you need a 700 with working video chip and monitor to make other sounds
rick wrote:
that video sounds pretty good.. its just manipulation of the basic "preset" you need a 700 with working video chip and monitor to make other sounds

someone needs to rip that video from myspace before their site inevitably tanks
This is one of the things that draws my to Buchla--history. I find it very interesting to trace the lineage of modules and related modules through the years.
Shasta Cults
okay, okay i dug it out.. now only if i could find the monitor cable.. typical

Shasta Cults
found the cable..

Midas VII main menu:

Instrument Designer:

First 12 configurations:

Score Editor:

Assignment Tables:

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