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Best Buchla intro system?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Buchla, EMS & Serge Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author Best Buchla intro system?
nordlead
I've tried to not look into the Buchla direction at all but find this increasingly difficult ;-)

So I'm wondering if there's a small (meaning: don't want to sell any means of road transportation for it very frustrating ) system to testrun.

On one side the Easel looks amazing (and quite a good bang for the buck ratio), but I also saw that there's a (4 module) System 1 that costs about as much as a new Animal.

I have to admit I'm a big fan of Aalto (but know next to nothing about the 200e system) so I wonder what a (minimal) hardware equivalent of Aalto would look like.

Oh, given the different voltages I'd probably run the Buchla standalone, i.e. wouldn't worry about linking it with Serge for now.

Thanks for your input!
legionhwp
As an owner of a med size 200e and many other modulars I will run the risk of Being pelted with pomonas but IMO anyone just starting out in buchla would be insane NOT to pick up an easel over a $4-5k four module 200e

The Easel is 100% buchla, no clones, no nonsense. You get an analog VCO similar to one that folks are paying $4k++ for in CLONE form and a dozen+ other modules and features in a self contained unit that easily integrates with anything else. Down the road you can add 200e, serge, modcan, euro , boss stomp boxes, whatever you want.

The 200e is amazing certainly but you're going to spend $8-10k+ to get anything close to part of an easel. A year ago that might have made sense for someone flush with cash and jonesing for Buchla. Now, with a new easel available at less than $4k with features like presets and possibly IPad programming that just seems downright foolish regardless of cost.

The only option less than $4k is picking up a 2space boat and maybe a single oscillator and something like a 292e. And you'll still be paying few thousand for that with no expandability (and if you do upgrade the next step for a few more modules is well over Easel prices. )

I love my 200e with it's midi preset manager, 250e sequencer, unique 259e/261e combo platter oscs, etc but I can't in good conscience suggest to someone who is concerned about not selling their car that's a smart move to start now.


Just my $20k and $.02



nordlead wrote:
I've tried to not look into the Buchla direction at all but find this increasingly difficult ;-)

So I'm wondering if there's a small (meaning: don't want to sell any means of road transportation for it very frustrating ) system to testrun.

On one side the Easel looks amazing (and quite a good bang for the buck ratio), but I also saw that there's a (4 module) System 1 that costs about as much as a new Animal.

I have to admit I'm a big fan of Aalto (but know next to nothing about the 200e system) so I wonder what a (minimal) hardware equivalent of Aalto would look like.

Oh, given the different voltages I'd probably run the Buchla standalone, i.e. wouldn't worry about linking it with Serge for now.

Thanks for your input!
BHC303
EDIT: Bet me to it! lol

I was in your position not so long a go, I planed on two panels of serge but last minute went buchla... wont bore you with my decision story.

Easel would be a great choice, its got everything you could want in one package and pretty well priced for a Buchla synth! Though having said that if you want a 200e system, you could start with, The four "core" Buchla modules, these are:

259e or 261e (so one oscillator), I think you would prefer the 261e though as its more musical (tonally that is)

292e Quad Dynamics Manager (VCA's, Filter, makes the bongo sounds)

281e Quad Function Generator (Envelopes and LFO's)

266e Source of Uncertainty (random, and noise). If you go for a small set up the 267e might be a good pick as its some of the 266e + a band pass filter... though many will argue that the 266e is part of the buchla forte. The 266e, 281e & 292e are pretty well priced compared with the rest of the line up... The sky's the limit after that...

There are some great third party offerings in Buchla format, one is the modulemodule platform, euro pricing and some amazing little modules available. There is going to be a MM that connects serge and buchla trouble free see Here

I suppose if you want something that you can grow the 200e might be the better pick, or if you want all in one stand alone, the easel might be better choice.

Good luck with your venture thumbs up
Kaput
I have very limited means, so I've started with a 'core four' like BHC303 mentioned, with the 267e as opposed to the 266e. The Easel looks great, but the sounds I want lie in the 200e, so I really haven't looked back. I love my little system and find so much to explore within it; it's very deep.
vgermuse
If you're wanting the 200e system then definitely I give a +1 to what BCH303 said -- that is clearly the core system. Best, Todd
nordlead
Thanks a lot guys, that really clears things up quite a bit. thumbs up
I guess I'll wait until the Easel finally surfaces (hopefully be the end of the month!) to see how that feels/sounds compared to a small 200e rack system. May be a good reason for a trip to Berlin as I understand Schneidersladen will have both It's peanut butter jelly time!
qu.one
I started with a 261e, 266e, 281e and a 292e and have no regrets whatsoever. About to build a 257 and a 258 clone. I just need to figure out if I get a 225e or a 206e for preset management.
abendrot
259e, 292e, 267e and the 281e would be my choice. I think the
266e is would be overkill in such a small system and the filters
in the 267e are amazing. You can also use them as two
analogue oscillators when you patch a feedback.
Gringo Starr
qu.one wrote:
I started with a 261e, 266e, 281e and a 292e and have no regrets whatsoever. About to build a 257 and a 258 clone. I just need to figure out if I get a 225e or a 206e for preset management.


Just curious why you went with the 261e over the 259e. How do you use your Buchla? Do you incorporate it within more of a song context? Or are you more interested in experimental modular contained artistic madness? 8_)
qu.one
I went with the 266e as I've got a great selection of filters in euro and wanted all 4 sections of Don B. randomness.

And I chose the 261e over the 259e out of the sheer fact that it was available used at the right time! I plan to get a 259e at some point for sure. I think the 261e was a happy accident for me as I am in love with its sound. The principal has the timbre section and the mod OSC at audio rate has waveform morphing and thumps.

I've been using it alone, with my Eurorack, and sequenced from the computer via the CVGT1 and my midi to CV. It's been used experimentally and musically. Been recording it in multiple passes to create different parts.

This is a track that's in progress and all buchla minus the obvious drums. The growl, the bass, the plinky sounds, etc.
http://qu-one.com/music/Bubbles_r1.mp3

I posted in another thread that's nothing but Buchla doing some "classic" Buchla type stuff.
Gringo Starr
If someone was more in to using modulars in a more traditional song context way would you say that the 261e might be more suitable than the 259e? And thanks for the link. I'll listen when I get home! Would you say your link is a good example of the sounds you get from the 261e?

I'm not trying to derail this thread. I'm thinking it's kinda still on track... a little.
BHC303
If you could stretch it, the core 4 + a 291e would be a killer little system!
Ebotronix
the System # 1 is a good choice...
http://youtu.be/NujVtEGyO7A

http://youtu.be/md4UisqHgbo

http://youtu.be/xyQhd3mI1as
dkcg
nordlead wrote:
On one side the Easel looks amazing (and quite a good bang for the buck ratio), but I also saw that there's a (4 module) System 1 that costs about as much as a new Animal.

I have to admit I'm a big fan of Aalto (but know next to nothing about the 200e system) so I wonder what a (minimal) hardware equivalent of Aalto would look like.


The Easel would be more like Aalto.

If I had no buchla and were just getting into it today. I'd put an order in for an Easel and decide after that if I like the interface and sound and want to get deeper. Like you said, more bang for the buck and not as big an investment as a small 200e system (which I think starts to really stand out after 6 modules).
Slabwax
@Ebotronix

I love the smell of LSD in the morning.
Kent
legionhwp wrote:
You get an analog VCO similar to one that folks are paying $4k++ for


Even the choice of the word "similar" is a tenuous association. Which analog VCO(s) are you referring to that costs over 4k USD and are similar to the Easel's oscillator? For the sake of the discussion, I'll assume that you are referring to the Verbos 258V. This isn't really very much like the Easel's oscillator. Although expensive, like all things in the Buchla system, it isn't $4k. Clone 259s are not very much like the functionality and sound of the Easel's oscillator.
Another thing is that a user does have a choice amongst a wide variety of oscillators for use in the 200e ecosystem. And then there is the question of polyphony.

I find the question of "Easel OR 200e" to be valid only when a hard limit as to how much will be spent on a system within 12-24 months is revealed. It's a given that both systems are wonderful tools and toys. However, the Easel can't even get remotely close to what a 200e can do. The 200e is so much more flexible and sonically broad that a comparison between the two products would be like comparing the 200e to an SH101 or Minimoog. This type of analogy shows that all 3 of the more keyboard oriented and closed systems have outstanding sonic character and valuable attributes of their own.

The 200e stands alone as a truly practical, multi-voice, live performance modular machine. I know that this is a contentious statement. It doesn't mean that other systems are the lesser or sound worse. It's simply a statement that no other manufacturer offers exactly what it is that the 200e system achieves in both ergonomics, preset management, practicality (i.e. internal i2c bus and audio paths), MIDI, control options and portability.
And, as one more 'dick move' on my part; I'll state that I think that the Easel wouldn't be as desired as it is if it weren't for the smart color-scheme, scarcity of the original product and the birth of the 200e bringing the Buchla name back to the the fore in our minds. The Easel is cute. It's cool. It sounds good. It is portable. Yeah. The primary reasons that it is being resurrected is that it fills a niche in our GAS/Gearlust and it allows entry into a playable Buchla-branded ecosystem at a lower price point for those that can't swing a viable 200e system. It's a smart move.
If a serious synthesist is interested in getting into a Buchla system, and they have $8k-$10k to start with on a system, as things stand right now; the 200e is the way to go.

As DKCG mentioned, the full 200e system really starts making sense at 6 or more modules.
Here is my idea for the 1st 6 modules. The next thing that I'd add would be the 223e, 207e, 251e or 257e, depending upon one's needs. Keep in mind that the 225e is an awesome MIDI-synchronized clock divider. The 223e could be withheld if one prefers a Manta, Soundplane, or other type of device like an iPad.
The main variable, for me, is the 225e. It's impossible to know what someone really wants from such a flexible system. A user could go 'all-analog' and drop the preset management. The 225e could be swapped out for a 297 phaser or the 285e Frequency Shifter / Balanced Modulator.



Oh, and buy at least a 10 or 12 space case. You will expand the system. I think that the 18-panel case is the best of the lot.
thesnow
Kent wrote:
I find the question of "Easel OR 200e" to be valid only when a hard limit as to how much will be spent on a system within 12-24 months is revealed. It's a given that both systems are wonderful tools and toys. However, the Easel can't even get remotely close to what a 200e can do. The 200e is so much more flexible and sonically broad that a comparison between the two products would be like comparing the 200e to an SH101 or Minimoog. This type of analogy shows that all 3 of the more keyboard oriented and closed systems have outstanding sonic character and valuable attributes of their own.

The 200e stands alone as a truly practical, multi-voice, live performance modular machine. I know that this is a contentious statement. It doesn't mean that other systems are the lesser or sound worse. It's simply a statement that no other manufacturer offers exactly what it is that the 200e system achieves in both ergonomics, preset management, practicality (i.e. internal i2c bus and audio paths), MIDI, control options and portability.
And, as one more 'dick move' on my part; I'll state that I think that the Easel wouldn't be as desired as it is if it weren't for the smart color-scheme, scarcity of the original product and the birth of the 200e bringing the Buchla name back to the the fore in our minds. The Easel is cute. It's cool. It sounds good. It is portable. Yeah. The primary reasons that it is being resurrected is that it fills a niche in our GAS/Gearlust and it allows entry into a playable Buchla-branded ecosystem at a lower price point for those that can't swing a viable 200e system. It's a smart move.
If a serious synthesist is interested in getting into a Buchla system, and they have $8k-$10k to start with on a system, as things stand right now; the 200e is the way to go.


I totally agree.
tIB
^ That's very close to my system- I have the 266e in place of the 267e (267e would be a better option IMO) and the 291e in place of the 261e (which wouldn't, even with the 267e's filters). I've had that config for about a year now and it's a very good little system, what I lack (and find annoying in general about buchla) is attenuation and to a lesser extent mixing. There are ways around most problems though by way of 225e and midi, or failing that grab an external box like a passive matrix mixer or splitmix4. So yeah, that's the smallest I could imagine feeling like I had a complete system with.

Also, with the case I have a six space powered that when I eventually add to I will just add another 6 space passive- you can power 2 more passives a from the powered case.
Kent
thesnow wrote:

I totally agree.


Holy shit! You and I are in agreement on something for the first time. Let's not have that again, shall we? lol

tIB wrote:
^ That's very close to my system- I have the 266e in place of the 267e (267e would be a better option IMO) and the 291e in place of the 261e (which wouldn't, even with the 267e's filters).


This is one reason why 6 spaces is tough. I couldn't be without the 291e or 266e. The 267e makes a lot of sense in a smaller system and that's why I've used it in my example as I couldn't do what you've done. I need at least 2 panels of dedicated oscillators. I don't think that I'd get by with a 259e and then using the 291e as extra oscillators although the concept works. It's all about choices and these become so difficult in a 6 panel environment.

I do find that that there is just enough in the way of CV attenuation to make the system work well. More is always better and that is why I've added a 256e, MM.atten, and 255 to my systems.
I left out a mixer in my example as I decided that this could be ably addressed with a Mackie or other type of mixer if the user were to deem it absolutely necessary to have more than the simple 4:1 unit within the 292e.

I should have put the following in my earlier post:

If a person is intrigued by Buchla due to having discovered the sound, brand and format via 200e videos, audio and postings here on the forum; they should know that they will not truly be able to adequately satiate their hunger with only an Easel. They should prepare for some disappointment if they are trying to kill the 200e bug via a less-expensive (initially) sojourn down a side-street.

The Easel is its own separate offering encased in its own set of parameters. It is not a scaled down 200e.
tIB
Yeah, I'm not sure I could look at a smaller system after using a bigger one and see how it works. I'd like more oscs in my system, which is why I was looking at the 267e as a replacement for the 266e, whilst still keeps the 291e. I've also cross patched stuff in when really desperate... I get by, but it is a compromise.
weinglas
+1 for nearly everything Kent wrote.

But if you do not want to spend twice of the price of an Easel for an 200e system in the end the Easel might be the better option. And you get some of the 200e goodies as well: like Midi in and (hopefully in the future) some kind of preset managing with an iPad.

On the other hand if you do not get Buchla GAS then a six space boat can give you fun for years too.
Kent
nordlead wrote:
Thanks a lot guys, that really clears things up quite a bit. thumbs up
I guess I'll wait until the Easel finally surfaces (hopefully be the end of the month!) to see how that feels/sounds compared to a small 200e rack system. May be a good reason for a trip to Berlin as I understand Schneidersladen will have both It's peanut butter jelly time!


I invite you to come to Vienna and try out my system. My system looks pretty much like this. I have another system as well but I don't know when I'll get that over to Vienna from Hamburg. It has some of the stranger modules in it.
nordlead
Again thank you so much everyone, we're not worthy that's gives me a pretty good idea to start from. Looks like one needs a lot of self control once the first foot is set into Buchla world ... (unfortunately I seem to suffer from a severe lack of such ...) very frustrating

Guess I'll go on vacation hoping that GAS will abate in the meantime (and maybe the Easel arrive ;-)

kent wrote:
invite you to come to Vienna and try out my system.


That's extremely kind thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up - if plan A above doesn't work out, some Buchla tourism in Europe actually sounds like fun (and a substantial threat to my marriage at the same time haha, need to find some pretext!). Might make more sense than Schneiders given that they just start with Buchla, so I wouldn't expect abundant expertise re the 200e there (yet)...
So I might end up coming back to you on this after the summer!
jazzbo58
I appreciate all the advice in this thread. I'm looking into acquiring a system soon. My first venture into the West Coast systems.

Cheers,
Jim
thesnow
jazzbo58 wrote:
I appreciate all the advice in this thread. I'm looking into acquiring a system soon. My first venture into the West Coast systems.

Cheers,
Jim


are you also pondering the music easel as your first step?
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