Sunday, June 5, 2011

Buchla Go BOOOooooooOMmm...

I've been working on a new track using the 200e and keep coming back to an interesting sound I discovered while trying to explore the 261E . One thing I have noticed with the 200e that is a bit surprising to me is how BASSy it gets. When looking for info on the sounds of the 200e I heard a lot about the digital characteristics and sound of the oscillators and the FM and wavetable features but not much on it's traditional analog capabilities. Fair enough, the 259e is a marvel of modern synthesis and Buchla and assoc have worked hard to tame this beast with all sorts of digital routing, Midi options, and computer organized and operated features. I'll even admit it leans toward more digital sounding synthesis which even my own Demo from this blog here illustrates.

But for all it's digital capabilities the 200e is still, at heart, an ANALOG modular synthesizer which takes full advantage of control voltage and old school features.

Prior to having one here in at the Help Wanted Productions studio most of the demos and info I came across showed it's more metallic and, for lack of a better term, "ping crazy" bell-like tones. The 281e Envelopes have a setting that make it easy to get that well known light bouncing plink sound (more on that in another post) but with a little coaxing I was able to repeatedly run into some very rich bass heavy tones as well. I'm using one of these to build a track and uploaded a short loop of the low end sound I'm referring to here: (Warning: This is a bit, well, Boooomy :) )

Buchla Bass Loop by DAEDSound

One of the tricks for this is the 292e "VCA" module which allows you to add some combined voltage controlled filter and envelope gate. It's very organic and round sounding and pretty much anything sent through that will get a bit of low end to it. But the main ingredient in this is the Mod Osc in the 261e itself.

I'm sure someone will confirm or correct me but it's my understanding the waves in the 261e are analog. They sure as hell sound like it. The 261e has a variable waveform Modulating Oscillator which can be tuned manually or via CV in. More importantly, the wave shape can be CV controlled and on the direct output of this it seems all wave forms have a smooth buttery type feel to them. Nothing harsh at all and quite contrary to the other sharp and digital sounds of the 259e or even heavily modulated sounds of the other side of this module on the Main Osc outputs.

When combined with the woody 292e this output can be downright wall shaking. Throw some modulation into the WShape CV in and it comes alive in a very traditional 808ish Bass type way.

For the demo sample above I have some chaos from the Source of Uncertainty 266e module slapping the waveshape CV in. The 266e is being triggered by the Pulse out of the 250e which is sending gates and pitch info to the 281e/292e and other oscillators.

Again, I submit this post for those who are curious or concerned about the 200e's ability to make classic analog synth sounds. In this case the Complex Oscillator is doing it without any help from it's timbre section as well. I usually get a bass Boooom sound by sending a Sine wave into a lowpass filter with the resonance cranked UP and the Cutoff minimal. Here, one section of one side of the 261e is doing most of the work with some color from the 292e. In the track I'm using this on I switch between both and gate only mode on the 292e which does affect the tone but the bass low end is still there and LOUD.

How low can you go indeed.

1 comment:

dougcl said...

261e is a digital oscillator. The wave shaping section of the principal oscillator is analog.