Add some unusual percussion to your productions with the cult synth’s alien sound.
Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments (BEMI) was a manufacturer of synthesizers and unique MIDI controllers. The origins of the company could be found in Buchla & Associates, created in 1963 by synthesizer pioneer Don Buchla of Berkeley, California. In 2012 the original company led by Don Buchla was acquired by a group of Australian investors trading as Audio Supermarket Pty. Ltd. The company was renamed Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments as part of the acquisition. In 2018 the assets of BEMI were acquired by a new entity, Buchla U.S.A., and the company continues under new ownership.
The samples are more abstract and alien than the standard Roland and Korg drum sounds, making them ideal for any producers with TR-808 fatigue.
Buchla’s unique synthesizer designs
Buchla tended to not refer to his instruments as synthesizers, as he felt that name gives the impression of imitating existing sounds/instruments. His intent was to make instruments that create new sounds. This goal is evident in the omission of a standard musical keyboard on his early instruments, which instead used a series of touch plates that were not necessarily tied to equal-tempered tuning.
He also used a different naming convention from most of the industry. For example, one of his modules is called a “Multiple Arbitrary Function Generator.” These differences run deeper than nomenclature though. The Multiple Arbitrary Function Generator (or MARF) goes well beyond what a typical sequencer is capable of performing and is capable of acting as an envelope generator, LFO, CV selector, voltage quantizer or tracking generator.
Buchla’s instruments, such as the Music Easel (pictured), use a different method of timbre generation from Moog synthesizers. Moog units use oscillators with basic function generator type waveshapes and rely heavily on filtering with 24 dB resonant low-pass filters, while Buchlas are geared toward complex oscillators using frequency modulation, amplitude modulation, and dynamic waveshaping to produce other forms of timbre modulation. Many of Don Buchla’s designs, including the Low-Pass Gates (later called Dynamic Managers) contain vactrols, photoresistive opto-isolator employed as voltage-controlled potentiometers, which contribute to a very “natural” Buchla sound. In December 2017, Arturia released a software/plugin emulation of the Music Easel, called the ″Buchla Easel V″, as one of the classic analog synthesizers they represent.
The Music Easel was designed by the late Don Buchla in the 1960s. Its design was meant to encourage more experimentation than synthesizers with a standard keyboard layout and gained a small but loyal following.