Buchla 200e 2013

Buchla 200e

Buchla 200e

Are you wondering What/When/Why?

People familiar with the original Moogs will recognise a modular synthesiser from a mile off. Random rows of sci-fi knobs and dials, with strings of patch leads strewn all over the place.

Well, now we know that it’s an analog synth, but when I hear it’s in current production, I have to admit, in this era of software modules and chaos pads, I’m wondering Why too.

And also Who — as in Who on Earth would want the hassle of this monstrosity these days? Maniacs, I say! Especially with a price tag of about $30,000. Rich maniacs!

The Buchla is built up from a selection of about twenty individual modules, such as the Multi Dimensional Kinesthetic Input Port, the Arbitrary Function Generator, the Duophonic Pitch Class Generator, and the oddly named Source of Uncertainty.

Buchla connections

Buchla connections

I can grudgingly see how someone might get a buzz out of assembling these parts and then wiring them up in creative ways. Composer and Nine Inch Nails collaborator Alessandro Cortini has made some terrific sounds with this contraption.

But hell, I remember programming the Altair in the 80s. I thought it was great fun then, but when the PC arrived — adios, forever!

At least the Buchla understands MIDI.