Buchla Easel V

Buchla Easel V


The Buchla Easel V is the first recreation of Don Buchla’s iconic instrument that helped define experimental West Coast modular synthesis in the early ‘70s. Our enhancements translate to vastly expanded possibilities for sound design and avant-garde music.

Unique sound generation à la Buchla

Get your hands on an authentic replica of the definitive sound sources and signal processing that brought a different perspective to the world of analog synthesis.

1. Modulation Oscillator

The Modulation Oscillator is hardwired to modulate the Complex Oscillator, optionally patchable to other targets. You can set it for amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), or to AM-modulate an external signal like another track on your DAW. In low-frequency range, AM and FM produce effects like tremolo, vibrato, and trills. In audio range, they create distinctive sidebands that reshape the main sound source—anything from subtle harmonics to otherworldly ring modulation. Audio range also gives you the option of using the Modulation Oscillator as a second sound source, complete with it’s own timbre, pitch, and voltage inputs.

2. Complex Oscillator

Buchla Easel V’s main sound generator is the Complex Oscillator. Its core waveform is a sine wave to which you add harmonics through wave folding—a type of wave shaping (also found in Arturia’s Brute hardware synth series) where the peak of a wave is cut off and folded back onto itself. The number of folds determines the harmonic content. You can induce further harmonics by crossfading that with a square, triangle or sawtooth wave. The Complex Oscillator can either be under melodic keyboard control or fixed in pitch for rhythmic elements, drones and more. Pitch and timbre can be modulated.

3. Dual Low Pass Gates

Easel V features two low-pass gates—essentially 12 db/octave voltage-controlled filters (VCFs) configured to behave like gates, in that the closed state is actually just a sub-sonic cutoff frequency. This is yet another contributor to the instrument’s unique sound. You can switch each gate’s mode between filter, gate, or combination. Gate 1 is hardwired to the Complex Oscillator. You can switch Gate 2 to process the preamp’s output, Modulation Oscillator, or Complex Oscillator. In the latter case, the two gates operate serially for some unique effects.

Main Features

A component-level model of the Buchla Music Easel
Complex and Modulation oscillators, dual Low Pass Gates, output section with spring reverb modelling
Modulation sources perfecly reproduced : 5-step Sequencer, Envelope Generator, Pulser
Semi-modular architecture, color-coded routing and cables
Enhanced functionalities, synchronizable Pulser and Clock, Oscillators quantization
Left Hand modulation sources to create multi-point envelopes and LFOs. Add randomness and smoothing to the modulation
Right Hand step-sequencer module
Gravity XY modulation source. Control the sound with the movement of a projectile flying among planets and worm holes!
10 effects, Phaser, Flanger, Chorus, Overdrive, Delay, …
Control on the Vactrol modelling for fast, medium or slow response
Up to 4 voices of polyphony
256 factory presets”