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The Dual Arbitrary Function Generator is an extremely complex 16 step function generator. Of course you can use it as a simple 16-step step sequencer, but the module can do much more. Not only can you output up to three CVs per step, which can be quantized and/or interpolated, but you can also address three pulse outputs. Within the 16 steps loops can be created with loop counters and nested into each other as desired. Not only can the tempo be modulated via external CVs, but an attached CV can replace the internally generated CVs per step and can also be sampled if necessary. The individual steps can be addressed, stopped, started, and so on, and so forth via CV...
The Dual Arbitrary Function Generator is a 16 step function generator. The steps are arranged in a circle and each step segment contains a large and a small knob. Two CVs can be generated per step, which can be set via the large knob. The smaller knob adjusts the period during which the step is active. Both the CV and the time can be scaled to different ranges per step for easier operation. In addition to the two CV outputs, the time parameter also provides a CV output.
All three CV outputs can be quantized and/or interpolated per step. The latter causes a glide or portamento effect when modulating the pitch. All time values can also be externally scaled using control voltages. The CVs as well as the time parameters can be replaced by an external control voltage per step. For example, an LFO can be inserted at certain steps of a rigid sequence instead of the divided voltage at the CV output. If the "Fix" function is also selected, the signal applied to the CV input does not simply replace the value set by the controller, but is sampled when the step is reached and then held for the length of the step. This behaviour corresponds to a sample and hold function. Within the 16 steps you can create any number of loops. These can either be repeated permanently or jump to the next step via a loop counter after a certain number of repetitions. This allows you to create any number of loops within loops, so-called nested loops. However, the steps can also be addressed directly via CV. In Continuous mode, the sequencer immediately jumps to the step corresponding to the external CV. In "Strobe" mode, addressing only takes place when a pulse signal is also present at the "Pulse" input.
The function generator can either work with its own tempo, jump from step to step with an external pulse or be synchronized via MIDI clock. If required, these settings can be adjusted per step. In combination with the "Mode" pulse input, it is possible to determine per step how the step should react to this pulse. The possibilities are: Jump to the next step, pause for the duration of the pulse, run only during the duration of the pulse and then pause or stop when reaching the step.
All settings on the module can be stored and recalled with the preset manager in the modules 206e or 225e.
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Pioneering synthesizer design since the mid 1960s with Morton Subotnick and the San Francisco Tape Center, Don Buchla has been responsible for the invention of the sequencer, low pass gate, random voltage generators and the complex oscillator, among others. Shortly before his passing in 2016, his rights were acquired by Australian holding company BEMI (2012-2017) and since 2018 is operated by Eric Fox of Buchla USA, based in Minnesota. Buchla USA offers the whole 200e series catalog and boats, as well as the iconic Music Easel.