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- Order number: 190093
The Buchla 261e is the classic Complex Oscillator. Even though its sinusoidal core is digital, this only eliminates disadvantages such as unstable tuning. The analog waveshaper that the signal passes through is one of the finest of its kind and offers sounds that have an incredible depth. Unlike some other oscillators of this kind, the "Symmetry" and "High Order" parameters always have an audible effect independent of the timbre control, and all transitions and interactions sound fluid and organic.
The 261e consists of two separate oscillators. One of these oscillators, called the "Modulation Oscillator", serves mainly to modulate the other, called the "Principal Oscillator".
The modulation oscillator can be switched between two frequency ranges. In "Low" mode it oscillates between 0.25 Hz and 64 Hz, while in "Hi" mode it covers a frequency range between 27 Hz and 7040 Hz. In a third mode, "Track", it follows the pitch of the main oscillator and can be shifted relative to it regarding pitch. If it is set to 440Hz, it will vibrate at exactly the same frequency. A two-color LED helps to hit this frequency. The voltage controllable waveform of the modulation oscillator can be shaped steplessly from sine to square to pulse wave. It can be synchronized to the main oscillator by classic hard sync or soft sync in the form of a PLL (phase locked loop). Synchronization to incoming MIDI Note On messages is also possible. For pitch control it offers both a CV-input with attenuator and an audio-FM input with simple attenuator. The output signal of the modulation oscillator is available separately as both CV and audio signals.
The Principal Oscillator generates a sine signal that oscillates between 27Hz and 7040Hz. This is processed by the timbre section, where Timbre, Symmetry and High Order can be set manually and CV-controlled. Pitch, amplitude and timbre can be modulated in any combination by the modulation oscillator. The CV-controllable parameter "Index" controls the modulation depth. Like the modulation oscillator, the main oscillator offers a CV input with an attenuator for the pitch, as well as an audio-FM input with a simple attenuator.
All parameters can be stored and recalled with the Preset Manager of the modules 206e or 225e.
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.