Buchla - Easel Retro

€5,598.00 *
Net price: €4,704.20

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs

Pre-order - Delivery date t.b.d.

  • 230356
Except for a few small changes here and there, it is very much like the original - an extremely... more
Product information "Buchla - Easel Retro"

The absolute classic returns! For its 50th birthday, the Buchla Music Easel synthesizer returns in the retro version.

Except for a few small changes here and there, it is very much like the original - an extremely well-thought-out instrument with great sound and sensibly placed patch points. This Retro Version strikes with the classic design in the suitcase, with the beautiful Rogan poti caps. The left panel is for connectivity. There's a MIDI in and out, and you can access the 208C and 218e V3 via separate USB-C ports. The USB port on the 208C is used to connect to the program manager and on the 218e V3 it is possible to install new firmware. There is a ground output, an input for a sustain pedal and two audio outputs. Finally, a connection for a lamp is also available.

The small sequencer and the touch keyboard with integrated arpeggiator invite you to play the instrument directly and to interact with it, which is great fun and can create interesting polyrhythmic patterns. When synched to MIDI the arpeggiator rate control acts as a clock division control and allows for triplets and other divisions.

At first glance the Easel looks challenging because of the many switches, faders and many sockets, without labeling, but in the end everything makes sense and it's laid out very logically. The colors of sockets mostly match the function blocks of the Easel (purple = keyboard pressure, yellow = pulser, white = random, orange = envelope, blue = sequencer). The black sockets are CV inputs that are always  located on the left of the according parameter. The sockets at the top of the unit have labeling and are self-explaining. The position of most banana sockets below the faders has been chosen for the use of shorting bars instead of patch cords which enhances clarity of your patch.

The sound generation of the Easel is based on a complex main oscillator and a modulation oscillator. The latter is generally used for modulating the main VCO but it can act as a second VCO and it can be routed into the 2nd Lopass Gate, see below.

The main oscillator can be tuned over 5 octaves with the frequency fader and the response to incoming CV can be changed with the +/- polarity switch. The waveform is depending on the controls in the timbre section: With timbre fader and waveshape potentiometer set to zero we will hear a sine wave. Turning up the waveshape potentiometer the waveform blends from the sine to a triangle, square or needle pulse, depending on the switch. The timbre fader modifies this waveform by the use of a wave multiplier for sounds with high harmonic content.

The modulation oscillator has no timbre section, only switchable waveforms (saw, square or triangle). In HI mode it's a VCO, in LOW mode it's a LFO. Its frequency can be modulated also by the keyboard (switchable) or a CV. A switch determines how the modulation oscillator affects the main oscillator, either as a ring modulator, amplitude modulation or frequency modulation. The modulation intensity is set with the modulation fader but can be voltage controlled, too.

The oscillator(s) are processed with the Lopass Gates (LPGs). Those are vactrol-based circuits with organic behavior and can operate as lowpass filters, as VCAs (gate) or as a combination of both. The audio signal for the 1st LPG is always the main VCO. The second LPG is 180° phase shifted and has a flexible routing: either output of LPG1 (what creates highpass sounds due to the shifted phase), the modulation oscillator or an external audio signal. The outputs of the LPGs are mixed in the output section and their levels can be set separately. Behind the mixer there's a real spring reverb with dry/wet control providing more depth in the Easel´s sound when desired.

The Easel can be played with the touch keyboard and/or the sequencer. The keyboard senses the amount of skin touching it, resulting in a pseudo pressure sensitivity. It has a range of 2.5 octaves but you can transpose octaves with the four pads on the top right. While normal playing it senses one finger that determines the pitch, but when using the internal arpeggiator all fingers are analyzed. The arpeggiator has its own tempo control and can be synced to MIDI.

The Pulser is an impulse generator you can use as a clock source or as a second LFO. It can self-repeat or be triggered by key gate or the sequencer. The envelope is an AD or a ASR type, depending on the setting and can be triggered by the pulser, sequencer or the keyboard gate. The analog sequencer has three, four or five steps and features per step gate switches; it´s gate source can be the pulser or the keyboard gate. Interaction of the switch settings and the simultaneous keyboard play can result in really interesting poly-rhythmical structures.

The four touchpads mentioned above can´t only transpose the octaves; in "preset" setting four pre-set fixed voltages can be played to alter the pitch or other parameters.

For the 50th anniversary, the Easel is available in three versions. This retro version, the modern version and the 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition.

External videos:

Related links to "Buchla - Easel Retro"
Here is the information available on the brand...... more
Buchla U.S.A.

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. 

230355_1 Buchla - Easel Anniversary
€11,100.00 *
Net price: €9,327.73
230413_1 AJH Synth - Synth System 9U
€6,399.00 *
Net price: €5,377.31
230408_1 Serge Modular - Paperface 50 System (Helios/TKB)
€5,068.00 *
Net price: €4,258.82
230409_1 Serge Modular - Serge Paperface 50 System...
€5,558.00 *
Net price: €4,670.59
230412_1 AJH Synth - Synth System 6U
€4,399.00 *
Net price: €3,696.64
200011_1 Grendel - RA-99 Grenadier
€498.00 *
Net price: €418.49
230417_1 Metasonix RK8 VCO
€2,468.00 *
Net price: €2,073.95
230400_1 Weston Precision Audio - H1 Analog Harmonizer
€478.00 *
Net price: €401.68
200072_1 ALM Busy Circuits - System Coupe
€2,398.00 *
Net price: €2,015.13
230200_1 System 80 - 810 Mk2
€538.00 *
Net price: €452.10
210779_1 Soma - Enner
€798.00 * €848.00 *
Net price: €670.59
230426_1 Intellijel Designs - Tangrams
€278.00 *
Net price: €233.61
230381_1 Expert Sleepers - Aloysius
€199.00 *
Net price: €167.23
210343_1 Meng Qi - Wingie MKII
€189.00 *
Net price: €158.82
210532_1 Tiptop Audio - Buchla Quad Function Generator 281t
€209.00 * €229.00 *
Net price: €175.63
230440_1 Make Noise - 4 Zone Case
€1,049.00 *
Net price: €881.51
230420_1 Winterbloom - Castor & Pollux II
€318.00 *
Net price: €267.23
230181_1 Sinusoda - Six Pack (7U 104HP)
€488.00 *
Net price: €410.08
210214_1 Erica Synths - Quadrophonic Noise Panner
€2,166.00 *
Net price: €1,820.17
210036_1 Verbos Electronics - Producer Configuration...
€6,599.00 *
Net price: €5,545.38
180179_1 Grp Synthesizer - A4
€6,198.00 *
Net price: €5,208.40
230421_1 Sequential - Trigon-6
€2,798.00 *
Net price: €2,351.26
230359_1 Floatingpoint Instruments - Multiclock
€568.00 *
Net price: €477.31
230414_1 Benidub - DS01E Dub Siren
€458.00 *
Net price: €384.87
230405_1 Noise Engineering - Univer Inter
€298.00 *
Net price: €250.42
220493_1 Elta Music - Polyvox PF3
€458.00 *
Net price: €384.87
220517_1 Qu-Bit Electronix - Nautilus (Black)
€438.00 *
Net price: €368.07
210398_1 Analogue Systems - System 3 (Apprentice Case)
€4,400.00 *
Net price: €3,697.48
180346_1 Make Noise - Rene 2
€548.00 *
Net price: €460.50
170312_1 Tasty Chips Electronics - GR-1
€889.00 *
Net price: €747.06
180135_1 Black Corporation - Deckard's Dream MKII
€4,950.00 *
Net price: €4,159.66
230041_1 Boredbrain Music - Mimix
€108.00 * €122.00 *
Net price: €90.76
220304_1 Happy Nerding - FX Aid Pro
€340.00 *
Net price: €285.71
220020_1 APB - ProRack House H1020 (Direct Out Post Fader)
€4,198.00 *
Net price: €3,527.73
210033_1 Verbos Electronics - Performer Configuration...
€6,475.00 *
Net price: €5,441.18
200370_1 JMT Synth - LD-2
€598.00 *
Net price: €502.52
180504_1 Endorphin.es - Shuttle System
€2,379.00 *
Net price: €1,999.16
230403_1 ALM Busy Circuits - BXx2
€198.00 *
Net price: €166.39
230404_1 After Later Audio - uO_C 1U
€298.00 *
Net price: €250.42