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- Order number: 190065
The Buchla LEM-208 is a Music Easel without the touch controller keyboard. In its place there is free space for 200e modules. The 208 module, the heart of the Music Easel, is an excellent entry point into the Buchla modular world, especially in combination with the Aux Card extension. The remaining four panel units can be used to easily add further sound or modulation options to the system.
Two oscillators form the heart of the sound generation. In addition to the waveforms triangle, sawtooth and rectangle, the main oscillator also offers a sine wave followed by a wavefolder. The modulation oscillator can modulate either the frequency or the amplitude of the main oscillator via a switch. Alternatively, it can also be used for amplitude modulation of external signals. In addition to its role as a modulator, the modulation oscillator can also be used as an independent sound source. Its waveforms can be switched between sawtooth, square and triangle waves.
The oscillators are followed by a dual lowpass gate. Both gates can be used in three modes: Lowpass Filter, VCA or Lowpass Gate. The main oscillator is fixed to Lowpass Gate 1. Lowpass Gate 2 can be powered either by Lowpass Gate 1, the modulation oscillator or the external input. In addition, Lowpass Gate 2 is phase-inverted, which in combination with Lowpass Gate 1 can lead to interesting effects. Before the signals of the gates reach the output, they pass through the integrated spring reverb, which can be mixed in if necessary.
On the modulation side, the Music Easel has a step sequencer that works with three, four or five steps and outputs both CV and trigger.
The envelope works in three modes: Transient, Sustained and Self. The "Transient" mode offers the parameters Attack, Sustain and Decay, where "Sustain" does not stand for the sustain level, but like Attack and Decay also represents a time constant. The sustain level is always maximum. In "Sustained" mode, the sustain time is defined by the gate duration. The envelope works like an Attack - Hold - Decay envelope. In the "Self" mode the envelope triggers itself again at the end of the decay time and thus becomes a kind of LFO.
The next modulation source is the Pulser. A mini ramp- or decay-envelope that can also trigger itself if required and, in addition to its function as a modulation source, is also an ideal clock source for the sequencer or envelope.
Memory cards or "program cards" can be used via a card slot. They give the Music Easel a preset memory. A switch can be used to determine whether the sound settings are made from the user interface or from the program card or from both at the same time(!). With the help of these Program Cards it is also possible to make modulations that are not possible with the user interface alone. To "program" these presets on the Program Card you need a soldering iron!
As an alternative to the Program Card there is also the iProgram Card. It is not included and allows to store up to 24 presets on one card. Completely without soldering iron, but with iPad and WiFi.
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.