The Buchla IProgram Card is here!
The iprogram card is the 21st century interface to the classic 20th century Buchla Music Easel, analog synthesizer.
The card, in combination with its iPad app, lets you program all the parameters of the Easel’s sliders and knobs, save them as a performance patch, then recall the patch with the touch of a button.
The iprogram card App stores limitless performance patches. You can create your own “bank” of 24 performances and upload them to the card for instant recall.
The card can be accessed by the Easel in either “remote” mode or “both” mode.
In remote mode, the card takes precedence (all sliders and knobs become inactive) and you can control and change the Easel with all the parameters of the keyboard: portamento, arpeggiator, octaves and preset voltages.
In both mode, with creative programming you can also interact with Easel’s sliders and knobs.
Important features of the iPad App are:
Latching of the virtual keys in arpeggiation mode.
Extra patch points for CV of the Envelope Generator and Timbre Waveforms.
Ability to perform/control the Easel in a “live” performance.
The Easel is first and foremost a performance instrument. As Don Buchla stated in the forward to Allen Strange’s original 1975 Easel manual:
“Our goal was to create an instrument for performance. One with a vocabulary that was varied, accessible, and not presumptive. We weren’t particularly in¬terested in imitating any extant instruments, either functionally or acoustically. We did want the potential for expressive, real-time perform¬er-instrument interaction.”
The iprogram card goes a long way to enhancing and expanding the Easel’s performability. And keep in mind, both Don and Allen always thought of the original program card (where you soldered resistors to mimic slider/knob settings), not as a “preset” but as an “instrument definition” – that is each program card was a different expressive performance instrument.
Typically I do an entire concert set manipulating just one “instrument definition”, the fact that I can now have 24 “instruments” immediately available boggles my mind!
Check out the Buchla Easel Remote Control App its Free!
* Wireless functionality requires an accessible Wifi router or hotspot.
Kris Menace´s recent Album ‘FEATURES’ includes collaborations with Julian Hamilton from ‚The Presets’ (Modular), the fabulous Miss Kittin, Daft Punk Collaborator ‚Romanthony’, House Legend ‚Robert Owens’, German Soulsinger ‚Xavier Naidoo’, Swedish Grammy Nominated ‚Unai’, Justice’s We Are Your Friends singer & Simian frontman ‚Simon Lord’, Get Physical and Royksopp guestvocalist ‚Chelonis R Jones’ and other great guest appearances.
This colorful video features sound artist Charles Cohen improvising on a 1970′s Buchla Music Easel. This extremely rare instrument is one of Don Buchla’s 200 series. Buchla (a pioneer of audio synthesis) only manufactured 14 of these units. The entire film was edited from an hour-long set of free improvisation, with audio was taken directly from Charles’ mixing board.
At this time the film is only available online. While you can stream it in HD, it is best viewed on DVD.
Please contact the filmmaker for hard copies if interested.
Alex can be reached at alextyson (at) gmail dot comVideo