Evolution of an idea
The program interface’s edge card connector was originally designed to let artists create presets by wiring resistors to a circuit board to fix the positions of the sliders and banana connections. Each preset was its own card. Simply swapping cards in the program interface completely changed the sound. This was valuable, if not outright necessary, to musicians who needed to easily recreate patches for performance and create repertoire. The 2013 “iProgram Card” created a vital link between computer and Easel. Now, in 2022, Buchla USA has refreshed and simplified the design, giving it more memory, embed-ability, and making it easier to use.
Virtual Solder Station
While you can still solder up some sounds for all generations of the Easel, the new Program Manager Card provides microcontroller precision and computer convenience. Serving as the digital bridge between your computer’s USB port and the 28 pins of the Program Interface, the PMC gives you instant recall and easy access to 48 unique programs that control almost every parameter and patchpoint on the Easel’s front panel. Repeatability and repertoire are made instantly available.
Using the Buchla Program Manager Application in Mac or Windows to design presets gives you even more programming options than the Easel’s front panel controls. The unique “Depth” controls for the patch cords put a virtual knob on every cable, allowing gradual and even inverted connection for every patch point. The fine resolution provided by high resolution controls means you can dial in extremely precise values for parameters, in a way not easily achieved by hand. The application serves as an endless extension to the Program Manager, with nearly unlimited space for presets and banks.
Sharing is Fun
Import and Export features make it easy to backup or share your presets and complete banks with other Easel musicians in a simple, small file. Since the Program Manager ultimately relies on MIDI sysex data, it’s possible to incorporate this data into software of your own making for remote control of the Easel and stored programs.
Optional Embed Kit
Use the optional Embed Kit to install the card into your 208c, making it easier to view the screen and keep a lower profile.