Saturday, 30 April 2016

S(w)Easel - Buchla Easel Expanded with 258v + Euro

Finally finished putting together the S(w)Easel – it’s a Buchla Easel paired with a 258v, a JB Reverb (in MM format), a row of 1U Utilities and some Euro. Output is via a build-in 4 channel stereo mixer (I always wished the Easel was stereo and now this one is!) I had a custom case built for it all in original Easel Blue. 

The 258 is a perfect compliment to the Easel’s oscillators and gave me the idea to create a 10 panel system based around the 208 and 258. The bottom ‘spare’ panel next to the keyboard is a 22hp ‘sandbox’ where I can swap out various Euro modules to compliment a particular set. To start with I’ve picked some West Coast flavored modules - triple bandpass filter, Radio player and a gritty echo – what I like is that all those functions can be found in Buchla 200 modules, but here I get to squeeze them in as ‘slimline’ euro versions while still retaining an overall Buchla sound and feel. 

I’ve recorded an inaugural video with the system to demo some of the features. 
All performed live direct to a digital stereo recorder, no external effects or processing. 

Percussion is from a modified Volca Beats, with its audio straight into, and processed by, the S(w)Easel. The Beats is simultaneously clocked from the Easel and also in turn clocks an EG on one of the 4 VCA’s. Near the end of the video you can see me messing with the clock speed. 

The Piece is a bit long at 8 mins, but I kind got carried away with it – it’s a lot of fun having all that firepower in a coffee table sized case. 

I rewired the two 1/4" outputs on the Easel side panel to give me true stereo output from the 1U 4 channel mixer. 
Still has Midi-in for the 218. 

Case colour is as close as I could match to the original Easel case. 
Removable Lid is 70mm deep to allow all patches to stay in place. 

I have space at the top edge of the case to add some more goodies later - I have a plans for the Buchla><Euro tiles from Synovatron, plus I'm going to add a Midi clock divider. 

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