There is a modular synth show at the South Street Seaport (210 Front Street, New York) in NYC tomorrow today! It’s called the Control Voltage Faire and it runs from 3-8PM. If that’s not enough fun for you there is a Buchla Concert that follows from 8-10PM.
“Since most modular synthesizers are constructed at the cottage industry level and distributed online, it is difficult for users to interact with these instruments. Control Voltage Faire will be the first opportunity on the East Coast for amateur enthusiasts, professionals and the general public to experience analog synthesizer modules produced by DIY manufacturers and crafters. Like a small-scale NAMM show with the independent spirit of the Maker Faire, the Control Voltage Faire will zone in on the origins and future of modular synthesis. Presenters at the Control Voltage Faire include: Control, 4ms, Harvestman, Knas, Main Drag Modular, Make Noise, Malekko, SnazzyFX, MeMe Antenna and Pittsburgh Modular. And more to be announced! The evening will feature Buchla 200 Recital, presenting three composers exploring this powerful instrument: Alessandro Cortini, Carlos Giffoni, and Mark Verbos. To end the event, a late show featuring Xeno & Oaklander and Loud Objects will perform on all-analog instruments. The concert will take place in Lower Manhattan’s @SEAPORT!, located at 210 Front Street.” – facebook.com/events…
Here are two wonderful modular videos to get your week started. The first Buchla video above is from Italy and is just so very THX1138. Giorgio Sancristoforo does a great job creating lovely FM radio and filtering white noise. The next video shows Brazilian Arthur Joly’s incredible wall of metal. May these blips set the tone for a terrific week.
“A shortwave radio scans through North-African, Chinese, Russian, French, English and German channels, the output is then forwarded to the Buchla. Inside the synthesizer a white noise is processed with three narrow bandwidth band pass filters connected in serial configuration so to obtain quasi-sinusoids sounds. Both the sources are further processed with a balanced modulator and a frequency shifter and stochastically controlled by the Source of Uncertainty 266e module.” – giorgiosancristoforo.net
I love that on the Buchla site they say the following statement about their Thunder product, “Making no attempt to emulate the appearance or playing techniques of existing acoustic instruments…”. Hell yeah! The Thunder is straight out of the set of Star Trek the Next Generation. The underrated Vermona PerFourMers synths are a nice match. Shall we say PerEightMer?
“16 improvisations using the Buchla Thunder MIDI-Controller on two Vermona PerFourMers. In the sixth piece (from 7:01) the Thunder plays seven internal sequences (“riffs”) I had recorded beforehand. They can be scaled in real time, which I didn’t do here though.” – Katavist
Madrona Labs are a crew of three named after a tree. Their new synth takes after a Buchla. Aalto is $99 and doesn’t use a copy protection scheme other than watermarking your personal copy. Sorry PC users it’s Mac only. This could make a nice sister to the XILS Lab XILS 3.
“Aalto’s sound engine lets you create sounds that have been difficult or impossible to make with softsynths before now. The heart of Aalto is a Buchla-inspired complex oscillator, with FM, timbre and waveshape controls that enable a wide range of expressive sounds. These sounds are uniquely malleable and alive, in part because they are made with dynamic calculation, not static wavetables.” – Sonic State
I like random sequencers of any type. I’m always adding little variations in my music using Ableton’s Random plug-in. In Buchla form a random sequencer in action is video worthy. With bright blue digital numbers, red and green buttons and yellow cables who wouldn’t stop for a few minutes and watch this.
“I did this when i first got the 200e. The stages of the 250e are being selected by the random voltages from the 266e. The tip of the sonic iceberg that is the 200e and the lovely uncertainty that Don so thoughtfully provided us! The old SFTMC 100 is helping out.” – Joe Pascarell