Synth DB

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Buchla | 100 Series


Buchla synthesizers are the creations of Don Buchla, a circuit designer who produced synthesizers. Buchla synthesizers were among the first to use indivudally tuneable keys for limitless micro-tuning possibilities, analog sequencers, and complex waveforms other than basic sine, sawtooth, and square waves.

The first major synthesizer by Buchla was the modular 100-series produced from about 1963 to the early 1970's. The system usually consisted of a large wood case with room for a bunch of modules (up to 25 modules on a single power-supply). Although the modules consisted of your basic collection of voltage controlled oscillators, filters, etc. the unique keyboards on this and other models to follow were flat capacitance-sensitive touch-plates. Although they may feel awkward to play, they are pressure sensitive and individually tuneable. There were also 8- and 16-step analog sequencer modules available. Patching and programming a Buchla 100 was a monstrous task since lots of patch cords as well as synthesizer knowledge were a requirement to even get a sound to be heard, and the oscillators usually drift out of tune! These are extremely rare systems but they can make some awesome and unique analog music, if it still works.

Modules for the Buchla Series 100

  • 101 - wooden case for 25 modules, dimensions are 24" wide x 24" deep x 31" high.
  • 106 - Two 3-channel mixers with both separate and common outputs and level controls
  • 107 - Two voltage-controlled 5-channel mixers
  • 110 - Dual Voltage-controlled Gates
  • 111 - Dual Ring Modulator
  • 112 - 12 touch-controlled voltage sources (capacitive keyboard)
  • 113 - 20 touch-controlled voltage sources (capacitive keyboard) consisting of four circles, each of which is divided into five segments (1 central and 4 peripheral)
  • 114 - 10 touch-controlled voltage sources (capacitive keyboard)
  • 115 - power supply
  • 120 - Distributor - a cross mixer with four inputs and five outputs.
  • 123 - Sequential Voltage Source (8-step sequencer)
  • 124 - patchboard - 24 miniature audio jacks
  • 130 - Dual Envelop Generator
  • 132 - wave-form synthesizer
  • 140 - timing pulse generators
  • 144 - Dual Square-wave Generator
  • 146 - Sequential Voltage Source (sequencer, 16 step X 3 layer)
  • 148 - Harmonic Generator
  • 150 - Frequency Counter
  • 156 - Dual Control Voltage Counter to mix, compress and invert control voltages.
  • 158 - Dual Sine / Sawtooth Oscillators (VCOs)
  • 160 - White Noise Generator
  • 165 - Dual Random Voltage Source
  • 170 - Dual Microphone Amplifier
  • 171 - Dual Instrument Pre-amplifier
  • 175 - Dual Equalizer / Line Driver
  • 180 - Dual Attack Generator
  • 185 - Frequency Shifter
  • 190 - Dual Reverberator - two spring reverbs
  • 191 - sharp cut-off filter - Voltage controlled 24 dB/oct highpass & lowpass filters
  • 192 - dual low pass filter
  • 194 - 12dB/oct bandpass filter
  • 195 - octave formant filter
  • 196 - phase shifter
Model100 Series
Engine TypeModular
Engine DetailedSine, Saw, Noise
Produced:1963 - 1972
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.

Manuals, patches etc.


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