US synth designer Buchla is releasing another run of its Music Easel.
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The announcement coincides with the synth’s 50th anniversary. This edition is the closest yet to the 1973 original. It comes in the same style of Zero Halliburton case with vinyl padding and original gold-coloured touchpad keys. Some small updates have been made, including additional modulation routings, four pre-set voltages (rather than three on the original) and MIDI in and out.
Around 100 will be built, with a price of roughly $10,000. Pre-orders will open in June, with an expected delivery date of late 2023.
Since its initial release in 1973, the Music Easel has been celebrated as a highly idiosyncratic and creative instrument. It’s a two-oscillator semi-modular synth but its approach to creating and modulating tones is different to conventional synthesisers. The first oscillator has both an audible and an LFO rate. The second is a “complex oscillator,” essentially a sine wave onto which you can add additional waveforms and control overtones.
Don Buchla, who died in 2016, was one of the earliest US synth pioneers. While Moog, Sequential Circuits, ARP and Oberheim championed “East Coast” subtractive synthesis, Buchla created innovative additive synths and modules. They’re now some of the most highly prized electronic instruments in existence.
The first reissue of the Music Easel came in 2013, followed by a few other limited production runs. Buchla has said it will produce another run of the reissues this year, alongside the 50th anniversary edition. The standard reissues will cost around $5,000.
Watch a video of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith using a Buchla Music Easel.
Originally reported by RA.