September 22, 2009


I got the panels finished.

August 8, 2009

Some audio demos

I have thrown together some quick examples of what the different functions of the Time Domain Processor sound like. There's no art here, it's just an ARP sequencer, 259, 281, 292 together with the delay unit. I think this thing takes simple stuff to the next level.


this is the simple sequence run through the module in delay mode. Since it has 8 delays happening at once, the sound can be very complex. I add a little feedback, just to make things interesting. Later in the clip I position the sliders so that the delays get louder as they go to the right, creating the reverse reverb type sound I mentioned in the last post.


In this clip, the module is in pitch mode. The sense is set to turn on with each note. When the envelope follower opens, it hard syncs a sawtooth oscillator that is sweeping the delay time. This sounds like a pitch shift. With feedback it sounds like rising or falling echos.


Here I send some sound in and then grab it in the loop mode. I retune the sample and sequence it. Basic loop stuff.


In this clip, I am using a sample loop (sound sampled from the 259) as an oscillator. It's patched through the 292 and sequenced on the sequencer.


Here I add some audio rate FM to the sample loop, to show how much it can be hurt.

August 6, 2009

Sometimes Experiments Work

I have been talking about digging into the 288 schematics and redesigning the digital section to eliminate the obsolete shift registers. It's an 8 stage voltage controlled digital delay, BTW.

Well, upon building up the prototype, I came to find that several of my original ideas didn't work as I hoped they would. After some rethinking and experimenting, I solved those digital problems. I now have a working version of the design. It makes some very interesting sounds, that I haven't heard before. It's cool sounding to have the short delays very quiet and them get louder as they get longer, it sounds like reverse reverb. Also, the looping stuff is out of this world. Woah. Now I just need to get my silk screening done.

June 17, 2009


Buchla 100 cabinets have wood strips that the modules screw into. It's a functional system, except that wood is not grounded or protective from RF interference. Early 200 cabinets had each module in it's own chassis box, then these boxes were held down from the front with metal strips between the rows. The strips cover the module name and the bottom credits, probably why modules form that era don't even have "Buchla & Associates" or "CBS Musical Instruments" even "San Francisco Tape Music Center Incorporated" at the bottom. ;)

The later 200 series cabinets, the model 203 series, use the "boat" system, that is still in use by B&A today. The cabinets fold in half, and the boats are relatively shallow, not wasting huge amounts of space like a Moog type cabinet. Sometimes this shallowness bites you in the ass, (like when trying to mount a 208 module in your cabinet for instance) but usually it is great. The only time I lose my temper is when I get "Tinnermanned."

The Tinnerman nut is named after noted mechanical engineer.... I don't know who Tinnerman was, but I bet Carroll Smith's Nuts, Bolts, Fasteners, and Plumbing Handbook has that information in it. Tinnerman Nuts, or Speed Nuts, are used instead of threading the rear piece, when attaching a piece of sheet metal to another. The Buchla 200 and 300 series boats have larger holes milled into them and then a Tinnerman nut that the panel screw threads into. To be "Tinnermanned" (a term Reed Hays and I coined after being victimized by it repeatedly) is to start threading in the screw and realize that the threads on the back half of the Tinnerman Nut have not grabbed on the screw and you are in fact screwed and have to take the panel off again and reposition it.

New 200e cabinets have threads built into the boats' rails. Although this means that some of the modules I have built have mounting holes that are slightly out of allignment with these boats, users of these cabinets will never be Tinnermanned. All that said, I have been asked where to get some Tinnerman Nuts.

I've gotten them from here

They look slightly different than the ones that came on Buchla cabinets, but they work the same. In fact, they are a little tighter fitting, so I have had better luck with these than vintage ones.

Happy screwing!

April 21, 2009


The modules pictured in the last post were a special request.

I in no way intended to indicate that I am no longer using black or blue knobs.

April 20, 2009

Don't Worry About Me...

I have had lots of problems including back ordered parts and my own health, leaving me behind schedule. I apologize.

All custom modules were either shipped last week or are going out this week, with very few exceptions (pulsers...).

The picture above is of a 254 and a 258v dressed in Selco knobs. Most have been made with blue Rogan knobs and black Davies respectively, but they do dress up ok this way too.

Thanks for everyone's understanding and I promise to post more now. I will be diving in to this 248 and hopefully getting it going very soon. Details will follow.

February 18, 2009

1.2 volt per octave input

Pictured is the 258v with the addition of a trimmed 1.2 volt/octave CV input (the grey banana jack on the left). I have decided to go with this system because it gives the trimmed CV in I want, but doesn't take away any other inputs or outputs. The fine tune control for the left most CV in, I believe only was useful when scaling that input for a keyboard.

I'm working on them, and still waiting on the Selco knobs...

February 6, 2009

Gentlemen, I give you the 258v

This is a clone of the Buchla 258 oscillator. Despite what some people might tell you, it is totally true to the original in sound and response. I made all the electronics fit between the panel controls on a single PCB, as opposed to wiring to it like the original. I replaced the obsolete heated transistor pair with a modern matched pair and a tempco. The CV inputs respond exactly the same as a 258c. This one has the CV input fine tune control on the left, but I will be doing them with a grey banana jack in place of that. It will be trimmed to 1.2v/octave, but the other CV inputs are unaltered. Now I just have to build the rest of these....

January 18, 2009

Verbos' little workshop

I have a full on production line going here. I <3 my new Swiss Assembly Jig!

January 16, 2009

"Hey Mark, why is the timbre always on?"

Sometimes analog switch chips will not respond to the front panel controls if the control pin is missing!!!! How did that happen? I don't know.

January 15, 2009

Holding Pattern

As I wait for my silkscreen guy to come back into town and the rest of the back-ordered parts to arrive, I give you a picture of a 258 clone with no front panel legend.

January 4, 2009

funny waveshapes

Some people think that a good waveshape is one that looks like what is printed in a textbook. A clean SAW wave is not always the best sounding one. Buchla 259s do not address the waves at the main output by the way they look, but rather by their harmonic content. Sure, there's a square and sine output, but the main output is a blend between even and odd harmonics, between hi and low order harmonics and between lo and high timbre. This always seemed, to me, like the better way for a musician to deal with oscillator output. The 258 claims to have a saw and square wave, but I feel that the spirit has always been about even or odd harmonics. They crossfade from sine to saw on the top oscillator and square on the bottom. The waves never look perfect, but they sound so good that the oscillator has a cult following. People clone it left and right. The above 'scope pics are from the prototype of my clone.

Here you will find some scope shots from an actual vintage Buchla 258C:

Looking good. Sounding good. Feeling good.