Friday, 25 March 2016

Buchla 360

Sadly this is only a panel, but its a glimpse into the world of the Buchla 300.

What is it? It's part of  the Buchla 300 Series Electric Music Box.

The 300 is described as a Digital/Analogue Hybrid Music system.
I have never seen one in the flesh and wonder what they were like.

The 360 is very rare. Formally, its called the "360 Programmable Octal Signal Source".
It's a 8 Voice Digital Synthesizer with 3 oscillators and a dedicated Buchla Lowpass/Gate per voice.

The 300 series were basically computer controlled 200 systems and it marked a return to analog modular synthesis when the rest of the world was going digital. ....mid 1970s's.
It used a patch programming language (Patch IV) to control the mostly 200 modules.
What made this special was that though many of the the modules were analog, the 300 offered digital control. This same concept of patch control is found in the modern Buchla 200e.

The 300 Series Controller/Processor was programmed using the 221 Kinesthetic Input Port touch keyboard.

The 221 had two modes :Programming or Performance.
The 221 had 50 real touch sensitive keys which could function in the +0 or in the +50 performance modes.
Special keys for programming in the Patch IV language included CMND, EXEC, DEL,  KEY,  SEQ, VOLT,  FUNC,  SEQ, SUBR, JUMP,  SKIP, INTP, SET, etc. etc.
Patch IV was written in 8080 assembly language, and used 28 K bytes of
RAM & 8 K of ROM. The 300 processor was the Intel 8080. This was a 8-bit micro processor originally released in 1974.

The 8080 was the basis of the MITS Altair 8800, for which Bill Gates and Paul Allen wrote BASIC.
The rest is history.

Please let me know if there are any errors or omissions.

No comments:

Post a Comment