Arturia Buchla Easel V Virtual Instrument Software
One look at Arturia Buchla Easel V and you know this is a different beast. In fact, it makes you think differently about sound right from the start, and the soundscapes you can design with it are as unique as the front panel array. To put that experience at your fingertips, Arturia meticulously recreated the rare 1973 Buchla Music Easel right down to the component level. As you’ve come to expect from their other V-series instruments, Arturia went the extra mile by designing in an enhanced feature set including polyphony, innovative new modulation/control sources, step sequencer, effects and more. If you like to paint outside the lines, Buchla Easel V is the perfect artistic tool for you.
Welcome to West Coast school of synthesis
Buchla Easel V faithfully reproduces Buchla’s Music Easel that helped define West Coast synthesis’ focus on experimentation and breaking musical norms. Arturia applied their award-winning TAE modeling technology from the front panel to the resistors to capture it all with incredible realism.
Complex oscillator design, AM and FM synthesis, uniquely percussive gate/filter combos and numerous ways to modulate and clock just about every parameter all drop you right in the middle of a sonic sandbox. Design and perform soundscapes that burble, shimmer, pulse and evolve without ever touching a keyboard or pad – unless you want to add even more control. Nearly 300 presets by expert sound designers get you started with timbres ranging from hauntingly beautiful sonorities to clangorous pokes in the ear.
Whether you’re looking to experiment with simple sounds or build complex evolving passages, Buchla Easel V is a constant source of inspiration for sonic adventurers.
Create sounds no one has ever heard before
Arturia's made patching even more fun and foolproof: when you drag a color-coded patch cable between patch points, only valid targets light up, saving you the frustration of making invalid connections that do nothing. The original Music Easel lacked a noise source, so Arturia added one to the preamp, handy for introducing rhythmic elements. They've also designed a feedback loop into the preamp, so you can really get things howling. Up to four-voice polyphony greatly enhances your performance capabilities, too.
New control, new inspiration
Arturia has dramatically expanded the functionality of the original Music Easel while respecting the instrument’s unique personality and design philosophy. One click reveals all the new additions: the Left Hand section provides five full-featured function generators individually routable to any of 76 modulation targets, the Right Hand section gives you a modern step sequencer with innovative options, and Gravity is an X/Y grid that uses the physics of a bouncing ball influenced by attraction, repulsion and collision with objects to generate unique, unexpected modulation signals. There’s also a two-slot effects section for additional processing and animation right inside Buchla Easel V.
Buchla Easel V’s main sound generator is the Complex Oscillator. Its core waveform is a sine wave to which you add harmonics through wave folding, a type of wave shaping where the peak of a wave is cut off and folded back onto itself. The number of folds determines the harmonic content. You can induce further harmonics by crossfading that with a square, triangle or sawtooth wave. The Complex Oscillator can either be under melodic keyboard control or fixed in pitch for rhythmic elements, drones and more. Pitch and timbre can be modulated.
The Modulation Oscillator is hardwired to modulate the Complex Oscillator and optionally patchable to other targets. You can set it for amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM) or to AM-modulate an external signal like another track on your DAW. In low frequency range, AM and FM produce effects like tremolo, vibrato and trills. In audio range, they create distinctive sidebands that reshape the main sound source, generating anything from subtle harmonics to otherworldly ring modulation. Audio range also gives you the option of using the Modulation Oscillator as a second sound source, complete with it’s own timbre, pitch and voltage inputs.
Dual low pass gates
Easel V features two low pass gates, essentially 12 db/octave voltage-controlled filters (VCFs) configured to behave like gates, in that the closed state is actually just a sub-sonic cutoff frequency; this is yet another contributor to the instrument’s unique sound. You can switch each gate’s mode between filter, gate or combination. Gate 1 is hardwired to the Complex Oscillator. You can switch Gate 2 to process the preamp’s output, the Modulation Oscillator or the Complex Oscillator. In the latter case, the two gates operate serially for some unique effects.
Buchla’s gate design employs vactrols – optically coupled LEDs and light-sensitive resistors – exhibiting organic attack and decay properties ideal for imitating tuned percussion. No two vactrols behave identically. Arturia modeled these individual components and have given you control over their response characteristics in their commitment to complete faithful reproduction of this iconic sound.
Arturia has upgraded the preamp to give you more creative options. The new feedback option loops the output back into itself, making it possible to introduce overdriven analog resonances. Where the original instrument lacked a noise generator, Arturia added one to Easel V that you can use as a source for percussive sounds, dirty atmospheres and more.
Easel V’s ASR envelope generator features switchable operating modes. In Sustained mode, the sustain portion has a minimal duration that can be extended as long as a note is held. In Sustained mode, the envelope completes regardless of whether the key is briefly hit or durably held, handy for percussion patches. Self mode, added to later hardware incarnations of the Music Easel, causes the envelope to repeat endlessly, resulting in cyclic effects more complex than you can realize with LFOs. You can also set the envelope to be triggered by the Pulser or Sequential Voltage Source, providing you with a variety of unique methods of realizing sonic animations.
Pulser and Sequential Voltage Source
Pulser provides a straightforward source for simple or repeated triggers that you can route a number of places, including options for free running, clock sync and more; it’s an easy way to create something like metronomically repeated gating. For more capability, Sequential Voltage Source outputs three to five programmable voltage steps you can collectively route to modulate various targets: pitch for melodic variations, modulation amount for timbral changes, amplitude for a series of gain steps and more.
Random Voltage Generator is great for generating unpredictable voltages, including presenting different values simultaneously on each of its patchbay outputs. Preset Voltage Source outputs one of four voltages according to the value you set for the associated pad, handy for performance functions like predictable transposition offsets. You’ll love driving Easel V from external audio, such as using a DAW drum track to trigger parameters you connect to the envelope output of the built-in envelope follower. You’ll also find plenty of other patchable goodies including clock pulse, voltage inverter and MIDI-to-CV outputs for velocity, wheel and key follow.
While some connections are already hardwired in Easel V’s semi-modular design, patching is where the real magic happens. With most modular synths, patching quickly results in a morass of cables that make controls difficult to see and signal flow hard to understand. With Buchla Easel V, almost all patch points appear in a common patchbay strip, making for much easier programming. They’re all color-coded for easy identification and you’re only able to make the valid connections that illuminate as you’re dragging a patch cord.
Each of five independent function generators is capable of creating complex, predictable modulation of any of Easel V’s 76 modulation targets with extreme accuracy. Create up to 16 break points per function generator, each point having its own level, rate, slope and randomization. Curves can be bipolar, allowing the signal to modulate both above and below the baseline. You can also select how each function generator is triggered, looped and clocked for complex animations. Having five of these function generators at your command gives you unprecedented automation possibilities – and you can even modulate one function generator with another. Insane!
Gravity brings more erratic variations to your modulations through game physics. Modulation is determined by X/Y position in Cartesian space, where you map two independent modulation destinations and amounts per axis to a myriad of destinations. Use your keyboard, Pulser or Sequential Voltage Source to launch projectiles that bounce off the bounding horizons and objects you place, optionally triggering variable-length gates in the process. Black holes, white holes and wormholes even attract, repel or transport projectiles in novel ways. There are plenty of options for retrigger, loop and clock, too. Gravity offers a universe of irregular modulation possibilities you’ll find nowhere else.
This piano roll-style sequencer lets you define an exact length up to 32 steps. Want a 13-step sequence loop? No worries! Each step accommodates up to four-note polyphony. The intuitive graphic interface also allows you to easily drag notes to new positions and/or durations spanning multiple steps. In true Buchla style, each step can optionally be offset by the virtual control voltage you’ve programmed into any of the four Preset Voltage Sources you’ve set on the virtual keyboard. You control if and how your sequence loops, triggers and syncs to clock. Randomization and master gate complete a uniquely elegant sequencer.
Easel V comes complete with every standard effect you can think of, so the processing you need is completely integral to your sound design process and saved patches. Serial effects slots let you combine any two for complex designs like delaying a chorused signal to really fatten things up. You can even do things like combine two analog delays to add motion with even more interesting timing.
Arturia's redesigned preset browser lets you quickly find just the sound you're looking for. Search by name or simply select the appropriate tags to dial in on the exact sonic character you're looking for. You can mark and recall your own favorites, enter comments and set up playlists. There's never been a more intuitive way to manage your library of designer and personal presets.
The user interfaces for all your Arturia instruments are now resizable, making it easy to work with any high resolution screen, UHD or Retina. You can decide whether you want to fill the screen with awesome graphic reproductions of classic instrument goodness, scale the window down when you're working in a DAW and screen real estate is at a premium, or even zoom for detailed work.
- System requirements
- macOS 10.10 or greater
- 4GB of RAM
- 2.5 GHz CPU
- 1GB hard disk space
- OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU
- Win 7 or greater (64-bit)
- 4GB RAM
- 2.5 GHz CPU
- 1GB hard disk space
- OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU
- Plug-in compatibility
- VST 2.4
- VST 3
- Audio Unit
- Can also be run as a standalone application
- This software is protected by the Arturia Software Center, Arturia's utility software for managing your installations, activations and updates
- Activations allowed on up to 5 different computers simultaneously
|Software Type||Virtual Instrument|
|Plug-In Formats||VST 2.4
|Operating System Compatibility||macOS 10.10 or greater
Windows 7 (64-bit) or greater
|Licensing Method||Online Authorization|