Controlling Buchla with Monome

I have gone back to focusing on using a Buchla modular. I still have a bit of Euro and my Ansibles, Grids and Arc4 are the core of Sequencing for that rig.

While I very much enjoy the 250e sequencer, I am trying to keep my 200e set-up relatively small. So, I decided to opt for the 225e Midi Decoder (plus preset recall) module and use outside sequencing plus the 223e touch controller for controlling the Buchla.

I have a few midi sequencing options but mostly use a Synstrom Deluge and some iPad apps currently. These work but I look over at my Monome ecosystem and really wish that I could easily integrate it with my Buchla. In fact, as cool as the 223e is, I would possibly let that go if I could use my Grids and Arc4 to sequence/control the Buchla. So, that has me thinking about how I could make this happen.

A big part of my decision to come back to the 200e is the preset recall capability, especially for live use. Therefore, using my computer with Max or M4L devices isn’t a complete solution since I don’t have a laptop and really don’t want to drag one around with me. I will have some fun at home with this option.

My first thought is to reach out to Synovatron and have a custom Euro to Buchla adapter module(s) made and bring a little skiff with me. This very well may be the solution. Not as elegant as I would like but it would get the job done.

What would be awesome is if I could have a few Monome modules repaneled behind a one space Buchla blank with the right circuitry to adjust/scale the CV coming in and out. If I could have 2 Andibles with 2 USB inputs in one space of Buchla…Amazing! Does anyone know of a mad scientist that could make that happen?

I am pretty sure that this idea doesn’t exist, but is there any sort of open source module for Buchla? I have been using it following Buchla stuff for years and never have seen this. Would be cool to put some Monome apps on an open source Buchla format module and be good to go.

Last idea I have is watch Norns development for awhile. I see that Earthsea has been ported over to Norns. Does anyone know for sure if other apps that live in the Euro modules are going to be ported over to Norns? I doubt that I could be using my Grids and Arc4 simultaneously and running to different apps at once but it could be a clean, easily transportable olution to get some Monome control into my Buchla rig. Note that I know that I am not going to be really programming on Norns - my music time is precious since I have young kids, demanding career and side businesses. I just know me and I won’t be willing to struggle through learning a ton of coding.

Thanks for any and all ideas/suggestions and feedback, etc.

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The Buchla Eurorack adapter is the solution to fit that “must have” Eurorack module in your 200e or LEM system. The module accommodates up to 20HP Eurorack modules and provides the power via a 16-pin header. Jack adapters assist in routing signals to the rest of your system.

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Hey, thanks. I forgot to mention why I don’t think that is a good solution for me. Not enough ins and outs, even just for one Ansible.

@zebra, any thoughts or suggestions?

I think the Buchla blade is the best way to go but you would still need a 4 channel custom build for the conversion from euro to Buchla from Synovatron also. I have a 200e system and Monome system and thinking of doing the same thing. Synovatron does do 4u Buchla size panels also. I saw a 4 channel one recently in Buchla format specifically for use with an Ansible but the Ansible was not part of the panel.

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Wouldn’t a firmware patch that changes the scaling of the outputs be the easiest way? As far as I’m aware, all the monome modules use a voltage lookup table (defined in music.c), so if you’d calculate the correct values for 1.2V/o scaling and compiled your firmware yourself using the changed music.c file, your modules would just output buchla-compatible voltages to begin with, right?

That might take a few hours to figure out if you’re not comfortable with this stuff, but seems a lot simpler than using some external scaling solution. Not sure if I’m missing anything, as I don’t have any experience with monome-module-development, but it seems like the best solution to me. Maybe someone with more experience can chime in?

well, this approach would require keeping a Eurorack case next to and grounded with the 200e, since there are size differences, power differences, power connector differences and jack differences. possible, but probably a hassle.

I guess this also means something like the (long gone) Make Noise Format Jumbler isn’t gonna cut it

Here was the Synovatron build I mentioned earlier for Ansible. It doesn’t solve the problem of having Ansible in the same place - that’s why I think the blade thing plus a Synovatron euro 4 channel custom. The only issue is I think you could only get 1 Ansible and 1 converter in that 20hp space unless you go for the bigger 40hp Polyglot blade. Looking at the photo I don’t think there would be room to squeeze an Ansible in behind the 4u custom panel but you could always ask.

This is Nathan Moody’s 20hp Blade - the issue here is its not 4 channels and he’s using a different sequencer but it gives you an idea of size



@ x2mirko & Alanza

I thought there should be a solution for the pitch in the code. The issue would be 5v gates, Buchla takes 10v pulses instead. I had wondered about that option with CV processing to get the 5v to 10v.

I am okay with dragging a little dorpfer beauty case if necessary. I do have a stand alone Format Jumbler that is pretty large.

Thanks for those ideas and pictures. I will reach out to Synovatron and see what a custom adapter will cost. I do like that via a Blade with a Synovatron an Ansensible would actually be in the Buchla case.

Any thoughts on using a Norns via usb to midi Din cable to my 225e? That could be a secondary way to sequence and use the Ansible with the Arc4 if the Grids is connected to the Norns (and vice versa).

I don’t have a 225e as i use the 250e and 223e and looking at Norns, in theory it should work. I would be more inclined to use MLR / Earthsea with Norns and Kria / Meadowphysics / Levels with Ansible. Use a different sequencer for a different song live and hotswop Grid/Arc as needed. Tehn did mention Arc apps will be coming on Norns. I personally wouldn’t sell the 223e as you would never get that amount of tactile control from any other controller or sequencer and imho it ties the system together as a playable instrument.

It’s also worth noting that a Disting mk3 and mk4 has a Euro/Buchla converter but only for one set of cv/gate

Disting - E-7 Euro to Buchla converter.
This algorithm is for interfacing Eurorack (or more generally, any analogue synths using the 1V/octave standard) with Buchla synths.
Input X/Output A convert a pitch CV from the 1V/octave standard to the 1.2V/octave standard.
Input Y is a gate input, triggering when the level exceeds 1V. From this, a Buchla-format combined gate & trigger is generated from output B. This is a 4ms pulse at 10V, followed by a sustained gate at 5V.
The Z knob/CV provides a tuning control, with a range of approximately ±0.5 octaves.

Yeah, I really enjoy the 223e after I set it up right. You are correct though, nothing like it and it ties the whole system together.

Good to know about the Disting, now they just need to release the mk.5 so the 3s become cheaper :rofl:

Yeah, that performance usage you described is pretty much what I see in my head too.


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I am still waiting to get my hand on Grid + Ansible, and I also have no experience with music easel / 208r - but got curious if one could use somehow Grid + Ansible to interact with 208r? I am pretty sure I would not enjoy too much in the long run tapping my fingers on that music easel keyboard thingy.

Buchla and Euro have different voltage standards.

To make them interact properly you would need to use a conversion module, there are a few for Euro.

Other than that the interaction should be nice. But I should note, the 223e is the best form of interaction with a Buchla system. You should look at the Buchla Easel-K.

Yes, this is the first thing that popped when I started searching

Also I read that one could calibrate 208 for 1v/oct…

Would love to see a video of Grid + 208 jam.

Never played a 223e, but the Keen Association Model 220 is no slouch either.

I am sure the Keen 220 is awesome; I am a fan of everything Alex has made for the Buchla ecosystem. He also has some amazing things in development too.

Regarding Monome and Easel - yes, Synovotron is probably your best bet. I have a custom panel being built from Synovotron that will allow up to 2 Ansibles to control my Buchla. I am not the only one that has/is going for a custom solution from Synovotron.


Heres my 14hp Ansible / Buchla solution currently being built.
It will hopefully sit next to an Ansible in a Buchla blade.


Please share some videos once you got the system rolling! That sounds exactly something I’m looking for…

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Also, do you have the buchla blade with ansibles installed on LEM-208 or something similar?