EURORACK vs BUCHLA vs SERGE question

Hi!

In a few weeks, thanks to the sale of an old violin that unfortunately I cannot continue playing, I will be able to invest part of the sale in the purchase of equipment. For a long time I have always been tempted to enter the BUCHLA world but the high prices of this material always put me back. Currently my main equipment fits in a 3U and 98 HP suitcase, and among the main modules that I have I would highlight the ER101, ER102, ER301, TELETYPE, ANSIBLE, JUST FRIENDS, 3 SISTERS, VERBOS COMPLES OSCILLATOR y HARMONIC OSCILLATOR y 2 SERGE (RESONANT EQ and VCFQ). My big question right now is whether to expand my case and buy some voices and effects for Eurorack, or to open a new line and buy a 208C from BUCHLA or even a second-hand EASEL. I am very attracted to the organic sound of this instrument, although I have never played one. In addition to all this, a few weeks ago I acquired my first SERGE modules and I am really surprised at the sound they give, so SERGE could also enter the equation. I’m interested in the idea of ​​having a 100% functional synthesizer from a single manufacturer that can easily be transported to different performances. I mainly do experimental / concrete or ambient music. Any eurorack / Buchla user who can shed some light? Anyone who can give some idea of ​​why someone would want to step outside the eurorack world to other territories? Moderators, there has probably been a lot of talk about this matter, so surely it can be moved to another post …

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I have been very interested in going Serge, but the cost of starting over is simply more than I can do. In looking into this however, I noticed that the Random Source Serge modules are built to work within the Eurorack environment, but are still built to Serge standards. Meaning, if you are feeding a euro oscillator into a Serge filter, it is being overdriven by a significant amount. Going exclusively Serge will of course solve this issue, as will investing in utility modules that will increase and decrease the audio level (because you need to also increase it to go back into euro).

This video by Learning Modular does a good job of explaining.

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In terms of portability and convenience, you can’t really beat Eurorack. Also if you’re into concrete - it’s hard to beat the number of tools available in Eurorack. I personally love the Morphagene, Mimeophon, and Erbe-Verb when doing that kind of thing.

One nice thing about the Easel unlike other choices is that you’re getting a complete instrument. It’s very portable and quite easy to combine with some Eurorack modules to expand the palette - Todd Barton has many great demos of this combination if you’re looking for some inspiration. I have access to one in my studio, I’m by no means an expert, but it’s a really great system with tons of possibilities.

I love the R*S Serge eurorack modules. I also have access to a R*S 4U XL boat system, working with bananas is lot of fun - but personally it’s not enough for me to get to rid of my Eurorack Serge and switch over.

Having tried all these different options - my opinion is that there’s not much of an interesting vs. discussion. They all sound different and bring something special to the table.

Based on what you’ve said, I think the important quality that you’re looking for is that of unified instrument - thus this leaning towards an Easel or a setup from one manufacturer. I would say go with that instinct.

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For me it’s euro rack for sampling and effects. Then the easel for an instrument experience but I’d hold fire as they are going to update the easel again shortly. Then serge for a traditional modular experience and a raw tone without being serious ££. For all those reasons I got a make noise setup. It’s a mixture of all those with modern and new twists. However nothing compares to the easel as an instrument experience. 200e with an easel would be my dream setup but I’d still have to supplement it with some euro for fx and interesting sampling/sequencers

Faced with the same prospect as you…i’d buy a ciat lonbarde coco & plumbutter

unless i could find a serge boat w/ WAD

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easel for complete instrument idea/interface (announcing the new easels next month, should be cheaper than any version of bemi/clone after some emails with eric fox), plumbutter 2 for experimental/concrète workstation, less ‘synthesized’ sounds, more unique next to your existing setup

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The new 218 coming out that soon?

should be officially announced with pricing next month I mean. not exactly sure when they’ll be shipping. some new aux card, program manager stuff as well.

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Great news :slight_smile: look forward to the announcements,

Live patching with banana cables is generally more convenient/pleasant compared with eurorack and there are many interesting routes to take with modern serge and serge inspired banana systems.

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Ohh!! Really? After reading this I’ve seen that there could be some plans for Buchla for Eurorack. Is that correct, or just rumors?

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I missed that question in the original post and cannot say emphatically enough… (1) I would NEVER have explored euro if i’d properly understood the advantages of banana patching (2) would happily leave it all behind if teletype, crow, just friends, and 3 sisters existed in banana format

everyone has different priorities but for my purposes and preferences nothing matches banana for synthesis

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I feel exactly the same

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i’m not really sure tbh. i’ve maybe seen a post somewhere saying they’re going to port older 200 series designs to eurorack (or buchla format)? but I agree with @glia - banana patching is a superior experience and the verbos co sounds enough like the real thing (208/259 osc) to warrant going in that direction. i have limited experience with the sputnik modules, but if you want buchla in euro, verbos is hard to beat.

for reference, I own an easel and it’s the one thing in my setup that i’m sure I will own forever. i’m also almost finished building a verbos/mannequins/er-301 euro system. I live a mile away from control voltage in portland and have gotten to play with lots and lots of euro, but those designs stand out to me the most in practice.

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It is unlikely I will sell my Shared System, but I will say that even the largest and most expansive interfaces in eurorack generally still feel small and cramped. If I did it over again I would probably have gotten a Music Easel or a Hordjik system because it combines the esoteric approach of Buchla and Serge with the great ergonomics (IMO) of 5U. The only downside of 5U is 1/4" cables, bananas seem the most ideal.

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For me the lack of sample mangling modules in both BUCHLA and SERGE formats is whats retaining me from going that way. Having the ER301 or even a simple RADIO MUSIC is basic for my forkflow. However, having modules like the CO and HO from VERBOS has allowed me to explore in someway the West Coast style of synthesis. So the thing now is a Buchla is going to give me an extra something, or should I upgrade my eurorack case with other Verbos or WC style eurorack modules …

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As I’ve never experienced this, could you further explain this?

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banana cables have better feel on patching and because they lack the ground contact, there are no clicks-pops during the live patching. I tend to have several cables hanging loose and I’m using them almost like switches putting them in and taking them out while modulating the sound. Cable manipulating is part of technique when working with banana.

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All that plus the stackability.

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somebody can probably explain better than me but my reasons

  • stackable
  • partial connections do not cause crackle
  • connector has multiple openings (usually)

as @t3h said i like messing with cables rather than turning knobs while patching to alter pathways of voltage

banana lets me add myself to the circuit

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