…in the tradition of the Buchla Music Easel, EMS Synthi AKS, what are some other synthesizers that are closed systems, ‘playable’ (in the sense of their immediacy and gestural, real-time manipulability, like an acoustic instrument) and emphasize complex control functionality and modular signal routing? I’m thinking about this in contrast to not only ‘studio instruments’, which emphasize extensive programmability (i.e. lots of patching) while sacrificing more gestural immediacy (e.g. eurorack, Serge, Moog 5U, et al.), but also keyboard-based synthesizers—insofar as these favor complex audio signal path (complex sounds) over complex control/modulation possibilities.
Something both the Easel and AKS have in common are preset patch recall, which seems crucial to the immediacy of such an instrument. Obviously many digital keyboard instruments have this feature, but doesn’t seem terribly common in modular synthesizers (recent examples might be Erica Synths SYNTRX and Pico System III, Buchla 200e, digital modules like SSSR Labs Matrixarchate, MN Tempi, Teletype, et al). Preset recall obviously affords the ability to perform discontinuous global modulations of texture, which is basic on an acoustic instrument.
Anyway, please share instruments that you feel meet the criteria described above. Hopefully what I’ve written here is sufficiently coherent.