Syndrones & Syntones

by Benge

/
1.
Syndrone 100 18:33
2.
Syntone 100 03:39
3.
Syndrone 200 16:04
4.
Syntone 200 04:09

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Download includes full colour PDF booklet

The four compositions that appear on this album were originally commissioned by The Source Of Uncertainty Podcast, a monthly programme dedicated to discussing Buchla electronic musical instruments. Having been asked to compose some Buchla music for their Artist Spotlight section, I decided to create two sets of music each for the 100 and 200 Series systems, and to use a similar compositional approach to each piece in the hope that it would highlight the similarities, and also any differences, between the two systems. Here are my notes on the pieces:

“Here are two improvisations on each Buchla system, the first two on a vintage 100 from the late 1960s and the second two on a cloned 200 Series, designed during the 1970s

There are some significant differences in sound between the two eras, most noticeably the tone of the VCOs and the filters. I would describe the earlier VCOs as being richer, fuller and brighter than the 200 Series but not as stable, and the filters being more powerful and pure in nature. The 200 system introduced the Low Pass Gates, timbre-shaping on the VCOs and the Spectral Processor (a filterbank with voltage control over the 16 frequency bands), all of which give the system a very distinctive sound that was absent from the 100

Personally, I like the overall tone of the 100 Series very much, as it has a power and richness that puts it in the same league as other early systems such as the Moog Modular and the ARP 2500. I am not sure if there is a similar power in the original 200 Series modules (as opposed to modern cloned ones) as I have never been able to compare them directly, but my guess would be that the various filters, VCOs and other things that Don began to introduce in the 1970s took the sound away from the more basic and simple sound of the 100, exploring and pioneering other avenues as he went towards fully digital systems in the 1980s. It is a fascinating progression, and one that is mirrored in the development of synthesisers in general between the 1960s and 1980s, as digital technology gradually took over”

The systems used were as follows:

Buchla 100
Vintage Modules:
102 Dual Stereo Locator
106 Six Channel Mixer
110 Dual Gate
111 Dual Ring Modulator
112 Touch Control
123 Sequencer
130 Dual Envelope Detector
140 Timing Pulse Generator
144 Dual Square Wave Generator
156 CV Processor x 3
158 Dual Sine/Saw x 2
160 White Noise Generator
165 Random Voltage Source
175 Dual Line Driver / EQ
180 Dual Attack Generator x 2
185 Frequency Shifter
190 Dual Reverberator
191 Sharp Cutoff Filter
194 Bandpass Filter
Cloned Modules:
110 Dual Gate
144 Dual Square Wave Generator x 3
146 Sequencer
180 Dual Attack Generator
205 Dual Matrix Mixer

Buchla 200
Cloned Modules:
205 Dual Matrix Mixer
208 Stored Program Sound Source
212 Dodeca Module
218 Touch Control
224 Patchbay
248 MARF + Expander
256 Dual CV Adder
257 Dual CV Processor
258 Dual Oscillator x 2
259 Complex Waveform Generator
261e Complex Waveform Generator
266 Source of Uncertainty
275 Dual EQ / Reverb
277 Signal Delay
281 Quad Function Generator x 2
285 Frequency Shifter
292 Quad LPG
296 Spectral Processor

Recorded direct to disk with no other
processing or effects

credits

released April 1, 2021

Written, performed, produced and designed by Benge at Memetune Studios

(c)+(p) 2020 Expanding Records / Memesongs

Thanks to Kyle Swisher and Robert Standefer, Source Of Uncertainty podcast

Benge is managed by Steve Malins @ Random Management

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