Credited with creating one of the first analog modular synthesizers, Don Buchla's unique vision has provided us with the most singular electronic instruments of all time. A contemporary of Robert Moog, Buchla pushed musical boundaries—and to this day, his designs are a benchmark for what an adventurous, performer-centered electronic musical instrument can be. Buchla instruments are intensely personal and playable, and have inspired countless musicians and instrument designers alike.
Don Buchla began creating modular musical instruments in the 1960s in collaboration with the San Francisco Tape Music Center. The Buchla 100 Series Modular Electronic Music System was responsible for some of the most iconic sounds of the 1960s avant-garde, used for Subotnick's Silver Apples of the Moon, Douglas Leedy's Entropical Paradise, and more. The 1970s Buchla 200 Series expanded on the 100 by providing extensive options for voltage control and advanced audio processing, while the 500 and 300 Series instruments were some of the earliest hybrid analog/digital musical instruments. Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, Buchla produced self-contained hybrid instruments such as the Touché, 400, and 700, and in the late '80s and '90s shifted his focus toward the development of advanced MIDI controllers such as the Thunder, Lightning, and Marimba Lumina.
In the early 2000s, Buchla returned to hybrid modular instruments with the 200e Series, an advanced instrument that provided the flexibility of modular synthesis with the convenience and creative potential of preset storage. And of course, 2013 saw the re-release of the Buchla Music Easel, one of the most sought-after portable synthesizers of all time. Now, along with the 200e system, Buchla USA produces designs which honor Don's legacy by bringing his ideas to new formats and new musicians—from collaborative efforts like the Buchla Thunder overlay for the Sensel Morph and Arturia Easel V to their own refinements of classic instruments, such as the Easel Command desktop instrument and Red Panel Eurorack series. The primary choice of musicians like Suzanne Ciani, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Morton Subotnick, Todd Barton, and others, Buchla makes instruments that have kept musicians captivated and creative for decades.