Noisebug press release / Buchla future

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by LVU » Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:22 am

This thread is pure gold! :yay:

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by mermott » Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:24 am

KSS wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:07 pm
Coming back to the OP of this thread there is a video of Noisebug where their employee could not seem any less interested in what the person taking the video was trying to achieve.
Most citizens are filmed and recorded all the time now and body language (or inflections of speak) even when contradicting what is being expressed in words can be interpreted rather easily when most us are clueless about controlling these, despite our desires, attempt at politeness or deceiving intents.

One of the positive gains in the crushing flow of information offered that is demanding we make something of it, is that I believe through hours and hours of video footage streaming before our eyes, we are constantly trained at reading cues. But maybe you could say that we are becoming experts at staging convincing emotions directed to the attention of others at the same time. Even though this is a reality in less trivial parts of our lives, I am reminded of very vocal bits of enthusiasm that regularly came to pepper some of those video demonstrations.

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by mermott » Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:59 am

To Voltage_Controller, the OP : sorry for the mess, but thanks for visiting again :)
I like how this conversation is larded with small salutes to Noisebug while debates about something else are bubbling.

Thanks a lot to those here distilling bits of the history and structure of this community that were lost on most of us.

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by KSS » Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:05 am

mermott wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:24 am
KSS wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:07 pm
Coming back to the OP of this thread there is a video of Noisebug where their employee could not seem any less interested in what the person taking the video was trying to achieve.
Even though this is a reality in less trivial parts of our lives, I am reminded of very vocal bits of enthusiasm that regularly came to pepper some of those video demonstrations.
Here's a link to the thread with the video I was referring to.
https://muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic ... o#p3046641
And on YT

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by mermott » Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:55 am

I briefly spoke with Don around the time the 272e was released. I brought up Cage’s Imaginary Landscape pieces and we marvelled at how early these were. But i didn’t feel he thought there was a connection to his work.

It seems to me that the 272e was intended as a different noise source. Of the sort that can be brought by the person who designed the Source of Uncertainty and not a Sample & Hold, and Arbitrary Function Generators instead of Step Sequencers. In place of constant white or pink noise, you are presented with a signal and frequency content that is constantly and arbitrarily changing. It can be used as an arbitrary sampler or one voice, but you may also see it more as a modulation tool or part of a processing patch.
Don cherished his freedom and understood the value of chance as a compositional device, that’s probably why he would not impose one way of using his designs. He seemed to give enough credit to the artists using his tools to think they could come up with things he had not envisioned.
neubauer wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:04 am
my problem is that I am a purist but I also like third party manufacturers so it becomes a mental nightmare for me. At the end I finally buy modules like Keen, Verbos, Studio H, ... but after that I see my Buchla case and I say to myself, this is not a Buchla :doh:
That is a difficult problem to tackle. ;)
shoegazer86 wrote:
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But, times change, contributions to art and design are just that, contributions.

The number of units in the second batch of the 282e for example can be counted on one hand, so it obviously cannot be compared to euro production in many terms. Each builder (or very small association of builders) has his own personal perspectives, his own way of coming at it, and complimenting Don’s initial line. And what i think is capital, one’s freedom to pursue specific interests, since we are not really considering design comity work here.

Apart from their own interests, builders have friends they enjoy interacting with and possibly learn or borrow equipment from, just the way Don was. I am thinking for example of Dave Kean of Audities Foundation / Cantos Music Foundation who left his mark on several B&A designs.
Keen Association seems interested in the history of vanguard electronic music production, Doug at Studio H and Mark Verbos seem to come more from a techno background. The Buchla format builders are talented and driven people in the process of learning and experimenting with ideas and we are benefiting from their dedication to the format, BUSA included i believe.

Only the 208C is now someone else’s baby in the BUSA line. I am looking forward to Joel Davel eventually getting the green light for more post-Don 200e development. We've been given *HINTS* about this, so maybe one day...?

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by tIB » Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:58 am

PDT wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:32 am

I can only tell you what happened out of my own experience...
Many thanks for taking the time - really interesting!

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Re: Noisebug "just say no" press release

Post by shoegazer86 » Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:58 am

mermott wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:55 am
Apart from their own interests, builders have friends they enjoy interacting with and possibly learn or borrow equipment from, just the way Don was. I am thinking for example of Dave Kean of Audities Foundation / Cantos Music Foundation who left his mark on several B&A designs.
Absolutely - and the fact that Don was open to this kind of collaboration was key. There was a point in time where more "over the shoulder" design principles were standard. Even Bob Moog got himself in trouble with the company many times because of how much he liked to help other designers.

Working on designs with Chip and tapping into the infinite wisdom of Dave Brown, has opened up my eyes to the many forward thinking and novel designs Don had hand in. But on the flip side of the coin, all of the mistakes and poor choices as well. I'm not disappointed nor am I even in a position to be. But Don was a human being. That's one thing that a lot of people tend to forget. And as humans we tend to borrow and cling to things we look up to or gravitate towards.

From looking at a few the circuits, I could tell Don was vastly influenced by Harald Bode, and why wouldn't he be? They all knocked elbows at some point. You see photos of Don, Bob, and Dave smiling together at NAMMs of old, and you kind of see a slice of how things used to be. These guys were never really at each others' throats. Of course, egos tend to get in the way from time to time... but even Steve Jobs and Bill Gates got along (sometimes). I believe in one of Mort's interviews he describes the fact that Don had a knack for saying he already invented something after he heard someone else came out with it. I find that pretty endearing in a sense. And highly probable :hihi:

Don was a unique mind but he was capable of being impressionable. We wouldn't have had his 277 or 288, or even his Harmonic Generator without him basing it on previously built equipment. The way I see Don, from my limited experience (none at all) with him, is that he was a brilliant curator of things that he really felt strongly about. He was able to present wild and groundbreaking ideas (and come up with plenty of his own) yet dredge them in his own bias just enough so they were malleable to the end user as well.

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to speak to the man myself. But this is all I have. A physical record of what he has done, along with a treasure trove of anecdotal evidence. So I do what I can with the information I uncover. In a sense that's all we can do at this point. And that goes back to my bias statement - the fact that we all can cherry pick at will at what part of the history serves us well. And the cycle continues.

One thing I can say, clone or no clone, closed versus open system... We wouldn't even be having this conversation today if it wasn't for the vision Don had. Maybe that is part of carrying the torch. Absorbing and regurgitating ideas and continuing the conversation. That's what's great about the conversation, that it grows and expands explicitly without the will or control of the originator of the conversation, in a very organic way.

There was a point in time where the exchange of information seemed more open and free flowing. I only say this because I pulled TONS of information off of old message boards where information was mined for years and years. Now it seems like the internet is one large dead end. It makes me happy to see such productive conversation here. Not that it doesn't happen often, but I really do wish for a time where the exchange of ideas expands beyond the realm of whether or not the information can financially benefit someone or some entity. Even some of the schools I've talked to have closed their doors to the outside world.
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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by mdoudoroff » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:25 am

It seems unlikely that BUSA has a future if they’re relegated to manufacturing and servicing Don’s old designs. They will need to cannibalize, iterate and invent.
If ‘Buchla’ has a future, then it seems likely that BUSA will be the one to cultivate and maintain whatever it is that “Don’s vision” means in the future. At best, they will never accomplish this to everyone’s satisfaction.

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by momo » Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:10 am

Really great posts here and thus an enjoyable thread. I believe Don described electronics as something he just picked up, and kind of used as a tool (i.e. to get where he wanted, rather than get stuck into electrical / electronic engineering itself). I watched Aaron Lantermann's recent lecture on the 259 Timbre deadband circuit, how to his knowledge the implementation Don chose was undocumented, and it reminds me that sometimes being taught can constrain and remove the "beginner's mind". It's actually something I find conflict within myself as I read books like Devarahi's, and understand synthesis from a technical perspective, and begin to understand why something is happening, rather than enjoying the journey and those happy accidents.

Because I tend to do deep dives into modules or parts of them I'm piqued by, I keep a running record of resources, from which check this out from the depths of the matrixsynth archives out there: https://www.matrixsynth.com/2007/05/buchla-259-and-261e.html

"The following notes comparing the original Buchla 259 and the new 261e Complex Waveform Generators came in on the Buchla list via Ezra Buchla, Don Buchla's son. Note the reference to the 258 Dual Oscillator.

the waveshaping circuits of the 261e and the old 259 are very very very close. they "sound the same." except that the old one is indeed hotter, and the driving sine wave is not quite as clean or as stable in pitch.

to me, the functional difference is in the mod osc section. there are tradeoffs. the 259 has nice smooth cv output and you can push it to very low frequencies with cv input. this is good. the 261e has an additional, quite radical waveshaping circuit on the mod osc itself, which allows you to crossfade between sine, square, narrow square and a kindof funky sinusoidal trapezoid. this is good too. listen to the phase locked mod osc audio output! that is not the same, at all.

phase lock behaves differently. there are more possible behaviors in the 261e, as the process can receive certain information from software-land. and these again can come out as very interestingly close spaced chaotic orbits.

experiment with frequency modulation + pitch tracking + phase lock for maximally intricate orbit-space!

we will not do a 259 clone anytime soon. oh well.

i do luv me a 258. now THAT's buildable. of course maybe not by me, just at the moment... i am busy!

-eb"


That's from May 2007! We can remember that the 261e was brought out in response to criticism around the time at the crazy aliasing of the 259e. Turns out subsequently, that is what we all wanted :hihi:

If BUSA can iron out the kinks with 208c production, and if it affords them some success in all senses, I think them having Joel Davel on board is about as close as we could get to a continuation of Don's vision via 200e, which I think we all would love to see, and encouragingly from Eric Fox's interview, seems to be on the cards. It'll be a great day when I log in here to see a new 200e module announced.

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by mermott » Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:31 am

I stumbled upon this (not too many views yet), Joel Davel quickly goes through some past Buchla sometimes shelved projects during his presentation :

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by ryangaston » Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:33 am

mermott wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:31 am
I stumbled upon this (not too many views yet), Joel Davel quickly goes through some past Buchla sometimes shelved projects during his presentation :
Ah yeah, I’d forgotten this video! 220e seems like a cool concept based on what little info is there—I remember a new keyboard design being discussed here and there around the time of the BEMI purchase.

Interesting to think based on this and prior posts that there are indeed still some incomplete Don projects/concepts kicking around.
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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by Tonefloat01 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:02 pm

mermott wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:31 am
I stumbled upon this (not too many views yet), Joel Davel quickly goes through some past Buchla sometimes shelved projects during his presentation :
Frankly I found this video hard to watch.. :doh:
Seems like the presenter didn’t have enough time to make sure that his setup was working properly prior to the start which left him undoubtedly flustered throughout the presentation.
I think this was a missed opportunity for Buchla to impress and captivate an audience that was definitely there to hear and see something impressive.
If I was in that audience I would have left rather unimpressed with what a Buchla is capable of.
I think that Buchla should definitely participate in trade shows to get people interested in the brand but they should totally prepare a bomb proof demo with a few systems that really showcase what the system can do.
Maybe with their new website makeover they will,have some more interesting system videos to entice people to make the leap of faith and actually purchase a system from them. :despair:
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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by PDT » Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:04 am

Tonefloat01 wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:02 pm
I think that Buchla should definitely participate in trade shows to get people interested in the brand but they should totally prepare a bomb proof demo with a few systems that really showcase what the system can do.
I wanna say something to this.

First, I think it's amazing that Joel was there and tried to do the presentation.
But it also shows some of the problems with BUSA.
At events before that particular Superbooth, BEMI and BUSA used to have other people presenting the instruments.
More often than not, at a Buchla booth, there were not a lot of people that were able to show the instrument or at least talk a bit about it.
The situation was probably the worst on the first NAMM that BUSA officially took part.
Often times it looked like Buchla Staff would run away from people visiting the booth, rather than inviting them.

Back then I talked to BUSA, stating that it's kind a shame for the name Buchla and the instruments, that they were not represented in the way they should be.
I also highly suggested to have people like Joel at the next event, wich happened to be that Superbooth. There should be someone who knows how to use the instruement and also LIKES playing them.
While Joel is an experienced performer and knows the instruments inside out, showing a product during a tradeshow comes with its own challenges.
Particularly at at that Superbooth, were preperation times were sometimes a bit short. Consider the fact that often times the systems have to be taken away from the booth, where they were already patched to something completely different and you see, it's not that easy to get proper preparation.
I think BUSA wanted to show too much in too little time.
I'm sure if Joel would have done another presentation it would have been different.
What I still like about it is that it is very honest.
Also, that 20 minute video presentation is obviuosly important for people that couldn't make it to the show personally, but having Joel at the booth, answering questions and showing what you can do with the instruments, is at least just as important. And Joel was available for some great talks there.

However, BUSA doesn't care for tradeshows.
At the Synthplex show, BUSA didn't provide t-shirts or anything that would show that people even belonged to that booth.
The only person wearing a Buchla shirt, printed it himself, but wasn't officially part of the Buchla booth and not supposed to show any of the instruments.
At the end of the show a video was shot, that wasn't even done by the people that were supposed to do it.
BUSA officially didn't care about that.
The next Superbooth show was done by a very competent Buchla staff together with highly motivated and also competent people from the UK shop KMR. This time BUSA did not want to spend money on another video presentation, (or on t-shirts).
Even though the next Superbooth event was canceled because of COVID, the "plan" they had for this show was again questionable.

If you drive a company you obviously (have to) do it for money.
But particularly for a prestigious brand of boutique instruments, and maybe in that segment Buchla might even be THE brand for that, an important part is to show the worth of the instrument and therefore the product.
This is where BUSA completly fails. Other than the money that the products create, there is very little appreciation for the instruments themselves.
The BUSA approach of dealing with this, or creating a more "worthwhile" experience, is trying to get people like Morton Subotnick or Todd Barton to be at the Buchla booth. Having a celebrity to create worth.
Meeting Todd at the booth is always such a pleasure. You can see his love and dedication and he nicely shares it with everyone who's interested in the subject.
But unfortunately BUSA didn't provide a lot of briefing when it came to the 100 (4U and Eurorack) announcement in terms of pricing and availablity, which made things a bit weird again.

You could argue that these are just tradeshows, and don't mean anything. But if this is the case, how could an event like Superbooth even exist next to big shows like NAMM and Musikmesse? And why is it that Synthplex had an amazing first event, that was appreciated by a lot of people that were attending and visiting.
Visitors want to get in touch with the instruments, the people behind it and the brand. They want to get excited.
Look at even the smallest of companies and what they do at a tradeshow. They do the best they can to show to the world what they are working on. The less money they have available, to more creative they tend to get. Having some brand shirts and answering questions about their products is the bare minimum and I have hardly seen a company that struggles with even just these minimums as much as BUSA does.

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by mgscheue » Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:45 am

BUSA had a pretty nice setup at Knobcon 2019, with Todd, Marc, and Ashley.

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by PDT » Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:01 am

That's not the same setup they have anymore

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by Tonefloat01 » Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:13 am

Nothing against Mr. Doty but surely BUSA can do better than this demo

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by mermott » Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:42 am

Tonefloat01 wrote:
Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:13 am
Nothing against Mr. Doty but surely BUSA can do better than this demo
When at the closing of the video i hear « I’m choosing frequencies at random because that’s what 20th century music’s all about » i don’t hear a joke at the end of a long day so much as « i don’t get why this instrument exists at all ».

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by mermott » Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:50 am

Tonefloat01 wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:02 pm
Seems like the presenter didn’t have enough time to make sure that his setup was working properly prior to the start which left him undoubtedly flustered throughout the presentation.
It looks like preparation time for Joel Davel at Superbooth was in very short supply. But i think that regardless of the convincing nature of the musical demonstration - and he struggles a bit (who wouldn't?) juggling with three rather deep synths at the same time, one borrowed locally, maybe even two ? - there is still value in someone as intimate with the designs playing with it in front of you. He has tried to deliver four intricated presentations there.

PDT wrote:
Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:04 am
What I still like about it is that it is very honest.
That's what i get from it too. Often the enthusiasm shown is the most important thing. As can be seen used to the point of caricature in some YT channels.
But here is someone whose honesty is hard to doubt. And i would think honesty is capital for boutique manufacturers.

Tonefloat01 wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:02 pm
Maybe with their new website makeover they will,have some more interesting system videos to entice people to make the leap of faith and actually purchase a system from them. :despair:
I do not attend trade shows even though i have watched many edited videos of such events. So they are useful in this way for me.
Considering the minimum investment of one’s attention capital - probably the most limited global resource - to make any modular synth your own, how far does Buchla have to go to make their offering look less intimidating ?

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by PDT » Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:53 am

That was exactly the video I was talking about.
And I cannot say I disagree with mermott's interpretation.

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by momo » Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:03 pm

Marc Doty, intentional or not I cannot tell, comes across as quite a didactic character, with a slightly snooty outlook on some of us forum folk / synth fans / synthesists. No doubt my neighbours would use the words "pot kettle", but man, that patch was one of the most cacophanous things I have heard in a long time.

In contrast, Joel Davel just oozes 'nice human', and I find that really endearing. I feel sorry nobody was there to help him with the tech stuff while he was presenting - been there and especially with an audience in your face, that is rough going for sure. What a musician too, I could listen to him on the marimba all day.

There seem to be some interesting posts above I will catch up on soon. To my mind, I don't feel there is much value in presenting 200e at trade shows beyond the presence itself having some kind of meaning, a kind of passive indication to everyone that the 200e is still the jewel in the crown, so to speak. Or to launch new products perhaps.

One of the things I found most imtimidating about 200e, before I took the plunge, was the succinct descriptions on the B&A website making me always feel mega obtuse, and then seeing early YT vids of e.g. Yasi Perera or Ezra seem* like they don't know how to operate the modules :lol: * I say seem, because likely the firmware was in infancy, or buggy, and damn there's nothing like a noisy environment, silly questions and a camera in your face to throw you! I don't know why I found that intimidating. I have a spiral bound copy of the 200e manual right by my system, which speakes volumes :oops:

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by PDT » Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:04 pm

momo wrote:
Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:03 pm
To my mind, I don't feel there is much value in presenting 200e at trade shows beyond the presence itself having some kind of meaning, a kind of passive indication to everyone that the 200e is still the jewel in the crown, so to speak.
That video doesn't do the 200e being at synthplex any judgement, that's true.
But I think the system had meaning beyond just spreading its magic atmosphere.
The system was not just noodling around like in the video, playing the cliche of the cat thrown onto the piano.
For most of the time, there wer some good timbres and little perfomances going on, that not only lured in people that were interested in the modules, but also musicians that were interested in the music and techniques you could use with the 200e (with Bongo talks kept to a minimum).

Maybe it's just me being too enthusiastic, but I think there is always value in showing someone the beauty of an instrument.

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by momo » Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:37 pm

Agreed, and without being too cynical, trade shows are about sales, ultimately eh? Either through new dealerships or direct interest. Who would buy a 200e from that encounter without knowing about it already? (I'm asking rhetorically - I think zero). The Easel, now that's another matter entirely, since the Buchla Facebook traffic shows a great many new users, some of whom don't even know what to do with it. I can imagine musicians (visiting a trade show) being unaware of the Easel or 208c, being piqued by it, researching it post trade show and then purchasing. I think this point also leads to the treatment we have seen thus far of the 200e by BUSA, i.e. high R&D + prototyping costs with relatively small numbers of sales (be it modules or full systems).

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by qwoned » Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:17 pm

momo wrote:
Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:37 pm
I can imagine musicians (visiting a trade show) being unaware of the Easel or 208c, being piqued by it, researching it post trade show and then purchasing. I think this point also leads to the treatment we have seen thus far of the 200e by BUSA, i.e. high R&D + prototyping costs with relatively small numbers of sales (be it modules or full systems).
being a working musician, I can't imagine ever being in a position to purchase a 200e system. I don't know any other working musicians that will either. cost of entry is just too high, which has been an issue from the beginning. this is a fairly well-worn issue, I know, but is still a significant factor contributing to the general marketing problems detailed here by others in this thread.

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by momo » Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:23 pm

Fair point. I guess it depends on what we define as 'working musician' - https://modwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28928

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Re: Noisebug press release / Buchla future

Post by mermott » Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:32 pm

Shreds don't get old.

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