The Arturia V Collection has long been one of the most impressive – not to mention cost-effective – ways of filling your studio with a bunch of vintage synths. Virtually at least. With the release of V Collection 6 however, things got a lot more desirable, with the inclusion of the stunningly inspiration Buchla Easel V.
The Buchla Music Easel
The Buchla approach to synthesis was most definitely inspired by allowing musicians to be creative with electronic sound; pushing the technology to create new sonic landscapes and textures; not being constrained by what had been done with hundreds of years of acoustic instruments.
When I started putting together my Eurorack modular system, I initially started by building a ‘regular’ subtractive synth, but soon realised that I already had plenty of those, so changed my approach and set about putting something in my studio that would allow me to create sounds I wouldn’t otherwise be able to make, or even think about.
Introduced in 1973, the Buchla Music Easel offered a convenient, portable way to put the West Coast synthesis sound in your studio or performance. With a semi-modular architecture and a ‘keyboard’ that let you control not only pitch and velocity, but also ‘position’ that can be used to control a further parameter, the Music Easel is a classic piece of synthesiser history…
The Buchla Easel V VST, AU and AAX plugin and standalone synth
… and now it’s a piece of synthesiser history you can put in your studio in the convenience of great-sounding plugin form.
New in Arturia V Collection 6 is the Buchla Easel V: a stunningly modelled plugin incarnation of the Music Easel. And, not only does it sound fantastic, but it is the most inspiring and creativity-enhancing synth I have used in years.
I’ve only had a chance to spend a few days with the Arturia Buchla Easel V, so I feel I’ve not even scratched the surface, but maybe it’ll help if you know that, in the few hours we had together, we sonic-textured a lifetime’s worth.
Well, perhaps not quite, but just dropping the Music Easel plugin into Live, popping a simple arpeggiator after a minor 7th chord and tweaking away let to some incredible sounds, textures, landscapes and blips that could inspire a whole album. Loved it.
Modulation pinball with the Buchla Easel V
While some might see it as a bit gimmicky, there’s always something to be said for having fun with your programming. One of the panels in the Buchla Easel V allows you to modulate synth parameters by playing, well, pinball basically.
Create your pinball table, set some values, map some synth parameters and, as the ball bounces around in 2D, those x and y values modulate your parameters. Great fun. Who says synthesiser programming can’t be fun?
The Buchla Easel V plugin – the most inspirational of palettes?
Yes, you can use it for more ‘conventional’ synth sounds, but why would you? I’m sure you’ve got all sorts of other synths that you can turn to for dialling in the bread and butter patches already. With the Buchla Easel V, why not go to town and see what you can come up with?
Got some time to make some sounds, but suffering from the dreaded creative block? You could do worse than fire up the Music Easel plugin and tweak and patch semi-randomly, or blindfolded if you fancy, and see what sort of sounds you can come up with.
The Arturia Buchla Easel V is built to be your laboratory bench for sonic experimentation, so go and see what paradigms you can shift and how many dogmas you can falsify.
What else is new in V Collection 6
Okay, so I may have become caught up a bit with the Buchla Easel V and perhaps focussed on that a little bit too much so far, there are plenty of other grand bits of newness in Arturia V Collection 6.
As far as new instruments go, there’s the DX7 V, Clavinet V and the CMI V: a beautifully modelled version of the ‘mother of all samplers’, that adds a further 10 mulitimbral, polyphonic slots to design your sound, waveform shaping, a sequencer, effects and a new spectral synth.
As if that’s not enough, there are major updates to Analog Lab 3 and Piano 2 and a host of incremental updates and improvements to the instruments that have been the core of V Collection from the beginning.
With the new instruments, plus the updates and improvements to the classics, Arturia V Collection 6 can be the source of all your sounds for some time to come…
And until the 10th January, V Collection 6 can be yours for the special introductory price of just £355 (while promo stocks last), instead of the regular £439!
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