THE PEEPS MUSIC BOX
The Peeps Music Box is a battery powered digital handmade synthesizer.
It’s a micro version of the «Buchla Music Easel», one of the best synthesizer ever made, designed by Don Buchla in 1972.
Some features were deleted but others were added. It is not a modular synthesizer like the original Buchla, but all the switch buttons act like pre-patched possibilities that I felt like the most interesting patchs to use with the original Music Easel.
The Peeps Music Box have all these functions :
2 Oscillators :
- First the «Mod-Osc» is a triangle-wave just a bit sinefolded
- Second the Complex-Osc is a sine-wave with a powerful Wavefolder
- Mod-Osc can modulate the Complex-Osc and switch between FM & AM with depth for both.
- Both Oscillators can be Hard sync for FM synthesis*
- The Mod-Osc Pitch is bipolar & can go really low to act like an LFO
- The Complex Pitch is unipolar
- Both have Finetune for AM and not-synced FM harmonic research or perfectly tuning them together.
1 LFO* :
- Can be sine-wave or random sample&hold
- Can act to the pitch of each oscillators & as the clock master for the sequencer
2 Lowpass gate :
- One for the Mod Osc & second one for the Complex osc
2 Lowpass filter :
- One for the mod Osc & second one for the Complex osc
1 Attack :
- Applied to both Osc.
4 Step sequencer :
- Can be set to each Osc & to the Wavefolder.
- Can run up or up&down*
- All step can be switched off
2 Channel mixer :
- One channel per oscillators
1 Reverb :
- With mix & time
1 Touch sensitive keyboard :
- 13 keys with octave switch up & down*
- can act on each oscillators.
3 Touch plates :
- With their own adjustable pitch
1 Arpeggiator :
- In order mode
- Can be sustained, even on several switched octaves*
- Can be sync to the sequencer or have his own clock for doing Polyrythmic things
1 glide :
- With a decay value can be really long
1 Main volume
Each oscillators can choose their own controller between Keyboards, Touch plates or sequencer. But the Complex-Osc have the option to only recive the gate from the sequencer and not the pitch.
As you can see on this video, there is a black switch button next to an audio input. I’m still working on some features and it will be able to get stereo audio input signal going trough the reverb, or switch to the most important, recive a clock from Eurorack, PO-sync, Volca etc… to sync the internal sequencer and arpeggiator with external devices.
Also, because on my studio/live config I don’t use midi connection, I didn’t placed a midi input connection, but this is totally possible. You can also control The Peeps Music Box from any DAW with a simple micro USB connection.
CHECK OUT THE
ORDER THE PEEPS MUSIC BOX
The only way to order your Peeps Music Box is to write your email on the "waiting list" (This list is not visible with smartphones). I will start to build them in April 2020 and I'll take this list in order.
All these synths will be made by hand, at home in France, only by myself. The unit of the video is the "beta" version, hundred of wires are soldered inside the box, the keyboard were cutted by hand, it can seems a bit squetchy somewhere because of this. But for the units I will sell, the keyboard metal & wood will be lazer-cutted at the perfect size, and I will print professional PCB to solder all components in perfect conditions.
Important things : I will never pretend to find the exact same sounds as an original Buchla Music Easel. Day after day I’m going deeper in the sound synthesis, after some years of work and understanding electronic music concepts, I can easily pretend today that most of the « classics » analog synths can be reproduce pretty well on a computer. But a few units and brand still cannot be reproduced exactly well. Rare synths like Synthi, and of course Buchla synthesizers are the perfect exemple. If you want the sound of a Buchla system, the only way to get it is to buy a Buchla system. What I've tried were to make a digital synth work with same functions as a Music Easel, but in the smallest possible size, and get deep into digital synthesis to understand how I can approach that type of sound.
About the digital sound details, as you can ear sometimes, the fader can be unstable and constantly searching between two value. This is a choice. When you code analog controlers in midiCC, you can undo this kind of "searching value". I've coded every analog controls to refresh his value every 5 miliseconds because I like this type of random textures can appears somewhere in digital or analog instruments. It's like the instrument is alive and you can't have a complete 100% control on his sound. It's important to me, but if you don't like it, I can undo this on your code to let your Peeps Music Box be stable as most of digital instruments.
The Peeps Music Box is made with 1 Axoloti-core, 1 Teensy 3.2, 1 Adafruit MPR121 and a lot of wires...
I would like to thanks Don Buchla for all you did when you were in this earth. You've just changed everything in electronic music.
CHECK OUT THIS
All sounds of this drum sequence are only from the synth and sequenced by the synth.
I just pushed up the transient with DS10 from XLN Audio and made a little mastering.