Eurorack may be known for its addictiveness, but some synth lovers suffer just as much for tyranny of choice. This tutorial cures both that and Buchla Music Easel envy.

The Music Easel, if you don’t know it, is a beautiful instrument – a lunchbox full of seemingly limitless possibilities. And you can even get a brand-spanking new rendition of the 1973 original, with the Buchla name badge (or their current incarnation).

But even though that instrument is known for its all-in-one design, there’s reason to think Eurorack as an option – greater flexibility, lower cost, each by a significant margin.

Or to put it another way, it’s a great way to understand different module choices without getting overwhelmed. And that’s where this video from Mylar Melodies comes in:

It’s a pretty good rundown of the Music Easel itself (meaning a useful explainer there), as it starts with the real thing. Then, mindful of limitations, it walks through a suggested system with related features, plus how to make sounds and sequence your ideas, too.

Also, there’s a big supporting star in the form of Arturia’s low-cost MicroFreak, so this gives you a taste for what that instrument is capable of – and how you might connect it, analog style.

(I’m also tempted to try some of this stuff in VCV Rack and other computer software – and the MicroFreak still holds potential.)

Amplitude modulation, frequency modulation, sequencing, and a techno jam – all bases covered!

Mylar Melodies promises more in this series.

It’s the first in a new “suggested systems” concept series I’ve been brewing for some months – using a small 62HP Intellijel Palette eurorack case to make examples of focused, purpose-driven modular rigs and then demo and explain them on camera. Eg. “Generative melody system”, “subtractive semi-modular synth expander”, “self playing drone machine”, and first and foremost “Buchla Music Easel-inspired synth”. 

It’s based on the infinite number of “where do I start” posts where people are getting lost in this format as they’re paralysed by choice – so it’ll give some much needed tangible serving suggestions (far smaller than off the shelf systems, except the Erica Synths Pico), and it’s also a way to discuss basic modular concepts in a form that’s actually clear and digestible – which I just don’t think you can do when you have a massive modular on camera. And mores the point, I don’t want to glorify having a massive rig, full stop – I think it’s far better overall to glorify having a tiny one. So that’s what this aims to do. 

Look forward to more in this series – it’s a great idea!

PS, you can check out the Intellijel cases and power and accessories used in this series:

Now let’s see if Eurobuchla becomes a thing. West Coast – as in the west coast of Portugal?