Don Buchla, American synthesizer designer, Died at 79


Donald Buchla was born on April 17, 1937, and died on September 16, 2016.

He was an American pioneer in the field of sound synthesizers, releasing his first units shortly after Robert Moog’s first synthesizers.

But, his instrument was arguably designed before Moog’s.

He formed his electronic music equipment company, Buchla and Associates, in 1962 in Berkeley, California.

He was commissioned by avant garde music composers Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender, both of the San Francisco Tape Music Center, to create an electronic instrument for live performance.

He received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation Buchla completed his first modular synthesizer in 1963.

The result was the Buchla Series 100, which he began selling in 1966.

His synthesizers experimented in control interfaces, such as touch-sensitive plates.

During 1969 the Series 100 was sold to CBS, who soon after dropped the line, not seeing the synthesizer market as a profitable area.

From the 1990s, Buchla started designing alternative MIDI controllers, such as the Thunder, Lightning, and Marimba Lumina.

There was a current resurgence of interest in analog synthesizers Buchla has released a revamped 200 series called the 200e.

Don Buchla passed away ay 79 years old.