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The Electric Music Box - Series 200e

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This year we're celebrating 45 years of building bizarre electronic musical instruments. What better way to celebrate than to revisit some old instruments - namely the 200 series Electric Music Boxes, manufactured from 1970 to the mid '80's.

Why the 200 series?

Because it's Don's favorite synth, and he wants an updated version.

Updated how, you ask. Still straight analog synthesis. Still programmed with knobs, switches and patchcords. Same power supply voltages, same form factors. In fact, completely interchangeable with 200 series modules built in the '70s.

But with some new twists.

For a few years we've been designing MIDI controllers (Thunder, Lightning, the Marimba Lumina, and the Piano Bar, among others). But our controllers couldn't even talk to our own 200 series instruments (designed before MIDI was even dreamed of).

Situation rectified. Check out the new 225e. The top half is a full-blown MIDI interface that can relate every nuance of expression that your controller can produce to any aspect of the 200e's sound palette.

The 225e's bottom section addresses another shortcoming: how do we save a patch so that retrieval is instantaneous at some future time? Simple! Just push the store button, name the preset, and your preset is forever stashed.

Other improvements include internal MIDI buses, invisible supplies, high density modules, more voltage controlled parameters, the addition of a router for signals and control voltages, the merging of a swirler with the system interface, the addition of velocity to the dynamics manager, and a reworking of the output section of the complex oscillator.

Functionally new modules include an arbitrary function generator, a duophonic pitch class generator, a triple morphing filter, a multi-dimensional kinesthetic input port, and a pitch shifter / balanced modulator.

Select some modules, button them up in a 200e cabinet, and you're off and running with the most sophisticated analog system ever built.


The Model 201e - 18 WLS Powered Cabinet is the vessel that houses and provides power for 200e series modules. Made of select Eastern Walnut and black aluminum "boats", the 201e will withstand the rigors of travel with ease.

The cabinet folds for traveling, and is shown in its extended and folded positions. Folded, its dimensions are 27 x 12 1/2 x 8 inches.

Power supplies and distribution rails are concealed in the depths of the 201e. An external desktop supply provides 12 volts D.C. to the 201e. Alternatively, the system may be powered from a 12 volt battery. LED lamps are provided for dimly lit stages.

The cabinet is available with a sturdy protective shipping case, which measures 30 x 17 x 11 1/2 inches and features cushy foam inserts.


Similar to the 201e - 18 WLS, except it accommodates 12 panel units and is 18 1/2 inches wide. Its carrying case is 22 x 17 x 11 inches and features cushy foam inserts.


The center boat from the 201e-18 cabinet. Complete with power supply and power distribution. Accommodates 6 panel units.


The center boat from the 201e-12 cabinet. Complete with power supply and power distribution. These boats are provided with rack ears for mounting in a 19" rack. Accommodates 4 panel units.


A 2 panel unit wide chassis for housing one or two panels. Complete with power supply.

Technical Specifications
Type: Analog
Synthesis: Additive, Frequency Modulation, Subtractive
Oscillators: *
Waveforms: Saw Down, Sine, Square, Triangle, White Noise
Osc Modulation: Envelope, Input, Knob, LFO, Oscillator, Ring Modulation, Sequencer, Sync Hard
Oscillator Notes:
261e Complex Waveform Generator
259e Twisted Waveform Generator
Envelopes: *
Envelope Notes::
281e Quad Function Generator
281h Dual Function Generator
Filters: *
Filter Notes:
296e Spectral Processor
291e Triple Morphing Filter
267e Uncertainty Source / Dual Filter
292e Quad Dynamics Manager
292h Dual Lowpass Gate
LFO: *
LFO Parameters: Envelope
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: *
Timbrality: *
Tuning: Atonal, Standard
Patches RAM: 1
Storage: Internal
Editing: CV, MIDI
285e Frequency Shifter / Balanced Modulator
297 Infinite Phase Shifter
296e Spectral Processor
230e Triple Envelope Tracker / Preamplifier
250e Arbitrary Function Generator
251e Quad Sequential Voltage Source
252e Buchla Polyphonic Rhythm Generator
Case: Desktop
Controls: Buttons, Faders, Knobs, Sliders, Switches, Modulation - Audio Input, Sequencer
Display Type: LCD, LED, Numeric, Backlit
Audio Output Connections: 1/4" Phone Jack, 1/8" Phone Jack, Mono Out, Stereo Main
CV Ports: CV IN, CV OUT, Gate In, Gate Out
Year Released: 2004
Used By
Morton Subotnik, Alessandro Cortini, Richard Lainhart
Design Notes:

Don Buchla
Manuals & Documents

Product Links
Company Product Sites:
[+] buchla.com
MSRP List Price: * - convert

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