Evergreen Easel

A Buchla Music Easel recorded at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.

The story

a synthesizer with issues

This thing has got an attitude. I sampled a simple, harsh, metallic patch on the legendary Buchla Music Easel at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA; a little school tucked between the mountains and the rainforest with a rich history in experimental music. After being so excited to be able to get my hands on this thing, but to my surprise and initial dismay, it absolutely hates being in tune. Even using MIDI to sample every single note, the Music Easel resisted my pleas to stay on pitch and I had my finger on the “Fine Tune” knobs above each oscillator for almost the entire sampling session. This epic battle is preserved in the samples and every key has a different story to tell. You could always throw autotune onto the Evergreen Easel, but where’s the fun in that?

This virtual instrument is equipped with monophonic legato and full ADSR envelope controls. In addition, this thing is sampled through two classic analog MoogerFooger pedals, each with their own intense, wild quality. With a unique wet/dry knob I like to call “Pedal Mix,” you can actually crossfade from the dry signal to the pedal signal using the mod wheel and create some beautiful evolving tones for everything from dubstep to shoegaze. The included “Getting Started” guide has some ideas for creative ways to use the sample library. May you have as much fun exploring its sounds as I had capturing them.

Just remember: This is not just an instrument you play, it’s a sound you tame.

Reviews for Evergreen Easel

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Perfected.

    This is a simply perfect way to deal with a synth sound. Legato with portamento, polyphonic switch, full ADSR controls, two different pedals and a mix knob.

    Everything sounds and works great - except for the misleading colour of the keys that show only 4 octaves available and that is true when using the polyphonic mode, but with portamento you can reach both lower and higher ranges, all the way! Perhaps this could be indicated with a different key colour once you switch to the monophonic patch.
    Excellent work though!

    Alex Raptakis01 December 2021
  • Thank you for this piece of history

    The sound of the Music Easel, as well as the sound aesthetics of Buchla, probably do not meet everyone's tastes. Personally, I have always found the west coast philosophy, which has produced machines with different tonal characteristics compared to the standards and whose behavior is not always predictable, very fascinating. I find this virtual version of the Music Easel really interesting and I absolutely agree with the decision not to force the intonation of the instrument excessively, respecting what in a certain sense is the nature of the original machine. I also enjoyed very much The PDF guide inside the sample pack, very beautiful and well-finished, you can see how much dedication and passion there is behind this work. Well done!

    Gianluca Piras18 June 2022
  • The easel will put you at ease

    Well, not really. These things can be pretty aggressive sounding. Having played one before, I can tell you that the samplist here went to heroic lengths to get it to play as in tune as it did here. That was really never the point of these instruments, but it's cool to try to get a 'west coast' synth to play like an 'east coast' synth. I love the inclusion of the moogerfooger pedals and the excellent interface. The samplers are well recorded and some obvious time and care went into processing the samples and building the Kontakt instrument. Excellent work!

    Sam Ecoff03 November 2021
  • Raw and clever

    Some very clever programming going on here. As per the description this synth has serious tuning issues - which are part of its character of course. But using the legato mode you can effectively bypass these is you want to as the glide keeps the original sample and "bends" it - so just pick your poison and glide away. Pedals are great, adsr works well. Not really my cup of tea sound wise, but really well done and so glad I can just load this patch up rather than having to own one...

    Mark Lord01 November 2021
  • Personally not into this but others might love it

    Im personally not into these digital sounding, angular in your face forms of synthesis so im personally not into this instrument. Dont let that dissuade you from this instrument. I know alot of people really like sounds like this. You can perform legato lead lines with this patch which is unique and cool for pianobook. This instrument has great controllability including full ADSR controls and people that are really into this form of synthesis will love this, im just personally not into it.

    septemberwalk13 November 2021