ID700 Voicing Project

Sunday, April 25th, 2021 | 12:08 pm and filed in peff, Commercial Projects, Buchla.

The ID700 from modosc designs is a 12 voice digital synthesizer based on the Instrument Designer architecture of the Buchla 700. The voicing structure is predominantly algorithmic FM, however it is FM that is combined with programmable waveshaping. There are several algorithms that are configured for common 2, 3, and 4 op FM roots, stacks, branches, however the combined FM sources are always processed through a look up table that adds more timbral flexibility. Even a single sine wave generator without frequency modulation can be transformed into a pulse wave through the wave shape functions. Additionally there is a type of Amplitude Modulation routing which can be configured as a kind of timbral modulation. This is all quite different from DX-style FM synthesis. For those who are familiar with Buchla 200e systems, the routing and controls are more like the 259e Twisted Waveform Generator, and the 261e Complex Waveform Generator. In fact there are controls for Morph between two wave shaper signal paths, and index controls, very much like the 259e.

A few audio demos of these presets can be heard here: modosc designs ID700 presets

Jonathan Schatz first gave me a demo of this project in 2018, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting it’s arrival. Needless to say I was ready to drop the banana cables when he asked me to help him with voicing ID700. Bear in mind, I have no experience using an original Buchla 700. I’ve heard recordings from Benge and Shasta Cults, and I’ve had the opportunity to see Alessandro Cortini’s 700 in real life. My approach to programming ID700 is based solely on an interpretation of the system as presented: Four oscillators, two wave shapers, index controls (mod amounts), modulation envelopes, a low pass filter, crossfader, and panning–configured in twelve routing schemes. Whether or not ID700 is a true emulation of the Buchla 700 doesn’t really matter, however the architecture does command a workflow that feels like Buchla. And at times it really does have timbral qualities similar to a 259e and even at times it can sound like a Buchla complex waveform generator.

ID700 is currently only available for iPad: ID700 on the App Store

One side project that emerged during the voicing project was the incorporation of the Sensel Morph. Using the Innovator’s overlay, i mocked up a control surface inspired by the Buchla 700. The sliders are mapped to control the main algorithm parameters and a 24 key MPE keyboard sends note on, pressure, and CC74 messages. The XY pad and long pot are mapped to various CC messages, and other controls include algorithm switching, time scale adjustment, sustain pedal, and midi panic. For those interested in trying out the map with the Sensel innovator’s overlay, you can download the files here:

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