Buchla 296e

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The Buchla 296e Spectral Processor is a 16 channel bandpass filter and spectral analyzer. With advanced synthesis capabilities the 296e can be split into 8 bandpass filters and can be used to dial in envelopes on the fly, making a great tool for live use.


The Buchla 296e Spectral Processor Module, what can we say about this module that hasn’t already been said? Considered the king of filter banks, and rightfully so.
The 296e is comprised of 16 fixed frequency band pass filters, it’s flexibility is what puts it above other filters banks of this style. Not only can it function as a real time performance tool, but it can also work as a compound EQ and even as a vocoder!
The sixteen separate filters are arranged so that the centre frequencies match the range of the general human hearing curve, each band has it’s own VCA CV input that lets you modulate the output level of that particular frequency, for example; you could ping a few different bands with a 266E whilst running a simple waveform from a 259E through its inputs to create a unique and interesting range of patterns from a very simple source.
That is just a very simple patch explanation of what you can do with this module.
Going a little deeper:
Each frequency band has an envelope “follower” output which responds to the CV input for that given band, and with some clever patching you can internally wire these envelope outs into the CV inputs for some interesting gernative style control, or you can plumb them out into other modules to make some interesting phrases and sequences.
When it comes to modulation, you have a variety of ways to not only “ping” the filters, you can also morph through the filter banks at the Morph input. This lets you smoothly shift around the frequency bands. Couple this with “pings” to the main CV inputs and you have an incredible sonic playground to explore.
There’s five different outputs on the 296E, odd and even outputs of the comb filter plus odd, even and all outputs for the main section. Plus the display has four modes which you can click through to get the mode you need, whether that’s levels, spectral analysis and envelope monitoring.
Many people has tried to replicate the 296E circuitry, but there’s nothing quite like a real Buchla filter bank. A true legend.
The main features of the Buchla 296e Spectral Processor include
16 channel fixed filter bank
VCA per filter bank, which can be pinged or CV controlled
Envelope follower per channel
Freeze control for storage / triggering of envelopes
Can serve as a dual 8 stage vocoder
E series module, presets and be stored on a 225 or 206



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