RIP: Don Buchla, Synthesizer Pioneer, Dies Aged 79

We're sad to report that one of the greatest synthesizer designers and makers, Don Buchla, has passed away today.  

It's been reported today that Don Buchla, modular synthesizer pioneer and contemporary of Bob Moog, has passed away aged 79. 

Although no official announcement has been made, a post by ZenMusic on the Muff Wigglers message board first brought this sad news to light. It's since been confirmed by AskAudio with those that knew Don well.

Here is an excerpt from ZenMusic's post:

"Don Buchla who has been in Hospice for the last months, has passed from this life. I will update this with more details. Perhaps we can post in this thread, best memories and experiences with Don and his musical instruments. 

"There will never be another Don Buchla. Best wishes for your next adventure my friend. Thank you for this one."

Don Buchla created his first modular synthessizer, the Buchla Series 100, in 1963 and his synths are most well known (and loved) for their experimental control interfaces. If you wanted a keyboard controlled synthesizer in those times Moog was the way to go. However, Buchla's could often be found with touch-sensitive plates. 

He went on to design alternative MIDI controllers, like the ThunderLightning, and Marimba Lumina. His latest analog synthesizer release was a revamp of the 200 series called the 200e.

His pioneering work in the world of synthesizers has influenced many artists from Alessandro Cortini to Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, and informed and inspired many synthesizer makers and designers the world over.

Here's some videos of Don Buchla and featuring his creations in a musical context. We'll have a full tribute from a personal viewpoint of an early Buchla user coming soon.

Buchla documentary promo from Clarity Films on Vimeo.

Lecture: Don Buchla (Toronto 2007) from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo.

RIP Don Buchla

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


Want to join the discussion?

Create an account or login to get started!