Texture and Sound with Buchla Easel V
Texture and Sound with Buchla Easel V
The Molécular Level
Meet Molécule, an experimental musician who pushes the boundaries of electronic music with a focus on live performance, and a love of extremes.
Using an original Music Easel in his creative setup, he recently authored the Molécule’s Signature sound bank for the Arturia Buchla Easel V, giving precious insight into this complex synth masterwork.
Hailing from Grenoble in the French Alps, also the home of synth-makers Arturia, Molécule now lives in Paris, where has bases himself between travelling to work on new projects and albums.
It’s about the journey, not the destination
When setting off on a musical endeavor, Molécule likes to keep his mind free of ideas, letting inspiration come to him instead; but what equipment does he use to capture these sparks of creativity?
I particularly like old machines. They naturally have constraints and limitations which echo my approach. I also will inevitably make mistakes, or “happy accidents”, which then simply become part of the whole experience.
To capture the field recordings and textures in his tracks, one of the methods he used involved a set of binaural in-ear microphones to record the sound as he hears it. This gives extremely immersive results for the listener. On top of the recording equipment, he also takes a laptop loaded with a DAW, and his tried and tested selection of EQs, reverbs, and compressors.
Arturia plugins are also a great complement to the machines I use. Their flexibility is a very big advantage.
I do not see myself as a purist, and I don’t forbid things if I know they can lead to a better end result. This is also the case with regard to the constraints that I impose on myself. Their goal is not to stop me from doing anything, but to allow me to achieve a particular result.
We often work alone during the production phase of a project, but I was fortunate to be able to build relationships and affinities that sometimes led to a mutual desire to collaborate. This "prism of collaboration" can be a real source of pleasure.
Tools for the sonic explorer
Molécule created a sound bank for Arturia’s software recreation of Buchla’s avant-garde, hands-on synthesizer, the Music Easel.
An avid user of the original hardware synth, he has also grown to love the expanded software version: Buchla Easel V.
The original Music Easel is an essential part of my setup. It looks playful, is pretty unconventional in terms of ergonomics, and its potential for experimentation is pretty crazy, not to mention its very unique sound. It's a bit like the EMS Synthi AKS, both are quirky instruments you can create a real relationship withl. It’s not always a relationship of trust, though; it can be a little unpredictable. I use it for different types of sounds, such as leads, basses, effects, not necessarily for use in harmony but very generally for predominant sounds in my songs.
With the Easel, even if you’re comfortable with what you started with, you’ll rarely end up somewhere you expected.
True to his experimental nature, and despite owning the original synth, Molécule has been using Arturia Buchla Easel V since its release in December 2017. Its expanded capabilities, edit functionality, programmable hand features, and whole new physics and movement-based sound engines, lets users experience and explore this cult synthesizer like never before.
I am totally open about the material I use to create my music, so I welcome this type of virtual reproduction with great pleasure.
In the spirit of collaboration, Molécule has used his extensive knowledge and hands-on experience with the original synth to create a sound bank for the Arturia Buchla Easel V, comprising of 30 compelling presets that explore the more performance-focussed aspects of the Music Easel sound. An inspiring mix of leads, basses, pads, and sequences that will spark any musician’s imagination, and add that certain something to tracks that only the unique timbre of Buchla Easel V can offer.
With its almost otherworldly controls, the prospect of mastering Music Easel V can be a little intimidating, but thanks to Molecule’s deep understanding of the instrument from years of live performance, this collaboration gives you access to some of his iconic signature tones. Key parameters have been mapped to the mod wheel, so you can transform these sounds to create highly expressive performances with ease.
I started by looking at my Music Easel, and recreating a number of presets that I use on stage. This was a bit of a mistake, and once I realized that the software version let you go much deeper in terms of sound creation, I started to explore and create new patches that I would use in the future. I experimented with unique timbers, things that create my universe of sound, with their own unique dissonance and peculiarities, and even more conventional sounds, although with my own “Molécule touch”.