Paint outside the lines

A vehicle for avant-garde expeditions. A totally different take on synthesis. Welcome to the West Coast.

Don Buchla is the father of the ‘West Coast’ approach to electronic music; rather than using synthesizers to imitate other instruments, one sees electricity itself as the instrument. This approach captivated Suzanne Ciani, Morton Subotnick, Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails), Richard Devine, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, and many other cutting-edge composers. We modeled the Music Easel, Buchla’s suitcase-style modular system, at the component level, then added powerful modulation and sequencing extras to reinvigorate the Buchla spirit.

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Don Buchla: the Nikola Tesla of synth designers

While most synth makers pursued commercial musical uses, Buchla felt electronics should empower us to rethink composition from the ground up and free us from stale traditions.

In fact, for a long time he refused to add a piano-style keyboard to most of his modular systems before the Easel. But the most adventurous sonic explorers wanted a portable instrument they could play whenever and wherever inspiration struck — like a painter’s easel.

In 1965, Buchla was commissioned to build an electronic instrument for the San Francisco Tape Music Center. Electronic oscillators so far had been clunky affairs that could not be played or modulated in real time, just adjusted with a single pitch dial

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Zen and the Art of Synth Design

We stayed true to the Music Easel’s interface, putting your hands on the definitive sound sources that brought a new perspective to analog synthesis.

It’s definitely different, but that difference lets you create sounds you won’t hear any other way. Easel V invites you to leave all your preconceptions about synths at the door and updates the Music Easel for the MIDI age.

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Where No Buchla Has Gone Before

Dive even deeper into Easel V’s mind-expanding universe of sound design with functions that keep you in the creative zone.

It has been said that the best musical experiences combine just the right amounts of predictability and surprise. That was our philosophy when adding advanced features we hope will help create your own magnum opus of electronica.

Unique sound generation à la Buchla

Through meticulous analysis, reverse-engineering, and our exclusive TAE® technology, Buchla Easel V brings you the limitless potential of the original Easel’s outside-the-box design coveted by synth aficionados since the ‘70s. Covet no more.

The Buchla Easel set out to do synthesis a little differently. By changing the mindset and the approach, the sonic results were radically different. Geared towards pure sonic experimentation and exploration, there’s still nothing that makes sound quite like the Buchla does. That’s the magic that we set out to faithfully capture with Buchla Easel V.

Totally distinct sound sources that go from smooth analog tones to bubbling modulated textures in an instant. Signal processing that goes against the grain to offer unprecedented and surprising routing options. Unique modulation methods that produce timbres that sound as futuristic otherworldly today as they did decades ago. That coveted spring reverb that concludes it all with that echoing, distant, surreal atmosphere.

Hear it in action

If talking about music is like dancing about architecture, that’s doubly true of the Music Easel.

Fortunately it’s easier to show you than tell you, which is exactly what these artists’ original compositions do.


Easel V serves up timbres from soothing to whimsical to downright pokes in the ear.

Its 350 presets cover all these bases and everything in between. Here is a prime selection of sequence, lead, and SFX sound examples.

Artists corner

Included in
V collection

Legendary Keyboards Reinvented

This instrument is also part of the V Collection -your complete dream line-up of the legendary synths, organs, pianos and more that made keyboard history. They’re modeled with the most advanced technologies for authentic realism, and enhanced with new creative options. Whether you use it as DAW plugins in the studio or standalone at gigs, V Collection puts the greatest keys of all time at your fingertips for instant inspiration.

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TAE® Powered

The exclusive analog modeling technology that makes our emulations indistinguishable from the originals.

By accurately mimicking the characteristics of analog oscillators, filters, and soft clipping, we can provide astonishing component-accurate detail and authentic analog charm in equal measure.

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All manufacturer and product names mentioned on this page are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Arturia. The trademarks of other manufacturers are used solely to identify the products of those manufacturers whose features and sound were studied during the development. All names of equipment, inventors, and manufacturers have been included for illustrative and educational purposes only, and do not suggest any affiliation or endorsement by any equipment inventor or manufacturer.