Archive for November, 2022

Buchla & Tiptop Audio Source Of Uncertainty Eurorack Module Now Available


Tiptop Audio and Buchla USA have announced the availability of the Source of Uncertainty Model 266t, the latest in their affordable Eurorack versions of classic Buchla 200 series modules.

The 266 Source of Uncertainty is one of Buchla’s most iconic modules, helping to define the ‘West Coast’ approach to synthesis and inspiring several generations of imitators.

TipTop Audio’s Buchla Model 266t Source of Uncertainty is a recreation of the classic random voltage generator and sculpting module. The 266t offers six different tools in one interface. The 266t divides into two sections of generation and modification, featuring two different processors and four generator types, with one producing three flavors of analog noise, labeled flat, -3dB/oct, and +3dB/oct.

The fluctuating random voltages section features two individual smooth voltage generators for adding wiggles and warbles to your modules, each controlled by a rate parameter with CV inputs for modulation. Right below is the quantized random voltage, offering a stepped random output that randomly decides voltage based upon one of two equations, corresponding to a value called “n”. You can tune your range to a set amount of possibilities, with n+1 output being more localized to the 5V range and the 2^n output giving equal opportunity across all 10 volts.

The final generator, labeled stored random voltage produces, two outputs of stepped voltage, with an equally distributed random voltage output, as well as a selectable bell distribution output that centers its options based on the probability control.

Looking at the processing section, the top-right sample and hold section is actually a track and hold processor, tracking the cv input and changing only at the next high input on the pulse in. The resulting CV output additionally has two alternate outputs that base off alternative pulse counts, and the pulse output alternatives similarly alternate each pulse count.

The final section of the 266t lies in the integrator, featuring a simple, but handy smoothing processor, by determining the time it takes to reach from one CV value to the next.




  • Random voltage generator and sculpting module
  • Six different sections that output voltage, pulses, and even noise
  • Noise section features a white noise (flat), a boomier low-end pink noise (-3dB/oct), and a brighter noise flavour (+3dB/oct)
  • Two individual smooth random voltage outputs with voltage controllable rate parameters
  • Quantized random voltage creates stepped voltage based upon two equations (n+1 and 2^n)
  • Pulse in triggers new “n” value and CV can affect n’s position
  • Each of the quantized random voltage outputs has its own random distribution equation, with 2^n being equal and n+1 being bell shaped centering 5V
  • Stored random voltage outputs stepped voltage with two different distributions
  • Stored random voltage output one selects equally across the voltage spectrum while output two selects based on where the probability is set-probability can be modulated “sample” and hold circuit acts as a track and hold circuit, featuring split alternating pulse and held CV outputs
  • Integrator smooths transitions between jumps in voltage—smoothing parameter can be modulated


The Buchla & TipTop Audio Model 266t Source of Uncertainty is available now for $299. A reissue of the original, full-size Buchla 266 module is also available for $999.


Ableton co-founder Robert Henke on the origins of Ableton Live: “We just thought that our concept of a more performance-focused sequencing system would be interesting for a small group of people”


Ableton’s Live DAW is now such an integral part of the fabric of the music technology universe that it’s sometimes hard to believe that the software is still little more than 20 years old. When it was launched, back in 2001, it represented a sea change in the way that music could be made on a computer, so how did it come to be?

Speaking to Sound on Sound in a recent podcast, Ableton co-founder Robert Henke was asked about the origins of Live and how he came to form the company with Gerhard Behles.

Henke had been living in Munich, but says that he “kind of ran away” from there because it was “conservative and boring”. So, he moved to Berlin to study computer science. 

It was there that Henke renewed contact with Gerhard Behles, who he’d previously known in Munich. “We became very close friends and we started making music together [as Monolake], and in order to do what we wanted to do we wrote our own little pieces of software. And later that person [Behles] decided to basically found their own company, Ableton, and he asked me to join. And that’s what I did.”

Did the pair believe that they would soon create a DAW that would change the face of music production, though? It seems not.

“At the beginning, we just thought that our concept of a more performance-focused sequencing system would be interesting for a small group of people,” Henke recalls. He thought there would be some kind of market for it, though: “We were quite confident that a very, very small company could survive based on the customers in our electronic music bubble. And then things just very quickly started to become much bigger than we anticipated.”


Discussing his role at Ableton during Live’s early years, Henke says: “I was responsible for a lot of the decisions at the beginning. I wrote a lot of the early effects, and the one thing I’m most proud of is Operator – that’s pretty much my baby. It was never intended to be a big synthesizer; it was just my take on building a small yet playful FM engine.”

Henke left Ableton around a decade ago to focus on his art, but says that he returned because he felt too mentally involved to let it go.

“I felt it was important that I stay there and shape the future of it,” he explains. “And so I’m trying to find this balance between being an artist and being a software guy.”

You can listen to the full interview on the Sound on Sound website.



Waves new BB Tubes saturation plugin comes with Beauty and Beast knobs


Waves’ new BB Tubes saturation plugin features Beauty and Beast parameters, giving your mixes a fairy tale finish.


This is the second release in the company’s ‘custom-shop’ Magma series. This promises “huge-sounding” tube saturation and operational simplicity. Turn up the Beauty knob for delicate harmonic saturation and “instant roundness, fatness and glow,” or go for a more in-your-face distorted vibe by pushing the Beast dial. This also has an A/B switch that enables you to toggle between two different tube types.


And, you can also blend the two knobs – in fact, Waves actively encourages you to do so. There’s a multitude of different settings combinations, meaning an abundance of potential sounds.

BB Tubes can also be used to increase the perceived loudness of a mix – the soft clipping of the tubes can bring down transient peak levels – while other controls include pre- and post-hi-shelf EQ, transformer I/O, bass relief (which removes the low frequencies from the sidechain input), a sensitivity control (enables the user to choose the point at which the tubes are hit), a dry/wet knob and output gain.

BB Tubes runs on PC and Mac (VST/AU/AAX) and is available now for the introductory price of $24.99 (regular price $149). Find out more and download a demo on the Waves website.