Buchla announces 3 New Music Easel Synthesizers, ‘The Electric Music Box’

Buchla USA has officially introduced three new versions of the classic Music Easel, aka ‘The Electric Music Box’.

Since they previewed it at Superbooth 2023, they’ve added a new ‘Retro’ option.

What they say about the new synths:

“This past month at Superbooth, we showed off our completed Music Easel and the Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Easel.

The love for the Anniversary Easel was strong, but the retro-at-all-costs build with guest artist preset cards, publication, signed artwork, and special edition LP was not within everyone’s range.

When we returned, we set out to determine if we could incorporate the retro appeal of the Anniversary Easel into a more affordable package that could be built in higher numbers. The answer: ‘yes.’”

  • Preorders for the Music Easel (modern & retro) begin June 16, priced at $4,999.
  • Preorders for the 50th Anniversary Collector’s Easel run from July 1 – 31, priced at $9,999.

Find out more info on the Buchla website.

Soundtoys introduces New SuperPlate Reverb Plug-in

Soundtoys has released SuperPlate, a new plugin that emulates the unique tonal character of five classic electromechanical plate reverbs, plus extra classic saturation and a few modern twists.

The company says that SuperPlate’s algorithms capture “a level of unmatched realism and versatility and create luscious, immersive effects”.

SuperPlate is built around meticulous models of the EMT 140, EMT 240, Audicon, EcoPlate III, and Stocktronics RX4000 plate reverb units. It also features three different flavors of analog coloration – Tube, Solid-State, and Clean. The Tube and Solid-State modes are modeled on the EMT V54 preamp for tube saturation and the EMT 162 preamp which has a built-in compressor to help tame transients.

SuperPlate also includes a range of modern digital features, including:

  • Infinite decay time,
  • Built-in pre-delay,
  • Expanded modulation controls,
  • Full-featured EQ for detailed tonal shaping, and
  • A unique decay ducking option that adjusts decay time to avoid overlap or masking.

“We love the sound of real plate reverb and wanted to bring the distinctive sound of our vintage plate collection into the world of modern audio,” says CEO and lead designer Ken Bogdanowicz. “After analyzing and living with these devices for several years our team captured the true essence and variety of tones from the five different plate reverbs that we modeled for SuperPlate. We always try to take our effects beyond ‘simple emulations’ and with SuperPlate I feel like we found the perfect balance – switchable modeled preamp styles, built-in parametric EQ, and extended and dynamic decay time – to make SuperPlate a versatile go-to reverb effect. It sounds great and it’s fun and easy to use.”

SuperPlate with Vocals:

SuperPlate with Drums:

SuperPlate with Electric Piano:

SuperPlate is available individually, or as part of Soundtoys V5.4 bundle, which brings together 22 audio effects, with the following introductory pricing through June 14, 2023:

  • SuperPlate is available individually for $79 (reg $149)
  • Soundtoys 5, now including SuperPlate, is available for $499

Upgrade/crossgrade pricing is also available. Find out more on the Soundtoys website.

Black Corporation announces Expander MK2 Multi-FX Processor

Black Corporation have announced the release of Expander Mk2, a multi-effects processor that builds on the capabilities found in the original Expander to create something much more powerful.

Available as a tabletop or rackmount unit, Expander Mk2 is a multi-effects console that offers delay, reverb, chorus, phaser, ring mod, resonator and overdrive. There’s analogue and digital versions of almost every effect here, and many of the effects are built to emulate vintage gear. The Expander’s interface is comprehensive and contains one knob for almost every function.

The Expander’s digital delay is based on the Lexicon PCM42 and was designed in partnership with Gary Hall, the Lexicon’s original designer, while its digital reverb recreates the sound of the “lush and spacious” Lexicon 224. These are complemented by an analogue BBD delay, with a delay time that goes all the way up to 820ms, and a spring reverb that makes use of two 17″ tanks, along with EQ and digital pre-delay.

The Expander is equipped with a chorus section featuring two distinct BBD chorus lines, a phaser section based around a 12-stage analogue phaser circuit, and a quadrant multiplier ring modulator sitting alongside a vintage-style transformer and diode-based ring mod. That’s not all: there’s overdrive, too, courtesy of KORG’s Nutube analogue vacuum tube technology, which can deliver everything from “subtle texture and warmth” to “screaming distortion”.

External effects can be patched in at any stage in the Expander’s chain using the insert section, while the resonator can be used as a subtle tone-sculpting EQ or pushed into experimental territory with the help of the Expander’s “multitude” of LFOs, which are routable to almost any destination.

Expander’s also kitted out with a matrix mixer, making it easy to design effects pathways and play around with different routing patterns. In terms of I/O, there’s two balanced line ins and outs, stereo send and return, expression and switch pedals, USB and MIDI, along with a Hi-Z guitar input and headphone out on the front panel.

The Expander Mk2 is available for preorder price at $4999, with first orders going out early 2024. Find out more on Black Corporation website.