The Cloudlab 200t is an instrument for Native Instrument’s Reaktor inspired by the Buchla 200 modular system. Created by Trevor Gavilan after three years of work, it certainly looks the part. Trevor stresses that it’s not an official emulation, more of an instrument inspired by the sound and interface of those famous Buchla devices.
If you own Reaktor 6 you can pop along to the online user library and download it now for free. To the uninitiated the front panel is authentically unintelligible. The default preset makes no sound, which adds greatly to the sense of “what the…. is this all about?” However, once you select a prewired preset your jaw will drop at the sheer sonic pleasure of the thing. I also really enjoy the verbose labelling in Buchla. a VCO in Eurorack becomes a “Convoluted Waveform Generator”, a random generator becomes a “Source of Confusion” and an envelope becomes an “Action Generator”.
In the introduction to the manual Trevor notes how although he’s not able to emulate the physicality of the Buchla, such an important element of working with it, he did his best to make the interface respond and work as closely to the real thing as possible. He hopes that his work will introduce more people to the Buchla workflow so that they will be less intimidated by it. Unlike other modular systems, which can be explored through trial and error, Buchla invites you to understand each module and get to grips with the different signal types they use before you can really appreciate what it does. With that in mind, the manual continues for 20 pages covering each module in depth.
This is a fantastic West coast synthesis learning experience.
But there’s more. In an attempt to bring a bit more of the hands-on control he’s also produced a Lemur control template for iPad. This gives you direct fingertip control over each individual module. It includes a touch-plate style keyboard and follows the colour palette of the Buchla modular. I should also say that Reaktor works well with single touch on any touch screen, Windows tablet or hybrid laptop.
Thank you Trevor, what a great piece of work.