in 1987 don buchla released the buchla 700 synthesizer. it was the next logical step from don's previous digital synths (buchla 400, touche, buchla 500) but was also influenced by the synth trends of the 1980's, specifically fm synthesis and the all-in-one workstation concept. as usual, don was ahead of the curve and the 700 never took off. very few were sold and even fewer functioning units exist today. i always loved the sound of don's digital oscillators, and combined with the scarcity of the instrument it seemed like a fun to recreate it in software and reintroduce its concepts to the world. thus was born instrument designer.
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instrument designer is a twelve-voice multitimbral synth. each voice contains:
four sine wave oscillators with various tracking modes and sync
two waveshapers with user editable wavetables
each voice has one of twelve selectable algorithms defining the connections between the oscillators, waveshapers, and indexes
each voice has fourteen envelopes which can use external midi sources and two unique random sources as well as looping to create complex modulations.
voices can be grouped into twelve different groups, allowing one to construct anything from one twelve-voice synth to twelve one-voice synths (and anything in between). groups can respond to different midi channels and can be split into ranges of notes.
all wavetables are user editable and can be drawn and/or constructed via harmonic manipulation.
arbitrary tunings can be created and used for each group.