Buchla Music Easel iProgram Card


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Buchla Music Easel iProgram card

[highlight ]*iProgram card requires a Music Easel for operation[/highlight]

Buchla Music Easel iProgram card is the ultimate accessory to modernize your Music Easel–a flexible replacement for the original resistor-based Program Cards. It makes use of the Program Card slot and enables patch editing, patch/librarian management, and even real-time performance from an iPad via the iProgram Card App. The iProgram Card communicates with the iPad via WiFi*. The iProgram card can store up to 24 presets in local flash memory so that it can be used independently from the iPad application. Two push buttons allow the user to scroll through and load any stored preset.


– Card fits in Easel Program Card slot

– 16×2 display for card status, VFD is ideal for stage or low-light environments

– 24 locally stored presets on-card and can function independent of iPad app

– Unlimited number of presets can be stored in iPad

– On-board Hardware directly emulates resistor settings in original card.


The card, in combination with its iPad app, lets you program all the parameters of the Easel’s sliders and knobs, save them as a performance patch, then recall the patch with the touch of a button.

The iprogram card App stores limitless performance patches. You can create your own “bank” of 24 performances and upload them to the card for instant recall.

The card can be accessed by the Easel in either “remote” mode or “both” mode.

In remote mode, the card takes precedence (all sliders and knobs become inactive) and you can control and change the Easel with all the parameters of the keyboard: portamento, arpeggiator, octaves and preset voltages.

In both mode, with creative programming you can also interact with Easel’s sliders and knobs.

Important features of the iPad App are:

 Latching of the virtual keys in arpeggiation mode.
 Extra patch points for CV of the Envelope Generator and Timbre Waveforms.
 Ability to perform/control the Easel in a “live” performance.

The Easel is first and foremost a performance instrument. As Don Buchla stated in the forward to Allen Strange’s original 1975 Easel manual:

“Our goal was to create an instrument for performance. One with a vocabulary that was varied, accessible, and not presumptive. We weren’t particularly in¬terested in imitating any extant instruments, either functionally or acoustically. We did want the potential for expressive, real-time perform¬er-instrument interaction.”

The iprogram card goes a long way to enhancing and expanding the Easel’s performability. And keep in mind, both Don and Allen always thought of the original program card (where you soldered resistors to mimic slider/knob settings), not as a “preset” but as an “instrument definition” – that is each program card was a different expressive performance instrument.
Typically I do an entire concert set manipulating just one “instrument definition”, the fact that I can now have 24 “instruments” immediately available boggles my mind!

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