The Buchla 259e Twisted Waveform Generator plug-in for Modular features all the digital waveshaping, aliasing noise and fold over frequencies of the original hardware. Enjoy the self-modifying, screeching, snarling responses from the original’s downright odd inner workings. The 259e is truly a unique addition to the Modular ecosystem.
What Is a Twisted Waveform Generator Anyways?
The 259e consists of two separate oscillators—Principal and Modulation—where Modulation can be used either to modulate the Principal oscillator or as a separate generator of audible notes. Furthermore, the sine wave generated by the Principal oscillator is simultaneously applied to two of the eight available waveshape tables.
A morph voltage pans between the two tables and a warp voltage varies the amplitude of the sinusoidal (driving) waveform. Both these functions can be modulated by the Modulation oscillator. Three of the waveshape tables are actually not tables in the classical sense—they are simply portions of the 259e operating program, full of unpredictable noise and frequent silences.
This is the innovative Mem Skew mode, possibly the most unique feature of the Buchla 259e. When these tables are selected, the FM controls are re-assigned to table scanning functions and the FM inputs become table modulators.
In short, while the Buchla 259e can certainly be used for more traditional sounds, it excels at creating otherworldly twisted digital sonic landscapes. Which is why it is one of the most coveted synth modules on the market.
"The Twisted Waveform Generator is one of Buchla's many complicated and mysterious modules; even after using it so many times in so many ways, I keep finding new sounds and processes. I honestly did not expect a digital version to, somehow, capture the richness of this maverick device. But, Softube has, amazingly, captured everything I have, so far, imagined about the oscillator. The Twisted plugin is now an important element in my Buchla + Computer performances."
Morton Subotnick Artist, Synthesist and Musical Pioneer
Coming from a staunch, obsessive analog Buchla tradition I was skeptical about a virtual 259e. But Softube has knocked it out of the park.