Playing (almost) every scale from every note with the Buchla Thunder Overlay


(Edit: I edited the original post and will probably do it again. Squashing incoherences and approximations :slight_smile: )

What if the Buchla Thunder Overlay allowed us to play the 9 most used scales and modes for the 12 notes of the chromatic scale, in any soft synth?

We’d use the preset selector to switch between the 9 different modes or scales:

  1. Ionian mode (major scale)
  2. Dorian
  3. Phrygian
  4. Lydian
  5. Mixolydian
  6. Aeolian (natural minor scale)
  7. Locrian
  8. Harmonic minor scale
  9. Melodic minor scale.

That would cover a lot of musical uses.

CDEFGI and KLMNOP would play the notes of the scale, starting from the root note and upwards from C untill P.
J would play the root note 2 octaves down,
H would play the 5th note, 1.5 octave down,
5 would play the root note 1 octave down.

The arrows would be used to change the root note by navigating semitone after semitone.

1234 and 6789 would play whatever notes of the scale you want to program. You get the idea!

To do that we would need :

  • the ability to transpose the root note up and down by one semitone (as discussed here already: Buchla Thunder Transpose Function)
  • a way to describe the notes and intervals of the selected scale or mode, to determine which notes you can play. I have no idea how complex that would be to develop!

Use example:

I want to play in G minor scale. My Thunder Morph is currently set-up to play C major. Here are the steps I follow:

  • I select the Aeolian mode, AKA the minor scale (push “load preset” button + “6” button/pad.)
  • Using the arrows, I navigate semitone after semitone from C til G (7 semitones).
  • That’s it! My Thunder now plays the G minor scale.

This is a great idea, I’ve often thought about putting something like this together and I’m surprised it doesn’t come out of the box like this. Is the only thing stop[ing us the transpose to root note?


Agreed, we should keep bugging them till they get to it, because it will only make their product a billion times better and more useful!

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