Model 292t

Buchla and Tiptop Audio Model 292t Quad LoPass Gate


The latest Buchla module to emerge from the Tip Audio Eurorack 200 series is the Model 292t Quad LoPass Gate. This is the source of so much of that modular sound we associate with Buchla.

Model 292t Quad Lopass Gate

I am fascinated by the whole Buchla thing. It’s one of those areas that seems to be unobtainable from my perspective, but will remain aspirational. I would love to swim in the warm waters of West Coast Buchla synthesis and these modules from Tiptop are probably the closest I’ll ever get.

The Model 292t Quad Lopass Gate is the dynamics generator behind that classic bleep and bloop sound and is available at last. It uses the decay of an extinguished LED to create short, organic-sounding envelopes. The light-dependent circuit is called a Vactrol, and these have been terribly hard to find. They are also made with cadmium, which is toxic, and banned in many countries, including the EU. Maybe Brexit will give the UK access to these sorts of poisons. We appear to have permission to pollute our own rivers so I don’t see why not. Tiptop says that they designed and hand-made their own Vactrols for this model. Let’s hope they didn’t lick their fingers.

Tiptop also says that they are working on LPG designs that use alternative materials or alternative circuits to recreate the sound of the Buchlas LPG. Let’s hope they are successful.

Anyway, the Quad LoPass Gate has four LPGs and four VCAs and can also be used as a mixer. You can run it as a VCA, LPG or a combination of the two, which adds a subtle ringing decay to the sound. If you live in a cadmium-friendly place then you can enjoy the blips and beeps as Don Buchlas intended. The rest of us will have to wait.

Tiptop Audio will be at Superbooth and apparently have some new things to share – exciting!