- Officially licensed and endorsed by Buchla U.S.A. – the only such emulation of this rare and exclusive module.
- 16 band-pass filters, each with its own VCA and envelope follower.
- Separate envelope decay times for each band.
Buchla 296e Spectral Processor
Scratch the surface of any synthesizer, and you’ll find the heritage of a few great brands. Buchla has been responsible for some of the most innovative, creative, and sonically spectacular electronic musical equipment ever made, and we’re proud to have such a legendary name in Softube Modular.
In addition to our previously released 259e Twisted Waveform Generator, take advantage of the myriad spectral processing capabilities of the big friendly filter bank, the new 296e Spectral Processor, the only software version of this module officially licensed by Buchla U.S.A.
“Softube’s new virtual version of the Buchla 296e Spectral Processor is addictive! An exquisite and exciting translation that has enticed me into endless hours of sonic exploration and discovery. It expands the capabilities of their Modular platform exponentially. Kudos!”Electronic artist and Buchla legend
Have a listen
The Real Thing
Our Buchla 296e module is officially licensed and endorsed by Buchla U.S.A. It's not just a copy, or an homage. It's the real thing.
Programmable Graphic Eq
There's a lot you can do with 16 bands, each tuned to the discrimination curve of the human ear. Especially with external incoming CV, this module can perform complex sonic wonders.
Performs Detailed Spectral
Spectral analysis and resynthesis opens up vocoding possibilities, using one module or chaining two together.
Rare and exclusive
The 296e is one of the most expensive and exclusive hardware synth modules in the world, and for very good reason. Its complexity, versatility, and sheer quality make it legendary.
Sculpt any sound with this ultimately programmable 16-band graphic EQ. Morph between two separate modulatable response curves. Control the individual levels of each band through external incoming CV or use the internal spectral transfer (vocoding) to link the envelopes of odd and even bands with their VCAs (and vice versa). And use the “freeze” function (as a toggle-button, or externally controlled by CV) to sample and hold these values (envelope times, A levels, or B levels).
The 296e Spectral Processor is capable of a startling variety of effects, wonderful world-building from mere white noise, or the separation of musical inputs into any elemental collection of individual parts, to be reused and reimagined at will.
The center frequency of each band is pre-selected to complement the human ear’s discrimination curve, with the result that each one sounds meaningfully unique and pleasing. Its capability for intricate transformations allow it to be a real time performance filter, a programmable compound equalizer, and even a spectrum transferring vocoder.
16 band-pass filters are available, each with its own VCA on input, and envelope follower on output. They can be divided into two collections of eight, odd and even. In hardware this function can be used to split the module for use as a limited vocoder, with eight bands performing analysis and eight performing resynthesis. But of course in software you can affordably run a pair of 296e modules side-by-side, for a full 16-band spectral transfer vocoding experience. The user can adjust envelope decay times, and pre-emphasis may be applied to smooth the frequency response for even more malleable vocoding.
Special MIDI function
A special addition in our software version of the module is the ability to ‘play’ the individual filter bands using MIDI. Note values attach to the different fixed filter frequencies, while MIDI velocity data affects the amplitude value of a given band’s VCA.
Add to this the wealth of great-sounding combination options available at a single click in Softube Modular, and the Buchla 296e turns an already attractive ecosystem into a truly expansive spectrum.
"The 296e is a truly powerful beast and I know nothing else that comes close. It can bring a widely modulated sci-fi landscape to your music, or a gently seductive warm coastal ambience. Hugely versatile and at a price that doesn’t mean you need to sell your grandparents! And, if out of inspiration, you can just simply sit back and enjoy the amazing light show."Producer, DJ, remixer, and artist
- Made for Modular, Softube's Eurorack platform. Learn more about Modular
- Officially licensed and endorsed by Buchla U.S.A. – the only such emulation of this rare and exclusive module
- 16 band-pass filters, each with its own VCA and envelope follower
- Separate envelope decay times for each band
- Programmable graphic EQ
- Real time performance filter
- Morph between ‘A’ and ‘B’ level settings
- Performs complex spectral transfer functions
- Special new feature allows for ‘playing’ the filters with MIDI
- Use as a vocoder, split into two banks of eight, or using two modules at once for full 16-band operation
- Externally controllable “freeze” function stores the input spectrum as envelope values, or A and B levels, in the module’s memory
- Multiband extraction of envelopes from audio inputs
All Softube products require a computer with appropriate DAW host software (none of which are included).
Versions from 2.5.18 and newer of the Softube plug-ins have the following minimum requirements:
All native versions
- Mac OS X 10.13 up to 11.6.1 - MacOS 12 Monterey support pending
- Windows 10 64-bit - Windows 11 support pending
- Mac: Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 / Xeon - M1 support pending
- Windows: Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 / Xeon / AMD Quad-Core or newer
- Screen resolution larger than 1280x800
- 8 GB RAM or more is recommended, as well as at least 8 GB hard disk space for installation (individual plug-ins take less space, while sample libraries may require additional disk space).
- Softube account
- iLok account
- Internet access for downloading installers and managing licenses
- iLok generation 2 and up, if you intend to use an iLok key for authorizing your plug-ins (note that a physical iLok USB key is not a requirement)
In theory, any 64-bit VST, VST3, AU, or AAX (Pro Tools 11.0.2 or higher) compatible host application should work. However, due to plug-in host differences between DAWs - and our own rigorous testing standards - we only officially test our plug-ins and instruments in the most recent versions of Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, Ableton Live, Studio One, Reaper, and Cakewalk. Softube plugins are not tested in non-listed systems, but they most likely work as long as the system requirements are met. We cannot guarantee a solution for issues in unsupported systems.
Note: We have checked the basic functionality of our plug-ins, and Softube Central, in macOS Monterey running under Apple Rosetta 2, and initial tests do look promising. Silicon M1 native support is pending.
Note: We have run initial tests of Softube Central and our plug-ins within Windows 11 with positive early results. Further testing and announcements will follow.
With regards to the different VST formats, we strongly recommend using VST3 as some of our plug-ins have features that are not present in the older VST format. Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192 kHz, in both mono and stereo. The most recent maintenance release of your DAW application is recommended. AAX DSP is not currently in active development. TDM/VENUE is no longer supported (old downloads are available on the Legacy Installers page)
Find the Softube installer you need both Softube Central and individual plug-ins.
AAX DSP version
- For AAX DSP you need to meet the above requirements for the Native versions. You also need to have an Avid HDX processing card. For plug-ins available for AAX DSP, see Which Softube plug-ins support AAX DSP?