1979 - DSS

  • $800.00

Bidirectional sequential switches for audio and CV

The DSS is intended as a companion for the Buchla 245/246 sequencers and other "quad" modules in Buchla format such as the 281 and 292. New possibilities for performance and composition arise from the ability to dynamically route multiple sources to multiple destinations without repatching.

The main I/O is bidirectional, meaning that the module works as a 4:1 multiplexer or a 1:4 demultiplexer. Patch up to four signals to the inputs labeled 1-4 and they will be sequentially routed to the common I/O jack. Alternately, patch one signal source to the I/O jack and it will be sequentially distributed to the 1-4 jacks.

Each half of the module has its own independent loop length (from 1 to 4 steps) and sequencing mode: forwards, backwards, forwards and then backwards (pendulum), or random. The SC (Step Change) output generates a trigger whenever the sequence length is changed, which is useful for synchronizing the upper and lower halves of the module or communicating state changes to other modules. The analog CV addressing input (ADDR) bypasses pulse-based control and allows an external CV source to select which step is active, similar to the "analog" CV input on the Buchla 245/246.

Expanded control and sequencing options make the DSS one of the most fully-featured sequential switches available in any modular format. Every aspect of the switching schema is accessible, facilitating patches that were not previously possible in the Buchla ecosystem.

Tech Specs

  • 4:1 (multiplexed) or 1:4 (demultiplexed) switching of audio or CV
  • Variable sequence length (1-4 steps) with voltage control
  • Variable switching mode (forward, reverse, pendulum, random) with voltage control
  • Step addressing via clock, direct selection, or external CV
  • Extensive pulse I/O for synchronization with external modules

Extra Settings

RESET/TRIG switch toggle. By default, pressing the RESET switch returns the sequencer to step 1, but this switch can also be used as a manual trigger source. Press RESET for 5 seconds to toggle this setting. The SC LED will blink to confirm the change. Now when the switch is pressed the TRIG jack will be pulsed instead. The RESET and TRIG jacks still work independently. Press RESET again for 5 seconds to toggle the switch function back to a manual reset.

Manual step selection. Press the RESET switch and then turn the STEPS knob for manual channel selection. This works like the ADDR CV input but doesn't require external CV. Note that all trigger inputs (RESET, TRIG, and the four SELECT jacks) can still change which channel is active so this feature works best when those inputs are not being used.

Pendulum behavior. Press the RESET switch and then turn the MODE knob to change how the Pendulum mode behaves. There are four possible settings which correlate with the four F/B/P/R labels around the knob.

Pendulum Mode Description
Repeat None (F) The loop cycles forwards and backwards with no repeated steps.
Repeat First (B) The first step is repeated twice per loop.
Repeat Last (P) The last step (as defined by the STEPS knob) repeats twice per loop.
Repeat Both (R) Both the first and last steps are repeated twice per loop.

The different Pendulum settings allow for unusual time signatures. Loop lengths of 2-8 steps are possible (see the table below). Try using different loop lengths on the top and bottom halves of the module to experiment with polyrhythms that periodically diverge and converge in the style of Steve Reich's "phase" compositions.

Loop Length (Steps) Pendulum Mode Step Repeats Base Loop Length Final Loop Length
2 Repeat None (F) 0 2 2
Repeat First (B) 1 2 3
Repeat Last (P) 1 2 3
Repeat Both (R) 2 2 4
3 Repeat None (F) 0 4 4
Repeat First (B) 1 4 5
Repeat Last (P) 1 4 5
Repeat Both (R) 2 4 6
4 Repeat None (F) 0 6 6
Repeat First (B) 1 6 7
Repeat Last (P) 1 6 7
Repeat Both (R) 2 6 8