Last night, while reviewing a new synthesizer, I was reminded of a conversation I had with electronic-instrument pioneer Don Buchla, when I interviewed him and a number of other innovators for the June 2010 EM feature â€śGenius Bar.â€? The main topic that morning was about the future of electronic instrument design, and my particular interest was in hearing where these men thought we were headed, based on their decades of experience. Buchla was quiet throughout most of the morningâ€™s conversation before, finally, taking me aside and giving me his opinion personally.
â€śThe breakdown is that the [designs] that are accepted, and used, and developed further are those that are most closely linked to the thought,â€? he said. He went on to explain that when you have to think while playing an instrument there will be a delay between what you want to do in the musical moment and the resulting sound. This â€śsonic latencyâ€? removes you from the present, as can â€śnon-familiarity with the process and the outcome of the process,â€? as he put it. more