Magic Zero key on Easel

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Tajnost
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Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by Tajnost »

I searched around for a while but haven’t found anything…
Is there any meaning or function behind the 10 / zero key on BEMI Easel?

3DA2586A-E736-48BB-BD6B-F38618849E9B.jpeg

Or it’s just a part of design and no special thing behind it?
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by slirak »

It's Buchla's logo (supposed to be an electric note in a box = electric music box I guess). I figure it's just a piece of clever design.
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by Tajnost »

Still looks mysterious to me) why not label it 10?)

Maybe there’s a hidden mode?)
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shoegazer86
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by shoegazer86 »

Just a logo for the "Electric Music Box", and it doesn't have a via so its completely isolated and not connected to anything. The original 218 also has this logo.
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by Triglav »

Oh jesus so that's why the BEMI music box logo looks horrendous compared to the original. I've never noticed that it's supposed to be a 0. Now I hate it even more.
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by slirak »

Triglav wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 4:34 am Oh jesus so that's why the BEMI music box logo looks horrendous compared to the original. I've never noticed that it's supposed to be a 0. Now I hate it even more.
I don't think that particular part of the logo has changed much. It's placed in the same position and sort of working a zero in the pictures I've seen of old 218's as well. I think the outlines of the box and that the "lightning" is now filled, is what's changed the most.
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by Triglav »

Here's my (redrawn) comparison.
The new one is a mess of line-weights, angles and balance.
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by slirak »

The old one is surely nicer! My point was just that I don't think the idea of a zero came with the newer, or was what made it worse, since it does the same job on the old 218's.

Which leads me to another question: where did the old version first appear? Was it on the original 218, so that it was designed with that in mind?
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by Triglav »

Well, maybe it was always meant to be a 0, but using the Arial Bold Italic 0 (instead of a custom drawn shape witch consistent line width) is definitely a downgrade.
I've never seen it on anything else beside a 218, but maybe shoegazer86 has?
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by CliffordMilk »

Terrible. Just chucked my BEMI Easel onto the fire. Can’t bear to look at it now :)
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by CliffordMilk »

Actually, mine ain’t too bad. There must have been a bad batch.
34DCFD7C-4718-47EF-923B-7EFE6B7B509B.jpeg
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by Triglav »

CliffordMilk wrote: Terrible. Just chucked my BEMI Easel onto the fire. Can’t bear to look at it now :)
Glad I could be of assistance! :hihi: Now don’t get me started on how all of the 200e is not only set in Arial instead of Futura and Grotesque Nr. 9., but the kerning is also all kinds of mess.
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by shoegazer86 »

Triglav wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:46 am Well, maybe it was always meant to be a 0, but using the Arial Bold Italic 0 (instead of a custom drawn shape witch consistent line width) is definitely a downgrade.
I've never seen it on anything else beside a 218, but maybe shoegazer86 has?
The Music Box logo predates the 218 by a couple of years, with the publication of the November 1971 catalogue as the first place I have seen it. So far, it has not been on any other modules.

Image
Image

Fun fact, the original font on the 218 is called "Lilith", and to this day has not been digitized. I hunted down the original font sheets for the MEMS recreation and used it to create vectors of the original logo.

Image
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by noisecarpet »

Wow, I love the design of that catalogue— it's as though Buchla got the Monty Python cartoonist involved. Nice detective work on finding that font for the MEMS version.
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by slirak »

Thanks for sharing!

I guess we should be thankful it wasn't that little guy touting the horn, that ended up being the logo... ;)
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by Triglav »

shoegazer86 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 5:59 pm The Music Box logo predates the 218 by a couple of years, with the publication of the November 1971 catalogue as the first place I have seen it. So far, it has not been on any other modules.
[…]
Fun fact, the original font on the 218 is called "Lilith", and to this day has not been digitized. I hunted down the original font sheets for the MEMS recreation and used it to create vectors of the original logo.
[…]
Very cool, thank you! Will the MEMS 218 be available to buy? The pressure stepping on the 218r is quite annoying. Also, have you looked at replicating the 221?
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by LVU »

Triglav wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 1:08 pm
CliffordMilk wrote: Terrible. Just chucked my BEMI Easel onto the fire. Can’t bear to look at it now :)
Glad I could be of assistance! :hihi: Now don’t get me started on how all of the 200e is not only set in Arial instead of Futura and Grotesque Nr. 9., but the kerning is also all kinds of mess.
Buchla and Graphic Design - very interesting topic!
Do you know if any graphic designers were involved in the 200 series? And the 200e series was it all done in-house?
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by shoegazer86 »

Triglav wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 4:02 am Very cool, thank you! Will the MEMS 218 be available to buy? The pressure stepping on the 218r is quite annoying. Also, have you looked at replicating the 221?
The 218M is currently on my bench in various states of stuffing, it's been on the back burner since we received so much info this year. both 221 and 221A have both been traced out and exist in CAD form but haven't been ordered for prototyping yet.

In short, we would like to offer these, but we need to test the heck out of them first.

I think the current plan of "release and regret" hasn't worked for a lot of 4U format designs. I look wistfully at my R builds and remember the time when I thought I had built a Buchla. Sure, MEMS modules aren't like having the real deal either but sometimes it sure feels like it.
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by sempervirent »

Triglav wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 1:08 pm Glad I could be of assistance! :hihi: Now don’t get me started on how all of the 200e is not only set in Arial instead of Futura and Grotesque Nr. 9., but the kerning is also all kinds of mess.
It's actually Helvetica (not Arial). Can't fault Don for picking a different font on the 200e anyway. It was supposed to be new and different.

Like the Lilith font that @shoegazer86 mentions, the exact version of Grotesque used on the 200 series has not (to my knowledge) been professionally digitized either. Doing panel graphics with Letraset sheets was simply not a thing by the early 2000s.
Triglav wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 6:46 am Here's my (redrawn) comparison.
Good eye, had not noticed this (but then again, haven't started at the newer stuff extensively either). And let's not talk about the BEMI logo itself...
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by Triglav »

sempervirent wrote: Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:20 am It's actually Helvetica (not Arial).
I can't find a super high res picture of a 200e panel right now (and I don't own any), but to me it sure looks like Arial.
Screenshot 2022-11-29 at 9.32.24.png
Screenshot 2022-11-29 at 9.44.44.png
These are from the 227e. Look at how the top of the t is slanted instead of straight and how the leg of the R is straight instead of curved.
(Red is Arial, black is Helvetica.)
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by sempervirent »

Now this is a level of typographic OCD that I can appreciate ^__^

The capital italic R threw me off as well, but if you look at the 250e for example, the module name at the top and "BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA" at the bottom don't have the diagonal leg on the capital R and other letters like the C and G are definitely Helvetica.

Could be Arial for the italics, Helvetica for non-italics – that's just weird but you might be right.
Last edited by sempervirent on Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by Triglav »

Hah, you're right, the module name and the "signature" is Helvetica, the rest is Arial. Super weird choice.
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by sempervirent »

Curiously enough the officially-licensed Softube Modular plugins (259e, 296e) use Helvetica throughout, but they were probably done in-house by Softube and were only released in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by shoegazer86 »

It's also worth noting that the introduction of Helvetica was in the later 200 Series modules, the 221 and 296 both use Helvetica on their PCBs.
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Re: Magic Zero key on Easel

Post by SynthBaron »

Tajnost wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 8:38 pm Still looks mysterious to me) why not label it 10?)
Maybe it's a joke that the note it's in the TENor range of that keyboard?
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