What’s the BUZZ?

Jeskola BUZZ, coded by Oskari Tammelin, is a modular software music studio, there is nothing like it in my experience, and it is free.

I recently found Buzz 1.2, with builds as recent as 2016 – I thought this was a lost project as I have been using a buggy unstable version since the mid 90’s when Oskari lost ALL his source code (in a file system catastrophe). The old version “sort of works” on windows 10, but is not stable, crashes a lot. I am delighted to say this new version seems slick and pretty stable, and most of the most aggravating GUI issues have been solved with style and class.

This tool is like no other – it starts with a bewildering and esoteric collection of MACHINES. Machines are either GENERATORS (they make noise through a variety of synthesis techniques, or play/manipulate samples, used as leaves to sound branches), EFFECTS (these change sounds and are used in-line, on the way to the master desk), or CONTROLLERS (these modify machines live):

BUZZ Machines
Buzz noise making apparatus assembled from MACHINES

Once you have assembled a noise making apparatus (ie. picked your machines and effects, and wired them together to end at the MASTER, you then need to define PATTERNS for your noisemakers:

Buzz Machine Pattern

Once you have defined patterns (either series of pitched notes, parameter lists and/or triggers), you plug these patterns into a sequencer to play them alongside other patterns:


This program allows me to make noise I find musical – as synthesisers go it seems pretty nerdy, I am hampered by the fact that I have little musical notation I understand (I cannot easily read sheet music), but have a fairly good ear for pitch and tone, can understad C5, D3 etc, and am not afraid of HEXADECIMAL which is used for level settings (00-FF), so have been winging it fairly successfully. There are LOTS of machines I can drive, even more I have no idea how to use, yet – what an adventure.

I look forward to combining this with noises from my Theremini – could be a hoopy mix, we shall see.

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