Buddha Machine 2 FM3 Ambient Instrument

The Buddha Machine is a small audio-gear, some kind of “multipurpose ambient device”. It is a small portable device with batteries, a speaker and some build-in audioloops. You can select the soothing loops and they keep on playing. With two controllers you can select the volume and (this is the special part) the pitch of the loop. Nothing really special, compared to the things you can do with audio-software, but this device is very charming and inviting to some nice uses.

This is how it goes:

Some days ago the Buddha Machine 2 was released. It is very similar with the first version of this machine, but got more loops, that should be more versatile than on the Buddha Machine one. The device was developed by a experimental music group, called FM3. According to the blog 11k2 about 50.000 pieces of the FM3-Buddha Machine one were sold, amongst others to Brian Eno, Blixta Bargeld and Daft Punk. A small superstar. The second edition is now ready to sale and cost about 19 Euro (i.e. here to order in the UK).

“Circuit bend it” is one of the things, that comes into mind when thinking of the Buddha Machine. This is not rocket science, but it could look like this:

But the real quality of this unique music instrument is, that that it focus you back again into ambient qualities, in a somehow very different way than the RSDJ, that is far more technological advanced. The Buddha Machine takes you back into the world of simple setups, audio research and exploration of abstract scapes. The setup does not have to be complicated or sophisticated. It is about simplicity.

Now take the last step and combine it with plain abstract visuals. Voila. Here we have pure ambient enlightenment, inspired by the Buddha Machine.

Blog - Date published: November 21, 2008 | 2 Comments

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  1. onimas said:

    “The device was developed by a experimental music group, called FM3.”

    Anyone who grew up in a buddhist family (out here in asia) had one of these at home. It’s called a ‘chant box’. You place it in mini shrines as it plays continuous chants. They’re also placed in coffins prior to cremation so the deceased are lead by chants to the heavens.

    It’s a great, fun device and I want one.

    But there’s no modern invention going on here.

  2. Thanks for your advice. Hope that the article do not confuse the readers. I did not wanted to say that FM3 “invented” it, but they “developed” as a “mass product” and distributed it in a clever way.