THE FORTUNE MODULES (scroll down for pdf download of schematics)

The Fortune Modules were built in the early 1970s by Fukushi Kawakami of Yamaha. Now Dr. Kawakami, a professor at Shizuoka University in Japan, an expert in the field of architectural acoustics, he was then in residence at CalArts, studying analog synthesis. Known as “Fortune” to his friends, he asked me what I might find useful in addition to what was already available on the Buchla 200. The four Fortune Modules were the result of this project, and I used them in all of my work between 1972 and 1985 (including Trinity and Lost Atlantis), the year when I switched to using computers. These modules helped me to accomplish things that were difficult or otherwise impossible on the Buchla 200. The Control Voltage Smoothers were useful in creating more complex control voltage configurations than allowed by the Buchla 200 envelope generators, even with the use of the control voltage processors. The Analog Shift Register allowed for canonic applications of voltages. The Control Voltage Matrix Gate is both the most complex and most useful of the four modules. The main function of this device was to combine the output of up to 4 different control voltage sources and, at the same time, process them (gate, offset, etc.) by use of additional control voltage inputs and/or the pots on each channel, (shown at the top of the module). A matrix of pulse inputs allow for automated routing of the combined output voltage configurations. The white input jacks determine the location of the order of the original inputs to outputs. Acting as an analog switch, pulsing those positions would shift the routing of the input to the following configuration:

OUT 1 2 3 4

A 1 2 3 4
B 1 2 3 4
C 1 2 3 4
D 1 2 3 4

The switches on the left introduce Boolean functions (and/or) to each output channels. The horizontal row of switches on the top selected a through, off, or gated function for each channel. The red jack at the bottom left and green one at the top center are not inputs. They are 5-volt output and ground (0-volt output), respectively. It's obvious that the module that Fukushi Kawakami built is not exactly the same as the one in the block diagram. He decided to not include the audio portion of the original design since the Buchla 200 systems at CalArts already had a lot of audio gates.


Control Voltage Smoother #1

Control Voltage Smoother #2


Analogue Shift Register

Control Voltage Matrix Gate

(photos courtesy of Grant Richter)

Click here for the schematics for the Fortune Modules  (pdf downlod)