Totally awful...not merely economically for their employees and for those of us who'd likely have to pay more for their products, but that the current bad ugliness over here is going to run a part of American musical history out of the country where it envisioned (along with Don, natch) all of this.

I have mixed views on this- personally I think we need to go back to American made electronic components and rare earth minerals since allowing a communist dictatorship corner the market on it is not great for the west. Second, they need to be affordable.

Well, I agree...the USA used to lead the world in electronics manufacturing up until the 1970s, and even then it still held an edge in component manufacturing for some time. And yes, there are some issues of various sorts with China in terms of how workers are treated, corruption, and intellectual property. But the fact is that electronic instruments have become a rather 'fungible' thing. Look at Eurorack itself, for example: the format was devised by a German firm, retooling a concept that was created on two different ends of the USA. It has a pool of several thousand modules to date, made everywhere from Thailand (Takaab) to Scotland (GMSN) and everywhere in between. Its users routinely cross many borders in their shopping and research, via Internet sellers and resources (such as, say, ModularGrid). It's very much a 'world instrument'.

At the same time, though, there's that 'affordable' factor. Yeah, that's a key thing. But also, that 'affordability' relies on things much worse/sketchy than the Chinese Communist Party. If you thought the concept of 'blood diamonds' was awful, have a romp through the socioeconomic darkness that surrounds coltan, a vital mineral used in the manufacture of a lot of discrete components, definitely including those in the very computer I'm typing this on and which I use for my multitrack work and ones which show up all over the place in our electronic music gear.

Ultimately, trade wars hurt the people that the warring states roll over in their belligerence...just like in real war, but perhaps a bit 'cleaner' in a lot of cases. Less bloody. No less good for that, though. So, yeah, I have mixed views, too...but I look at Moog's situation and see a company that was a pioneer, an originator, led by a visionary and now owned by its employees who trade on a rich, impressive legacy. And I see that forcing a company like that to make ugly, dumb choices is not going to lead to something good...just as, back in earlier decades, it didn't lead to anything good for R.A. Moog Inc. as Norlin got its hooks into it, and then Gibson Brands (aka 'that place on Elm Hill Pike where music companies go to die' -- bit of Nashville slang there) nearly killed it.

Eventually what it all comes down to is this: what do WE do with these machines? Are WE creating work which dignifies everything that makes up the bits and pieces? Are WE mindful of what went into the bits and pieces, and do WE work to create something with them which produces that dignity?

I belong to a music fraternity that holds an important tenet: "Let there be nothing but Truth in Music". So when I sit down to work...many years after I first heard those words and was forced to consider the depth of that concept...I try to always maintain a mindfulness of these things I note above. I know full well what I work with, what it cost (not in money, but in human costs), what had to be done to generate the power that runs the devices, and so on. All of those things really matter to me, and it matters to me that what I create with them carries the human truths behind every tiny part forward in the music, hopefully to poke a bit more light into darkness via that truth. Does it matter where the components come from? Yes, absolutely. Are those origins truly avoidable, though? Perhaps not...but if not, then what comes from them must be right, and I hope that that's what I do. Create something right and good and true.

So, yeah, I have a lot of mixed feelings about that situation with Moog, too. But I also recognize that there are wider concerns than just materials and money afoot.

Hopefully we can start making products again in the USA that are quality and affordable.
I plan to go back to school for an electronics degree so I can build my own custom music gear for fun.

Small scale machines now provide the way to fabricate electronics and other gear at low price point. It used to require a billion dollar fab wafer shop and machines but now for a few grand you can buy a quality CNC and PCB machine to produce own hardware.

Personally, I am against sending my hard earned cash to a communist evil government that abuses its people like Communist Red China. But that is me and too many people only look at low cost. Why not just save up for a quality piece of gear? Buchla is super expensive but nothing really sounds like it. Then again, I hate how BEMI screwed Don Buchla over big time right before he died so that gives me pause to buy a Buchla as well.

No worries on Buchla now...Foxtone bought out BEMI and vowed to bring the company back to the same ideas/principles that Don had, and thus far they appear to be making good on that.

As for, I've actually entertained the idea of relocating to Hanoi. I have no problem with those politics as long as the government cares about the people and their culture, which Vietnam does. They're nowhere near as money-maniacal as the CCP has become, and actually toe more of a proper socialist line than China these days. Hanoi's new music scene is starting to percolate,'s kind of turning into a SE Asian take on Prague, with the leftover French colonial touches that the Vietnamese kept because, well, those were the neat parts.

And besides, if I were ever to do a modular company, that would be an awesome place for it. They know the tech, the government likes investment like that, there's a skilled labor pool that can do it, and the like.

Good to know about Vietnam and Buchla, Lugia! Yes, I was against the Vietnam war as well. That is true, Vietnam has different mindset than the greedy evil Chinese empire. I have a few Vietnam made products that are quite good and well made like my Vox amp.

Unfortunately, I don't have 30k lying around to splurge on Buchla Skylab and Buchla Rhythm gear which is what you really need to be able to create real music like what Suzanna Ciani, Alessandro Cortini, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Subotnik do since they have these high end Buchla modular rigs. Not sure how these people got so lucky to score the money and Buchla gear? I read their bios and they seemed to be in the right place at right time and super lucky and not born wealthy.

As an American, I do prefer to support people in my own country if possible of course.

Remember, Morty was super-duper lucky as he was there at the very beginning for Buchla; it was him and Ramon Sender, plus a $500 Rockefeller Foundation grant to the SFTMC, that led to the original 'Buchla box' which is now at Mills. I kinda exclude him from that list, since if it wasn't for him, Ramon, and Don discussing the whats and hows of this 'electronically-controlled studio' (the original concept for the 'box'), the whole West Coast thing might not have happened.

Suzanne, also, is a bit different. Her initial Buchla system was pure 'sweat equity'...she worked for Don in the Berkeley factory, which apparently was quite a challenge in the day, stuffing boards and doing solder work, and that's how she 'bought' her 200 system. And again, this was a long time back...early 1970s, plus that Buchla of hers got used for a lot of scut-work to pay the bills. Things such as advertising work, odd session bits (such as Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight" and the discofied "Star Wars" album by MECO). I can respect that, too...doing ad-work sessions is pretty much the gold standard of 'no fun'.

But yeah...Buchla 200 series gear is pricey. A lot of that comes from the massive amount of control devices on the interface, things like banana and 3.5mm jacks, loads of knobs and buttons and so on. Those things are actually pretty costly, which is why you saw this jump to the awfulness of the 'display + slider' paradigm when digital control became the norm in polysynths circa 1983/4. I don't even want to think about how much all of the little sliders, buttons, controls, widgets etc cost on my Jupiter-6, for example, and I can see why Roland ran screaming from that into the slider/membrane panel/LED display era, only offering the actual programming controls (the PG-series boxes) as spendy 'extras'.

I think they were talented and super lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Both Subotnik and Ciani had access to Buchla early on and built their track record on it without having to spend any money rather sweat equity.

The same can be said for Alessandro Cortini who paid his dues and joined Trent Reznor on NIN stuff.

Kaitlyn was born into a super wealthy family with connections.

Anyways the future crop of modular hopefully will be more affordable whatnot with Neutron coming out for under $300 for a patch semi modular.

Yeah, lots of changes in the market dynamics these days. Sweetwater, for instance, now carries Dreadbox, MakeNoise, Intellijel, 4ms, 1010 Music, and a lot of others alongside the 'big names'; I recall a few years back that their people couldn't figure out why they needed to stock multiple modules because they 'didn't do anything'. This is good, as opposed to the ancient times where music dealers couldn't even make sense of what a synthesizer was, and absolutely NO ONE wanted to carry these weird-ass boxes with knobs and switches. The situation is definitely in a permanent 'improvement' mode now, and I do think that over time, it may lead to changes even at the high end. Already with Buchla, you see their LEM builds and the H series modules, plus other companies entering that format...and that last thing was totally unheard of way back in Don's day.

Totally agree and prices now are way more affordable. I had the chance to recently test out a new Korg MS20 and Korg Arp Odyssey and love these synths as they sound amazing, do not cost much, and have easy to use features compared to the menu diving of my Elektron gear. I love my Korg SQ-1 such a good sequencer for the money. One day having a Buchla Skylab and Rythm Generator or Music Easel would be awesome along with a Serge system but these cost a small fortune and I can get by fine with the less expensive modular offerings. The Buchla LEM look interesting.