About Absolute Deviation...

Who is Absolute Deviation?

Absolute Deviation was founded by long-time Buchla technician and musician, Joel Davel. Joel worked for Don Buchla from 1993 to 2015 and did PCB layout for every Buchla design since 1996. On the Marimba Lumina--In Don's words: "Coordinating hardware development and helping with sound design, Joel Davel contributed his talents to just about every aspect of the project, including printed circuit design, beta testing, and sound design." Joel is a percussionist. The flexibility of the Marimba Lumina has allowed him to make the instrument his primary tool of expression. It only makes sense for Joel to continue supporting his own primary instrument. Scroll down using the bar on the right to find more information about the history of this instrument. See www.JoelDavel.com for more info or follow him on Facebook

Who do I contact to Get A Marimba Lumina?

Contact joel (at) absolutedeviation.com. See the "NEWS" link for current pricing and availability. Please provide complete contact information if interested. (Prominent customers include Jon Fishman of Phish.)

Note: Unlike the Buchla 200e series and the Music Easel, the Marimba Lumina is not a product of Buchla USA. See Buchla.com for their products.

Example Videos

Videos of demos of Marimba Lumina as used with Kontakt and Ableton Live can be seen on Joel's YouTube channel.. These will be updated regularly.


The Marimba Lumina recieved an Electronic Musician 2001 Editors Choice award.

What is the history of the marimba Lumina?

Don Buchla was the the primary designer of the Marimba Lumina in collaboration with a team of Joel Davel and Mark Goldstein (with software contributions from Chuck Carlson.) Don had his hand in every aspect of the project. Don Buchla was the only maker of unusual and innovative controllers that would to fly in the face of market forces to design instruments that gave musicians more creative control than typical controllers. He was one of the few with the physics background to understand what is necessary to go beyond convention. With Don at the helm. Joel and Mark dedicated hours of voluntary work to realize the Marimba Lumina Gold for their own use. Recognizing Don Buchla's brilliant work, Nearfield Systems Inc. created Nearfield Multimedia to develop the Marimba Lumina 3.5 and 2.5 into a robust professional instrument they could sell to consumers. Unfortunately, the financial returns were not as robust as they hoped and it didn't make good business sense to continue production on a large scale. After discontinuing their venture, rather than allow a great instrument to fade into obscurity, they sold remaining parts inventory to Joel and gave their blessing to Joel/Absolute Deviation to continue with support and production. Nearfield Systems continues to be a successful company in the field of antenna measurements. Joel continued to work with Don Buchla until Don's passing.