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Rolling out in a limited edition package with an olive drab finish and custom bag, this Pulsar-23 by SOMA Laboratory is as well-equipped as ever to deliver sonic mayhem. As described by SOMA mastermind Vlad Kreimer, Pulsar-23 is an Organismic Drum Machine, meaning it's well adept at crafting highly dynamic and interactive patches. No patching is required to use the instrument, but clipping a few alligator clips to the posts immediately unlock its quirky, organic nature.
Featuring four highly flexible and designable voices, Pulsar-23 offers individual timbral contouring controls for a wide variety of percussive hits and sustained tones, labeled as bass drum, bass, snare drum, and hi-hat. Although these labels definitely don't restrict the flexibility of each voice, they definitely fit those molds nicely with tunable and driveable kicks and basses, smacking and popping snares, and subtle to abrasive hats. Each voice offers an ASR amplitude envelope, independent volume and effects send control, tuning with flexible FM options, and other tone shaping tools like overdrive, waveshaping, and filtering. The sounds can be individually routed out of the assignable 1/4" jacks or summed to a final output with adjustable delay and/or reverb sends that are highly customizable as well as a master distortion with a simple yet versatile set of drive and mix controls.
Performing on the Pulsar-23 is quite an accessible experience with the ultimate amount of connectivity across your entire system, but the unique onboard sequencing and performance tools make it work just as fluidly alone. Following an adjustable and routable master clock, the onboard sequencing lacks any true grid besides two loop points in a traditional four beat phrasing. Tracks can be recorded, introduced, taken out, overdubbed, and edited via the three-way Rec/Play switch along with the ADD and DEL buttons, in which you can perform three different velocities from the Rec. Count section. Furthermore, connecting MIDI or CV to sequence is just as easy via the 5-pin port and eight bi-directional 1/8" to alligator pin connectors, with even velocity sensitivity readily available.
For further shaping the voices via a modular sensibility, Pulsar-23 offers a wealth of tools for creating dynamic and moving sonic experiences. The lower left side offers a modulatable LFO with square and variable-triangle outputs as well as two sets of dynamic CV sensors that can create variance via human touch. The middle right side features four independent attenuators, a shift register based random CV generator with four outputs sample & hold functionality, and even MIDI learn functionality as well as MIDI to CV, all of which are great sources for enlivening the synthetic nature of Pulsar-23. Shape your control and audio signals via the onboard VCAs, inverters, and gate modules, and additional utilities such as pulse converters and circuit bending tools for warping any signal from miniscule to maximal differences.
With tons of different connections to be made across all the different voices, modulation sources, and utilities, the Pulsar-23 is a completely hackable drum and bass synth that can act standalone or complement any electronic or experimental artist's setup.
- Organismic semi-modular drum machine
- Alligator clip and binding post patching interface
- Four unique drum voices: BD, BASS, SD, and HHT
- Unique four-channel tape looper-style sequencer
- "Shaos" pseudo-random voltage generator with multiple step lengths
- Digital delay and reverb effects with CV over most parameters, including DSP clock rate
- Facilitates circuit bending using internal and external connections
- Deep MIDI integration: MIDI learn on many drum parameters, MIDI pitch tracking on BASS voice, four assignable MIDI-to-CV converters
- Internal or external clock with 7 unique clock divisions
- Optional distortion on final output
- Main output volume control
- Eight two-way 1/8" (3.5mm) and six two-way 1/4" adaptors for use with external modular devices
- Two VCA for processing audio or CV
- Inverters, switches, electrical components, and pulse transformers
- Four attenuators
- Two touch-sensing CV sources
- Wide-ranging VCLFO with sync input and variable waveform
- Includes 30 alligator clips, power supply, and high-quality handmade carrying bag