Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

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blipson
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Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by blipson » Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:37 pm

I'm considering the possibility of getting a 223e to modulate my Soma Labs Pulsar-23 in one-handable, yet complex ways that are also instantaneously changeable by touching different spots on the 223's surface. I don't have any other Buchla. I figure since the 223's voltages must all be programmed manually, then I can adjust to whatever works best with the Pulsar-23, where I won't be concerned with exact pitch. I also figure that I can clip an alligator onto a banana plug, and then clip the other alligator onto the Pulsar-23's posts in the normal way that you input external cv into the Pulsar-23. Given the costs involved, I'd like to make sure that I'm not missing something dumb in this plan that would make it fail in ways I'm not thinking of. Does my plan sound as promising as I think?

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Re: Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by djs » Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:53 pm

You'll want a way to carry the 0v reference from the 223e (however you're powering it) to the Pulsar. Otherwise it won't register the incoming voltages properly.
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Re: Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by blipson » Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:11 pm

uh-oh, I don't understand what it means to carry the 0v reference. Something about grounding, I take it? One of the Pulsar's pins is designated as the ground. Are you saying I should connect that to something particular on the 223e?

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Re: Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by djs » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:44 am

Yes- you need to carry over the ground line so that the control voltage has something to reference against. Meaning- tying the ground on the buchla module to the Pulsar.
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Re: Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by ws9848 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:14 am

You might want to think about getting a preset manager too. That way you can have multiple setups within the 223e otherwise I think it will save one in the module which might be fine for a while

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Re: Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by batchas » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:37 pm

IMHO the buchla is not the right tool. Price is overkill to control something like Pulsar isn't it? You need also power, different cases...
Hopefuly someone who's aware of other touch surface (I'm sure this exists) will comment and help with other ideas***
IMHO it would be way better to have direct control over voltages (via pots or sliders) that you gonna send to the unit, instead of having one set and only one encoder/pot to set all parameters like on the 223e (menu diving + not really intuitive compared to the Pulsar, when I look at it and what it can do). 223e which has no pots to control each surface directly. Not even mentioning the fact that without preset manager you'll be stucked with one preset + the on-the-fly editing I mentionned earlier which, to me (each one is different, it's only my opinion) is not intuitive and direct. Goes for sure well with a 200e system, preparing performances, saving different presets etc, but as a controller for external gear?

***a TKB might be way more usefull with it's 4 rows of voltages, pressure, 16 steps, and where you can outputs trig (+5V) or modulation signals (CV from 0 to 5V). It's only 1 pressure out though, but as said, there sould be other different options which I'm not aware of, as I'm not up-to-date with all possible touch controllers available today which offer pressure.

To resume. I see the Pulsar from the SOMA page as open, fun to experiment with, with alligators clips and so on, while I see the 223e as the opposite of that, if not in a 200e system.
Alligators make me more think of Ciat-Lonbarde (maybe also Meng Qi voltage controlle, I dunno), than Buchla for 3000 EUR with power supply, case(s) and so on.

I hope my comment helps. At least, if my comment seems totally wrong, it will prove that Buchla is the right tool and might be worth the cost.
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Re: Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by blipson » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:28 pm

Yes, this all makes sense: not just the 223e, but a powered boat and a preset manager, or else I don't achieve my purpose. I want to have a way to momentarily radically alter the Pulsar-23's modulations, then switch right back. The unit itself is wonderful for modulating itself, but sometimes I have a patch I want to maintain as a core patch that I want to maintain over an extended period of time. Having nothing like a preset manager on the Pulsar, I'll never get back to the original once I mess with it. In other words, I've been treating my Pulsar like a sound module, as I use it with a MIDI drum controller as an electronic drum kit.

I've looked at SoundMachines' Arches, and I'm also considering a second Pulsar-23, which is expensive, but still quite a bit less than a Buchla solution. The wait list, though, is looking like up to a year or more, and that dream setup still wouldn't give me presets that allow radical, momentary modulation configurations. Maybe I now have the excuse to just break down and get an Easel-K. My hesitation with getting an Easel is that I don't see any Easel-K's in stock, and it seems kind of foolish to get an Easel in any config these days in view of the updated 208. Maybe one of the new 208C's plus a 223e/preset manager setup would do it, but the cost and space requirements of this kind of Franken-Easel make that plan also rather unattractive, and who knows when the new units will be available.

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Re: Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by GoneCaving » Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:11 am

I've not looked at the MIDI implementation on the Pulsar, but any reason you couldn't use something like the Sensel Morph with the Buchla pad?

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Re: Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by blipson » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:55 pm

GoneCaving wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:11 am
I've not looked at the MIDI implementation on the Pulsar, but any reason you couldn't use something like the Sensel Morph with the Buchla pad?
Great call. Yes, the Pulsar has very useful MIDI capabilities, with 10 dedicated learn buttons conveniently placed, but most importantly, a MIDI CV converter module with four posts to take CV from, each with its own MIDI learn button. It looks like a Sensel Morph will have a good portion of the capability I was imagining from the 223e. Given the compactness and the price, it's totally worth a shot.

The downside is that I'd need to be able to convert the Morph's USB MIDI to DIN, and then feed it into the chain that's going into my BomeBox because I absolutely must maintain my MIDI drum controller's connection to the Pulsar-23. In other words, I'd be sacrificing the stability and simplicity of direct CV connections via alligators clipped to bananas. Also, I originally envisioned more CV lines than the Pulsar's four MIDI ones, but I expect four will cover me pretty well.

Your suggestion reminds me that I'm near the head of the line to get the Expressive E Osmose, which appears to be able to do everything the Morph would do. I'd forgotten about that--by design, as I don't really enjoy pining after fantasy equipment. When it gets here, it gets here, much like the Pulsar-23. More expensive and bulkier than a Morph, and with the downside of an open-ended wait, but now that I'm reminded of it, I think waiting for the Osmose is the way to go. I've been banking on that unit for a while, and have already prepared myself for the hit to my studio space budget. I can keep the Morph idea on the backburner in case I get desperate, or just feel like messing with it, which is what usually ends up happening. So once again, I pass on an Easel.

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Re: Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by batchas » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:33 am

I see a Meng Qi Voltage Memory in the FS part of the forum. Maybe worth checking?
viewtopic.php?f=74&t=228784
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Re: Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by blipson » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:49 pm

Thank, I didn't know that unit. Come to think of it: Pressure Points.

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Re: Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by batchas » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:09 am

Maybe this too?
Soundmachines Arches Controler
https://www.sound-machines.it/product/arches/
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Re: Buchla 223e as tactile input port for Pulsar-23?

Post by blipson » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:04 pm

Yes, I've had that one in my wish list since even before this latest mania.

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