Pulsar-23 by Soma

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by blipson » Tue May 12, 2020 10:00 pm

The Zendrum works with the P-23 via MIDI well enough, but the loopers don't record MIDI, so that's a lot to leave lying on the table. MIDI, though, is far more velocity sensitive than the loopers' built-in pads. The touch pads, on the other hand, sustain as long as you contact them for synth-like action, but the Zendrum is instantaneous triggers for percussion only. So it's nice to have both modes to operate the P-23. The P-23's velocity response via Zendrum has a really bad feel, and no adjustability. A KeyStep works as expected, but it's no fun to fingerdrum for any length of time with a keyboard. Also, the Zendrum's triggers' timing between MIDI note on/off is really short and can't be altered, making the P-23's response not the way I want it. To solve these MIDI interface issues, I had to get a BomeBox for velocity re-mapping and delayed MIDI note off. It's really been work to put everything together to give it the kind of feel that you would think would already be built in to this expensive gear, but at least I do have this working solution.

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by blipson » Thu May 14, 2020 4:01 am

NoLegs wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 9:11 pm
blipson wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 8:41 pm
NoLegs wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 7:30 pm
First patch with the Pulsar Buddy!
Nice. Post more? Mine's still in customs. It looks a lot bigger than I was expecting.
Sure! I will soon. It's not so big. It's about the width of a Pulsar channel and about it's about 2.5 channels long if you hold it horizontally across the pulsar.
My Pulsar Buddy is finally here. It's the size I originally expected. Somehow, it looked bigger to me in your pics.

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by NoLegs » Tue May 19, 2020 10:41 am

I entered a challenge For the Gamechanger Audio/Erica Synths Plasma Drive today, and used it alongside the Pulsar-23 - using the envelope out from the bass drum channel to control the dry/wet mix, and the envelope out of the snare drum channel to increase the voltage amount. I also used a clock division out of the Pulsar to trigger one of the onboard oscillators.

Strangely enough, when I was recording this I realized I hadn’t actually run the Pulsar through the Plasma Drive yet, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite combos.

[bbvideo] [/bbvideo]

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by Shakespeare » Thu May 21, 2020 7:56 am

My number came up! :sb: :sb: :sb:

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by InsectInPixel » Thu May 21, 2020 8:11 am

Shakespeare wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 7:56 am
My number came up! :sb: :sb: :sb:
good for you! how long was the wait for you?
I make UnderBridge for the Elektron Analog Keys. https://youtu.be/dowAKQkFAE0

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by Shakespeare » Thu May 21, 2020 8:30 am

I put my name in for the mailing list in May 2019, customer # 1179.

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by Brooks » Thu May 21, 2020 2:48 pm

Shakespeare wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 8:30 am
I put my name in for the mailing list in May 2019, customer # 1179.
Are you EU or somewhere else? I know they have two lists going. I am in the U.S. with a very close number.

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by InsectInPixel » Thu May 21, 2020 3:02 pm

I received a confirmation but it didn’t have a number (US)
I make UnderBridge for the Elektron Analog Keys. https://youtu.be/dowAKQkFAE0

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by Shakespeare » Thu May 21, 2020 3:05 pm

I'm in the US. And I had to email separately to get my number.

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by Richard deHove » Fri May 22, 2020 3:23 am

I've just got the email from Soma! But with the price of E1500 combined with the weak $AUD plus import taxes this is pushing the cost to a bit over $A3000. I just can't afford it now with all that's happening. I suppose I could sell one of my two synths - or a row of Eurorack gear. I feel this is one of the truly great devices of the 20s but I'm feeling the cost....

Has anyone any words of wisdom or comfort?

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by Shakespeare » Fri May 22, 2020 4:55 am

Cruel fate... SOMA contact me again to tell me they had me on the wrong waiting list (EU instead of US). So now I guess I have to wait longer... unclear how long. :deadbanana:

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by electricanada » Fri May 22, 2020 2:08 pm

Richard deHove wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 3:23 am
I've just got the email from Soma! But with the price of E1500 combined with the weak $AUD plus import taxes this is pushing the cost to a bit over $A3000. I just can't afford it now with all that's happening. I suppose I could sell one of my two synths - or a row of Eurorack gear. I feel this is one of the truly great devices of the 20s but I'm feeling the cost....

Has anyone any words of wisdom or comfort?
It’s great fun, but much like the Lyra, it lives in its own world. It wants to be a solo artist, or at least the center of attention. You can easily tame it, but when you do, it’s no longer quite as special, and less deserving of the high price of entry.
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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by behndy » Fri May 22, 2020 2:44 pm

i respectfully disagree. Pulsar is wayyyyy more... integratable? than Lyra ever as for me. quick sketch of a song i'm working on -




first bit is Pulsar clean, then through some Glitch Machines effects.

(imo, results vary, everybody is different of course)
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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by InsectInPixel » Fri May 22, 2020 2:59 pm

From SOMA today: 2165, probably fall-winter 2020, maybe sooner, the list is very dynamic and possibly our other factory will help us soon.
I make UnderBridge for the Elektron Analog Keys. https://youtu.be/dowAKQkFAE0

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by blipson » Fri May 22, 2020 7:02 pm

electricanada wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 2:08 pm
it lives in its own world. It wants to be a solo artist, or at least the center of attention. You can easily tame it, but when you do, it’s no longer quite as special, and less deserving of the high price of entry.
I agree that it can be a soloist, entertaining for more than just a few minutes at a time, moreso than a Lyra-8. But I'm finding it also works as an accompanist, which the Lyra-8 only does as a one-trick pony (ambient background) even if it pulls off that trick so nicely. I'm spending a lot of time integrating, layering, and wiggling the P-23 with natural drum sounds as a live percussion accompanist to highly detailed samplers and a top shelf e-drums drum brain. It's working out really well, given my two external controllers: 1) a Zendrum with 30 triggers, and 2) a custom accessory Pulsar Paw that puts all the P-23's native pads under one hand for playing live more extended and intricate grooves. I bought it with this kind of integration in mind as my primary purpose, actually, since I've always been greatly disappointed by the electronic percussion collections available for laptops. I might add, though, that a laptop could be even better with the right design, but I guess there's not much market for that, and not enough glory in creating that kind of software; I get Soma's "romantic engineering" aspiration, but "romantic software engineering"? I think Madrona Labs is the best thing going, but apparently they're not able to leave their day jobs and live the dream. I mean, how big, ultimately, is the market for the Pulsar--a few thousand at most, I think. At this point, I'm confident that I'm going to sell off my two mighty Nord Drum 3P's, and given what the new generation of iPads can do, I'm finding I no longer need to rely on a laptop for quality, detailed multi-sampled kits.

So the Pulsar-23's added ability to accompany increases its value, and isn't a limitation that hems it in to a lower value soloist even if that soloist has more performative staying power than many acoustic instruments. For example, I love a sax solo, but my time limit is maybe 7-8 minutes there, and then you have to be Sonny Rollins. Acoustic drum kit composition? Much less than that, and if you're strictly a pop drummer, then none at all--I love LZ, but no Moby Dick, please.

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by NoLegs » Fri May 22, 2020 8:32 pm

Yeah, I have to disagree with that narrative. It's much more versatile than that implies. It's unlike the Lyra-8 in that respect, although I feel the Lyra-8, with a small amount of work was easy enough to have in a supporting role. The pulsar-23 takes even less work.

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by tomtoms » Tue May 26, 2020 2:42 am


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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by princebuster » Tue May 26, 2020 4:10 am

Saw that, Stimming as honest as ever. The theme for me was time.
For him, he will need '2 years' with it to get to performance standard. Anticipate an update review in future, because I got the feeling that he was a bit undercooked with the time he has so far spent with this.
Not a criticism, I like his style and it was good that he demoed it with the knowledge of what he knows so far.
This device, like all devices I guess will take time and more time to learn - it's an inspiring instrument and it's an astonishing piece of hardware, I'm lucky to have one so early.

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by Mosiej » Tue May 26, 2020 8:05 am

Dear Users, almost every video I see of the Pulsar has these sharp transient clicks and artifacts. As if the envelops are too sharp.. like when you do not reduce the attack stage of an ADSR.. Is this simply part of the sounds of the Pulsar? OR are they simply not turning the attack up slightly? Even Vlads demos and certainly the Stimming demos clearly have these audible (IMO unwanted clicks).. This is a slight deterrent for me

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by meska » Tue May 26, 2020 11:38 am

Mosiej wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 8:05 am
Dear Users, almost every video I see of the Pulsar has these sharp transient clicks and artifacts. As if the envelops are too sharp.. like when you do not reduce the attack stage of an ADSR.. Is this simply part of the sounds of the Pulsar? OR are they simply not turning the attack up slightly? Even Vlads demos and certainly the Stimming demos clearly have these audible (IMO unwanted clicks).. This is a slight deterrent for me
avoide unwanted clicks : zero crossing detector VCA
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In practice, there is.
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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by LameAim » Tue May 26, 2020 1:46 pm

Just put mine up over in the For Sale forum.

Real mixed feelings about it, but it boils down to it not being an essential enough part of my setup to mentally justify the investment. Really going to miss the kick and snare/clap, though. Ugh, decisions...

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by blipson » Tue May 26, 2020 7:33 pm

Mosiej wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 8:05 am
Dear Users, almost every video I see of the Pulsar has these sharp transient clicks and artifacts. As if the envelops are too sharp.. like when you do not reduce the attack stage of an ADSR.. Is this simply part of the sounds of the Pulsar? OR are they simply not turning the attack up slightly? Even Vlads demos and certainly the Stimming demos clearly have these audible (IMO unwanted clicks).. This is a slight deterrent for me
Yes, I've noticed other peoples' clicking and wonder why they put up with it. I don't have any clicking, and it's just a matter my settings. I have, on occasions, slowed down the attack in various modules, which also works of course, but it's not necessary and usually undesirable. All four of my attacks are fully counterclockwise almost all of the time because that's what I like for live fingerdrumming via external MIDI controller.

LameAim: yes, the expense. I get the same feelings regarding my Lyra-8, which can't really be replaced at any price, but just doesn't get enough use--and then there's the size and bulk of it. With the P-23, though, it fits in so well with what I want to do that I'd actually be tempted to get a second one if it weren't for the space issue. Maybe in a few years when the secondhand prices come down.

Stimming's demo was vintage Stimming, but obviously very, very newbie, which is a nice thing to work through with him, though his sound results were really basic. But I think he's miscalculated with his two years estimate--it's just not that kind of system. Also, it's very immediate, with few under-the-hood secondary functions and obviously no menu diving. The FX module is the exception and can be annoying because the modes make functionality unobvious; the labeling doesn't help there, and the manual isn't as clear as it could be, making me go back to it several times to refresh myself as to how it's functioning. But mostly everything else is immediate, working in traditionally expected ways. It's just that there's a lot of stuff. I would think Stimming's second video will bear all this out.

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by electricanada » Tue May 26, 2020 8:37 pm

blipson wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 7:02 pm
t this point, I'm confident that I'm going to sell off my two mighty Nord Drum 3P's, and given what the new generation of iPads can do, I'm finding I no longer need to rely on a laptop for quality, detailed multi-sampled kits.
What percussion apps do you use on ipad?
Eléctrica (electric) Nāda (the yoga of sound).

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by electricanada » Tue May 26, 2020 8:40 pm

blipson wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 7:33 pm
Stimming's demo was vintage Stimming, but obviously very, very newbie, which is a nice thing to work through with him, though his sound results were really basic. But I think he's miscalculated with his two years estimate--it's just not that kind of system. Also, it's very immediate, with few under-the-hood secondary functions and obviously no menu diving. The FX module is the exception and can be annoying because the modes make functionality unobvious; the labeling doesn't help there, and the manual isn't as clear as it could be, making me go back to it several times to refresh myself as to how it's functioning. But mostly everything else is immediate, working in traditionally expected ways. It's just that there's a lot of stuff. I would think Stimming's second video will bear all this out.
Agreed. I was getting great sounds out of it almost immediately. If you don't like what you're getting, keep adding patch cables and eventually it will suck you in. Happens to me every time I sit down with it.
Eléctrica (electric) Nāda (the yoga of sound).

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Re: Pulsar-23 by Soma

Post by blipson » Wed May 27, 2020 7:41 am

electricanada wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 8:40 pm
keep adding patch cables and eventually it will suck you in. Happens to me every time I sit down with it.
Exactly—with this device, messing around means not just wiggling, but also clipping a cable somewhere, then touching the other end to a variety of places. That’s more immediate than Eurorack, where you have to insert. I was surprised how few cables Stimming used in his first outing—no doubt that will change.

I get some decent electronic kit sounds from SDS-X. Not life-changing, but usable and with a good enough velocity response, so with the P-23, I might decide I’m covered for electronic percussion. More importantly, Audio Layer is meeting minimal expectations with 16-layer multisampled drum kits from Drum Drops, where I’ve bought a dozen kits. Too bad AL is so dumbly designed, but it can be worked around with supplementary software and a bit of effort. With my quality drum controller, it can’t compete with 128 layers using BFD3, but it’s the next best thing, with no multisampled kits available between 16 and 128 layers. My Roland drum brain sounds better a bit, and allows fast switching between 100 kits, but a workable iPhone solution might give me super portability and let me dump my Nords, which lack in modulation possibilites despite other fine qualities. Along with being locked out of BFD3 on Catalina, my Native Instruments purchases are also too inflexible on a current model MBP, so having been burned on MacOS, I wouldn’t mind never having to go back. I’m in, though, if Nord ever makes a Drum 4.

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