Soma Labs Pulsar 23 Utilities, a performance-oriented VCA-packed modular toolbox

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Soma Labs Pulsar 23 Utilities, is a new modular toolbox that supercharges your Pulsar with additional VCAs, little helpers, and new performance elements.

Sonicstate recently visited Soma Labs’ factory in Poland. In a lovely video, you get an insight into how the company manufactures its fascinating products, such as Lyra-8, and Pulsar 23.

In addition to the tour, Nick Batt also got a first look at the new Tera Synthesizer, which is in the final stages of development. One of my product highlights from the last Superbooth. At the same time, Soma Labs also introduced a new modular add-on for the Pulsar-23 drum machine/drum Synthesizer. A toolbox packed with helpful but also crazy goodies.

Soma Labs Pulsar 23 Utilities
©Sonicstate Video

Soma Labs Pulsar 23 Utilities

The new Pulsar 23 Utilities is an add-on for the experimental drum Synthesizer/drum machine Pulsar 23. It’s a toolbox of new functions that are useful but also give the P23 even more character. According to Vlad Kreimer, you can use it without a P23 as a standalone Eurorack utility.

The developers have remained true to the industrial design, and the toolbox fits perfectly with the overall look of the Pulsar 23.

It starts on the left with a 5-slot Eurorack connection patchbay allowing you to covert Eurorack signals to Pulsar 23 level with alligator clips. Next to this is a clipping amp VCA that is taken from early transistor amp guitar stomp boxes. You have two inputs and an output that you can use for modulation.

Beneath this, it hosts two dead-simple light indications allowing you to visualize clock signals or modulation rates. Then, you get four additional attenuators. Two are on the left, and two are on the right.

At the bottom left, there are also two photo resistors. You can use here lights or your arm/hand to generate modulations. These can be super useful, especially for performances.

Soma Labs Pulsar 23 Utilities
©Sonicstate Video

You Can’t Have Enough VCA’s

The more we move to the right more exciting it gets. A true VCA paradise begins in the middle. You can explore traditional but also unusual VCA designs here. First, the new Pulsar 23 Utilities add-on hosts four additional linear amp/VCAs, each with an input, output, and inverter on alligator clips and an attenuator.

The exciting part is that they can work in three modes: AC, DC, and semi-state. The last turns the linear VCA into an experimental VCA. Vlad Kreimer didn’t say what it does to your audio and modulation signals—hopefully, some wonderful weird, bizarre things.

Besides the linear VCAs, you also have two diode “old-style” VCAs that follow a different approach than traditional, modern VCA designs. It mainly focuses on imperfection by adding character to your sounds. It doesn’t require power, as the CV makes the power here.

Next to the diode VCAs, you also get additional pulse tool drum trigger converters. There is also a wrap module. It’s a unique waveshaper with a negative slope. Vlad says it can go down even when the signal goes up. You can adjust it or animate it with modulators. This can shape the sound of the Pulsar 23 even more in a special and complex direction.

Further, in the lower third, there are two more new interaction options. A field of sensors enables body conductivity with Pulsar functions. And you get four mechanical playable switches for modulating parameters.

An exciting add-on for the Pulsar 23. Even without this, the Pulsar 23 drum machine/Synthesizer is a fascinating, innovative instrument. With this, you can level up the wild Pulsar game once more; I’m pretty sure. For me, it’s looks like a must-have for every Pulsar user.

Soma Labs Pulsar 23 Utilities add-on is currently in development. According to Soma, it will still take a few months. Price and Release TBA.

More information will follow here: Soma Labs 

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