Birth Of The SOMA Lab PULSAR-23 Organismic Drum Machine

SOMA Lab’s Vlad Kreimer shared this short documentary, Birth of the Pulsar, looking at the creation of their Pulsar-23 Organismic Drum Machine.

While many recent drum machines have offered tweaked takes on classic Roland TR-x0x designs, the Pulsar-23 is a unique drum machine design that features 52 knobs, 11 switches and over 100 inputs and outputs for patching, Eurorack integration, external mixing and processing and ‘live circuit bending’.

For an example of the Pulsar-23 in action, here’s Kreimer jamming with it at Superbooth:


12 thoughts on “Birth Of The SOMA Lab PULSAR-23 Organismic Drum Machine

  1. This just demonstrates how much innovation is still possible when you try. We need more companies like this and fewer remakes of 80s Roland gear.

  2. Very much Tom & Dick* tacks from 1956 and 1959
    The Ray Makers, Visitor from Inner Space, Syncopation, Vibration, Mechanical Motions.

    Yep these are the tracks that totally influenced Kraftwerk.
    Kraftwerk borrowed their electronic Kling Klang style from these tracks.

    They could named this Harry instead of Pulsar lol.

    *Tom Dissevelt and Dick Raaijmakeers aka Kid Baltan.

  3. Interesting to see the talk about using Soviet mill-spec techniques. Back in the day, I used to hear that the military side of Soviet production was way different that civilian, massive QA efforts. Great video!

    1. Yes, but also unaffordable for most average musicians who may find there way in to electronic music through cheap and perfectly acceptable Behringer products like the Neutron…

      1. Do you mean average hobbyist musicians or average serious musicians?

        The people that bought 808s and 909s back in the day were serious musicians, not hobbyists, and they spent the equivalent of $3-4k on their drum machines, because the 808 and 909 were serious tools for making what were then cutting edge sounds.

        The Pulsar-23 is similarly a modern tool for serious musicians, and $2k is not unaffordable for the people that buy an Elektron Analog Rytm, Jomox Alpha Base, modular gear, etc.

        1. Isn’t everyone who payed 3/4k on a 808 or 909 either having money poring out of his pockets or got taken by the hype that surrounds them? No way are they worth that amount of money, not back than and not in the future.

          1. “somthing” worth is subjective. we all taken by some “hype” no matter how logical you think you are. even logic is some kind of hype 🙂

            i know a musician who recently payed 4k for mint 909 and he in love with it, he use it everyday and he say he now “makes much more music like he wanted, it’s his best purchase ever and it will keep it’s value”

            the original price of 808 was about 1000$ at 1983
            some made a successful career with it so for them i guess it worth way more.
            second hand they sold for like 200$ (say 500/600$ today maybe even less).

      2. theres this thing called “saving”

        sometimes it take me two year to buy whatever i want.
        it gives me time to read the manual thoroughly, know everything about it, maybe even change to something better suited but when i get it it’s always the right decision and it feels like i already use it and the learning it is easy.

        you don’t need to compromised on your hardware, compromised on your gratification desires.

  4. I tried to watch for a few but I just felt like I was being shamed and talked down to for owning mass-produced gear.

    1. there was nothing like that in this video.
      we all have many “mass products” including soma workers. if you felt like that i guess you may have some kind of inferiority complex on this subject.

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