Buchla USA has announced the availability of the Touch Activated Voltage Source LEM218 v3, an updated version of the capacitive touch controller, first introduced in 1973 with the Music Easel.
While the LEM218 may look like a traditional piano keyboard, it’s a flat surface that sense touch and features controls and capabilities that let it explore possibilities that would be impossible with a traditional keyboard.
With version 3, the LEM218 v3 Touch Activated Voltage Source has been updated with stable, modern electronics and the connectivity to integrate with your Buchla, MIDI, and Eurorack gear.
- Capacitive Touch – The sensitivity and accuracy of the redesigned touch bed means the lightest touch will produce triggers and control voltages for your setup. Buchla says that the new texture not only improves the sensing, but provides a satisfying tactile experience. Pressure is an expressive output, adding an extra dimension to the control.
- MIDI – the LEM 218 v3 gives you a unique interface for playing your existing MIDI gear and soft synths. Each touch outputs note name, channel pressure, and velocity for every note, along with sustain controls from a pedal. Polyphonic MIDI mode lets you play chords. The touchstrip can act as a pitch bend control, or as a mod wheel for additional expressive control. Configurable using the front panel controls, you can send notes and controls on any MIDI channel. You can also send the LEM MIDI, and it gets converted to voltages and gates for Eurorack and Buchla control.
- Euro-Compatible – Even if you don’t have any Buchla products, the LEM 218 v3 is designed to work with your Eurorack-compatible gear. Four 3.5mm jacks output 1v/octave pitch, 0-8 volts pressure, touchstrip voltage, and gate outputs for use with Eurorack equipment.
- Arpeggiator – A pulse input allows the arpeggiator to be driven by external inputs and are allowed to interact with the automated notes to make the pattern more complex. Additional controls allow you to blend different patterns and randomness.
- Immediate Control – The classic preset voltage knobs offer several possible ways to shift your sounds into new territory. Not only can the knobs be used for quick access to voltages for your patch, they can control arpeggiation modes and octave shifting. Pads output pulses for additional control.
- Customizable – you can quickly customize the velocity and pressure sensitivity, MIDI channel, knob behavior, and more.
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Buchla LEM 218V3 + TipTop Buchla Modues Demo:
LEM 218 MIDI Features:
Combine MIDI and CV control with the LEM 218:
Pricing and Availability:
The Buchla LEM218 Touch Activated Voltage Source is available now for $1,299 USD.
8 thoughts on “Buchla LEM218 Touch Activated Voltage Source Now Available, With Euro & MIDI Support”
other way round
Micro Freak looks Buchla-ish
Why doesn’t this support MPE?
Is there some technical limitation that makes this impossible? MPE is finally getting some traction, but it looks like this only support channel pressure.
But its such a beautiful controller
for the same reason there is no usb, the main audience for this is buchla users and other modular, the midi there seems to be considered as a bonus.
MIDI a bonus? ugh. it’s a blight.
Out of my price range for a controller so please let this convince Arturia to release a freakstep.
I couldn’t figure out from the specs if it’s capacitive like the microfreak or some other technology?
Reading the article and looking closely at the photos/stills, I’d say it’s very much like the MicroFreak keyboard. There does seem, at a glance, to be a more dense layout of sensing circuitry (i.e., conductive tracks), so perhaps it’s a bit more refined than Arturia’s first take at this? But there’s no way of telling without some hands on comparisons.