The kind folks at Qu-bit Electronix have sent along their fun rhythm pattern generator, Pulsar, for examination. You may already know that we are complete fanatics for Euclidean Rhythms here at Voltage Control Lab… Pulsar delivers a playable interface for creating Euclidean rhythms and combining them with programmed gate sequences as well as binary and random patterns.
Pulsar is an extremely powerful tool. It features 4 independent channels of gate pattern sequences, each able to play from 1 to 16 steps backwards or forwards. An additional output carries the internal clock pulses, which can be timed anywhere from 5ms to 16 seconds between steps. Each channel features a built in clock divider and multiplier, or they can be decoupled from the internal clock, allowing for independent tempo control.
Pulsar has 4 main modes, a sequencer (which allows the user to create custom patterns by turning the main encoder, and pushing it to enable or disable the selected step), Euclidean rhythm generator mode (see the video below for an explanation of this technique), a binary number pattern generator (another interesting and unique implementation of binary values, see the Mystic Circuits’ Vert) and a random pattern generator (a great tool for subtle or dramatic pattern manipulation).
The module offers control and CV modulation of sequence mode, clock rate/division/multiplication and pattern length. There is also a gate input to activate burst mode, which allows for patterns to be played as one shots rather than loops (push the length encoder to enable or disable pattern looping). In addition, the absorb function can be gated from an external source, acting as a pattern reset function.
This module is endlessly enjoyable to play with. The pattern combinations are so fun, and features like gravity mode (which causes a pattern to accelerate through the loop like a bouncing ball) offer a different kind of programming flexibility. We’ll be back to examine the global parameters of Pulsar in a future video.
How are you generating interesting and complex gate patterns? Tell us about your techniques in the comments!