Buchla releases updated version of its touch-capacitive keyboard controller for the Music Easel

Buchla has announced the release of an updated version of its LEM218 touch-capacitive control keyboard. 

The third iteration of the 218 Lunar Excursion Module, named after the spacecraft that first delivered astronauts to the moon, features a revamped touch bed that delivers improved sensitivity and accuracy and expanded I/O.

The LEM218's touch-capacitive interface is one that's featured heavily in Buchla's designs over the years: the brand's founder Don Buchla was one of the first to utilize the touchplate in electronic musical instruments, first integrating it with the Buchla 112 module, and most famously with the the Buchla Music Easel.

The LEM218's touchplate not only registers note data and velocity, but also channel pressure, which translates to MIDI or CV data that can be mapped to parameters in your DAW or synthesizer. The controller also offers MIDI-to-control voltage conversion and features a CV and MIDI touch-strip to use as a pitch-bend or an additional source of modulation. 

The controller is equipped with four 3.5mm jacks that output 1v/octave pitch, 0-8 volts pressure, touch-strip voltage, and gate outputs for use with Eurorack equipment. There's also a USB-C connection for hooking up to your DAW. The LEM218's front panel enables the user to control the onboard arpeggiator and configure the velocity and pressure sensitivity, knob behaviour and MIDI channels.

Find out more on Buchla's website.

Matt Mullen
Tech Editor

I'm the Tech Editor for MusicRadar, working across everything from artist interviews to product news to tech tutorials. I love electronic music and I'm endlessly fascinated by the tools we use to make it. When I'm not behind my laptop keyboard, you'll find me behind a MIDI keyboard, carefully crafting the beginnings of another project that I'll ultimately abandon to the creative graveyard that is my overstuffed hard drive.

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