The Buchla LEM218 Now Available

The Buchla LEM218 Now Available

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Buchla USA has announced that the LEM218v3 is now available. It is the third iteration of one of the most used touch interfaces, the 218, which was first seen in 1973 with the release of the Buchla Music Easel. Don Buchla also first applied the idea of using a capacitive touch control technology for electronic music with the Buchla 112 module. 

The original 218 touch interface provided users with a familiar piano key layout along with additional controls and capabilities that allowed them to explore uncharted musical territory. The new version 3 retains all of this but updates it with a new foundation of stable, modern electronics. In addition, it also has all the inputs and outputs needed to integrate with Buchla, MIDI, and Eurorack gear. This is possible thanks to four 3.5mm jacks that output 1v/octave pitch, 0-8 volts pressure, touchstrip voltage, and gate outputs. 

The redesigned touch bed features incredible sensitivity and accuracy, which means only the lightest touch is needed to produce triggers and control voltage for your setup. The sensor is adjustable, too, with a dynamic range and durability to handle any playing style. Buchla also believes that the new texture of the touch bed provides a satisfying tactile experience along with improved sensing. 

The LEM218 is a uniquely expressive controller for all synthesizers as it is not just MIDI compatible. Instead, each touch outputs note name, channel pressure, and velocity, as well as sustain controls from a pedal. Polyphonic MIDI is also supported for the playing of chords. The touchstrip of the LEM218 is easily configured using the front panel controls and can act as a pitch bend control or even as a mod wheel for those seeking additional expressive control. Thanks to a pulse input, the arpeggiator of the LEM218 can be driven by external inputs, and more complex patterns are possible as it is allowed to interact with the automated notes. Different patterns and randomness can also be blended using the additional controls. Finally, the LEM218 has classic preset voltage knobs that can e used for quick access to voltages of your patch, control arpeggiation modes, and octave shifting. Buchla also promises that no cumbersome software setups are required as everything can be configured to your liking using simple settings with the keys and knobs on the front panel. 

The LEM218 is available now at a price of $1,299.00 USD ( For more information, check out the official website ( or watch the video below.