LOS ANGELES, CA, USA: following hot in the footsteps of Trinity, the fourth entry in its expanding Eurorack product lineup as a three-channel DIGITAL DRUM SYNTH ARRAY (as introduced at Knobcon Number Ten, a one-of-a-kind synthesizer convention held just outside of Chicago, IL, USA at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg, September 9-11), black-owned Eurorack modular synthesis and electronic musical instrument manufacturer Modbap Modular is proud to debut HUE as its latest Eurorack entry — this time being billed as an AUDIO COLOR PROCESSOR, packing a chain of five effects (each imparting a particular coloration, tone, distortion, and/or texture to the source audio) into a 6HP- width module, making drums bang with more magnitude and melodies morph into lush lo-fi tones — at Brooklyn SYNTH+PEDAL EXPO, a free-to-the-public pop-up event of synths and guitar effect pedals, at 718 Studios, Brooklyn, NYC, USA, October 8-9…
“HUE was originally designed as the effects section for Trinity; the thought was to create an effects section that would simulate the classic, lush boom- bap and lo-fi vibes that we’ve come to love.” So says Modbap Modular founder/owner/designer Corry Banks, before continuing: “I want to bring those nostalgic textures that make things bang a bit harder and feel a bit grittier and more soulful into a single Eurorack module. HUE pairs very well with drum sources, such as Trinity, or melodic sources, such as Osiris, to further cultivate ‘that sound’. Saying that, HUE, in moderation, makes things sound more beautiful, but it can become brolic when pushed to its limits.”
Maximum (musical) muscle notwithstanding, HUE’s goal is to simply color its user’s sound — hence highlighting that the aim of its name is true, thanks to the COLOR PROCESSOR wording written across the top of its slimline front panel. Its initial concept was born out of a debate about the techniques and processes used to make drum machines sound so big, bold, and delicious. It is worth bearing in mind here, then, that the sounds that tug at the heartstrings of boom-bap, lo-fi, and, subsequently, Modbap — meaning the fusion of modular synthesis and boom-bap (or, indeed, any form of hip-hop) — are those demonstrating great texture, lush degradation, soft distortion, and big bold strokes of color.
Classic beloved drum machines were often processed with outboard gear; recorded to tape; pressed to vinyl; played over big, booming sound systems; sampled; resampled, and so on. It is no surprise, therefore, that those are the sounds that become nostalgic and reminiscent of all that the black-owned Eurorack modular synthesis and electronic musical instrument manufacturer adores about classic lo-fi boom-bap production, with HUE representing its attempt at bringing that vibe into Eurorack as a 6HP-width module.
Acting as a COLOR PROCESSOR, HUE’s effects chain signal path is as follows: DRIVE, FILTER, TAPE (saturation), LO-FI, and COMP (compressor), with the panel layout allowing for the DJ-style FILTER knob to sit in first position for ease of tweaking — LP (low-pass) when turned to the left through to HP (high- pass) when turned to the right. Digging deeper, DRIVE boosts and lightly distorts the signal, while SHIFT+DRIVE adjusts the DRIVE tone; the TAPE effect is intended to impart cassette tape saturation, while SHIFT+TAPE adjusts the intensity; LO-FI adjusts bit depth, while SHIFT+LO-FI adjusts sample rate; and, lastly, the one-knob COMP mini-pot serves as the final glue in the signal path that brings everything together. There are also DRIVE CV, FILTER CV, TAPE CV, and LO-FI CV inputs, as well as mono INPUT and OUT connections, collectively opening up a wealth of creative possibilities. Put it this way: when throwing creative modulation at it, HUE is truly a textural beast.
But best of all, HUE puts the power to shape and transform its user’s sound at their fingertips — perfect for beefing up drums while equally as magical when working on melodic content, which is exactly why it pairs so well with Trinity (https://www.modbap.com/products/trinity), the fourth entry in Modbap Modular’s expanding Eurorack product lineup as a three-channel DIGITAL DRUM SYNTH ARRAY, and Osiris (https://www.modbap.com/products/osiris), a sensational-sounding BI-FIDELITYTM WAVETABLE OSC (oscillator) module for Eurorack (introduced to widespread critical acclaim at last year’s Knobcon Number Nine). Needless to say, HUE — like its Eurorack siblings — exemplifies Modbap Modular’s musical mantra: Made for Eurorack, dope enough for boom-bap!
Expected to ship in late-October 2022, HUE is available to preorder at an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $299.00 USD via San Clemente, CA, USA-based distributor Electro Distro’s growing global network of dealers (https://www.electro-distro.com/dealers) — including Sweetwater (https://www.sweetwater.com), the USA’s number one eCommerce provider of music instruments and pro audio gear — or directly via its dedicated webpage (which includes more in-depth information) here: https://www.modbap.com/products/hue
See and hear Modbap Modular founder/owner/designer Corry Banks introducing HUE here: https://youtu.be/4-KQsW9eJHE