Rare WavesHydronium Bass Box (Hydride Black)

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Rare Waves Hydronium

Representing a new chapter in the lineage of bass synthesizers, the Rare Waves Hydronium is a semi-modular bass box designed with acid bass in mind, offering extensive control with both MIDI and control voltage. The VCO features classic saw and square outputs, with the ability to apply PWM to the square, and a 12dB/oct resonant low-pass filter is available for rounding out your basslines. Extreme resonance settings will cause self-oscillation, and applying a trigger to the audio input will briefly "ping" the filter, resulting in a percussive pluck ideal for kicks or toms.

For further sound shaping, the built-in envelope generator has two modes. Decay-only mode means that any gate input will immediately open the envelope, and it will decay back to zero at a length specified by the decay control, regardless of the length of the input gate. There's also hold/release mode, which will keep the envelope at the maximum for as long as a gate signal is high, only releasing the envelope when it is finished. The envelope is highly responsive to MIDI velocity, and the envelope may be retriggered with MIDI notes with velocity above 100.

Every great bass synth should feature some form of glide control, and the Hydronium fully delivers on this front, offering two modes. Full glide mode applies slew to every note played, whereas legato mode only affects tied notes. Legato mode works both with MIDI and CV input, as long as MIDI notes overlap or a high gate signal remains while the 1V/oct input detects a voltage change.

Hydronium plays quite well with other pieces of gear, too! There's a built in MIDI-CV convertor, allowing your favorite keyboard or sequencer to easily apply control to any other semi or fully modular instruments. An external input is also present for running other sounds into the Hydronium's filter, and an FX loop exists between the filter and VCA, allowing for further sound processing with effects pedals, outboard gear, and more, prior to hitting the VCA with the envelope generator.

Rare Waves not only designed the Hydronium to be a superb bass synthesizer, but by adding in such extensive MIDI and CV capability, they created an excellent team player that will fit well into any electronic music setup.

Hydronium Features

  • Semi-modular analog bass synth
  • Classic analog VCO with saw and pulse waveforms
  • Built-in MIDI to CV convertor
  • Resonant lowpass filter
  • Dual mode envelope generator
  • Glide function with two modes
  • FX Loop post-filter, pre-VCA
  • External audio input
  • Power: 12V DC
  • Dimensions: 4.8 x 6 x 2.2"/122 x 152 x 56mm
Rare Waves Hydronium Bass Box (Hydride Black) Reviews