I’m beginning to realize that one of Audulus’ best features is its forum. Besides all the learning and exchange and building on each others patches, it’s also a great place for discovery: Via soporus/eponymic, the creator of some very impressive TR808 drum sounds, I discovered the Hyve – a touch synthesizer with an interface arranged so as to easily explore tone combinations with small finger movements: It includes both a piano-style keyboard layout and a hexagon grid somewhat reminiscent of the Snyderphonics Manta used by Walker Farrell on his latest album. Like the Hordijk Benjolin it too grew out of workshop situations in which one could build an instrument in an afternoon.
It’s delightfully simple. There are no envelopes to set or filters to adjust. Vertical movements on the keyboard shift octaves. Small thumb-pads enable glides. Pressure controls the amplitude, and horizontal movements placement in the stereo field – which makes for tremolo like modulations. Those simple parameters, along with 60-voice polyphony (!) make for a surprisingly expressive instrument.