Intersection of Hip Hop and Modular

I spend at least as much time listening to hip hop as i do listening to electronic music, and especially in recent years the lines have become pretty blurred. I often think to myself as my little rack squelches and gurgles, “chopped up properly, this could make a really cool beat for Young Thug.” Interesting synthy sounds seem to be popping up in relatively mainstream rap pretty often these days, so I’ve been kinda surprised how infrequently hip hop comes up in this community.

Do any of you use your modular systems to make hip hop?

Also, if there is interest, it might be worth starting a separate a “cool hip hop electronics” or just “cool hip hop” thread.


I feel the same way, love hiphop and electronic music and they can blend really well. There are a bunch of modular+hiphop videos on youtube. In the lines community, I like to mix in some hiphop influence into my tracks and I know some other do as well (@glia If I remember right?).

I’m not sure of any forum where the music shared is modular+hiphop heavy or why that is.

Bastl is a good example of the blending of hiphop and weird electronics (microgranny) and eurorack (grandpa). Here is that older demo video of their rack from HRTL:

Good stuff:


Do you watch the BBoy Tech videos on YouTube? He’s definitely worth checking out:


All I basically write is ambient on the modular and hiphop, more often these days I combine the two, especially if I end up writing something more melodic. As soon as you put some form of break over the top your in a wholemeal other world. Feels more like triphop but once it’s stripped back and chopped you end up with some pretty heavy tunes. Loiving it!
I’m uploading some stuff soon so I’ll link it in here when it’s ready.


This looks awesome. Deadelus made a “modular dj setup” for his upcoming tour with baths. Considering his live show is already so dope, I’m really excited to see what this is gonna sound like.


I’ve done a few things that sounds more hip-hop than not.


I will say it’s easier when you have a drum controller and a bass drum that can be pitch controlled.

Skibeatz is making a modular album, looks like it’s gonna be pretty good!

Just posted this on the Mannequins W/ tread:


I really want these two worlds to collide more. Haven’t posted anything yet but I’ve been exploring it in my patching. Setting up weird clocks to do drill hats. Playing sloppy grooves in with Tri-ger. On some old tracks I rapped through glitch VSTs - that’s something I need to go back to with the modular…

@photofractal that was tight!


Incredible! That is some hard sounding stuff.

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I’m looking to using the varigate4 to introduce delays and off kilter rhythyms. I seem to heading in a hip hop//trip hop direction atm :grinning: To me, the modular approach seems to lend itself really well to hiphop.

this doesn’t exactly fit with the original post, but i don’t know where else to put this question: how is everyone liking astroworld?

i love it. i don’t think there are any ‘pick up the phone’-esque bangers outside of butterfly effect, which came out over a year ago, but the moods on tracks like ‘RIP screw’ and ‘astrothunder’ are so undeniable. wonderfully diverse cast of collaborators (john mayer? is that really stevie wonder?). i’ve been getting really into the screwed up click discography over the past 3-4 years, so it was cool to hear all of the houston references. a sonically very wild ride. definitely the most fully-realized travis project to date. highly recc’d if you can handle the auto-tune and the travis ad libs.

complaints: i can’t help but feel that the frank ocean and drake features were squandered. the drake song in particular is so disjointed, which i get was the point, but it’s disjointed to the degree that i can never fully get into the groove. idk.


look up modbap tags on instagram.

Electronic and modular composing works really well for hip-hop. The traditional hip-hop aesthetic of working with sampled material is dissolving a little bit within recent records such as Kanye’s “Ye”.

I’d like to share a piece I’ve made that goes into this territory:

Randomized delay modulation makes the liquid aspect of the melody. Notes frequency modulated with noise give it the lo-fi aspect. At some point the kick gets waveshaped to introduce variation. Hi hats triggers are modulated in the second half, switching between different clock divisions.

(I like this track and now I regret mixing it without patience)

For way better modular music than mine :yum: intersecting with Hip Hop, check out Collin Benders!


I think Travis is great. My opinion but I actually really enjoy the transitions/switch-ups within the tracks. The Drake track is 5:12 long which seems like it was a deliberate choice.

that is a phenomenal vibe

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I took at stab at some modbaps today. zuper fun!


this is awesome. the liquidy sounds are great. would love to know what you put into the drums here, they sound really polished - compressed within your rack?


Thanks andrew :+1:

I work interfacing the modular work flow with ableton live, so any compression was made inside live.

There is a distortion pedal, a wavefolder and a pitch shift on the signal flow.

Let me see: the drums are 909 from live into the rack -> the kick in the second verse goes thru wavefolding (it starts to behave a little like a string) -> the snare is actually totally destroyed by distortion (rat guitar pedal) and then gated to remain tight -> hats to the pitch shifter (FM) controlled by a sequencer -> then it goes back to live into a bus with the glue compressor and EQ.

I hope that doesn’t kill the modular magic :smile:! When I work exclusively within the rack I tend to get reaaally abstract.