Sleepers : lesser known hardware hits

I’m curious to know what you think has been overlooked.
It’s incredibly tough for /everything/ to cut through the noise in today’s market, and even things that do might not hold our attention for the time it takes to reach production, much less our workspaces.

What are some devices or tools that you love that you think could’ve, or should’ve made a bigger splash?
What are the sleeper hits of the electronic music hardware environment?
What’s giving you that secret sauce ?

I’ll start,

Bastl & Casper Electronic’s Soft Pops : I adore this quirky little synthesizer, it’s endlessly playable with a wonderful interface. It can process external audio, syncs sloppily in the best way, has a whacky sequencer, and a full patchbay that’s incredibly deep.
It’s fun, covered in runes, and an incredibly personal collaboration between two phenomenally unique and artistic groups :thinking: hmm that sounds familiar…

Other notable mentions : Make noise analog memory, (go read their old description of that for a good laugh and probably the reason they were quickly discontinued, it’s a pressure points expander…)

Herbs and stones liquid foam : I’d seen this around for a while but I played with it today and I’m floored, it’s like if serge made a 303.

FMR RNLA and RNC : these sound too good for how cheap they are, and if you play live they’re so convenient and can really pull a mix together.


Alesis Wedge, can be had very cheaply second hand. Best hands on hardware reverb I have ever owned.


Oh hai sofftdrugs

I’m a longtime sucker for the Alesis Nanoverb for the ridiculous glassy feedback plate and the Nanocompressor for being the dankest lil safety net that you can slam and smash signal into

Vermona Retroverb Lancet - only beef is I don’t have a second. Have it chained to my Cycles rn and it’s transformative.

Else I’m with ya on Bastl
Kinda regretting selling my Softpop awhile back but I’m having a great time with the Bitranger and Kastle Drum right now

Else going ham on Ciat Lonbarde builds, never have played with anything so entertainingly explorative/focused on touch


Forgotten 80’s & 90’s rack units often deliver soooo nicely, those quadraverbs and midiverbs from alesis rock as well, and they can be grabbed for next to nothing. I’ve got a Korg DRV-1000, a grainy old digital reverb that i’ve come to love the character of as well.


@mount_curve always love running into you,

i’m starting to think alesis as a company is under appreciated, been on the hunt for an AI3 to expand my audio interface too

very jealous of all that CL stuff you’ve been building, it does look very satisfying to use !

Please say more! I have one and sometimes I stumble on cool semi-melodies but it feels so unruly to use.

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I was just going to say this! Power supplies can be hard to come by if they go out, butI recommend this to everyone. It really does it all as a reverb.

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Uhhhh oddball time. From the top of my head:
preenFM - FM meets filters. Nice.
SammichSID - when you need more of that C64.
Sonic Potions LXR - if a Machinerdum simply is too expensive.

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I am looking for the PreenFM3 almost everyday on Vandaal electronics… I WANT ONE, caray.
This little synth looks really good!

yeah hey just seeing this thread and am gonna be another on the Bastl chorus. “way back in the day” they were called Standuino and made the first microgranny which i still use and love.

the rumbarack and their other brand systems all looked weird as hell. bitRanger is so weird and harsh. they had a whole grip of 5hp modules for like sensor and motor i/o.

Cinnamon is still one of the best SVFs in “bang for buck” and i would love to get an Ikarie racked.


Agreed! When I had my big Rumburak system I had two of those filters and since there were no typical oscillators from Bastl, only the grandPa samplers, I would use one Cinnamon as a saw VCO and the other as a filter then :smiley:

Regarding other sleepers: Definitely Gotharman! Danish synths and granular workstations with high quality parts and totally wild sounds. We’ve got a thread for the Little deFormer here:

The recently released SpazeDrum analog-digital groove boxes are cool too:


+1 for Gotharman. Little Deformer 3 is a masterpiece and in several ways quite unlike anything else I know of. I treasure it!

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frostwave resonator comes to mind


While the SP-303 and 404 get lots of praise and recognition, I absolutely love my SP-505 and SP-555. They can be had for semi-cheap and are basically expanded versions of the two other models (save the infamous compressor on the 303 vinyl sim, that’s unique).

Why? The 505 has a 6 second delay that when cranked is perfect for Dakim style beats. The vinyl sim is so close to the 303, but I think the noise actually sounds better. The 555 is so different than any other hardware sampler. The D beam synth and trigger are cheesy, but I think the filter sounds stellar. The looper is honestly one of my favorites for hands-on looping. I love to pair it with the longer loopers on my Norns for weaving, meandering loops. The effects engines on both are spot on, too.


Not sure if this fits but I use had this for years and it still surprises me - even yesterday I’d forgotten what an awesome sampler it is as I’d been using as an echo mainly since I got the er301

It’s so rock solid, sounds amazing still and I had a morphagene for a bit and Immediately moved it because of the sds - she’s a freakin genius - I have t got it but her digital osc is awesome too

  • can do 400 slices, has an actual, vca with an actually very useful, 3 band eq - the best granular this side of the er301, tracks 1voct over 5 octaves, has all these play fx……the interface is a bit daunting but once you bend to its will you will not find anything like it in euro - still….it can output a clock too so can be sync”d to anything - and With midi this thing is a beast…it has a midi card so all that is accessible via midi! Plus other stuff - classic? Damn straight - a bedazzled classic stone cold :cold_face:

Oh yeah it’s cheap too - like $350, and I think that’s with the midi card now :slight_smile: get one if you find it though she still sells em

I’m gonna keep it here cos I know you’ll do euro - sorry I didn’t realise it was a non euro thread but it does so much and with midi too it deserves a mention!!


I think people have fallen asleep on the LepLoop from L.E.P.

While the 2nd version is more prevalent “in the wild,” I think I prefer the sound of the original a bit better.

One hears complaints about the esoteric lay-out, sequencer, & control scheme but playing with the units inspires confidence that one can indeed make dope experiment hits with these boxes.

I personally would not play a one hour set with a LepLoop but I would definitely play a 20 minute set with one, especially with a little echo effect or similar added at the mix out.

Also they are cute. Also they rip. Anyway, I encourage anyone to wake up from their dream and lift their head from the pillow to scope a LepLoop.

L.E.P.'s Multicassa is also super slept on and one of my secret weapons for face melting bass hits galore. Plus it has the coolest ever clock divider sequencer programmed by knobs.


Oh yes! I imagine the Arpopone and Multicassa would go together well too!

This jam really needs a beat:

Hope that we will hear more about LepLoop’s new ArpoLoop thing that has been teased for over a year I think.

EDIT: found this old LepLoop v2 jam:

Improvising with this thing was so much fun. Like you wrote, playing 20 minutes with this thing alone is totally possible.


there’s no rule against euro and i think this fits perfectly! those were so hard to get ahold of back in the day but you’re right, they’re enormously powerful and i forgot they existed!!

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Yah, the ArpoPone is very intriguing and definitely pairs with the MultiCassa. I didn’t include it in my post because I still can’t really figure out how to use it.

I enjoy what you’ve managed to get it to do in concert with that there Thyme, though; nice video!

The new ArpoLoop looks so rad, every time I see another teaser on Instagram my brain goes “boing.”


The 555 was my second piece of gear after a volca beats. I sold it recently and sort of regret it…so hands on and immediate! I too loved the looper. This lovely box basically got me started making music :hugs:

I really want to try to learn how to build modules so that I can implement a d-beam style control unit (possibly with a built in CV looper) but I have absolutely no idea where to start aside from…VCSELs? I don’t know.