never had a pocketwatch, never counted backwards

On Monday I almost bought a used Dreadbox Hypnosis, but hesitated because of confusion over which version it was.

On Tuesday, Dreadbox announced a Hypnosis Reissue.

  • Significantly cheaper. It’s an easy-to-build DIY kit with no soldering. It also removed the preset knobs, which probably saved some expense (and which I didn’t care about).
  • Eurorack format (but also has a standalone case with USB power).
  • Patch points to modulate delay times and LFO rates. (You couldn’t modulate the digital delay on the original.)
  • Instead of attaching an LFO to the spring predelay, there’s a separate patchable LFO with slew and a random gate mode.

Now for the bad:

  • The chorus/flanger’s LFO is triangle only (not a big deal since you can patch an external LFO).
  • The digital delay doesn’t have tape and BBD emulation modes.
  • The digital delay doesn’t have a freeze button or gate, nor CV over feedback. Freezing the delay is a very cool feature on the original Hypnosis.
  • It’s mono in and out.

I feel like the reissue is a pretty nice thing if you don’t compare it to the original Hypnosis. A BBD chorus/flanger, vanilla digital delay and a spring reverb with a unique predelay feature, all for about what a plain spring reverb driver would cost? Not bad at all.

But it doesn’t have the same vibe, mojo, etc. as the original Hypnosis. That chorus needs to be stereo. The delay needs to be ping-pong stereo (normally not something I am into, but at short delay times and high feedback and with the other stages in here, it works very well). Those aren’t really negotiable.

So for me, the reissue misses the mark. They could have gone two other ways with it:

  • Give it a different name than “Hypnosis”. Lean into being modular. Have individual ins and outs for the three effects, and offer CV over mix levels and feedback (rather than gates to enable/disable effects).
  • Give it a different name than “Hypnosis” — maybe even “Hypnosis Junior” or “Micro Hypnosis” or “Lethe” or something. Cut it back even to just the spring reverb with predelay and LFO (maybe with a tone control/tilt EQ like many spring reverb drivers have, and maybe a feedback path that includes the predelay).

After some pondering I went ahead and bought the “real” Hypnosis.

2 thoughts on “never had a pocketwatch, never counted backwards”

  1. Happened across this while looking into the DIY kit. At the price of the DIY kit, what about two of them for stereo weirdness?

    1. Could be interesting. Two separate choruses or delays would be pretty different from a single stereo chorus or delay, but also allow some extra possibilities. And two separate spring tanks as well…

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