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2hp Picnic Basket

Eurorack System By William Stokes
Published October 2021

2hp Picnic Basket

A troublesome 2020 presented American developer 2hp with a host of Covid‑related delays when it came to getting their flagship 42hp Lunchbox systems out and into the world. At long last they managed to start shipping back in November, in a total of four fully housed and powered variations. The Synth Voice hosts 2hp’s envelope, oscillator, filter and VCA modules; the Drum Machine has their kick, snare, hat and mixer modules; the Effects Rack offers 2hp’s ‘Grain’ granular processor, delay, Freez and stereo reverb modules, while the larger and more mysteriously named Picnic Basket — which happens to be the one in my custody — contains a sequencer, Pluck physical modelling unit, a VCO, multimode filter, kick, reverb, ADSR envelope and random voltage generator. Each module is separated by a blank panel: partly to space the modules out a little (a fully stocked 2hp rack can get a little dense), but more crucially to offer space for more modules, the significance of which I’ll come to later.

The Lunchbox case itself is literally an aluminium lunchbox, and even has a little handle on the top so you can take it to school on the bus. It’s cute. Not altogether practical, but cute. The lid opens toward you and isn’t removable, meaning that it does get in the way a little unless you stand it up vertically, where you may well find yourself pushing the whole thing across the table while patching, considering how light it is.

2hp Picnic BasketOn its own the case retails at around £140, which feels rather pricey considering its size, not to mention the fact that it is literally a tin. It feels slightly paradoxical that while the Lunchbox series’ portability is marketed as one of its main assets, it’s a long way from a flight case and more likely to be treated as fragile than a trusty road‑worn companion. In fact it feels, dare I say it, somewhat...

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