Getting started with the Hypno (Impressions of a Noob)

My Hypno arrived yesterday and I wasted no time (sorry but there’s no action packed unboxing video). I started this topic in the hopes that it may help another noob get oriented to the unit.

My 1st concern was powering the thing up without setting my house on fire. I’ve got a fair amount of experience with electronic musical gear and do understand ohm’s law but I’m more accustomed to selecting a typical PSU where the specs call for 5v or 9v and a minimum amperage along with center pin positive or negative. The USB thing had me worried but it turns out I had a power strip with USB A and C connectors that will output the requisite 5v with 3a minimum for the Hypno, so yay!

I started out by connecting the Hypno to my ginormous Samsung TV with a ridiculously long HDMI cable (do this before powering the Hypno up), and inserting the USB with all the free visuals from Sleepy Circuits. Then I plugged the Hypno into the power strip and voila, visuals!

Next I started going through the user guide. It really is just a guide as compared to the Elektron Digitakt documentation which is a full on manual (not a complaint, simply an observation / opinion).

I was working with the Night Visions USB video pack and using the Hypno front panel controls to get oriented. It took a minute to figure out that both the lights above the frequency sliders need to be AQUA colored in order for both the A & B sides to show the selected USB graphic. It is not possible to display different USB graphics on the A and B sides. It doesn’t matter which set of browsing buttons (left + center or right + center) that you use to select the USB graphic; both sides will display the selected image or movie file. You can, however, show the USB image on the A or B side and press the opposite button (above the frequency slider), to select any of the internal waveforms for display along with the USB graphic.

So I fritzed around for a while with both the A & B sides set to the USB video of the rabbits (I can’t believe there are no kitty graphics but I guess rabbits are a decent proxy), and it was going well until I dove into the Input Shape Pages and started changing the different values. Things got a bit too weird to make any sense so I removed the USB memory stick and switched image sources to the internal waveform shapes. I had to reboot the Hypno because I couldn’t figure out how to undo all the modulations I’d done previously. Tonight I’m going to try saving a freshly booted Hypno as a preset to avoid having to do this.

I found that POLY produced shapes that were the easiest to manipulate in order to understand what was going on as I moved the various controls. Push the left & right buttons (one at a time), until each of the lights above the frequency sliders are YELLOW to select the POLY waveform shape for both the A and B sides.

The moral to the previous long and tedious paragraph(s) is, don’t start off using movie visual inputs because the motion of the images makes it difficult to see the effects of the panel controls.

At the end of the user guide I was still a bit disoriented so I started watching mylarmelodies great YouTube Sleepy Circuits Hypno tutorial (hey, Google bot, crawl your sleepy @55 over here and index this link).

I made it as far as the 25 minute mark (this is where he hooks up the Moog Mavis), and at this point I felt reasonably well oriented to the controls and was getting a bit nauseous from staring at the freaky motions on my TV. This was surprising since I spent 30+ years working as a merchant mariner and have never gotten seasick. So I shut the Hypno down and went to bed with visions of fractally sugar plums dancing in my head.

Tonight I’m going to do a repeat of last night and roll through all the internal waveform shapes and the panel controls / pages (I didn’t try the Feedback Page and will for sure give that a go).

I’ll be posting more impressions over the next few days, which will probably result in a forum ban and the entire Sleepy team hunting me down and yanking my underwear up into my spine.


So I’ve spent a couple of evenings working with the Hypno (using only the front panel controls), and I find the learning curve to be very gently sloped (aka: pretty friggin’ easy).

There were a few concepts that I found difficult to wrap my head around (at first), but they weren’t nearly as hard to grasp as the Digitakt’s Samples, Sound Pool, conditional triggers and plocks (these took me months of work to finally understand).

I can’t wait any longer so tonight I’m going to connect the Hypno to my Digitakt and start modulating things with midi. I’ll also be working with the information provided in the link below by @mcdouglas to see if I can save and roll through presets using the Digitakt.

I haven’t had a box make me grin like this since I got my Digitakt (an inorganic box, that is ; )

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Glad youre getting along with the Hypno! :slight_smile:

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I got busy this week with other things and didn’t really try using the Digitakt to control Hypno until tonight. I connected the usb out from the Digi to a usb a on the Hypno and can make stuff happen using the LFO’s on the Digi, but I can’t get midi from Digi patterns to do anything to the video.

edit: the video is stunning! Hell, I just roll through left and right video sources on the beat and it looks GREAT! but I’d really get a grin going if the Digi midi tracks would sequence modulations.

I laid down 4 bars of 4 on the floor on midi track A and the lights on the Hypno change back and forth with the beats (they stop when I stop the Digi), but it doesn’t affect the on screen video. I used the Digi settings from this post.

The Digi midi tracks are all set to channel 16, mutes are off and midi out => usb + midi and send cc’s. There’s no other hardware between the Digitakt and Hypno.

I tried both usb a ports on the Hypno.

Help please :thinking:

Saturday morning edit: I can switch patterns and get the Digi LFO to modify specified CC’s on Hypno but when I stop the Digi sequencer the video stays on the last set of CC’s and values (with motion) and doesn’t change. Trying to figure out how to zero out all motion on transport stop and then resume motion on start. The Digi LFO is doing all the video modulation. Still can’t figure out how to beat sync.

With no sequence running, a Digi midi track LFO will modulate graphics (and stop when the depth is set to zero). When the Digi sequencer is started, the lights on the Hypno blink but they’re a little off from the triggers and the graphics are off too.

Even with this problem, the Hypno produces stunning visuals! You can quickly set up Hypno LFO video modulations on the Digi while laying down beats (they’ll be a little off but you can make it work). When a visual looks good, move to the Hypno and save it as a preset. There’s 3 preset slots and you can fill them with great visuals in 10 minutes of jamming. Then hop back and forth between Hypno presets, crush them and reload or load another…


I like to jazz funk jam and 3 visual presets will keep me going for a while. Once a preset loads, I take control of the Hypno’s knobs, buttons and sliders and modulate the screen like I want. Play the Hypno like the synth / instrument it is, but on visuals. Then go back to the Digi and send another CC to take control from there while working on beats or pattern swapping.

I can’t express how stunningly good the graphics coming out of this unit are.
It could be a different visual performance every time.

If anyone has suggestions for my midi beat sync problem please let me know.

I have a minute long video showing exactly what I described (with the audio) but I’m old and can’t figure out how to load it on the interwebs.

In terms of MIDI beat syncing, I found that most MIDI messages and CV signals had a slight delay from when they are received on the Hypno to when they display an adjustment on the output signal. What I did with my Digitone and TR-8S was to simply use microtiming to move it over a 1/32 or 1/64 note and it seems to match up enough for my liking.

Also, once you configure MIDI LFOs on the Digitakt, I am fairly certain they continuously run unless they are specified otherwise. Sometimes I would end up recording the MIDI CC messages by accident into my MPC during jams.

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Thanks, I hadn’t thought of microtiming (I do it on beats all the time). Worked like a charm. May your family be showered with wealth beyond imagining!

edit: LFO mode(s) on hold works well. Microtiming is hit or miss but mostly works.
Thanks again.

My experience with sequencing patch changes over MIDI is that, even when nudging the note on and note off messages earlier in my sequencer (as far as I understand it the note-off message is what should actually trigger the patch change), the actual visual timing of the the patch change varies pretty wildly.

I spent some time this evening running sequences which flipped between two patches to see how good I could get the sync, and the timing was very hit and miss even with a repeating sequence of bars with a->b and b->a patch switching which should theoretically occur at the same point on each repeat.

It’s worth noting that I work at fairly high jungle bpms, high 160s upwards, and that this is not exactly in keeping with the sleepy aesthetic/approach, so my requirements when it comes to on-the-beat patch switching are probably more demanding than the hypno is designed to handle. It then becomes a case of working around these issues with patch design, sequencing fades-to-black and fade-ins, and generally avoiding full patch changes where possible, as an extreme visual switch that is out-of-time with audio can cause an undesirably disjointed/jarring result. Learning to play to the hypno’s strengths seems sensible, without necessarily expecting to max out all the features. At the end of the day it is producing pretty complex visuals in as close to real-time as possible, on a raspberry pi. Personally I would prefer a longer delay on MIDI patch switching, if it was a more consistent delay, as it would make it easier to sequence precisely-timed switches, but there’s an obvious trade-off even if this was to be a consideration.

I think I finally get how to use Digitakt with Hypno. You have to understand which device is controlling the video output and when. Modulation sources are the Hypno front panel (of course), the Digitakt FILTER knobs (CC’s are selected on the Digi AMP page), and/or the Digi LFO (there’s only 1 per midi track and I wish there were 2).

If things get wonky (and they will), you have to shut down the sequencer and set all Digi midi track LFO depths to zero and zero out all the enabled FILTER knobs. If there’s still motion, it’s coming from the Hypno (press and twist to make it stop).

Last night and tonight, I worked with an image on the A side (birds) and muted the B side. There’s no motion other than what comes with the birds. I made this preset 1 and can quickly bring in the B side with the same image (positioned and colored just how I want).

I set Digi midi tracks as follows (# in parentheses signifies FILTER page knob #'s.):

midi track A to (1 & 2) A & B browse folders (3 & 4) and files, (5) change color (6) A side frequency, (7) A rotation, (8) A polarization.

midi track B to (1 & 2) A & B browse folders (3 & 4) and files, (5) change color (6) B side frequency, (7) B rotation, (8) B polarization.

midi track C to (1 & 2) A & B browse folders (3 & 4) and files, (5) A color offset (6) A fractal axis, (7) B color offset, (8) B fractal axis.

midi track D to (1 & 2) A & B browse folders (3 & 4) and files, (5) Feedback Zoom (6) Feedback Rotation, (7) Feedback X Offset, (8) Feedback Y Offset.

The trick is to start with an image with minimal motion. I used one of the birds files and another one with a cartoon bird on the end of a stick that was pretty fun. There’s a bunch of other good images in the same folder. It’s very easy to switch image files with a Digi knob(s). If you get lost just twist all 4 top knobs hard left to get back to basic birds.

Apply motion with the Digitakt by using the bottom 4 FILTER page knobs. If they’re not all set to zero just wipe them over. Remember to make sure the track LFO’s are set to zero too.

Get the scene how you like and then add triggers. Set the Digi LFO to Trigger Mode to get on the beat (some microtiming may be necessary). I try to use the Digi midi track directly below the sample track that I want to match beats with (makes it easier remember when you want to mute / unmute specific visual modulations).

Be minimal with the video beat modulations. Lay down 2 tracks to LFO glitch on the kick and snare plus a muted fill for hats or whatever. You can glitch and zero with knobs while the LFO does a specific thing that you’re fully aware of.

Save another zeroed out scene to the Hypno and then tear it up with Hypno controls. Increase motion with the Digi LFO’s on a track by track basis.

Switch to another preset => wash, rinse, repeat. The laundry is never done :kissing_heart:

A lot of my previous confusion came up because I couldn’t tell when the Digi or Hypno was doing what modulations. Having a few different zeroed out Hypno presets comes in handy for starting over. Load a preset and go back and forth between Digi controls and Hypno controls glitching video.

Fun for the whole family!


On another note, I was coming home yesterday and someone had left a ginormous lawnmower box at the street for collections. I immediately saw a good surface for projection mapping so I stopped and threw it in the back of my truck.

As soon as I got home, I reinforced the box using the abundance of packing material it came with, including some nice looking bolts and washers, and cut holes in the box to pass signal and power cables. Then I rigged the Digitakt and Hypno to sit on top with the box on its end. There’s room for the RC505 but I’ll need my x-stand for a piano.

This box is super easy to carry and position and it’ll hold a lot of cables and small boxes (PSU and HDMI splitter for now) while not getting too heavy to float around a stage.

I’ve been playing on this box for 2 nights now (going back to the piano and looper to add harmonies and melodies). It’s getting painted and decorated tomorrow (photos later).

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I just bought an old non-functioning Nintendo Switch lite (the screen is out). I’m going to replace the display and repurpose it as a video monitor for use with the Hypno.

I can now use my Digitakt to control video glitching with the Hypno, but the TV has to face away from me (and towards the audience) so I need a small monitor to see what I’m doing. If this works it’ll look cool and have a few people wondering how the hell I got freaky glitched video into my Nintendo Switch.

I’ll be using a ROADOM capacitive touch screen. The Switch has a USB C connector for power and an HDMI input so no case modifications necessary. The ROADOM display also comes with a power adapter and all the ribbon connectors needed for this project. It’s a half inch larger than the original display but I’ll be removing most of the guts on the Switch so there should be plenty of room for the display and jumper wires.

:kissing_heart: :notes: :sparkler:

The monitor works! Now I’m just waiting for the Nintendo Switch Lite to get here. The box didn’t get painted today because I was playing on it.


The Nintendo Switch Lite arrived and the display I got is wayy too big (measure once buy twice). The usb c and hdmi ports are exactly where I want them on the Switch. Gotta get the right size screen. Until then, I’m using another cardboard box for the display I have now.

Also experimenting with Hypno and Eyesy. The Eyesy is significantly easier to sequence with the Digitakt than the Hypno (CC21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 + PC’s and that’s it for Eyesy midi implementation). Set your Digi midi track triggers annnnnd plock PC’s to switch Eyesy images on the beats you want!!!

The Hypno is not a walled garden like Eyesy though. There’s a lot more functionality to dig into which makes sequencing with the Digi more confusing at first but you get it with practice. The Eyesy is easy to sequence and built like a stylish little tank. Both put out great graphics!

Here’s my home made psychedelic Hypno, Eyesy, Digitakt audio visual performance stand. There’s 2 cable in and out holes and plenty of room for cable storage underneath.

This box will replace the 3 tier x-stand on the left. I’ll just be using the surface of the box (no 2nd tier for the miniFreak :frowning_face: ). The piano and looper will sit on an x-stand (as in the photo) with a 42" TV to the right of the box and left of the piano (facing towards the audience and away from the camera in this shot). The Hypno will be working it! So will the Digi!!!

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I just got a FeelWorld L2 HDMI switcher and it’s just what the doctor ordered. If you want to work with 2 video synths plus a pair of cameras and not lug a bunch of crap with you, get one of these.

The main reason I like this is the 5.5" monitor. It let’s you see and mix the Hypno off camera. I let the Eyesy do its thing on program out (with the pre-sequenced help of the Digitakt) while mixing the Hypno by hand. Then use the T-bar to fade between sources. You can’t do this with the ATEM Mini Pro ISO because it lacks a dedicated monitor out. The L2 T-bar also lets you blend Hypno and Eyesy together!!! :crazy_face:

Setup was stupid simple and I can control the unit with the iPhone app using the L2 connected by ethernet to an Apple Airport (no internet connection).

FWIW, I’m outputting to a ViewSonic PX706HD projector that I stole off eBay for $240. I grin every time I turn it on. Not because of the price but because of the art house video that comes out of it.

The L2 generates a bit of heat and has a loud assed cooling fan (you can control the speed) but, did I mention that you can blend 50/50 Eyesy/Hypno!!! This unholy matrimony seriously expands your visual output. I use the Hypno signal as a kind of visual link to the harmonic rhythm while letting midi guide the Eyesy and provide melodic stabs and punches.

The MicroLab will be arriving shortly. I’ll soon have full access to all the Hypno presets and can then proceed with my plan for world domination.

edit: it’s here, boohaha…

The Hypno and Eyesy are both indispensable kit.
How you control them is your business.

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So (periodically), either the MicroLab isn’t seeing the Hypno or vice versa. When it happens I get miffed and start looking for a small controller to replace it, and then suddenly it starts recalling presets like it’s supposed to.

Moving on. I’ve had the Moog Mavis for an evening and wowaweewah. I followed along with mylarmelodies patchings and yep, CV is the ticket for adding motion to the Hypno (for me.)

Likely to replace the MicroLab with one of these. I’ll need to brush up on my soldering skills.

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The MicroLab keeps not wanting to connect.
I reboot and reboot till I’m blue in the face.
Then suddenly, it connects.

I’m going to try the Digitakt tonight.
All I want is preset recalls.
CV glitching with Mavis.



aaand it started working again.
When it works it does exactly what I need.
I’ve written out the melody for presets. Keys fit my flow.

I’ve successfully gone back to the Digitakt after frequent frustration with the MicroLab and an ok’ish experience with a Teenage Engineering OP-Z. The Digitakt connects to Hypno reliably and does a fabulous job as a sequencer or in keyboard mode for recalling Hypno presets. It’s a bit disorienting if you try to do too much with it so here’s my simple DT + Hypno + Eyesy switch and glitch setup.

Digitakt Hypno + Eyesy MIDI Tracks with 4 on the floor preset switches

MIDI Track 9 (ch 12) => Eyesy preset PC trig on 1st beat of bar 1
MIDI Track 10 (ch 12) => Different Eyesy preset PC trig on 1st beat of bar 2
MIDI Track 11 (ch 12) => Different Eyesy preset PC trig on 1st beat of bar 3
MIDI Track 12 (ch 12) => Different Eyesy preset PC trig on 1st beat of bar 4

MIDI Track 13 (ch 16) => Hypno preset trig on 1st beat of bar 1
MIDI Track 14 (ch 16) => Different Hypno preset trig on 1st beat of bar 2
MIDI Track 15 (ch 16) => Different Hypno preset trig on 1st beat of bar 3
MIDI Track 16 (ch 16) => Different Hypno preset trig on 1st beat of bar 4

Setting Digi midi tracks 9-12 and 13-16 on 2 different midi channels allows you to send or not send different signals to each device when in keyboard mode depending on the track selected. Digitakt sequences will continue to play on both Hypno and Eyesy while you glitch in keyboard mode (regardless of which midi track you select).

Put the DT in keyboard mode and select a Hypno midi track (9-16) and use the arrow keys to transpose octaves for different Hypno presets. Go all the way down to -5 and the first D# on the keyboard is your first Hypno Preset. Arrow up and the first C will be the same preset as the last C one octave down. As usual, F# G# Bb are always switches for A / B shapes and Feedback modes.

Alternately, you could select an Eyesy midi track in keyboard mode and instead of switching Hypno presets you can send cv to Hypno with a Kenton Pro Solo set to receive midi on the same channel as the Eyesy.

I’m using Digitakt LFO’s sparingly on Hypno and Eyesy tracks.

Connections: Boss RC-5 as master clock => DigiTakt midi to the Hypno via usb directly (whew) and to a Kenton Pro Solo MKIII via 5 pin DIN and then midi thru to the Eyesy. The Eyesy just gets midi thru signal (and occasional audio from the mixer) and the Hypno gets all that sizzllin’ good cv for glitching!

The Kenton Box has a Gate, CV and three 3.5 mm aux’s which can send a variety of signals. It’s also got an LFO (normalled to the CV and aux 1 outs) and ADSR which can be sent to any or all aux outs. I’m sending CV to Hypno side A frequency, and gate to side B x/y axis. This works exceptionally well in concert with midi preset changes. Haven’t messed with the Kenton aux’s, LFO or envelope yet.

Ending the year with a more powerful system and less stuff to lug around!

I’ll be flaring off gas in 2024.