Knobula Kickain

Pairing Impressive Kick Drum and Side Chain Compression Capabilities

Knobula Kickain

When Knobula founder Jason Mayo embarked on his journey of designing and manufacturing Eurorack modules two years ago, it was out of necessity. There were simply no Eurorack modules on the market that could offer eight voices of polyphonic oscillation - particularly in a 12 HP footprint - which he needed for his own performances and composition.

But as the saying goes, 'Necessity is the mother of invention' so Mayo got to work and launched Poly Cinematic - an eight voice polyphonic synthesizer featuring 56 oscillators, a multi-mode filter and envelope shaping capabilities. Following its launch at Superbooth 2021, Poly Cinematic soon became a favored module by artists around the world, noted for its rich sound, ease of use and sleek aesthetic appeal.

Picking up where Poly Cinematic left off, Knobula introduces Kickain. With a 909 inspired beat making engine at its heart, Kickain combines a robust feature set that takes it far beyond the capabilities of its '90s stablemate and present-day competitors. Once again challenging conventional expectations on how much can be squeezed into 12 HP space of Eurorack, Kickain delivers a rich virtual analog bass drum circuit, a 24-bit digital reverb, and a stereo spectral compressor - completing a full kick drum voice and side chain workflow into one unit.

With its one knob per function design, Kickain distils the control surface into an ergonomic and powerful set of tools, giving the performer an enormous degree of control over the sound character of the kick sound, while at the same time optimizing the overall energy level of the stereo mix. Kickain's layout is intuitive and performance-oriented, containing two overlapping sections: one for shaping the kick drum sound and the other for applying side chain compression so it can cut through the mix. The kick drum sound can be tailored using the click, drive, bend, tune and punch controls, and users are able to adjust the shared attack and decay controls of the envelope.

Kickain effortlessly optimizes the side chain settings so users can achieve the elusive ducking effect that can be so impactful on compositions. Taking this concept one step further, the module also includes two additional spectral compression options which dynamically EQ the stereo mix to the exact frequency of the kick. The resulting sound has all of the power and clarity of a side chain kick drum set up without the heavy breathing associated with extreme compression. Add to that an envelope reverb and shell resonator algorithm, and the versatility of Kickain becomes readily apparent.

With its 'one knob per function' design - without the menu diving - Kickain inspires users to be closer to their music. "A core philosophy behind all of our products is that performance should be the leading factor in the design," says Jason Mayo. "Having a great sounding kick drum has always been an elusive goal for many producers and we wanted to change that. With Kickain, the great sound of the kick drum is as much about how we combine it back into the mix using the dynamic EQ and side chain as it is about the sound of the kick itself. The spectral settings just focus the bass and the kick perfectly whilst leaving the top lines untouched."

Kickain features

  • Stereo Spectral Compression
  • Linked Controls between kick, side chain and reverb
  • 909 inspired virtual analogue signal path
  • 24-bit Stereo Reverb
  • FX Send/Return option
  • CV pitch control
  • 40Hz/60Hz bass cut protection
  • 12 HP wide

Kickain is designed to fit easily into any performance workflow and is available now through Knobula's network of authorized dealers at price of £267 (UK). ?