u-he's Hive 2 synth is here and it promises to be supercharged, sleeker and more streamlined

u-he has announced the arrival the hotly anticipated Hive 2. These promises to be sleeker, more streamlined and supercharged.

We first had word of version 2 back at NAMM, where we were keen to see what the Berlin-based firm had in store for one of your favourite VST/AU plugin synths.

Users of version 1.x will notice that the UI has been cleaned-up somewhat in a bid to make the controls easier to read and to make some space for new functions.

A new row of modules has appeared just below the hexagon, which features two function generators and a shape sequencer. 

u-he Hive 2

The function generators have a west coast synthesis vibe about them and are able to generate complex modulations and random rhythms, despite their seemingly low amount of control.

The shape sequencer can act as a set of complex envelopes, rhythm generators, or pattern gates. 

To further speed up your sound design workflow, u-he has added drag and drop modulation, which can be taken directly from the sources to the target parameters. These then create entries in the modulation matrix automatically.

NKS compatibility and a whole ton of presets have also been added to version 2, which is available now for Mac and PC (VST/AU/AAX/NKS) at a price of €149. Users of the older version of Hive can upgrade for just €20. More details can be found on the u-he website.

U-he Hive 2 features

  • Low CPU usage, 3 different synth engines
  • 2 oscillators with wavetable option, 16x unison and tunable sub-oscillators
  • Drag & drop modulation assignment
  • 12x2 modulation matrix slots with modifiers for curvature, rectification, quantization, sample & hold, slew rate
  • 4 user-definable XY control pads
  • Arpeggiator, step sequencer with realtime recording
  • Unique 8-step shape sequencer with 4 independent outputs
  • 2 function generators can serve as extra envelopes, gate generators, LFOs, slew limiters
  • 7 rearrangeable effects: distortion, chorus, delay, phaser, EQ, reverb, compressor
  • Panel presets for each oscillator, filter, matrix slot, etc., with copy, load and save options
  • Solo buttons allow auditioning individual oscillator or filter signals
  • Scope to view the audio output or any modulation signal, with freeze option and zoom controls
  • Microtuning support (.tun files)
  • 2000+ NKS-ready factory presets by some of our favourite sound designers, many more available online
  • Resizable UI from 70% to 200%
Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.