BOSS HC-2 Hand Clapper

BOSS HC-2 Hand Clapper Image

Boss released the HC-2 Hand Clapper in 1984 alongside the PC-2 Percussion Synthesizer. Both units are a little larger than a standard Boss pedal, have a battery compartment underneath (they run on a 9V battery) and jacks on the rear. The metal case sports controls on the top and a thick rubber trigger pad. There is also a 9V DC socket for use with an external power supply.

The HC-2 is a single-function hand clap synthesizer. It sounds similar to the TR-808/909 clap, and uses a variation on the same circuit. White noise is filtered and shaped, and here the user has some control over that—a Dry control determines the brightness of the sound (tone), and a Hall control determines the tail length (reverberation).

The unit can be used alone, with the sound being triggered by tapping the pad, or in conjunction with various drum machines or sequencers—a 1/4" input jack takes a positive trigger voltage pulse. The strength of the trigger, coupled with the Sensitivity control, determines the volume of the sound.

Simple in operation, the HC-2 is a useful addition to drum machines such as the DR-55 and TR-606, both of which have suitable trigger outputs and lack clap sounds themselves. It is also good fun to play manually, and varying tap strength can be used to good effect; rolls are also very easy to achieve when played using the fingers.

Lookup BOSS HC-2 Hand Clapper Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a BOSS HC-2 Hand Clapper? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

5 Visitor comments
February 12, 2014 @ 3:09 pm
Compared to the 808/909 handclap, this one might sound a bit wimpy unprocessed, but with a high shelf EQ and about 12-16db of gain-compensated hard limiting, it can sound pretty close. The TR606 trigger out is a bit high in voltage for triggering it correctly, but lowering the sensitivity on this device fixes the issue. Prices on these are going up, so I assume people are discovering they are actually useful as a x0x handclap substitute.
October 14, 2012 @ 8:16 pm
Has anyone ever user this on an fx send? I could see some interesting possibilities with this....
September 22, 2012 @ 11:06 am
Hi. I am looking to buy an Boss HC-2 (and a PC-2 for that matter). I'm in Denmark, Europe. If you have one for sale please e-mail me:
Anoop Sahal
February 6, 2012 @ 1:21 pm
This cost me £48 in 1980. It was quite a new sound then made famous to me by the Axel F song. I had a Stix drum machine and I used the one of the Tom drum outputs to trigger this unit via a jack plug. The sounds were harsh and benefited from the graphic equalizer of a Teisco 110f mono synth. I sampled the hand clap to an S900 and dumped the sound via midi to an Atari 1040. The wave form showed the sound was white noise where each and every +ve and -ve wave form was filtered by a different and random setting of a low pass filter. I achieved the same sound doing this manually with white noise
February 1, 2012 @ 2:41 pm
Nice & loud clap. Running both HC2 & PC2 on 606 will make it an fully advanced drumatix. Using with DR55 would be possible, but matching an HC2 with 55 is like mixing yellow mustard into maple syrups. Delicious ? Well ....
Post Comment!
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 3 (62 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Multitimbral - 1
  • Oscillators - 1
  • Waveforms - White noise
  • Filter - 'Dry' brightness control
  • Envelope - 'Hall' decay control
  • Effects - None
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - Trigger pad (touch sensitive)
  • Memory - None
  • Control - Trigger input
  • Date Produced - 1984-85

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.