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New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby N i g e l » Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:03 pm

Zukan wrote:Hydrasynth, Summit and Folderol's Pi thingy caught my eye at Synthfest this year.

Todays products are certainly eye catching with their colourfull LED bling. I wonder if that look will stand the test of time ?

The hydra synth is definitely niche, being digital with only mono timbral and 8 note poly.

But not just the icing but a layer of marzipan and a good chunk of fruity cake as well.

While its big thing is wavetable it does seem tto have a selection of filters, so maybe VA is a bonus feature. Maybe like blofelds big brother with knobs on and using steroids.

Ive not found out if the waves are programmable, somebodys bound to want to load it with PPG waves. Maybe they are already in there, or emulate-able ?
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby BillB » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:57 pm

I'm going to ask one of those stupid 'versus' questions. I have mildly lusted after a Roland System 8, especially since they made the Jupiter 8, Juno 106 and JX3P the default plug-outs. This is because of a somewhat uniformed desire for "the Roland sound" which has been with me for a few decades.
I get that Summit is a more competent synth in terms of modulation, oscillator options etc, but would it cover that ground - "the Roland sound" - or is that better found on the System 8 or even the Deepmind for Juno-esque sounds?
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby nathanscribe » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:06 pm

BillB wrote:I get that Summit is a more competent synth in terms of modulation, oscillator options etc, but would it cover that ground - "the Roland sound [...]"

Can't speak for the alternatives, but I've got a Peak, and have had a bunch of old Roland gear over the years. The Juno 6/60 have alternated as my go-to simple poly for almost 30 years.

The Peak can do ballpark Juno, but it's not the same. You can get close enough for music, but in a side-by-side trying to match patches, I've found it doesn't get the flavour. The Peak doesn't really have much of a vintage thing going on really, I think. It can be nudged that way, with a bit of drift dialled in, and filter/vca drive to just begin to roughen things a little, but if it's close to any kind of vintage synth it's more like the later 80s than the earlier models. Probably helps to put it through some period-correct effects and whatnot. The onboard chorus, for example, doesn't sound anything like the Juno's. And it's not just about being able to match patches, it's also about the reach and curve of the controls. Sweep envelope modulation on one synth and it's not the same as on the other. That difference in interaction is, I think, part of the character of each device, and although it might not be important when you just noodle on a preset, it becomes more significant when you're playing the sliders.

The whole 'does this new thing sound like this old thing' is an interesting discussion. I've compared a few new re-issues/clones/models to older gear, and even when they're meant to replicate something exactly, they don't sound like old synths so much as like newly made old synths. If that makes sense. 40 years of use will give anything a patina, and it's this the new gear lacks. That's not to criticise it, I love that we can get Odysseys or MS20s or 808s or whatever for less than the price of a month in the Caribbean – but even the truly analogue recreations are going to sound a little cleaner, a little less wayward, than their ancestors. I'm happy with this, I've got outboard that can mucky stuff up just fine, but it's a matter of preference I think (not mentioning the money).
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby BillB » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:47 pm

Thanks Nathan.
First of all, I meant Peak, not Summit - I couldn't possibly justify a Summit, but a S/H Peak or System8, maybe...
Secondly, you are consistent with something you have said before, that, if anything, Peak has a late 80's vibe, perhaps more like the DW8000 (digi osc, analogue filters) - which also sounds gorgeous.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky8868Xbej0
I have also gone on record as saying that I really don't need any more synths, but that itch...
Let's just call it 'horizon scanning' :beamup:
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby The Elf » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:25 pm

System 8 definitely has the flavour of old Roland synths. I ditched my real JP8 in frustration at having to tune the thing every session. I don't miss my JP8 one bit with the S8 around. Personally I long since forgot about using the Jupiter model per se, since the S8 raw waveforms are identical to the JP8 model, from what I can tell, yet I can enjoy the benefits of the full synthesis capabilities of the S8 native engine. It has one or two quirks - only recently I discovered that you can't apply pitch envelope to only one of the oscillators; not a big deal, but it has a few restrictions like that.

Pity about some of the hardware design choices (4-octave keyboard, external PSU, no aftertouch, plastic case), but it is what it is. For me it's all about the sound.

Peak has a smooth, creamy character more reminiscent of vintage Oberheim to my ears. It certainly treads a path close to my old Xpander. I've turned to it more and more as time has gone on. The fact that each voice has three oscillators is a huge part of the appeal for me - you can create some truly gob-smacking pads and string patches that drip with fat like the Christmas turkey. You can create 'super' versions of waves for each oscillator - and even virtual sync without taking up a second oscillator... and then there's that mod matrix. Peak really is a synth powerhouse. Only the Summit is now going to pry it from my hands.

So if you definitely want that Roland sound the S8 is it. If you want a superb-sounding polysynth that walks its own path, then Peak will not disappoint.
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