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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 IAA » Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:10 pm

Thanks Eddy for that. I’d really be interested in your take as you explore it, partly because I think you have a Kronos which I find programming wave tables on it a real inspiration drain :headbang: ,so tend to use Arturia’s pigments. I do like wave tables and we seem spoilt don’t we at the mo?

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

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:40 am

I do have a Kronos, and Pigments too, but I never really got into wavetable synthesis even though I think it's a very cool idea.

That's changing rapidly with the Hydrasynth, because the Hydrasynth makes it a doddle. I've spent a lot of time tonight playing with it and by golly I wish all synths were as well thought out as this thing is.

Having the signal flow, from oscillators to post-FX laid out on the top panel works incredibly well:

Image

Accessing just about anything only requires a press of the button in the Module Select section and the associated parameters immediately map (in pages of 8) to the Master Control section where they can be viewed and changed with the buttons and rotary controls.

It's so obvious, but so friendly.

I've not even glanced at the manual yet, and I've had no problem navigating around it, finding interesting ways to tweak the presets and come up with interesting sounds.

The Mutant functions associated with Oscillators 1 and 2 are superb, implementing a variety of extremely interesting wave-shaping methods. I was able to morph a sine wave into something that sounded not dissimilar to a duduk using a single mutant in the form of linear-FM applying a triangle wave to the sine, with a bunch of feedback set and a wet/dry mix between the two modulated by polyAT.

I wasn't even trying to do that, I was just experimenting with stuff. It took less than 30 seconds, but then I spent 10 minutes playing that sound on the board because it was beautiful.

The external power supply is small and light, has a short cable and there is an octave missing from the keyboard but I don't care about any of those things because of the sheer creativity that pours out of it when I start touching things.

One of the presets is a nice little analogue-y synthesized drum pattern, and when I looked at it all the oscillators are set to 0 volume in the mixer. Looking further, osc 1 is the bass drum, osc 2 is the 'snare' carved out of noise and osc 3 is a 'woodblock' of sorts.

The rhythm is created by 3 of the 5 LFOs modulating stuff all over the place, and I am not sure but I think the other 2 may be modulating the snare and woodblock LFOs to vary the rhythm such that they are not just monotonously repeating at a constant rate.

I've now made more lovely sounding patches in the last 2 hours than I have on any other synth in the last 2 years and I get the strong impression I'm only scratching the surface so far.

It's so usable, and absolutely brilliant. All synths should be designed with as much thought.

I could go on, and on, and on... but I do need to get some sleep.

The Hydrasynth is a keeper. Well done ASM :clap:
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby IAA » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:54 am

Wow, that’s my kind of endorsement- now where did I put my wallet???... :bouncy:
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:58 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:The external power supply is small and light, has a short cable
If I get one this will be the first thing to be sorted by my engineer. I'll let you know when it happens.
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:25 am

The Elf wrote:
Eddy Deegan wrote:The external power supply is small and light, has a short cable
If I get one this will be the first thing to be sorted by my engineer. I'll let you know when it happens.

If they can figure out how to make it an internal supply then I'd be interested to know the details.

When I first booted mine up and flipped through the presets my initial thought was 'this is quite interesting', and it made some nice noises but it didn't "wow" me instantly, with the exception of the polyAT part.

Once I started exploring the modules though, everything changed and I found myself scrolling through waveforms in the oscillators and chancing across one interesting combination after another.

I spent all night playing with it progressively falling in love, and I've not even explored the wavescan mode yet (where you can assign 8 waveforms to an oscillator then morph between them using an LFO or any other modulation source in the modulation matrix (which has 32 src/dest/amount slots).

The more I use it the more I like it and there is no question that this unit has found its 'forever home'.

I recommend borrowing/trialling one and spending a little time to get to know it. Just poking around on one in a shop, for example, would unlikely be the best introduction to it.

Hypothetically if I had to choose between the Hydrasynth and the Summit, I'd keep the Hydra. No plans to lose either, I hasten to add!

If pushed for anything to pick on, it "only" has 5 x 128 patch slots. That would be more than enough for pretty much any other synth I own barring the Kronos, but given how ridiculously easy it is to make lovely sounding patches, a few more would have been nice but really, who's complaining?

This is the one synth I'll be regularly using the librarian/editor software for on the DAW PC.

So, yes, I love it. That isn't to say everyone will or would, but for me it's really nailed something special, which is a playable synth that is powerful, easy to program and sounds great.

I'd like to do a more thought-out and structured user review of it once I've had some time to get to know it better. Sadly I'll be away from it for most of the month (though on the not-sadly front I'll have my Yoshimi-Pi with me!) but I want to dive a little deeper before drafting something up.
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby resistorman » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:05 am

The more time I spend with my Hydrasynth module, the more I love it. It feels great with the LinnStrument. I’ve programmed a few patches from scratch using only a part of its capabilities and the sound quality and textures are beyond almost every synth I’ve owned before.
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby The Elf » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:32 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:
The Elf wrote:
Eddy Deegan wrote:The external power supply is small and light, has a short cable
If I get one this will be the first thing to be sorted by my engineer. I'll let you know when it happens.
If they can figure out how to make it an internal supply then I'd be interested to know the details.
The details are usually 'find a space inside the case for the external PSU, nail it in and add a power socket'! :D

Sounds like you're enamoured. I certainly was in the time I spent with it. It really is a tweaker's synth. Most imprtantly it has something 'special'. It's a very organic-sounding digital synth.

I speak as one who really has no interest in wavetables up to present.

If you have any audio going I'd be fascinated to hear it.
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:39 pm

The Elf wrote:If you have any audio going I'd be fascinated to hear it.

Here is a quick-n-dirty improv I knocked together in my lunch hour using the Hydra:

https://soundcloud.com/eddy-deegan/hydr ... st/s-Gb5GI

I've enabled downloads if you want the hi-res version for sound analysis or whatever.

This was done with 3 patches on the Hydra, of which only 2 are playing at any one time. The lead ethnic-sounding patch is my own creation (the one I was going on about last night) and is also the organ sound that comes in at 1:30 or so, as the enthnicity/woodwind aspect of it only comes in when polyAT is applied, as can be heard in that section.

The bends were done with the ribbon.

I should add, as far as I know, there are no wavetable oscillators in this. I just used it as a 'normal' synth with the oscillators in 'waveform' mode, not 'wavelist' mode. Experimenting with wavelists is pending.
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:11 pm

Very nice. Some quite Vangelis-y sounds in there too.
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:14 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Very nice. Some quite Vangelis-y sounds in there too.

Thanks Hugh. When it comes to one's first encounter with polyAT there are some things that just have to be done :ugeek:
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:21 pm

:thumbup: :D True -- but isn't amazing how those kinds of sounds instantly become available with poly-AT. All that expression under the fingers just screaming to be let out!
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:39 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote: isn't amazing how those kinds of sounds instantly become available with poly-AT. All that expression under the fingers just screaming to be let out!

It absolutely is. I knew what Poly-AT was on paper, and I've used channel-AT a lot of course but the actual experience of using it is something else altogether.

There is no way I could have put that demo together without it, at least not without spending absolutely ages doing layers, modulations and automations etc. To just have the thing "do it" at will while you're playing is something that I'm now going to hold against other synths a little bit.

It's not that often I'm floored by something so profoundly. I've had a warm feeling since the moment I first played the thing and I'm going to miss it very much while struggling on with a conventional MIDI controller keyboard while I'm away in Holland for the next 2 weeks!

I hope they bring out a MkII with a longer keybed, because I've already bought it :D
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:53 pm

That or the (much hated) Mr B brings out a 5- or 6-octave controller keyboard with poly AT.... :silent:
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Eddy Deegan » Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:15 pm

Ooh, you devil, you! :think:
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby N i g e l » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:53 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:
The Elf wrote:If you have any audio going I'd be fascinated to hear it.

Here is a quick-n-dirty improv I knocked together in my lunch hour using the Hydra:

https://soundcloud.com/eddy-deegan/hydr ... st/s-Gb5GI

I've enabled downloads if you want the hi-res version for sound analysis or whatever.

Excellent, thanks for that Eddy :thumbup: :clap: :clap:

these are exciting times for digital synths

I must admit taht I discovered the external PSU [watching uTube] quite late and & i think its the only thing that doesnt appeal on the Hydrasynth.

Eddy Deegan wrote:
The Elf wrote:
Eddy Deegan wrote:The external power supply is small and light, has a short cable
If I get one this will be the first thing to be sorted by my engineer. I'll let you know when it happens.

If they can figure out how to make it an internal supply then I'd be interested to know the details.
.


That would be good to know -- - with pictures ?
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