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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 The Elf » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:42 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
Very nice indeed. My credit card is beginning to eye me nervously!
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Folderol » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:18 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


That really is rather tasty :clap:
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby BJG145 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:29 pm

...yeah, I can see you're enjoying that...! :thumbup:
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:00 am

Cheers guys, glad you liked it.

BJG145 wrote:...yeah, I can see you're enjoying that...! :thumbup:

This thing is as mad as a bucket of frogs!

https://soundcloud.com/eddy-deegan/hydr ... oundtest-2

Soundtest 2, this time messing about with wavestep oscillators.
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:42 am

Wow - these two soundtests of yours have really impressed me Eddy.

I do like my Prophet 12 a lot, but it's been quite hard work creating my own sounds for it, but (in your hands anyway) the Hydrasynth sounds so immediately flexible and inspiring to play.

:clap: :clap:


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

Postby Folderol » Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:34 am

Lovely metallic sounds in that, and I've never heard a synth doing that 'record' slow down before :shocked:
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby The Elf » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:09 am

Pretty soon you're going to be seeking out other synths that respond to poly AT. Let me nudge you toward your very own Summit, but also such as the Roland XV-5080 and Integra-7, even the JP-80 - these become so much better synths when paired with a PAT keyboard.
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:16 am

Martin Walker wrote:I do like my Prophet 12 a lot, but it's been quite hard work creating my own sounds for it, but (in your hands anyway) the Hydrasynth sounds so immediately flexible and inspiring to play.

Cheers Martin, I think the Hydra is a sound designer's dream. There is a great deal of extremely cool functionality under the hood, much of it with regards to the oscillators, LFOs and envelopes, none of which are restricted to the usual feature set.

The waveshaping functions in particular are addictive. You can take a waveform, set a number of points within it and then move/separate those points and have the waveform stretch like rubber with them, for example. These stretch points can also be modulated. You can also implement up to two FM blocks in each of the first and second oscillators using Mutators, with feedback and the ability to introduce ring modulation which can take input from a variety of sources including other oscillators or external audio input.

The LFOs have delay and fade-in, arbitrary start points within the waveform, one-shot and, joy of joys, my favourite feature from the Yamaha Motif ES synths, in the form of a programmable 8-step custom LFO shape (which can be slewed for smoothness or left jagged).

The DAHDSR envelopes support variable log or exp curves as well as linear, and run freely or reset with each note. They also support looping (specific number of times or infinite) and the time between each envelope stage can be defined in milliseconds via a kind of tap-tempo feature (or BPM sync'd of course).

Just about everything you can imagine can be modulated and there is a generous mod matrix which is a doddle to use and plenty of mod sources, not least of which are the 5 LFOs, 5 envelopes and the poly-AT.

I could go on but think I'd better shut up now ... :lol:

I've got a whole bunch of thoughts on it that I want to write out in the user review forum when I get a little time, including some things I think it could do better or which would make it easier to use.

But overall, the straightforward and intuitive way with which all this stuff can be done via the front panel is absolute genius.

Folderol wrote:Lovely metallic sounds in that, and I've never heard a synth doing that 'record' slow down before

I deliberately picked something harsher to contrast with the warmth of the first soundtest. I've not done this yet but with a little filtering and mutating, those metallic tones (and of course there are a lot of other waveforms to morph through that are less harsh) can make for some beautiful evolving pads.

The slowdown effect is done using the ribbon, which runs the entire length of the keybed and in actual fact it's acting here as a long smooth pitchbend; the tempo remains exactly the same :-)

As well as pitchbend it also supports a theramin mode, (where one voice of the current patch is reserved for mono playing on the ribbon) and a 'modulate only' mode which doesn't affect pitch by default.

The Elf wrote:Pretty soon you're going to be seeking out other synths that respond to poly AT. Let me nudge you toward your very own Summit, but also such as the Roland XV-5080 and Integra-7 - these become so much better synths when paired with a PAT keyboard.

I have the Summit adjacent and am going to be doing some poly-AT experimentation with it torwards the end of the month (I'm a bit pushed for time at the moment sadly). Thanks for the heads-up, and yes, I will very much be looking for more of this kind of experience :thumbup:
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:31 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:This thing is as mad as a bucket of frogs!

Great fun! :thumbup: :lol:

I think you should be on commission as you're doing a better sales pitch than most of the online stuff I've seen!
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby nathanscribe » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:21 pm

Dammit. I was doing so well at pretending I didn't want one. Thanks Eddy :lol:
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:10 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Dammit. I was doing so well at pretending I didn't want one. Thanks Eddy :lol:

At this rate, my work here might nearly be done :bouncy:
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:50 am


Damn. I just listened to this again and now I'm going to have to make a whole track out of the general ideas in the first half of it.

I am in sonic heaven. I know I've waffled on about it at length and I thank you for your patience, but I can honestly say that the Hydrasynth has affected me more than any synth I've bought since my first SY85 in 1992.

I hate the fan-boy sound of this, but ... just... wow in a way I haven't experienced for nearly 30 years. It's swept me off my feet, obviously, and I'm still struggling to reflect that in words. Until such time as I write up a review of it I'm going to stop trying.

Just every single thing I do on it throws out infinite creativity, inspiration and expression. I am, genuinely, lost for words. Whether that's an inherent attribute of the synth or something specifically synchronous to the way I play it I'm not sure.

Whichever it is, I have found the perfect synth. At least to date. I am in love. It's not just about the poly-AT (though that is a big part of it). The architecture, the sound, the control surface, the inspiration I get playing it and how it responds to tweaking ...it's all proper next level stuff.

Proper. Next. Level. ASM absolutely nailed it :D

Is it for everyone? I don't know & I don't care. But it is for me!
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:07 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:I have found the perfect synth!

Jumping in before the honorable gentleman Elf does. I know, the keyboard is reduced, the power suppy is external and the cable is short. Honestly, speaking as a pianist, having plugged it in I've hardly noticed any of these and I don't care.

I never thought I'd say that but it's true. Although another octave or two would be amazing, putting it in American terms it's already awesome even with the limitations I mention.

I like this so much that I'm getting nervous recommending it to other people, but all I've got to go on is how I find it, and in that regard it's stratospheric* ;)

* Other opinions are no doubt available. Some have returned it to stores on the pretext that it's "too bright in tone". Given the onboard capabilities IMHO these people are lacking in more than one area.
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Re: New polysynth from ASM - the Hydrasynth (and it has poly aftertouch)

Postby zenguitar » Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:49 am

Eddy Deegan wrote: ...and I'm still struggling to reflect that in words.

Thats academic mate, the whole point is that it's the player's experience that is what matters most. All I can say in my defence is that I refrained from buying the Arturia collection as well as all the hardware I've just dropped a bundle on.

At least I have a potential bargain on the horizon. Parallels software might enable me to get access to my full set of Proteus software modules once more, and the Axon AX50 editor as well.

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

Postby The Elf » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:43 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:Jumping in before the honorable gentleman Elf does. I know, the keyboard is reduced, the power suppy is external and the cable is short. Honestly, speaking as a pianist, having plugged it in I've hardly noticed any of these and I don't care.
:D

Similarly, I have gear in my studio with PSUs with short, whiskery thin cables. Once it's plumbed in I don't care either - but try gigging with it and I guarantee you will begin to care VERY rapidly!
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