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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: Lady Gaia] #3006869 09/06/19 04:15 PM
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It's really nice to see another synth with LED rings that indicate the settings. I'm guessing they are endless encoders, anyone know for sure?

Interesting head-to-head with the similarly priced Jupiter XM

Originally Posted by hurricane hugo
there's a desktop version, too.

With poly AT and a ribbon, this is one of the few times I'd have little interest in the synth section as a module alone!

Originally Posted by felix
8 voices is a deal breaker? That's 2 more voices than most guitars!
Plus, at this price, you could practically get a keyboard and add a module ...

For monotimbral synth operation, 8 voices is fine for me, but you can also add the desktop module and its overflow mode turns it into a 16 voice synth.
But also, yes, since you're on this forum, odds are you already have another keyboard or module or softsynth you can drive from it when needed. Lots of stuff can recognize poly AT. I'll be curious to see its MIDI implementation.

Originally Posted by Lady Gaia
The part that excites me the most is Medeli having a history of licensing their actions out to other manufacturers. How long until we see the first poly AT keyboard using the same action from someone else?

I'd like to see a straight controller based on these features... i.e. the poly AT action, the ribbon, definable LED-encircled encoders with definable legends in OLED displays, paged for different functions.


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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: MAJUSCULE] #3006880 09/06/19 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MAJUSCULE
I saw all kinds of coverage of this for about a day... and then Roland dropped their bomb. It's gotta suck to be a small fish sometimes.


Roland's "bomb" does not change my interest in this ASM synth.

I'm sure the latest batch of Rolands excites a fair number of people, but I doubt there is much overlap between the customers who will buy these Rolands, and the peeps who are interested in more esoteric gear like the ASM. Roland played it pretty safe with this batch - nothing so adventurous as their V-Synth.

Also, none of the keyboards in Roland's new batch have polyphonic aftertouch.

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 09/06/19 05:38 PM.
Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3006881 09/06/19 05:43 PM
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I really love the demos on their soundcloud.

Also, the "module select" layout is excellent design.

This is a unique sounding poly with what seems to be incredibly easy-to-navigate controls, poly AT, and an excellent price point.

Color me "very interested".

Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3006883 09/06/19 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
Originally Posted by MAJUSCULE
I saw all kinds of coverage of this for about a day... and then Roland dropped their bomb. It's gotta suck to be a small fish sometimes.


Roland's "bomb" does not change my interest in this ASM synth.

I'm sure the latest batch of Rolands excites a fair number of people, but I doubt there is much overlap between the customers who will buy these Rolands, and the peeps who are interested in more esoteric gear like the ASM. Roland played it pretty safe with this batch - nothing so adventurous as their V-Synth.

Also, none of the keyboards in Roland's new batch have polyphonic aftertouch.


Oh for sure, more just talking media coverage. I saw at least three different sponsored reviews of the Hydrasynth on Facebook on the first day, and now nothing. I'm sure the customer bases are different, but Roland doesn't really need any exposure.


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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3006900 09/06/19 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
I doubt there is much overlap between the customers who will buy these Rolands, and the peeps who are interested in more esoteric gear like the ASM.

Certainly there are huge differences, but there is also enough overlap in what they do that I could imagine some people choosing between the Jupiter XM and this... fundamentally they are both (at least somewhat) compact, reasonably knobby VA synths, priced near each other.

Hydrasynth is a much deeper synth and has the advantages of poly AT, ribbon, and 4 octaves of full-size keys, and has the edge in taking your sound design in whole new directions. The Roland has simpler more direct operation, more polyphony and layering, a battery of non-synth "bread and butter" sounds, and has the edge in emulating the Roland synths of the past.

Which would you rather toss on top of a Nord Electro or a Yamaha MODX or a Korg Grandstage or a Casio PX5S? Hmmm...

But there are a number of other synths that compete in this range too, and I guess the only reason to focus at these two in particular at the moment is that they were released at the same time!


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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: AnotherScott] #3006906 09/06/19 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
I doubt there is much overlap between the customers who will buy these Rolands, and the peeps who are interested in more esoteric gear like the ASM.

Certainly there are huge differences, but there is also enough overlap in what they do that I could imagine some people choosing between the Jupiter XM and this... fundamentally they are both (at least somewhat) compact, reasonably knobby VA synths, priced near each other.


On another synth forum where I am a regular - Elektronauts - the Hydrasynth has indeed been compared to other synths, because people inevitably want to better understand the alternatives before committing their disposable income.

Jupiter Xm, believe it or not, is not one of the alternatives/competitors being discussed there.

I think it's because the Jupiters and Junos appeal to people who aren't just looking for any analog polysynth sound - they want the sound specific to the classic Jupiter or Juno synths.

The competitors that are being discussed - because of the wavetable angle: Novation Peak/Summit, Modal Argon 8.

If Roland's Zen-Core engine is revealed to have powerful wavetable synthesis capabilities, then it might be added to the list of Hydrasynth competitors.

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 09/06/19 07:20 PM.
Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3006910 09/06/19 07:28 PM
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Yeah, it can depend on the perspective from which you're comparing them. But is it possible that the Xm hasn't come up in comparisons because it didn't exist until yesterday?


Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!
Re: Hydrasynth [Re: AnotherScott] #3006915 09/06/19 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AnotherScott
Yeah, it can depend on the perspective from which you're comparing them. But is it possible that the Xm hasn't come up in comparisons because it didn't exist until yesterday?


Unlikely, as they found out about the Argon just today and it's already generated more posts than the Xm.

There are not as many people there who are swayed by nostalgic synths like the Jupiters. I wouldn't say there's zero interest in the Jupiters, but the folks discussing them are not participating in the discussions about the new wavetable synths, and the peeps who are excited about the wavetable synths aren't looking for the sounds of yesteryear.

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 09/06/19 08:18 PM.
Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007081 09/07/19 09:02 PM
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The Hydra looks fascinating, seems well-built from the pictures (and if Glen Darcey is involved I'm sure it is), and the price is right compared to a lot of premium synths that have us all drooling on the couch cushions as we look under them for money (Moog One, Waldorf Quantum, Prophet XL, etc.) I've pinged Mr. Darcey about maybe getting my hands on one.


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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007107 09/08/19 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
[quote=AnotherScott]

Unlikely, as they found out about the Argon just today and it's already generated more posts than the Xm.

There are not as many people there who are swayed by nostalgic synths like the Jupiters. I wouldn't say there's zero interest in the Jupiters, but the folks discussing them are not participating in the discussions about the new wavetable synths, and the peeps who are excited about the wavetable synths aren't looking for the sounds of yesteryear.


This. It seems inconceivable that there is a shortage of ways to get a legacy Jupiter sound. There is a real magic to the originals, of course, but being priced at unobtanium levels, maybe that makes room for some re-issues (digital). But honestly, those sounds are quite dated. Synths have needed better modulation for years, and the newer synths deliver. Also a trend in newer synths is much more powerful oscillators. Filters are really basic things. Having good oscillators that are able to generate interesting layers of harmonics by themselves is definitely helpful. Wavetable is useful. Note also the morphable filter - best feature of the OB6.

I guess I'm a case in point. I couldn't think of a reason to consider the Jupiter, but the Argon had my interest right away, and at $700? it is well thought out and does things none of my other hardware does. I have hardware synths like the Solaris that have better architecture than the Jupiters - that Solaris has saved me much $$ over the years - for vintage sounds, there is little it can't do. It can even mock up CS-80 architecture....

The future is digital synthesis and the modes it enables. I have four excellent analog hardware synths. VA synths aren't much interest - give me new digital stuff with great keys, novel sound engine with great oscillators, and great modulation.

Last edited by Nathanael_I; 09/08/19 02:28 AM.
Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007235 09/09/19 05:28 AM
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My Sweetwater order calls the Hydra a "virtual analog" synth.

Somehow this doesn't sit right with me.
The new Rolands are virtual analogs....
VA = digital synths whose architecture and sound mimic analog synths.
Analog synths means saws thru LPF, with a couple LFOs and ENVs.
Limited polyphony.

The Argon and the Hydra are purely digital.
We don't call FM synths "VA"...

Re: Hydrasynth [Re: psionic11] #3007253 09/09/19 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by psionic11
We don't call FM synths "VA"...


Well actually we do. FM synths are "Very Annoying" when it comes to programming. laugh



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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007262 09/09/19 01:42 PM
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Calling it "virtual analog" sells it short for sure.

Interview with Glen Darcey of ASM:

https://www.perfectcircuit.com/signal/asm-hydrasynth-interview

Even Darcey has trouble describing what this synth is in just a couple of words:

" It is a wave morphing synthesizer at the heart of the oscillators. You can put eight single-cycle waves of your choice, from a list of 219, and then morph between them. But then the Mutators allow you do things like FM synthesis, three different flavors of pulse width modulation and wave bending, OSC sync, harmonic sweeps, Wavestacking…all this before going into two filters.

So it is a wave morphing synthesizer, but you can do legit FM synthesis on it, and it can do VA analog types of things and then mix and combine all of that. It is really a very deep hybrid of all those things."

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 09/09/19 07:39 PM.
Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007293 09/09/19 04:35 PM
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From what I hear in the demos and read in this interview with Glen Darcey, this synth seems too good to be true for it's price point. This thing is ridiculously powerful as far as synthesis capabilities. Far more complex than anything else in it's price point....even above it's price point.


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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007633 09/11/19 06:43 PM
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Last edited by ElmerJFudd; 09/11/19 06:43 PM.

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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: ElmerJFudd] #3007644 09/11/19 08:15 PM
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2:54 - the low note sounds like Wind Power.

Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007666 09/11/19 09:24 PM
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Interesting Glen Darcey interview (video, not article). He says the polyphonic aftertouch keybed was built by the parent company (Medeli), which has been making keybeds for "years".

Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007669 09/11/19 09:48 PM
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It seems youtube videos always come in huge lately. Is it just me?


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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007671 09/11/19 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
Interesting Glen Darcey interview (video, not article). He says the polyphonic aftertouch keybed was built by the parent company (Medeli), which has been making keybeds for "years".


The Kurzweil SP6 and PC4 use Medeli keybeds, so I’m hopeful that we’ll see this technology licensed by others soon enough. I’m hoping for a 5-octave version attached to a synthesizer that appeals instantly, and it could come from any number of manufacturers. The combination of all-digital, 4-octave, mono-timbral, and 8-voice here is hard to take.


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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: Synthoid] #3007706 09/12/19 02:29 AM
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I tried a Medeli
Originally Posted by Synthoid
Originally Posted by psionic11
We don't call FM synths "VA"...


Well actually we do. FM synths are "Very Annoying" when it comes to programming. laugh



Ha, this is definitely true on the older FM synths!
But FM didn't corner the market on hard-to-program synths from the 90s
Was it mostly a Yamaha thing?

Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007707 09/12/19 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
Calling it "virtual analog" sells it short for sure.

Interview with Glen Darcey of ASM:

https://www.perfectcircuit.com/signal/asm-hydrasynth-interview

Even Darcey has trouble describing what this synth is in just a couple of words:

" It is a wave morphing synthesizer at the heart of the oscillators. You can put eight single-cycle waves of your choice, from a list of 219, and then morph between them. But then the Mutators allow you do things like FM synthesis, three different flavors of pulse width modulation and wave bending, OSC sync, harmonic sweeps, Wavestacking…all this before going into two filters.

So it is a wave morphing synthesizer, but you can do legit FM synthesis on it, and it can do VA analog types of things and then mix and combine all of that. It is really a very deep hybrid of all those things."


It truly is an amazing digital synth with loads of synthesis types
- wavetable, morphing, FM, VA and sync.
It can even do basic additive, as the organ patches show.

Of course, I imagine to all those who work ITB with tons of different soft synths, it's probably not that big of a deal.

But then again --- polyphonic aftertouch!?
And it's high quality and super responsive too!

And the way the UI is laid out.
Obviously a lot of thought went into it.
Can't wait to get my hands on it.

Re: Hydrasynth [Re: Lady Gaia] #3007708 09/12/19 02:42 AM
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Sam Ash had a Medeli 88 piano keybed I auditioned
I was considering the Kurzweil PC4
The action was decent, not great, but not bad either

Obviously Medeli put some serious R&D into this poly AT keybed

Hopefully that translates to moar poly AT boards!

Re: Hydrasynth [Re: AnotherScott] #3007734 09/12/19 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by AnotherScott
It seems youtube videos always come in huge lately. Is it just me?


No, they take up a big chunk of the screen for me too. Started happening for me when they introduced the dark mode option in the forum software.

Re: Hydrasynth [Re: Lady Gaia] #3007739 09/12/19 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Gaia
Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
Interesting Glen Darcey interview (video, not article). He says the polyphonic aftertouch keybed was built by the parent company (Medeli), which has been making keybeds for "years".


The Kurzweil SP6 and PC4 use Medeli keybeds, so I’m hopeful that we’ll see this technology licensed by others soon enough. I’m hoping for a 5-octave version attached to a synthesizer that appeals instantly, and it could come from any number of manufacturers. The combination of all-digital, 4-octave, mono-timbral, and 8-voice here is hard to take.


I'm hoping for licensing to happen too.

This synth isn't for everyone, but $700 for the desktop version is looking like good value for the money to me. I realize that $700 go to towards a multitimbral digital synth with more polyphony but when I mentally weigh the pros and cons, this one comes out ahead for me.

Prophet X also has 8 voice polyphony - when using stereo samples - and from what I recall, is bi-timbral at most. The much steeper price makes it a harder sell.

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 09/12/19 12:24 PM.
Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007763 09/12/19 03:14 PM
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It's questionable if this digital simulation synth of analog + some waveforms is doing anything at all a software package couldn't do. Maybe it has got less latency, maybe (I don't have any reason to presume so) there's some sort of DSP in there that's hard for PC's, but I have no reason to believe any of the software synths, which as I suppose is common knowledge I don't like that much, couldn't make the same sounds.

T.

Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007764 09/12/19 03:25 PM
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That's likely true,Theo... but hardware is a lot more fun to many of us.

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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007766 09/12/19 03:29 PM
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If you weren't aware, Glen Darcey also worked on a variety of softsynth products. This is his LinkedIn profile:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/glendarcey

So why didn't he and his crew just make Hydrasynth as a softsynth? Good question. I wouldn't be interested at all then - because I don't get along w/ desktop softsynths, but I'm sure other people who have no interest in this hardware product might be more interested in a software version.

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 09/12/19 03:30 PM.
Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007767 09/12/19 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
Prophet X also has 8 voice polyphony - when using stereo samples - and from what I recall, is bi-timbral at most. The much steeper price makes it a harder sell.


The Prophet X’s cost is partly rooted in the hybrid design, and partly in the absurd amount of storage for samples. Thankfully SSD prices are dropping rapidly so that can and does change over time. The polyphony limits are due to the sixteen analog filters. I’m willing to cut hybrid instruments more slack in the polyphony department for this reason, presuming their filters speak to me (and even there you have some flexibility - in sixteen voice mode with only one filter per voice you can maintain the stereo image for a sample by bypassing the filter, and in thirty-two voice mode a single pair of filters is used paraphonically.) There was always something special about taking samples and running them through a good filter which is an itch that instrument scratches nicely for me. Obviously everyone’s needs, tastes, and budget will lead them to what works best for them.


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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: Theo Verelst] #3007769 09/12/19 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Theo Verelst
It's questionable if this digital simulation synth of analog + some waveforms is doing anything at all a software package couldn't do. Maybe it has got less latency, maybe (I don't have any reason to presume so) there's some sort of DSP in there that's hard for PC's, but I have no reason to believe any of the software synths, which as I suppose is common knowledge I don't like that much, couldn't make the same sounds.

Once you go from analog to digital sounds, what can ANY board do that you can't do on a computer? It's mostly about the operational ergonomics, and perhaps more rock solid stability/reliability.


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Re: Hydrasynth [Re: GovernorSilver] #3007782 09/12/19 04:36 PM
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Well, the prophet does real analog, but the digital ones: some have built in DSP that has properties no computer program has, and usually that processing power was bigger than PCs could do at the time of bringing out such digital synth. Also, there are quite a few interesting things a PC can do but only slow (latency) or uncertain (depends on workload), that a fixed hardware computer setup can do. Finally there's the matter of PCs not having greater processing power than everything hardware, depending on the type of computation and the type of hardware: some cheap FPGA can out compute an I7, and especially for specific DSP algorithms this can easily be the case. You can even think a lot of PC programs (to me) sound alike because of stringent real time computing limitations.

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