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Good job Mike! Useful stuff.

 

Oddly enough today I discovered my first Hydrasynth thing where I went "No. This isn't a question of taste. This is just plain wrong." Yep. The vibrato range. I like to use just a little vibrato, and with the current setting of 1 I can't go further than 1/3 of the throw, and it's way too easy to go to far.

 

The problem with this kind of thing is always making a change that is backward compatible with existing patches. I think they could do it by adding a .5 and .25 option. That's different than the ratio settings elsewhere, but I think it would be cognitively comfortable to see those same fractions.

 

(Of course the internal representation in the Sys Ex protocol probably doesn't have room for it. It's one thing to change the interface, and another to change the internal representation. This could get gnarly with the sys ex having to have version numbers and code parsing different versions different ways. Yuck. But these guys are pretty bright, and I'd be surprised if they haven't already allowed for this.)

 

I may have found a workaround for this vibrato problem. It's not a perfect solution overall, which I'll explain, but it works perfectly for reducing the intensity of the built-in vibrato LFO. The workaround is to re-calibrate the mod wheel so that the minimum value is not at zero, but instead somewhere between 50 and 60. Here's how you do it:

 

1. Initialize a patch.

2. Set the vibrato amount to 1 in the voice module of the patch.

3. Move the Mod Wheel up to its full throw -- all the way up. This is really important because if you don't do this now, then steps 5 to 8 won't really work.

4. Go to page 10 in the System Setup options and press Calibrt Wheels

5. Do your pitch wheel calibration first just so that remains normal.

6. Now, you should see that the mod wheel is already reading 127 Max. Slowly bring the mod wheel down and set it to about 64 or halfway.

7. Exit the calibration and play patch.

8. If necessary, re-calibrate the mod wheel to lower or higher values depending on your preference (don't forget to do the pitch wheel each time as you experiment with re-calibration.

 

So here's the con: This calibration will change how the wheel responds to non-vibrato modulations as well. Meaning that the first half of the throw won't have any modulation applied. So say if you use the wheel for filter brightness, you will have to move the mod wheel past the halfway point before it brightens the filter. Be aware of that if you try this workaround.

 

I hope this helps. I'm going to post this up on GS as well (I noted it was brought up there, too).

 

:)

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Good job Mike! Useful stuff.

 

Oddly enough today I discovered my first Hydrasynth thing where I went "No. This isn't a question of taste. This is just plain wrong." Yep. The vibrato range. I like to use just a little vibrato, and with the current setting of 1 I can't go further than 1/3 of the throw, and it's way too easy to go to far.

 

I may have found a workaround for this vibrato problem. It's not a perfect solution overall, which I'll explain, but it works perfectly for reducing the intensity of the built-in vibrato LFO. The workaround is to re-calibrate the mod wheel so that the minimum value is not at zero, but instead somewhere between 50 and 60. Here's how you do it:

 

1. Initialize a patch.

2. Set the vibrato amount to 1 in the voice module of the patch.

3. Move the Mod Wheel up to its full throw -- all the way up. This is really important because if you don't do this now, then steps 5 to 8 won't really work.

4. Go to page 10 in the System Setup options and press Calibrt Wheels

5. Do your pitch wheel calibration first just so that remains normal.

6. Now, you should see that the mod wheel is already reading 127 Max. Slowly bring the mod wheel down and set it to about 64 or halfway.

7. Exit the calibration and play patch.

8. If necessary, re-calibrate the mod wheel to lower or higher values depending on your preference (don't forget to do the pitch wheel each time as you experiment with re-calibration.

 

So here's the con: This calibration will change how the wheel responds to non-vibrato modulations as well. Meaning that the first half of the throw won't have any modulation applied. So say if you use the wheel for filter brightness, you will have to move the mod wheel past the halfway point before it brightens the filter. Be aware of that if you try this workaround.

 

I hope this helps. I'm going to post this up on GS as well (I noted it was brought up there, too).

 

:)

 

This makes perfect sense and I will try it. It's imperfect because I do a lot of stuff besides vibrato with that wheel, but half a loaf etc. Thanks AQR!

Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) :D

Musician, Author, Editor, Educator, Impresario, Online Radio Guy, Cut-Rate Polymath, and Kindly Pedant

Editor-in-Chief, Bjooks ~ Author of SYNTH GEMS 1

 

clicky!:  more about me ~ my radio station (and my fam) ~ my local tribe ~ my day job ~ my bookmy music

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This makes perfect sense and I will try it. It's imperfect because I do a lot of stuff besides vibrato with that wheel, but half a loaf etc. Thanks AQR!

 

You're welcome. Well it works, but I don't actually like it. It does limit things like wavescanning and filters... But someone might like it... so ....? My preference is still to use another LFO for vibrato. I've been experimenting with using looped envelopes for vibrato too. Lots of choices, really.

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In case anyone is struggling getting their Hydra to receive NRPNs from a sequencer after recording knob movements, etc., there's a bug in the latest firmware that prevents the synth from receiving them unless the Hydra is on MIDI channel 1. I emailed ASM support and they confirmed they are tracking it. Spent a whole day trying to figure out what was wrong with my setup, resetting the Hydrasynth, reinstalling the firmware, and completely re-configuring all of my MIDI connections through my PC several times before I accidentally stumbled onto the the Channel 1 solution. It would be great if ASM put known bugs up on their site so we don't have to suffer through this troubleshooting process. Anyway, just FYI ...
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Posted this in another thread on KC but thought it to be of value here as well.

 

 

Any expression pedal with the wiper wired to the tip portion of the TRS connector should work including those made by Roland. The pot resistance makes no difference.

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Just a quick patch management tip, in case you didn't already know. You can customize the patch manager with your own folder/location names. By default I think you get two: "User" and "Packs". To add more locations in the patch manager, simply browse to where manager stores the patches and add a new folder inside the "Patch" folder. In Windows, it's this path: C:\Users\[your username]\Documents\ASM\Hydrasynth\Patch\ Once you've done that, you can refresh or restart the manager and your new location for organizing your banks will be there. I've attached a few images as a reference. I was making a new folder today, so I thought I'd share this tip. :)

1244.thumb.jpg.4907210f89f10cce626c3a54e55cfa6c.jpg

1245.jpg.6b702f83cd7cfae64add95f77c6732c3.jpg

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Posted this in another thread on KC but thought it to be of value here as well.

Any expression pedal with the wiper wired to the tip portion of the TRS connector should work including those made by Roland. The pot resistance makes no difference.

I have a couple of ancient expression pedals lying around that aren't doing anything right now, at least one of which I assumed was broken. Must see if either of them works with the Hydra.

Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) :D

Musician, Author, Editor, Educator, Impresario, Online Radio Guy, Cut-Rate Polymath, and Kindly Pedant

Editor-in-Chief, Bjooks ~ Author of SYNTH GEMS 1

 

clicky!:  more about me ~ my radio station (and my fam) ~ my local tribe ~ my day job ~ my bookmy music

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Just a quick patch management tip, in case you didn't already know. You can customize the patch manager with your own folder/location names. By default I think you get two: "User" and "Packs". To add more locations in the patch manager, simply browse to where manager stores the patches and add a new folder inside the "Patch" folder. In Windows, it's this path: C:\Users\[your username]\Documents\ASM\Hydrasynth\Patch\ Once you've done that, you can refresh or restart the manager and your new location for organizing your banks will be there. I've attached a few images as a reference. I was making a new folder today, so I thought I'd share this tip. :)

For folks who are wondering why one might want to do this: it's a good way to stay organized if you are working with patches that were made by a third party -- you don't have to lump them in with your creations or with ASM's offerings. This is especially useful if you're reviewing other folks' patch libraries.

Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) :D

Musician, Author, Editor, Educator, Impresario, Online Radio Guy, Cut-Rate Polymath, and Kindly Pedant

Editor-in-Chief, Bjooks ~ Author of SYNTH GEMS 1

 

clicky!:  more about me ~ my radio station (and my fam) ~ my local tribe ~ my day job ~ my bookmy music

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Just a quick patch management tip, in case you didn't already know. You can customize the patch manager with your own folder/location names. By default I think you get two: "User" and "Packs". To add more locations in the patch manager, simply browse to where manager stores the patches and add a new folder inside the "Patch" folder. In Windows, it's this path: C:\Users\[your username]\Documents\ASM\Hydrasynth\Patch\ Once you've done that, you can refresh or restart the manager and your new location for organizing your banks will be there. I've attached a few images as a reference. I was making a new folder today, so I thought I'd share this tip. :)

For folks who are wondering why one might want to do this: it's a good way to stay organized if you are working with patches that were made by a third party -- you don't have to lump them in with your creations or with ASM's offerings. This is especially useful if you're reviewing other folks' patch libraries.

 

Definitely that.

 

Also, I make temporary folders, like the "FB Group singles" folder as seen in the images attached above. I used that folder to put in the individual patches from the facebook Hydrasynth group to start, then I created a new bank and moved and compiled all of the FB patches into one bank. Once done, folder deleted. When I finish my patch bank, I will create a folder for that, too. Maybe I'm OCD about how to find patches.

 

Btw, if anyone wants a set of 15 small banks that are the original presets in the synth but separated by patch designer, let me know and I'll upload a zip file of them all. I made those because I really liked certain designers' styles and wanted to be able to just load up their patches at will.

 

As for expression pedals, I will be repairing mine either Friday or Saturday, when my solder wick arrives, to replace a bad pot. Huge thanks to Markyboard for helping me ensure I got the right part from Mouser.

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76 keys of PolyAT, it's a start...!

 

yeyCUEj.jpg

 

Took awhile to get one because it kept selling out. And for those wondering, the Hydrasynth is sitting on a GeneralMusic/GEM S3, which I use solely as a PolyAT controller. It just happens to fit perfectly over the right side, clearing all of the buttons and LCD display I never use. Now to really dive in to Dr. Metlay's videos!

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76 keys of PolyAT, it's a start...!

Took awhile to get one because it kept selling out. And for those wondering, the Hydrasynth is sitting on a GeneralMusic/GEM S3, which I use solely as a PolyAT controller. It just happens to fit perfectly over the right side, clearing all of the buttons and LCD display I never use. Now to really dive in to Dr. Metlay's videos!

Oh my GOD, a GEM S3! I spent a few months of total time investment, spread out over many years, trying to get one, and was never able. How cool!

 

And that will be a good start, Marzzz, considering your desires on the keyboard side of things. I could never do without the ribbon, personally, and the shorter keyboard works for me, but I'm not you.

 

mike

Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) :D

Musician, Author, Editor, Educator, Impresario, Online Radio Guy, Cut-Rate Polymath, and Kindly Pedant

Editor-in-Chief, Bjooks ~ Author of SYNTH GEMS 1

 

clicky!:  more about me ~ my radio station (and my fam) ~ my local tribe ~ my day job ~ my bookmy music

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I had an OB-6 Keyboard, loved the sound but the 4 octaves drove me absolutely nuts- I learned my lesson and even though I am giving up the ribbon, it is a preferable trade for me. For synths I am fine with 5 octaves, having 6 and change (76 keys) is quite the luxury- it actually works better for keyboard splits (see that Minitaur to the left?). While we are on the subject, the keyboard below is a VAX77, also 76/7 keys with PolyAT. The VAX77 is more my "piano" keyboard, but it does have absolutely amazing PolyAT. It is 7 octaves down to a Low A, I have a pedal set up to instantly transpose up an octave for those rare times you need to play in the top octave. If I was really playing a lot of piano, I would just get a Kawai MP11SE.

 

In the meantime, I really hope ASM comes out with a 5-octave 16-voice Hydrasynth "Pro!" Aside from the bigger keyboard, it is nice to have the extra voices for sustaining arppeggiated passages, or for multi-timbral possibilities.

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I had an OB-6 Keyboard, loved the sound but the 4 octaves drove me absolutely nuts- I learned my lesson and even though I am giving up the ribbon, it is a preferable trade for me. For synths I am fine with 5 octaves... In the meantime, I really hope ASM comes out with a 5-octave 16-voice Hydrasynth "Pro!" Aside from the bigger keyboard, it is nice to have the extra voices for sustaining arpeggiated passages, or for multi-timbral possibilities.

 

I sympathize. I learned to live with 5 octaves as "normal" a long time ago. I'm sorry that the OB-6's 4-octave limit was a deal-breaker for you, but I know the feeling. I think the deal is a bit different with the Hydrasynth, since its a form of living MPE.

 

I started doing a fake-Hammond-setup thing a long time ago, w/two staggered synths/controllers. It became easier than searching for a 76-key and hauling it around. Mind your backs, lads! I now rotate a 5-octave semi-weighted synth, a 4-octave full-size synth controller and a couple of super-flat 3-octave XKeys. I got totally seduced by the dark side of softsynths.

 

It boggles me a bit to see someone with several instruments like the Hydrasynth in an unsteady pile. The manual on that thing is a holy book you have to absorb like a monk for a year, just to reach stage 2 of it. Its hard to imagine playing it casually in any sense. I wouldn't mind having it as my main playing surface at all, but creatively speaking, its not a cheap date. One 2020 Korg Wavestate = my big Korg rig of a few eons ago.

“Drugs at our age?
 You don’t have to take them forever.
 Once you’ve opened the doors of perception,
  you can see what’s going on; you’ve got the ideas.”
        ~ Dave Brock on Hawkwind’s late-period purple patch

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Just a quick heads up... ASM has just released 1.5 OS update for the Hydrasynth.

'This is a major update with many new features including many new filter types, support for microtuning, a distortion effect, expanded Step LFO's, MIDI CC control map and many more.'

 

Ken Pierce gives a pretty good rundown of the new features on YouTube here:

 

 

Steve ..

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Wow, this are getting deep.

Just received mine yesterday, and have just fiddle around the patches and some tweaking so far.

Now update, return to zero and start forward while reading the new manual.

On a low level point of view, why not possible to restart the unit on the last used patch ?

/Bjørn - old gearjunkie, still with lot of GAS
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So I finish my Hydrasynth bank and ASM does this to me now?!!! LOL. This 1.5 update is very impressive. Lots of things I wished for are now on it, including envelope triggers! And there are four trigger per envelope! That's huge. Also, the step LFOs now go to 64 steps each, plus the semi lock mode lets you dial in semitones instead of numerical values -- very cool.
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Envelope triggering by sources other than the keyboard is a wonderful thing. I"ve mentioned this functionality in several other threads. However on the HS is there a way to set a threshold value with this?:idk:

 

I haven't installed the update yet... but, according to the Dominic's video about it, the threshold is always at the start of the LFO's cycle. You would have to carefully set the phase to adjust the threshold. But with the new 64-step LFOs, thresholds can be somewhat precisely set by length of the step LFO.

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Envelope triggering by sources other than the keyboard is a wonderful thing. I"ve mentioned this functionality in several other threads. However on the HS is there a way to set a threshold value with this?:idk:

 

I haven't installed the update yet... but, according to the Dominic's video about it, the threshold is always at the start of the LFO's cycle. You would have to carefully set the phase to adjust the threshold. But with the new 64-step LFOs, thresholds can be somewhat precisely set by length of the step LFO.

 

I see now that most of the available trigger sources are on/off type. That is interesting regarding the LFO as a trigger source. But mod1 and mod2 is where a threshold setting might be most beneficial. For example if you connected the pitch out to one of the mod inputs and were able to define the minimum note value that triggers the envelope. Or aftertouch from an external controller - perhaps more relevant with the desktop version. And even the ribbon which is currently an on/off trigger- might be nice if you could set a threshold.

 

Not complaining- just virtually exploring at this point.

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I bet they didn't fix the Vibrato.

 

:curse:

Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) :D

Musician, Author, Editor, Educator, Impresario, Online Radio Guy, Cut-Rate Polymath, and Kindly Pedant

Editor-in-Chief, Bjooks ~ Author of SYNTH GEMS 1

 

clicky!:  more about me ~ my radio station (and my fam) ~ my local tribe ~ my day job ~ my bookmy music

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Envelope triggering by sources other than the keyboard is a wonderful thing. I"ve mentioned this functionality in several other threads. However on the HS is there a way to set a threshold value with this?:idk:

 

I haven't installed the update yet... but, according to the Dominic's video about it, the threshold is always at the start of the LFO's cycle. You would have to carefully set the phase to adjust the threshold. But with the new 64-step LFOs, thresholds can be somewhat precisely set by length of the step LFO.

 

Unfortunately the behavior of the LFO phase doesn't behave in a usefull way for back dooring any threshold triggering -- changing the phase will change the timing of the first trigger, but in a way that acts identically to the behavior of the LFO delay. The triggering is independent of LFO waveform and Level, so it's just a clocking behavior. I think Ken mentioned this in his YouTube vid

 

Manny

People assume timbre is a strict progression of input to harmonics, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timbrally-wimbrally... stuff

 

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I just read a thread elsewhere. Apparently the 64-step upgrade for the LFO step sequencer is confusing some folks who are trying to use the LFO step sequencer as a normal step sequencer. Had to look it up to figure out what they were talking about

 

https://ask.audio/articles/ashun-sound-machines-releases-hydrasynth-15-digital-wave-morphing-synthesizer

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Here's a couple of sequence type patches done on firmware 1.5. : https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/18PsdBciOL294IAS7Smsr01hUqCBdeXBd?usp=sharing

 

And this is something posted up in the FB Hydrasynth GroupI. (Note that sending patches via PM here on MPN isn't possible... but I'll provide my e-mail address to all once this gets started.)

 

Is there any interest in a monthly, themed patch design challenge? This would not be a contest and there would not be any prizes. It's a no pressure thing; there would be two weeks to make your patch and submit it. Patches would be sent to me via PM here or via email and I would compile all patches into one bank, make a patch list, and upload it for everyone at the of the submission period. Themes can be anything at all, e.g. Ambient, Analog Synths, 1980s, Spacey FX, Sequences, No Mutants Allowed, etc., etc.

 

Let me know, please, and I'll arrange it to begin this weekend. Thx!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Found a nice video here among many that show some of the workflow involved when using the wavescan.

Still fumbling away on mine, until now most with the regular saw/sine waveforms. Made a couple of patches. A nice analogish and expressive string-sound, not quite there yet. Are dreaming of recreating the D50 Arco string but with more dynamic. For that I think the wavescan might come in as a handy tool.

 

[video:youtube]

/Bjørn - old gearjunkie, still with lot of GAS
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Perfect Circuit put up another livestream featuring various folks, including the ASM guys Glen and Daniel. For those who don't already know, Glen formerly worked for Arturia, Akai and Roland, and got his start programming patches for Oberheim Xpander. In a previous interview Glen mentioned the Xpander architecture being an influence on the Hydrasynth design.

 

[video:youtube]

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Perfect Circuit put up another livestream featuring various folks, including the ASM guys Glen and Daniel. For those who don't already know, Glen formerly worked for Arturia, Akai and Roland, and got his start programming patches for Oberheim Xpander. In a previous interview Glen mentioned the Xpander architecture being an influence on the Hydrasynth design.

 

Can confirm. 34 year user of the Xpander here, and the similarities in architecture are pretty remarkable. Still no tracking generators or lag processor, but if ever any synth wanted a really good arpeggiator built in, it was the Xpander.

Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) :D

Musician, Author, Editor, Educator, Impresario, Online Radio Guy, Cut-Rate Polymath, and Kindly Pedant

Editor-in-Chief, Bjooks ~ Author of SYNTH GEMS 1

 

clicky!:  more about me ~ my radio station (and my fam) ~ my local tribe ~ my day job ~ my bookmy music

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I'd think the Hydrasynth owes its design to every synth that Glen has ever loved. The CS-80 was a huge influence, for both its ribbon controller and its poly AT. And of course the PPG Wave was mentioned as influential for the wavetable side of things. The module part of the interface is similar to some Ensoniq synths. It's like the Hydrasynth is Frankenstein's monster. :)

 

It's a great synth. Shame that the FB group is absolutely rubbish, though. Sold my soul to get a peek inside it, and wish I hadn't. Remind me not to do that ever again.

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It's a great synth. Shame that the FB group is absolutely rubbish, though. Sold my soul to get a peek inside it, and wish I hadn't. Remind me not to do that ever again.

 

Good to know. If I do get a Hydrasynth, I'll be sure to stay away from that one. Sadly, most user groups on FB seem to favor childish personalities. The Zoia one is the only consistently good one I've seen. The Chase Bliss one was good until the limited run of Ayahuasca pedals, then all the jerks came out of the woodwork.

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