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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.

 

Don't pay too much attention to that statement... I am extraordinarily biased -- I despise all things Facebook. If there's an upside to the FB Hydra group, it's a lot more polite than GearSlutz and most of the ASM team are in that group. At the moment, it's the only place to get free, user-created patches. That's one of two reasons I reluctantly joined the group. The other reason was to create a monthly, themed patch challenge in order to inspire people to make their own patches and share them. I just did this and managed to inspire two people. I had hoped for more participation, but no... Oh, well. When I'm not as pissy about that, I'll consider whether to try again.

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I am extraordinarily biased -- I despise all things Facebook.
To this day I have never had a FB account. I contacted ASM and begged them to host their own forum on their website...

 

I've asked too, but they won't. There is only a few of them on the team and they don't have the time for it, they tell me. I do think there has to be a better option than Farcebook though. I like how Korg Forums is now hosted by Korg, but is still being run and managed by Sharp, but also I like it because its focus is on only Korg gear. Maybe when ASM release other gear they'll be able to do something similar.

 

I can create a simple Google site to discuss patch design, share tips & tricks, link to YouTube vids, Soundcloud stuff, links to forum posts, and even host free patch banks, links to paid banks, etc., etc., but I can't run a dedicated forum on that. And thinking about it, perhaps that's a good thing! Once people start offering their opinions, things often go wrong. LOL. But what I do not have, and what most of us don't have, is the time to do that.

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Under the handle JEXUS, WC Olo Garb has been doing astounding synth demos for years. I can't name a single person who comes remotely near this guy's ability to reach into even a simple synth and pull out the proverbial beast within. Its so inspired, its spooky, even savant-like. He also "proves" that you really can get almost any sound from almost any synth.

 

His YouTube backlog is one big hash dream. His video accompaniment is brilliant as well, if not always exactly healthy. Take in his demos for the Hydrasynth and be amazed.

 

“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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Jexus also has his own review here:

http://www.syntezatory.net.pl/asm_hydrasynth.htm

 

The HS it is the furthest thing from instant gratification. It does not have any idiotic "quirks" that you have to "learn" in order to make the synth into something proper (like "turn this option off, don't use that feature, and use this output instead of that output"). But you do need a different approach and some time to build the sound, because it's not right there on the panel. It's one inch underneath it, and several inches deep down in your brain.

 

I think a synth of this sort comes once in a decade, and I think that in the future its appeal will only grow.

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Jexus also has his own review here:

http://www.syntezatory.net.pl/asm_hydrasynth.htm

 

The HS it is the furthest thing from instant gratification. It does not have any idiotic "quirks" that you have to "learn" in order to make the synth into something proper (like "turn this option off, don't use that feature, and use this output instead of that output"). But you do need a different approach and some time to build the sound, because it's not right there on the panel. It's one inch underneath it, and several inches deep down in your brain.

 

I think a synth of this sort comes once in a decade, and I think that in the future its appeal will only grow.

 

His review scared me. I don't have enough years left to grasp even half of that properly. I'll just edge my walker back to M-Tron Pro & mind my own business. :laugh:

“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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Jexus also has his own review here:

http://www.syntezatory.net.pl/asm_hydrasynth.htm

 

The HS it is the furthest thing from instant gratification. It does not have any idiotic "quirks" that you have to "learn" in order to make the synth into something proper (like "turn this option off, don't use that feature, and use this output instead of that output"). But you do need a different approach and some time to build the sound, because it's not right there on the panel. It's one inch underneath it, and several inches deep down in your brain.

 

I think a synth of this sort comes once in a decade, and I think that in the future its appeal will only grow.

 

His review scared me. I don't have enough years left to grasp even half of that properly. I'll just edge my walker back to M-Tron Pro & mind my own business. :laugh:

 

He does have some very strongly-worded opinions.

 

My attempt at translating the below passage to simpler English:

 

There's no button for "Oscillator Sync". It only exists as a function of the Mutators. You have to choose who you want to sync to whom. You have to make the connection in the Mod Matrix (Envelope to Pitch, for example). You have to set the force of this effect ("depth"), and the balance of this effect ("wet / dry"). Other example: there's no knob for "Pulse Width Modulation". You have to tell the Mutator to work in this mode, then make the associations in the Mod Matrix to modulate the width, etc. All these necessary connections is what I call "modularity" of the HS, while the "wet / dry" setting is what I call the "floating / seamless" nature of the sounds. It's not the traditional way of turning it ON or OFF. It can float from 0 to 100%. Of course you can program the macro buttons to keep the 100% value to give you the instant "on/off" effect, but that only comes second in the process.

 

Translation: Where's the goddam Oscillator Sync button? Where's the friggin PWM knob?

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The Hydrasynth does require you to build the synthesis path, which is another way to say what Jexus noted. That's what gives it the versatility. It is a 'modular in a box' and thankfully the interface is excellent, with the shortcuts for setting up the Mod Matrix sweet & efficient.

 

Thus you do have to have an idea what you're trying to accomplish before you set out to do it. It's not like a typical VA synth where knobs are preassigned to a Minimoog-like layout paradigm. Thus you can't can't randomly knob twiddle and have someting nice pop out.

 

I disagree about the description of it having a "sound" -- while all synths do have inherent 'default' characterictics based on the synthesis engine implementation,the good ones allows for eliminating or changing that. The Hydrasynth can sound "cardboard", "edgy", "lush", "brittle", "warm", "digital", "full", "thin", "juicy", "dirty", "crystalline" etc. etc. once you start poking it in the right places.

 

I'm a fan for sure.

 

I don't think anyone listening to the following examples and played "which synth made which patch" with a list other possible synths like Montage, Kronos, Peak/Summit, PC4/Forte, Fantom or Jupiter X etc., would get both correct.

 

 

 

 

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 see there's a Reddit forum for Hydrasynth. I also see there's a post asking if there's an official forum but the responses are pointing to the FB group:

https://www.reddit.com/r/hydrasynth/

Well, then my wife may have to become a Hydrasynth enthusiast. Which is hilarious, because the only reason she even knows I own one is because of all the pretty pad lights...
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I see there's a Reddit forum for Hydrasynth. I also see there's a post asking if there's an official forum but the responses are pointing to the FB group:

https://www.reddit.com/r/hydrasynth/

Well, then my wife may have to become a Hydrasynth enthusiast. Which is hilarious, because the only reason she even knows I own one is because of all the pretty pad lights...

 

Well, the idea of the Reddit forum is a place to talk about Hydrasynth that is not on Facebook. I think if enough people ask ASM, they might shift activity to Reddit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick note to say that my free patch bank for the Hydrasynth is now available on ASM's web site here: https://www.ashunsoundmachines.com/downloads

 

Also a huge shout out and massive thank you to DrSynth for helping me QA a significant number of these patches, all of which sound and play a lot better thanks to his efforts and time spent. :) We all know that none of us have much time, so I am really grateful for DrSynth's help.

 

I've also got a patch listing for this bank on my Google Drive, which you can download here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QqHkILSAs-Own0HSv-dxj39T0NVoum53/view?usp=sharing

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Just a quick note to say that my free patch bank for the Hydrasynth is now available on ASM's web site here: https://www.ashunsoundmachines.com/downloads

 

Also a huge shout out and massive thank you to DrSynth for helping me QA a significant number of these patches, all of which sound and play a lot better thanks to his efforts and time spent. :) We all know that none of us have much time, so I am really grateful for DrSynth's help.

 

I've also got a patch listing for this bank on my Google Drive, which you can download here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QqHkILSAs-Own0HSv-dxj39T0NVoum53/view?usp=sharing

Fantastic! So glad you were able to get these out the door despite OS 1.5 coming along and making the final tweaks a little tricky. :)

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 note to say that my free patch bank for the Hydrasynth is now available on ASM's web site here: https://www.ashunsoundmachines.com/downloads

 

Also a huge shout out and massive thank you to DrSynth for helping me QA a significant number of these patches, all of which sound and play a lot better thanks to his efforts and time spent. :) We all know that none of us have much time, so I am really grateful for DrSynth's help.

 

I've also got a patch listing for this bank on my Google Drive, which you can download here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QqHkILSAs-Own0HSv-dxj39T0NVoum53/view?usp=sharing

 

Aquila,

 

Great to see it out there. It's a strong, varied & quality sound bank and ASM made a wise choice to make it part of their offical aftermarket support. It highlights many of the strengths and timbral range of the Hydrasynth. Well done!

 

Happy to have had a small part in getting it out there.

 

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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  • 4 weeks later...

I would like to share my first Hydrasynth video.

 

Since there are plenty of Hydra demos showing how well it can morph, swirl and mutate long sounds or arpeggios/sequences, I have taken a slightly different approach: Trying to build sounds which are immediately playable, without too much tweaking. This was done with the keyboard 'player' in mind, knowing that often, we have both hands busy with playing different parts...

 

And since I had taken an old-school approach, I started with old-school sounds: Synth leads, woodwind imitations, brass ensemble... then going gradually toward more adventurous programming.

 

I have included short descriptions on how some of the sounds were put together - but please understand that that's just the tip of the iceberg. Every sound has been fine-tuned by the use of many different modulations.

 

More details in the YouTube description... enjoy.

 

[video:youtube]

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I would like to share my first Hydrasynth video.

 

Since there are plenty of Hydra demos showing how well it can morph, swirl and mutate long sounds or arpeggios/sequences, I have taken a slightly different approach: Trying to build sounds which are immediately playable, without too much tweaking. This was done with the keyboard 'player' in mind, knowing that often, we have both hands busy with playing different parts...

 

And since I had taken an old-school approach, I started with old-school sounds: Synth leads, woodwind imitations, brass ensemble... then going gradually toward more adventurous programming.

 

I have included short descriptions on how some of the sounds were put together - but please understand that that's just the tip of the iceberg. Every sound has been fine-tuned by the use of many different modulations.

 

More details in the YouTube description... enjoy.

 

Thank you for sharing your demo. Very cool. :) First and possibly obvious question: Are you planning on sharing or selling your patches?

 

I agree with your concept of being immediately playable and not requiring a ton of tweaking. When I designed the patches in my bank, I tried to do this as well. I wanted to give the one-finger synthesists and desktop players options to tweak and radically alter the sound too, so I set up all the macros for that kind of playing. But really, I had in mind those who do play keys, and hopefully I made some decent patches that are usable for keyboardists straight away. I sort of assumed that most keyboardists would reach for the main filter controls when doing lead sounds, but when playing pads they would use aftertouch or the mod wheel to modulate the filter and vibrato, or bring in a third oscillator, additional LFOs, etc. I'm definitely a fan of making patches that go from a bog-standard analog sound that sits really well in a mix to something really crazy and wild with tweaking and or using the Hydrasynth's poly aftertouch.

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Thank you for sharing your demo. Very cool. :) First and possibly obvious question: Are you planning on sharing or selling your patches?

 

Thanks for your kind words. Selling? no, I don't think so. Sharing? Possibly, as soon as I'll learn to use the "Manager" without it making a mess of my sounds...!

 

Btw, I tried to design sounds with the 'player' in mind, for a series of reasons:

 

- I am a player myself, and I get the most fun out of a synth when I can play phrases on the keys, as opposed to hold notes;

- I seem to have noticed an abundance of Hydrasynth videos with nothing else than held notes or arpeggios/sequences. I'm not contrary to them in any way, but I found that a bit more of balance and variety could be healthy;

- I usually start familiarizing with a synth by making some of the classic sonorities - even when, like in this case, they don't seem to be the instrument's speciality. I could very well program more 'tweakable' sounds in the future. :)

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Thank you for sharing your demo. Very cool. :) First and possibly obvious question: Are you planning on sharing or selling your patches?

 

Thanks for your kind words. Selling? no, I don't think so. Sharing? Possibly, as soon as I'll learn to use the "Manager" without it making a mess of my sounds...!

 

Btw, I tried to design sounds with the 'player' in mind, for a series of reasons:

 

- I am a player myself, and I get the most fun out of a synth when I can play phrases on the keys, as opposed to hold notes;

- I seem to have noticed an abundance of Hydrasynth videos with nothing else than held notes or arpeggios/sequences. I'm not contrary to them in any way, but I found that a bit more of balance and variety could be healthy;

- I usually start familiarizing with a synth by making some of the classic sonorities - even when, like in this case, they don't seem to be the instrument's speciality. I could very well program more 'tweakable' sounds in the future. :)

 

You're welcome.

 

The patch manager is dead easy to use. It's a drag and drop thing, and it works bidirectionally, in that you can copy from the keyboard to the patch manager and vice versa. You'll want to create a new bank for your sounds, and then copy from the keyboard's bank where your sounds are to the new bank in the software. If you aren't sure how that works, there is a vid on ASM['s YouTube:

 

To your point on the abundance of vids with mostly arpeggios (or one to two-chord evolving pad compositions), yeah... it's definitely a thing! I've become used to it. Part of that seems to be the Eurorack trend, where it's all about the sound design and less about writing music as fully-formed songs with choruses and breaks, etc. I don't mean to be unfair to those people at all. Lots of cool and very inspiring things are done on those demos and jams.

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Those chops are a thing of beauty. I hereby bestow upon you the Fripp Award, based on his saying that Brian Eno was his favorite synthesist because he played with his ears rather than his fingers. Even your 'player's' patches breathe at a high level. Wow.

 

I'm not in the market for new hardware keys these days, but if I was, those 13 minutes would be a strong argument in the instrument's favor. It really is well-designed and I'm happy see it making a good splash. Nice demo! BTW, a spaceship doesn't need an organ, but I could use a new GI tract.

“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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Marvelous sounds, Carlo! I am trying to do sound design along similar lines- playable as opposed to highly moving/variable sounds. Right now I am playing with patches that use primarily the multi-mode filter (Filter 2) as opposed to a dual-filter architecture or relying to heavily on Filter 1. While I thought the Novation Peak sounded good, I just never bonded with it; but the Hydrasynth just hits so many spots so well I am really loving it! Having no problem making it sound "undigital!"
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The patch manager is dead easy to use.

That's what I thought too, after reading the instructions and seeing the video. However, on my first attempt, as I tried to drag some of my patches to transfer them to the second bank of the Manager, the program ruffled the patch numbers in the first bank, in a seemingly casual manner. Maybe I used by mistake one of the early versions of the Manager, which I read had a few problems... I'll try again as soon as I have some time.

 

I don't mean to be unfair to those people at all. Lots of cool and very inspiring things are done on those demos and jams.

Again, absolutely. This kind of playing/tweaking can be fascinating and rewarding. I just found that it was a bit overdone over the net... but perhaps, I'll program more sounds of that kind in the future. ;)

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I'm not in the market for new hardware keys these days, but if I was, those 13 minutes would be a strong argument in the instrument's favor.

Thanks, sir! :)

 

a spaceship doesn't need an organ, but I could use a new GI tract.

If you can wait a few weeks, you can use the new "Surgeon" Mutator, coming soon with the next OS update. :D

 

Marvelous sounds, Carlo!

Thankzzz a lot, Marshall! :wave:

 

Right now I am playing with patches that use primarily the multi-mode filter (Filter 2) as opposed to a dual-filter architecture or relying to heavily on Filter 1.

I'm often using the two filters in parallel on these early patches... but I'd like to see some more options for panning. Maybe with the next OS.

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Really well done Carlo !! Truly shows the Hydrasynth can shine in "classic analog synth" applications outside of its "modular digital synth" construct. It's a great, versatile piece of kit.

 

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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Really well done Carlo !! Truly shows the Hydrasynth can shine in "classic analog synth" applications outside of its "modular digital synth" construct. It's a great, versatile piece of kit.

Manny

 

Thanks, Manny. Like other digital synths, the Hydrasynth needs some work to make it sound full and rich: You have to fiddle quite a bit with the (great) mod matrix.

But one could also say doing this is like forcing the instrument to do something that is not exactly what it was designed for... it can do so much more than classic synth sounds.

 

At the same time, it was good fun, and a good exercise. Now back to PW-Squeeze and PhazeDiff... :D

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I have fallen in love with Factory preset A038, "Twilight ET"

 

Interesting use of the Mod Matrix to "play" OSCs 1+2, initially I couldn't figure out where all the sound was coming from, because in the Mixer everything was zeroed out except OSC 3. Lots of craziness going on in the Mod Matrix...

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There is now a Hydrasynth sub-forum under "DAWS and Synthesizers on the Mastering VAST Forum. Just added by the admins. Also a Jupiter 8 and Synthstrom Deluge sub-forums.

Some inter-mixing between here and there might be profitable to users of each of these instruments.

 

Disclosure: I am one of the Moderators on Mastering VAST

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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