ASM Hydrasynth Keyboard

Digital Wave-Morphing Synthesizer

  • 49 Velocity-sensitive keys with aftertouch
  • 8 Voice polyphony - monotimbral
  • Fully polyphonic aftertouch
  • Arpeggiator includes Ratchet, Chance, Gate and Swing (8 modes in total)
  • 3 Oscillators with 219 single-cycle waveforms
  • WaveScan parameters for modulating via wavetables
  • Wavelist mode for blending up to 8 wavetables
  • 8 Custom Wavelists per oscillator
  • Mixer includes Noise Generator and Ring Modulator
  • 2 Filters: series or parallel
  • Filter 1 includes 11 different filter models (12 & 24 dB Ladder, Ladder Vintage, HP, LP, Vocal, i.a.)
  • Filter 2: 12 dB (SEM-style) per octave, includes continuous sweep from lowpass, bandpass, up to highpass)
  • 4 Octave ribbon controller (67 cm), featuring Theremin mode
  • Modulation matrix
  • 5 DAHDSR envelopes
  • 5 LFOs
  • LFOs include: delay, fade in, 3 triggering modes, smoothing, start phase, one-shot mode
  • 5 Banks with 128 patches each - 256 of those are factory patches
  • CV-Gate inputs and outputs
  • Supports all common CV/GATE standards
  • Clock input and output
  • 8 High-resolution encoders, including LED rings
  • USB (USB MIDI In/Out)
  • MIDI: In/Out/Thru
  • Pre- and post effects for unique sound editing possibilites
  • Dimensions: 800 x 350 x 103 mm
  • Weight: 10 kg

Further Information

Number Of Keys 49
Touch-Sensitive Yes
Aftertouch Yes
Split Zones No
Modulation Wheel Yes
Number of simultaneous Voices 8
Sound Engine Digital
MIDI interface 1x In, 1x Out, 1x Thru
Storage Medium None
USB-port Yes
Effects Yes
Arpeggiator Yes
Number of Analog Outputs 2
Digital Output No
Display Yes

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The perfect synth for me!
Evgeni, 07.06.2020
I'm relatively new to sound synthesis. I've had a Roland SE-02 and a Behringer Poly D before, both copies of Moog Minimoog and I sold them. I also own a Yamaha MODX6 which is a FM and sample-based synth that sounds fantastic but is really hard to program. I also use a lot of software synths and am kind of familiar with synth basics and how to program a synth. All that being said, I found that with the two Minimoog copies I couldn't achieve a huge variety of sounds. The MODX is much better but is pretty unintuitive and I'm still struggling remembering where is what and how to achieve this and that. I haven't managed to create new sounds with it that I like, although the factory ones are very good and cover almost anything, so it's not such a problem.

With that background in mind, Hydrasynth comes as a huge surprise to me! I was able to start programming it right away, all is laid out in front of you, you have direct buttons for every module and function. It can sound very warm and analog due to analog emulation parameters. I could recreate Moog type of patches easily and they sound equally warm and analog, despite the synth being entirely digital. But then, it also offers multiple filter emulations that change the sound drastically, there are 5 LFO-s and 5 envelopes, the mod matrix can connect almost anything, the mutators are an intuitive, yet powerful way to change the sound. The possibilities are endless and just going through the factory patches one can see how vast is the sonic palette of the synth: from harsh, metallic, industrial style of patches to classic analog warm sounds. The effects are also very good.

But the best thing about it is the polyphonic aftertouch. It's the first synth with poly AT I have and I am in absolute awe! As a pianist I realize poly AT was the missing ingredient I've had with other synths. It really makes it sound like a real thing, like an instrument, not like a machine. And then the ribbon which is also a wonderful way to add expression!

I would be very hard-pressed to find any faults with the Hydra. It's almost perfect. One thing though, that I'd like to see improved is to be able to see more easily the effective values of parameters when using macros. The macros are a way to introduce offsets to multiple values of certain parameters, however when editing the corresponding destination parameters, it's not obvious that the currently audible sound is a result of an offset applied to the parameter and not the value you see on the screen and that can be confusing. I guess that can be easily improved with a future firmware update.

Another feature I miss is having audio transmitted through USB. On the MODX I can record straight into the DAW using only USB cable for both MIDI and audio, without a need for redundant external audio interface introducing noise and distortions.

Ultimately, for the price it's one of the best synths on the market.
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Quality instrument
Robert7183, 08.06.2020
This is a high quality machine. Solid construction and well packaged from the factory, It even has a paper manual which is highly unusual these days. Its too early to say how good it is but the early impressions are favourable. It is much easier to construct new sounds on this than on any other machine i have owned. It is like a DSI Prophet 12 on steroids in spite of the fact that it has far fewer physical knobs than that machine - this is because the interface is brilliantly designed. Both are digital, both use wavetables and both sound great but the hydrasynth is much easier to program. It sort of does everything that the prophet 12 does but much better.

The best things about it are the keybed which is probably the best ive ever used on a synth, the modular interface which is brilliant, the arpeggiator which is inspirational and the presets which are better than other people say and encourage experimentation.

Again its too early to say but this seems to excel at evolving soundscape type sounds thanks to the many lfos and envelopes available and the extra expresssivity offered by the poly aftertouch.

If you are hesitating to buy because its made in China then dont - this is way better in terms of quality of construction and design than anything roland or korg have done in recent years. Is getting close to moog quality.

Sure its a digital synth but who cares - its the range of sounds it can make that really counts for me and this makes a wider range of sounds than any analog ive ever owned. it may not be as warm or "sound very analog" but its warm enough and analog sounding enough for me. You could argue that pure analog is too limited.

The only thing it misses for me is a sequencer. Its probably worth every penny.
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There's even a Theremin!
Pincho Paxton, 02.06.2020
There's even a Theremin mode which allows for melodies to be played on the ribbon controller to whatever you're playing on the keyboard!
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$1,329 €1,175.86
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