ASM Hydrasynth In-Depth Overview & Demo At Knobcon 2019

At Knobcon 2019, Ashun Sound Machines (ASM) introduced the Hydrasynth – a new hardware synth that they say offers a massively deep and flexible sound engine and unique performance controls, including polyphonic aftertouch and a four-octave ribbon controller.

We talked with ASM’s Glen Darcey, who gave us an in-depth look at the new synth.

Hydrasynth is expected to come out November and cost $1299 for the keyboard and $799 for the desktop version. Details are available at the ASM site.

8 thoughts on “ASM Hydrasynth In-Depth Overview & Demo At Knobcon 2019

  1. I love the design approach that Glen took with this synth: Make everything “right”. Several times in the video he talks about why specific features were added to the synth. It’s usually because he’s encountered problems with other synths and he’s determined not to repeat them.

  2. Making a polyphonic aftertouch (or any aftertouch) have the right response is tricky. If you make it easy enough to play with your pinkies, will it then trigger lots of aftertouch data just from playing with full (hard) velocities? That kind of thing can be mitigated by basically muting the aftertouch at the very start of the note, and ramping to it’s current value after some number of ms. I wonder if they implemented that kind of thing.

    1. stub: Did you not look at the video? Glen Darcey extensively talked about these problems and how the keybed manufacturer really invested time / money in addressing these issues. Of course any controller responsitivity is always a personal experience, but seeing this and some other videos of the Hydrasynth I feel very confident about that.

  3. Love the interface looks really nice to work with. I’m not a keyboard player so the module for me, kind of bummer that a smaller version of the ribben controller is not on that.

    Is it me or is the keyboard for left handed people and the module for right handed, because of the position of the parameter control section 🙂 There is where the module makes up for the missing ribbon for me :p

  4. The wavetable features give it such a rich and morphing harmonics kind of sound. I’m sure you can get great subtractive sounds out of it as well. If you can sweep through the wavetable waves quickly, I can imagine you could get some interesting percussive effects. Looks like it would be fun to explore new tones with.

    It’s cool that Glen is unapologetic about it being purely digital. Though analog synths are great, digital synths have come a long way.

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