ASM Hydrasynth Deluxe A Flagship Synthesizer With 16 Voices, Polyphonic Aftertouch

Ashun Sound Machines today introduced the Hydrasynth Deluxe, a flagship version of their innovative Hydrasynth.

The Hydrasynth Deluxe is their flagship Hydrasynth, offering dual sound engines that you can use for additional polyphony, splits and layers. The sound engines are the same as existing Hydrasynths, and patches are 100% compatible with the existing Hydrasynths.

Each of the two sound engines features 3 Oscillators, dual Wave Mutators and 2 filters, that can be configured in series or parallel. Both of the sound engines has its own separate balanced analog audio outputs.

The Hydrasynth Deluxe also features a 73-note Polytouch keybed, offering polyphonic aftertouch and a 4-octave ribbon controller. ASM says that this gives the new synth a level of “expression and control that is not equaled in any other hardware synthesizer on the market… Today or ever.”

Here’s the official intro from ASM CEO Glen Darcey:

Pricing and Availability

The Hydrasynth Deluxe is expected to ship in November 2021, with an MSRP of $1,999.00 USD ($1,799.00 USD MAP)/€1,749.00 EUR/£1,699.00 GBP/¥224,900 JPY. See the ASM site for details.

29 thoughts on “ASM Hydrasynth Deluxe A Flagship Synthesizer With 16 Voices, Polyphonic Aftertouch

  1. This looks flipping amazing. ASM came from nowhere (as far as I know) and they’re making the most advanced line of synths on the market.

    1. It does. It’s not quite from no-where, though, iirc Darcey was a synth designer at Akai and Arturia before starting ASM. But yes, it is impressive.

  2. I love my hydrasynth desktop (49), I think it’s amazing move and variety is great to have.

    I hope such significant market segmentation does not backfire on them though. It takes resources to design develop produce ship stock market and sell 4 different skus with essentially equivalent sound. I guess their market message is – everybody should have one now / no excuses 🙂

    1. It’s probably cheaper to use the same voice engine and put it in different formats and a way for them to get the most from their investment.

      I’m really interested in the Hydrasynth Deluxe, because it seems like one of the most original new synths in ages. Great synth engine, sounds great, an actual flagship synth, cv/gate, poly aftertouch – it ticks a lot of boxes.

      That said, I’d love to see them do a modern poly analog with similar capabilities. It would be one of the best polys ever made.

  3. My Hydrasynth keyboard is amazing. This is exciting news. The extra keyboard range, and the addition of the extra plate to give space for gear on the right side is a smart choice. This could be the best synth imaginable for live performance now.

  4. I’ve been thinking on and off about the hydrasynth – but this definitely makes it ‘on’ again. Very interesting development, and like the extra keyboard range and the ability to morph between two waveforms.

  5. I am so glad to see this, especially since companies like Yamaha and Korg have recently come out with $2,000 keyboards that lack aftertouch completely.

    1. Or a Novation Peak…

      Would be good to see them release the keyboard as a MIDI keyboard. It would help them make more of their investment too.

  6. @Nikola or anybody who knows – does this unit have a sub oscillator, aside from it gushing with your standard oscillators? I don’t know if it was just my ears, but the frequencies in the patches don’t seem to carry as much uuuumph / weight as they do in the Polybrute or the REV2.

    1. It’s got -32 semitone adjustments, wave stacking, and detune so you should be able to get there I’d imagine.

      I’d need to listen in person before judging on whether they deliver the quiver. My hydrasynth is arriving today, if I remember this I’ll let you know

      1. So I’ve spent 6-8 hours with Hydrasynth and designed two patches so far.

        I’m designing for contracts and the sounds don’t call for oomph, but the 3rd preset is a CS-80 inspired bass/lead that rips and has a lot of oomph.

        I haven’t played the Polybrute or the REV2 in person, *maybe* they have more oomph than what I am hearing.

        1. I’m lucky to own a Polybrute and a Rev 2 in addition to a Hydrasynth. I would say out of the gate, the Rev 2 starts from a place with the most oomph but the other two can get there with the right programming. Don’t forget that the Hydrasynth is also about half the price of the Polybrute, while having a more substantial and expressive keyboard and a better ribbon. Sound wise, they are all quite different from each other but if you can only have one, I’d say the Hydrasynth by a long shot has the most range in terms of sound because of the variety of waveforms combined with Mutants and then a bunch of great filters. It can be very delicate and articulate, but it can also be a snarling beast. I was able to recreate some Prophet 6 patches with startling accuracy and oomph.

          If you need a truly great digital synth that can go into analog territory, get the Hydrasynth.

          If you need a truly great analog synth that goes where none have gone before, get a Polybrute.

          The Rev 2 is a great choice for live players for its light weight, great sound, great feeling keybed and generous polyphony while supporting splits and layers. Get the free templates from Creative Spiral and/or buy his excellent sound banks which give the Rev a more vintage quality.

          I often recommend that new players check out those three synthesizers before investing in vintage hardware. It’s interesting that those were the three mentioned in the thread too.

          1. Thanks for the comparison between Polybrute as i was deciding between a Polyburte or a Hydrasynth Delux
            i do own a Matrix brute and modal Cobalt 8 and so it would be better to go for a Hydrasynth Delux instead still not sure about an Waldorf Iridium but quality and price wise a Hydrasynth would be good enough for a hobby producer
            Can always buy a Polybrute an other time

    1. it makes no sense. they could’ve just fit the boards in the center so there’s equal dead space on each side. I personally would never put anything that sized on top of the keyboard.

      1. So … just because you personally don’t want to put something on the empty space, you feel nobody should have that option? I don’t get your logic at all. If you’re playing that high on the keyboard you’ll most likely be using your right hand, so all the knobs remain within reach of your left. And I could totally imagine putting a tablet, or a synth module (like the new Dreadbox Nymphes or Roland Boutique), or a drum machine, sequencer, mixer, laptop, or crackers and cheese in the empty space.

        Go ahead and state your preference, but saying “it makes no sense” is a load of crap.

    2. @Coco I completely agree. That graphic looks absolutely tacky. They should leave that whole area blank and put the “Hydrasynth Deluxe” graphic in the same place it is on the original – right under the ASM logo.

      Actually I see that there is a sort of black-on-black thing going on behind the right-side graphic. They could leave that (or a variation of it) and keep it looking as close to beautiful as ASM seems to be capable of.

      On the whole I think their choices of typefaces, line weights, and colors is generally pretty crappy. Luckily they make up for it with the sound.

  7. IS this new synth polytimbral by any chance ? Meaning practically could play two presets at same time on half of the keyboard for example ?

  8. Damn, this is tempting! I’m only “meh” about the core sound of the Hydrasynth (I think a lot of other VA synths just sound better…even an Akai Miniak), but for me, I really love the feel and workflow of the synth. Really easy to work with and just great for pushing the creativity with designing patches. Lastly, I’ve been wanting a quality 73 key controller with aftertouch, and this would so nicely scratch that itch as well.

  9. These are the kind of updates that are a giant f@&83 to those who bought the original version. So i am guessing we will have to wait for 2023 to quadruple the polyphony? Please don’t pull a Kurzweil on us again in the future.

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