ASM Hydrasynth Desktop / Rack 8 Voice Virtual Analog Desktop Synth - Long & McQuade Music Educator Site
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ASM Hydrasynth Desktop / Rack 8 Voice Virtual Analog Desktop Synth

Departments > Keyboards > Synthesizers > Synthesizers & Sound Modules > ASM > Hydrasynth Desktop / Rack 8 Voice Virtual Analog Desktop Synth
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SKU: # 719615
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The HYDRASYNTH Desktop / Rack is an 8 voice, 3 Oscillator monotimbral synth with 5 Envelopes, 5 LFOs, 2 filters, 5 banks of 128 patches and selectable pre and post effects.

The HYDRASYNTH Desktop / Rack has the same great sound engine as the HYDRASYNTH Keyboard. The sound engine is a sound designers dream synth as well as a performing musician's ideal. The sound engine is designed for maximum flexibility. At the same time, the user interface was designed to allow you to edit the patch quickly with a minimal amount of paging and many workflow shortcuts.

Utilizing an advanced wavetable synthesis engine, 3 Oscillators, dual Wave Mutators and 2 filters that can be configured in series or parallel, the tone generating capabilities are unmatched.

As for the performance capabilities, The Hydrasynth Desktop / Rack has 24 polyphonic pressure touch pads so that you can play the unit without needing to connect a keyboard or other controller. Using multiple pad layout modes as well as quick to access scale modes, the Hydrasynth Desktop / Rack is easy to make music on.

The Hydrasynth Desktop / Rack comes with rack ears so that you can mount it in a standard 19" rack.


Poly Pressure Touch pads
The Hydrasynth Desktop was designed with 24 polyphonic pressure sensitive pads that allow you to play the synth. With multiple pad layouts to choose from as well as multiple scales, playing the Hydrasynth Desktop is its own musical experience.

The tone generation capability is the heart of any synthesizer. Hydrasynth's 3 oscillators allow you to choose from a selection of 219 single cycle waveforms.

​Hydrasynth's oscillators 1 & 2 have ASM's WAVELIST mode. This mode allows you to pick and choose 8 waves, from the bank of 219, arrange them in the order you want, and then morph from one to another.

Oscillators 1 & 2 are routed into MUTATORS. The Mutators allow you to modulate, bend and sculpt the sound in new (and old) ways.

​Each MUTANT allows you to choose from the following processes:
FM-Linear - for making classic FM sounds. Choose multiple FM sources, including external inputs.
Wavestack[trade] - creates 5 copies of the incoming sound and allows you to set a detune amount.
Hard Sync - This gives you those classic hard sync sounds. Try hard syncing a morphing wavetable for some fun.
Pulse Width - This will pulse width modulate ANY input sound.
PW - Squeeze - This is a different form of pulse width mod that creates a smoother sound.
PW-ASM - this mode divides the incoming wave into 8 slices and allows you to set how much pulse width mod will happen in each section.
Harmonic Sweep - this will sweep the harmonics of the incoming sound.

The Mutants can also generate its own waveforms in both FM and Sync modes so that you do not have use another oscillator... Of course, the routing is flexible so you can choose the other oscillators as mod sources if you like.

Mixer/ filter routing
The 3 Oscillators are fed into a mixer along with the Noise generator and Ring Modulator. The Mixer allows you to mix levels as well as pan the input source. There is a balance control that allows you to choose how much signal of each source is routed to filters 1 and 2. The filters can be set to be parallel or series for ultimate flexibility.

If oscillators and tone generators are the heart of a synthesizer, the filters are the soul. The Hydrasynth has two filters that can be configured in series or parallel.

The first filter has 11 different filter models, giving you multiple options for tailoring your sound. The second filter is a 12db per octave has a continuous sweep from Low pass to bandpass to high pass, similar to the way the classic SEM filter worked.

5 Low-Frequency Oscillators! The Hydrasynth LFO's feature a STEP mode that allows you to create patterns with up to 8 steps. Having 5 mini step sequencers gives you an amazing amount of possibilities for further shaping your sound.

Of course, there are also 10 standard waveforms to choose from.

The LFO's all have delay, fade in, 3 triggering modes, smoothing, start phase, one-shot mode so that they can act as envelopes and BPM sync.

An advanced sound engine needs plenty of modulation sources. The 6 stage envelopes feature Delay, Attack, Hold, Decay, Sustain and Release stages. The time settings for the stage can be set in seconds or in time divisions, giving you envelopes that play in sync to your song. You can also loop the envelopes to create LFO's whose shape can be voltage controlled in the modulation matrix.

Modulation Matrix
The modulation capabilities on the Hydrasynth are endless. With 32 user definable modulation routings, you will have plenty of ways to use the 29 modulation sources and 155 modulation destinations.

Almost everything in the synth engine can be a modulation destination including the effects and arpeggiator. The Modulation matrix points themselves can also become modulation destinations. Modulation sources & destinations include the CV Mod In & Out jacks as well as MIDI CC's.

The arpeggiator allows for standard note arpeggiations but also has a phrase arpeggio built-in. Parameters like RATCHET and CHANCE will generate other rhythmic patterns with some randomness to add life and spontaneity to your performance.

You can also modulate most of the parameters in the arpeggiator so imagine using LFOs, Envelopes, Polyphonic Aftertouch or the Ribbon controller to modify your arpeggios in real time.

There is the standard MIDI and USB/MIDI interfaces on the synth but it also allows the use of CV/GATE interfaces for connecting to the modular world. It supports the standard voltages for Eurorack modulars as well as some of the Japanese Volts > HZ products. The MOD in and outs allow for modulation from DC to full audio ranges, expanding your modulation capabilities.

Main Controls
The Main system controls are where you navigate your patches, configure system settings and see parameters like the envelopes, waveforms, filters in the OLED screen.​

Init and Random buttons will allow you to initialize or randomize a complete patch or specific modules with a press & hold + module select button.

Master Controls
The Master Control section is where all parameter editing, patch naming, and Macro performing is done. Using OLED screens, high-resolution encoders with LED rings, and 8 buttons, this section is designed to give you good feedback on what is going on.

The patch MACROS are designed to allow the user deep control over the engine in live performance. The 8 assignable encoders and buttons can each be routed to 8 destinations. Complete sound transformations can take place with the press of a button or turn of a knob.

The Hydrasynth comes with 5 banks of 128 patches in total. Finding the patch you want and searching the library is made easy with the BROWSER. ASM's PC/MAC based Patch Manager plug-in also allows easy moving of patches to create your favourite order as well as load in new patch libraries in the future.

The effects chain goes beyond the typical ones found in other synths. Pre-effects and post-effects give you some unique ways to process your sound. The delays and reverbs were modeled on some of the most popular effects on the market. The effects are the perfect way to complete your sound, in the box.

As good as all the reviews - A M A Z I N G!6 of 6 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreVancouver, British Columbia
I've been buying (and selling) gear since the late 70's. I can't tell you how many synths I've bought in the past 10 years - it's crazy. Partly because - now - I live in a really remote area. There isn't a music store within a 20 hour drive that would have the type of gear I want to check out. I previously had a Waldorf MicrowaveXT, because I'm into the wavetable sound, etc. I was playing with many different ideas of what else to buy - there's SO MUCH interesting new gear out there. Initially I was a bit concerned, as some of the sounds in the demos were not to my liking. Too brittle, too cliché, overuse of the unique features - a lot of really buzzy, video game type sounds, etc. I was looking for more subtlety - more nuance - delicate ambient textures and colours... Finally, after seeing the right type of reviews on YouTube, I ordered one of these. (there were none in N.America, so I had to order from the UK). I just received it.. Absolutely blown away. The build quality is great (it's HEAVY), great potentiometers, etc. The sounds - really, really diverse and with SO much control. Quite easy to get to most of the parameters, because of the brilliant design ideas they've come up with and implemented. The effects - I'm not aware of anything else with better effects - and there is a great deal of control... Overall - this thing is a monster. No matter if you're looking for FM, Wavetables, straight up additive synthesis, freaky, modulated and really animated and dynamic sounds... This is the first time in forever that I've felt: 'YES!!!! I absolutely LOVE everything about this and I'm NEVER gonna sell this synth!!!" B E W A R E - you're other hobbies, your girlfriend, wife,, etc. day job may be adversely affected by your Gear Fetish
Posted by Will on Apr 14, 2020
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