Hydrasynth V2.0: Ashun Sound Machines pump up a new firmware
Hydrasynth V2.0 expands the memory, adds new modulation, slides in some quantization, increases vibrato resolution and much more in the new firmware.
The Hydrasynth has firmly placed itself amongst the best synthesizer on the market at the moment. Teeming with life, pouring over in wavetables, drowning in polyphonic expression, it’s an exciting and engaging sound-making device. It’s been a couple of years since the last update that saw ASM build in some new filter types, new modulators and microtuning. Let’s check out the new features of V2.0.
This feels like a bit of housekeeping rather than a big new feature. The Hydrasynth Deluxe ships with 8 banks of Single-mode sounds, whereas the other versions did not. Now they all get 8 banks – stunning. However, ASM has also reworked the browsing making the whole experience faster.
New Performance options
More interesting is that there’s a new mode has been added to the Sustain pedal. It now has a Sostenuto mode which, as you are no doubt aware, will sustain the notes you are holding but not anything after that. So you can sustain a chord and then play notes over the top, or hold a bass note and play some chords higher up. It’s what the middle pedal on a piano does.
ASM has also added a “Mod Only” mode where you can use the Sustain pedal as a modulation source without it sustaining notes at the same time.
The Mod Strip/Wheel Vibrato now has a greater resolution by a factor of 10. And Glide has a new Glissando option so that the notes step rather than slide through the pitches.
The arpeggiator range has been increased to 6 octaves, and you can now offset the Arp forwards or backwards up to 32 steps.
Individual voices can be pushed into instability with the new VoiceMod option. It lets you define an offset that can be applied to any destination via the Mod Matrix. For instance, each voice could have slightly different filter settings. This increases the number of available modulation sources.
The One-Shot LFOs get a third option which progress to the next step with each trigger.
Envelopes and LFOs can now be quantised to produce a stepped output with many resolutions to choose from.
There are many other improvements and adjustments in the update, including randomisation and initialisation options to give you a good start for your patch. The oscillator bit depth can be wound down to 2bits for some extra grit. And you can bypass individual effects.
The update is free to all Hydrasynth owners, and there is a specific update for each version of the instruments.
- Hydrasynth Explorer and Deluxe: ASM