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 musicians ideal. The sound engine is designed for maximum flexibility. At the same time, we designed the user interface in a way 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
One problem with many desktop or rack synths is that you usually have to connect them to an external controller to play them. The idea behind having a rack or desktop unit you can put anywhere is that it is out of the way. This is fine until you want to start doing some sound editing or adjusting it in real-time. Then you want a way to play it.
We have included 24 polyphonic pressure sensitive pads that allow you to actually 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.
The 3 oscillators allow you to choose from a selection of 219 single cycle waveforms.
Wavemorphing is a feature usually found on synths with preset wave tables. Creating user wavetables is arduous or downright impossible. Unlike most wavetable synths, our oscillators 1 & 2 have our WAVELIST mode.
This mode allows you to pick and choose 8 waves, from our bank of 219, arrange them in the order you want, and then morph from one to another.
Oscillators 1 & 2 are routed into our 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™ - 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.
PhazDiff - this takes the input signal, shifts the phase and then creates a difference result with the original signal
The Mutant's 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 16 different filter models, giving you multiple options for tailoring your sound.
The second filter is a 12db per octave has a continuous sweep from either low pass > bandpass >high pass or low pass > notch > high pass, similar to the way the classic SEM filter worked.
5 Low-Frequency Oscillators…YES, 5.
Much like our sound engine, the LFO’s are not ordinary by any means.
The Hydrasynth LFO’s feature a STEP mode that allows you to create patterns with up to 64 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.
5 DAHDSR Envelopes……YES 5.
An advanced sound engine needs plenty of modulation sources. Our 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.
The envelopes have the added ability to be triggered from multiple sources as of the 1.5 update.
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 LFO’s, Envelopes, Polyphonic Aftertouch or the Ribbon controller to modify your arpeggios in real time.
CV/GATE - MIDI - USB
There is the standard MIDI and USB/MIDI interfaces on the synth but we go deeper and allow the use of CV/GATE interfaces for connecting to the modular world.
It supports the standard voltages for Eurorack modulars, the 1.2V per octave Buchla standard, 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.
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.
Pressing the HOME button returns you to navigating patches in a simple and easy way.
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 VOICE parameters give you access to play modes, analog feel, voice panning and many other features.
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. We hired some of the best patch designers around to create the 256 factory patches.
Finding the patch you want and searching the library is made easy with our BROWSER. Our PC/MAC based Patch Manager plug-in also allows easy moving of patches to create your favorite 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.
- Steel top and bottom
- Aluminum side panels
5U in rack
24 PolyTouch pads
24 velocity and pressure sensitive pads
5 banks of 128 patch memories
CV gate input and outputs
- Support multiple CV/GATE standards
- 1v per octave +/-5V
- 1V per octave 0-10V
- Hz to Volts +/-5V
- Hz to Volts 0-10V
1.2V per octave
- V-trig, S-trig
3V, 5V, 10V
- Mod In/Out range
+/5V, 0-10V, 0-5V, 0-1V
- Clock in and out
- 1PPS, 2PPQ, 24PPQ, 48 PPQ
Clock Voltage - 3v, 5V, 10V
Voice overflow mode for expanding voices with another Hydro synth
Expression pedal input
Sustain pedal input
Polarity sensing input
DC input jack
Supports USB MIDI In/Out
44 x 22.3 x 7 cm
(17.32 x 8.78 x 2.76 inches)
3.6kg (7.94 lbs)
Sound Path Specifications
8 Voice Advanced Wavetable synthesis
2 Wavemorphing Oscillators
- 219 single cycle waveforms
- User wavetables - 8 user selectable ‘wavelist’ per osc to build user wavetables
- Every osc and patch can have its own user wavetable
- WaveScan parameter for modulating through wavetables.
Keytracking – 0-200%
+/- 3 octave tuning range
1 fixed Wave OSC
- 219 single cycle waveforms
- +/- 3 octave tuning range
Keytracking – 0-200%
Dual Mutators per oscillator
- FM – Linear FM
- Selectable Modulator source
- Built in Sine & Triangle, OSC1, OSC2, OSC3, Mutators A, B, C, D, Noise gen, Ring Mod, External Mod 1&2 input.
- WaveStack – Generates 5 detuned waves from input source. Detune amount.
- Pulse Width Mod – Adjust pulse width of ALL waveforms.
- PWSqueeze – Compresses the center section of the waveform. Differnnt type of PWM
- PW-ASM – 8 User adjustable wave squeeze/stretch points.
- Hard Sync – gives that classic sync sweep sound.
- Selectable Sync input source.
- Harmonic Sweep – will scan through the harmonics of the incoming sound.
- PhazDiff - creates a new sound by combining phase shifting and summing techniques.
Dry/Wet mix to blend the original OSC source.
White, Pink, Brown, Red, Blue, Violet, Grey noise sources
- Selectable input sources
OSC1, OSC2, OSC3, Noise, All Mutator outputs, External Mod ½ in.
Sound source mixer
- Mix the following sources - OSC1, OSC2, OSC3, Noise, and Ring Mod.
- Panning for each source
- Filter routing mix
Solos for each source (solo status is saved in the patch)
- Series or parallel routing
- Filter 1
- 12 & 24db modern ladder (compensated)
- 12 & 24db vintage ladder (uncompensated)
- Threeler HP, LP
- MS20 HP, LP
- Low Pass Gate
- STN LP, BP, HP
- 1 pole LP
- 8 pole LP
- Vocal filter
- Multiple vowel order parameter
- Filter 2
- Continuously Variable Low pass > Band pass > High pass
Continuously Variable Low pass > Notch > High pass (Oberheim SEM style)
5x Low Frequency Oscillators
- 10 static waves
Sine, triangle, Square, Saw up, Saw down, S&H, Low random, Noise, Pulse width 25%, Pulse Width 12.5%.
- Step Wave – 64 steps that the user can set (like a step sequencer).
- Step smoothing
- Step glide
- SemiLock for pitch sequencing
- Clock sync
- Starting phase
- Start delay
- Fade in
- Master output gain
- Trigger modes – mono, poly, free
One shot mode
5x Envelope Generators
- 6 stage DAHDSR envelopes
- Delay, Attack, Hold, Decay, Sustain, Release
- Slope curves for ADR stages
- Variable from full exponential to full logarithmic
- Tempo or Time option for setting length of each stage.
- Looping of AHD stages for creating LFO types of modulations.
- Trigger modes – Legato, Reset, Retrigger
Trigger Sources - up to 4 sources can be assigned to trigger each envelope.
- 32 slots for source-destination mod routings with amount
Modulation matrix slots can be mod destinations
8x Macro knobs and buttons
- Each macro knobs allows positive and negative of up to 8 destination controls
Macros can be modulation destinations
- Arp parameters can be modulation destinations.
- Up, down, up/down, Up&down, random, note order, chord, pattern
- Range, 1,2,3,4
- Play order
- Up, down, up/down
- Gate time
- Ratchet – repeats notes
Chance – sets how often the ratchet takes place.
Pre-effects – before Delay and Reverb
Chorus, Flanger, Rotary, Phaser, Lo-Fi, Tremolo, EQ, Compressor (with side chain), Distortion
Tape, Ping-pong, Analog, PitchShift, Reverse, Filter delay
Hall, Room, Plate, Cloud
Post-effects – after Delay and Reverb
- Chorus, Flanger, Rotary, Phaser, Lo-Fi, Tremolo, EQ, Compressor (with side chain), Distortion
ASM now offers a 2-year Limited Factory Warranty for their Hydrasynths! This offer is retroactive to all customers who purchased a Hydrasynth within the last 2 years. This warranty is non-transferrable and only covers items that are purchased new (demo, open box, used, etc... are not eligible for coverage). All you need is to provide ASM with the original receipt in the event you need coverage!