Ashun Sound Machines Hydrasynth Review and Roger Austli aka 'the sun god RA' Hydrasynth Bank



The Hydrasynth is a powerful new digital synth from the folks at Ashun Sound Machines, ASM. It's really good at making dreamy pads as well as aggressive, dirty sounds and classic poly sounds.  It also can make sounds you simply have never heard before and may not be able to imagine without experimentation.  It's that powerful. The Hydrasynth would pair perfectly with a powerful analog bass/lead oriented synth like the Moog Subsequent 37. You could make nearly any sound you could dream of with that combo. It's like ASM took the building blocks from the Roland D-50, Yamaha DX-7, EMU Proteus and a Prophet and added more oscillators, filters, LFOs, built-in effects and endless ways to modulate the sound and then modulate that even further. Not to mention you can process external audio from other instruments or playback devices as well. It's kinda nuts.  The Hydrasynth sounds very clean and ASM added a 'warm' option that you can toggle on and off with any patches to indeed warm them up a bit.  With all this power it's pretty easy to dial in interesting and new sounds that broach the digital and analog realms.  Sure the Hydrasynth leans to the digital side of things but you'd be hard pressed to identify in in a mix with a carefully crafted patch.  It's a synch that is begging to be programmed and experimented with. 

Everything is readily accessible but we're still getting familiar with all the capabilities of this synth. It's not that it's hard to program, it's just that there are endless options and modulations and it's really deep, so you can go down the rabbit hole of just one little element of sound design. Luckily there are some amazing free patch banks being released that serve to show off the capabilities of the Hydrasynth but also act as a starting point for creating new sounds. The Hydrasynth also includes a 'Random" button which will create random patches. These can range from chaos and noise to really musical and interesting sonic detours. This is a great discovery tool and every electronic instrument should have some kind of random button. If you've ever said, "if only I could do X" with your current synth, odds are you can do X with the Hydrasynth. Hitting 'random' will both delight and baffle you as the machine does it's thing.

The Hydraynth features a Polytouch keybed that offers polyphonic aftertouch over each note. This is really great for expressive playing and works as advertised. It also features a 4 octave ribbon controller which is fun to experiment with too. The pitch and mod wheels aren't great with the goofy handle on top. We'd prefer the classic Moog style with the indent. However, we imagine less funky Moog style playing on this unit anyway. So not that big a deal. The Hydrasynth keybed is just ok and if you already have a master controller you love, we'd recommend getting the synth option without the keys, unless the ribbon and polytough is important to you.

The Hydrasynth is built like a tank. It's heavy with lots of metal. However we're baffled by the use of a wall wart for power and the cheap feeling buttons. Wall warts are just a hard stop. We lose them, we break them, they cause a tangled mess. Please no. It's cool that the buttons light up so you know what's in use..etc, but they're a bit wobbly and mushy and instill no confidence during use. The encoder knobs are much hardier and have a good feel. It's like two completely different levels of quality. Perhaps ASM is still dialing in their design language, fit and finish and bill of materials strategy and there's an opportunity for big improvements here in future product release, similar to how Elektron updated it's Analog Rytm MKII with a much better feel/buttons than the original.

Overall, the Hydrasynth is a good value. We wouldn't call the experience of making new sounds immediate. It's too deep for that. You couldn't make enough knobs and buttons. However, the flow is well laid out and by using some existing patches as a jumping off point you can quickly lose yourself in sound design for hours; like hurt your neck looking down at the knobs and buttons as you tweak away. The Hydrasynth comes with 5 banks of storage, each holding 128 patches. Doesn't seem like enough. Between downloading patch banks, the factory presets and making our own patches, 5 banks will get eaten up fast. 10 banks would have been great. With so many great sounds why force me to delete patches? The patch manager runs on Windows and Mac OS and is an easy way to manage patches. So, once we settle on our favorites we can make that work.

ASM has been rolling out updates and we used the firmware update tool on Windows and it was a seamless udpate. We'd like to see more videos on sound design and a breakdown of how to create a specific patch and what that process is for someone of the top sound designers in the synth world. That would be really cool. Even if you're familiar with synthesis and sound design ASM is coming at this with some new capabilities and you'll need a deep dive to truly appreciate all if offers.

It's a pretty impressive initial product from ASM and we're looking forward to future updates as this synth evolves. Expect to hear this beauty on a lot of records this year.

Get uploads and free patches for the Hydrasynth here.

See an Eco-Friendly Backyard Cottage in 700 Square Feet

A really cool little cottage. Would be amazing to have this as a creative studio out back.

New Motorola Razr - The Smart Flip

finally.  :)

More Articles ...

  1. Other World Computing Dual Bay SATA Drive Dock Review
  2. SampleTank 4 Max Review
  3. KRK 8s V2 Subwoofer Review
  4. JBL 306P MkII Powered Monitor Review
  5. Best Hard Drives for your NAS or DAS and Video Editing
  6. Asha Mevlana's Tiny Amplified House
  7. Secret Lab Throne Gaming Chair Review
  8. Genelec 8030C 5” active monitor Review
  9. RAVPower RP-PC029 6-Port Desktop Charger Review
  10. Startech DisplayPort to DVI Dual Link Active Adapter Converter Review
  11. Canon TS9120 Inkjet Printer Review
  12. Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD Review
  13. G-Drive Mobile SSD R-Series 1TB Review
  14. Nvidia Quadro P4000 Review
  15. Moog Subsequent 37
  16. Lynx E22 Versus RME Audio HDSPe AIO - Battle for the Best PCIe Audio Card
  17. Amazing A-Frame in LA
  18. Edius 8.22 Review - Powerful Updates for Post
  19. Electric Sixer Polarized Sunglasses Review
  20. NVIDIA Quadro K4200 Review
  21. JBL EON206P Portable PA Review
  22. Panasonic AJ-PX270 Professional HD Camcorder Review
  23. Boris FX BCC 9 Review 2014
  24. HP Z230 Workstation Review
  25. Logitech Harmony 650 Remote Review
  26. Sony Vegas Pro 13 Review
  27. Samsung 1TB 840 EVO SSD Review
  28. Convergent Design Odyssey7Q Review
  29. Pixelan DissolveMaster Review
  30. Panasonic KX-TG4744B Phone and Answering Machine
  31. Fitbit Flex Wireless Tracker Review
  32. iZotope RX3 Advanced Review
  33. Grass Valley Edius Pro 7 Review
  34. The Akai MPX8 Portable Sample Player Review
  35. Atomos Samurai Blade Review
  36. Sorenson Squeeze 9 Review with 360
  37. Sound Devices 664 Mixer Recorder Review
  38. Autodesk Smoke 2013 Review Part 1: The Migration
  39. NVIDIA Quadro K4000 Review
  40. Motorola TX500 Bluetooth Speakerphone Review
  41. Bose SoundLink II Mobile Bluetooth Speaker Review
  42. The KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender 56-Ounce Polycarbonate Pitcher Review
  43. Sanyo eneloop Rechargeable AA Batteries Review
  44. HitFilm 2 Ultimate Review
  45. iPad mini Versus Kindle Fire HD
  46. The Roku 2 XS Review
  47. Nest Learning Thermostat 2.0 Review
  48. iGrand Piano for iPad Review
  49. Glyph Technologies GT 062E External RAID Review
  50. Lowepro Pro Roller x300 Case Review
  51. Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB Review
  52. G-DRIVE 2TB External Drive Review
  53. NewBlue ColorFast Review
  54. Dell T7600 Workstation Review
  55. Sony Vegas Pro 12 Review
  56. Canon EOS 5D Mark III Review: Shooting Video
  57. Leica D-Lux 6 Camera First Impression Review
  58. NuGreen LED Desk Lamp Review
  59. TechSmith Camtasia Studio 8 Review
  60. Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 Review
  61. HighPoint Rocket 640L Review
  62. Sony ICF-C414 Dream Machine Clock Radio Review
  63. The Best Antivirus Software - Extended Use Experience
  64. HP Envy 14-2135NR Laptop Review
  65. Fuji XP50 Waterproof Camera Review
  66. Panasonic HPX250 Camcorder Review
  67. NTI Echo 3 Disk Cloning Software Review
  68. Best PC Case Fans For High Performance Cooling and Low Noise
  69. Boris Continuum Complete 8 Review
  70. Best PCI sound card: Lynx versus RME versus Digital Audio Labs
  71. TP-LINK TL-WR1043NDT Wireless Router Review
  72. Editors Keys Edius Dedicated Keyboard Review
  73. Zacuto Scorpion Rig Review
  74. Adobe vs. Avid vs. Grass Valley vs. Sony vs. Apple
  75. Panasonic FV-11VKL3 Ventilation Fan With Light Review
  76. Sorenson Squeeze 8 Review
  77. Grove Bamboo iPhone Case
  78. IK Multimedia DJ Rig Review
  79. Grass Valley Edius 6 Review
  80. StarTech SATA Dock eSATA and USB 3.0 Review
  81. Dell Precision M6600 Mobile Workstation Review
  82. Glyph Technologies 12TB ForteRAID Review
  83. Sony Vegas Pro 11 Review
  84. iPhone 4S Review - Fun With Siri
  85. Samsung Galaxy S2 Review
  86. Memory Zone App for Android Phones
  87. Motorola Droid Bionic Review - Great Features and Good Battery Life
  88. SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip Review
  89. GoPro Camera Review
  90. Motorola Droid 3 Review
  91. Sonos Play:3 Review
  92. Spotify Review: Still the Best Music Service on the Planet but Lame US Rollout
  93. Dishwasher Magic Review
  94. Helo Water Undershorts Review
  95. Synology DS1511+ NAS Review
  96. Cuisinart Ice 21 Ice Cream Maker Review
  97. Uniden DECT 1480-3 Cordless System Review
  98. Motorola Droid X2 Review
  99. iRig Mic Review
  100. Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 3TB Drive Review
  101. Sorenson Squeeze 7 Review
  102. Maschine Groovebox and Controller Update 1.6
  103. Amazon Cloud Music Player for Droid Review
  104. HTC Thunderbolt Review and Speed Tests
  105. Motorola ATRIX Review: A Real World Switch to Android on AT&T
  106. NewBlue Video Essentials IV Review
  107. Linksys E1000 Wireless Router Review
  108. Seagate GoFlex Ultraportable External Drive Review
  109. NVIDIA Quadro 2000 Review
  110. LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Drive Review
  111. iPhone 4 versus Droid Bionic Coming Soon
  112. Panasonic BD655 Review
  113. Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 Review
  114. Sony Vegas Pro 10 Review
  115. TuneWiki: The Best Music App On The Planet
  116. Lenovo Idea Center K300-52162FU Review
  117. SampleTank Free Available Now
  118. Mototola DROID 2 Review
  119. The ASUS UL30Vt-A1 Thin and Light Notebook Review
  120. Best MP3 Player for Working Out + Free Music
  121. Neil Peart Drums Vol. 1 The Kit
  122. Sony HDR-CX150 with Underwater Sport Pack SPK-CXA Review
  123. Touch Racing Nitro Free This Weekend Kick Ass App for iPhone
  124. SanDisk Blade USB Flash Drive Review
  125. Samsung S2 USB Portable Drive Review
  126. Motorola DROID X Review
  127. Motorola DROID X2 Review
  128. HP P6310Y Desktop PC Review
  129. Motorola SB6120 Extreme Cable Modem Review
  130. Samsung BD-C5500 Blu-ray Player Review
  131. IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3 Review
  132. LG enV3 Review
  133. Hawking HWREN1 Hi-Gain Wireless-300N Range Extender Review
  134. Corsair P256 SSD Review
  135. Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000A HD Video Camera Review
  136. Pioneer BDR-205 Blu-ray Burner Review
  137. Motorola T215 Bluetooth Speakerphone Review
  138. Primera Bravo Xi2 Review
  139. KIDO'Z Fun and Safe Website for Kids
  140. Windows 7 Is Worth It
  141. Linksys WMP600N Wireless Network Card Review
  142. Dell 3007WFP-HC 30 Inch Monitor Review
  143. SanDisk Clip+ Review
  144. Sony Headphones for Kids
  145. Kodak Zx1 Review
  146. Averatec D1200 All-in-one PC Review
  147. Dell Latitude 6400 Review
  148. Philips DVP 5990 Review
  149. Samsung Memoir Review
  150. Getting Cozy wtih Mozy: Review
  151. Yamaha MSP3 Monitor Review
  152. SanDisk Ultra Backup USB Flash Drive Review
  153. Samsung 58A650 Plasma Review
  154. JBL Control 2P Compact Powered Reference Monitor Review
  155. SanDisk slotRadio Player Review: An Insider's Take
  156. MP3 and Wireless FM Transmitter for Car
  157. Cycling 74 Hipno Review
  158. MOTOROKR S9-HD Bluetooth Headphones Review
  159. T-Mobile G1 Review
  160. Western Digital Passport™ Essential™ Review
  161. Panasonic Lumix TZ5S Review
  162. Panasonic 64GB P2 Card Review
  163. Altec Lansing Orbit MP3 Review
  164. Sony ACID Pro 7 Review
  165. Verbatim PhotoSave DVD Review
  166. Adobe Lightroom 2 Review
  167. Frontier Design Group AlphaTrack Review
  168. Sansa 8GB Clip Review
  169. Insignia NS-DXA1-APT Converter Box Review
  170. Monster Power 3500 Review
  171. Philips Behind the Ear Sports Headphones Review
  172. Sony Wireless Digital Music Streamer Review
  173. Altec Lansing Orbit-MP3 Speaker Review
  174. LG Chocolate 3 is an Awesome Music Phone
  175. Sansa slotMusic Player Review
  176. Aluratek USB Internet Radio Review
  177. Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick Review
  178. Xobni Email Plug In
  179. Best Cell Phones: The Funky Five
  180. Best Big Screen TV: DLP versus Plasma versus LCD
  181. Verbatim Corporate Secure USB Drive Review
  182. Hard Drives for Video Editing
  183. Verizon LG enV Review
  184. Ulead DVD MovieFactory 6 Plus Review
  185. On2 Technologies Flix Pro 8.5 Review
  186. LG Voyager Review
  187. Airlink101 300N Review
  188. SanDisk Fuze Review
  189. Adobe Audition 3 Review
  190. Norton Antivirus 2008 Review
  191. EASTWEST Fab Four Review
  192. Mio Digiwalker 720t Review
  193. Ulead Photo Impact 12 Review
  194. Adobe Creative Suite 3 (CS3) Review
  195. Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 Review
  196. Buffalo Technology DriveStation Duo 1TB Review
  197. TiVo Series3 Dual Tuner HD DVR Review
  198. Kinoma Producer 4 Review
  199. BlackBerry 8700G Versus Motorola Q
  200. Blackberry 8800 Review
  201. Carbonite Online Data Backup Review
  202. Oakley THUMP 2 Music Sun Glasses Review
  203. Vantec Nexstar 3 Review DIY hard drive expansion made easy
  204. Sony BWU-100A Blu-ray Burner Review
  205. Motorola Q Review
  206. AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix Review
  207. Logitech Harmony 880 Universal Remote Review
  208. SmartSound Sonicfire Pro 4 preview
  209. Sonicfire versus Cinescore
  210. Panasonic AG-HVX200 Review
  211. D-Link DWL-G132 Wireless USB Adapter Review
  212. Nintendo Wii Review
  213. NU Inc. WDR800 portable DVD player Review
  214. Nintendo DS Lite Review
  215. AT&T E5965C 5.8 GHz Cordless Phone Review
  216. Sonos Whole House Audio Review
  217. Primera Bravo SE Review
  218. Canon Pixma iP6700D Review
  219. Sony PS3 Coming This Fall
  220. Samsung 940T Review
  221. The Sony PCM-D1 Review
  222. Sony ACID Loops and Artist Integration Review
  223. Verizon V CAST Music Store Review
  224. Nickeled and Dimed to Death by TiVo
  225. Soundmatters SUBstage 100 Subwoofer Review
  226. LG VX 8100 V CAST Music Phone Review
  227. Sony Media Software ACID Pro 6 Review
  228. Belkin Pre-N Router and PCI/PCMCIA cards Review
  229. NAMM 2006 Highlights
  230. Xbox 360 Review
  231. USR 9600 USB Phone and Skype Review
  232. HP Photosmart 2575 Review
  233. BrickWall PW8R15AUD Surge Protector Review
  234. IBM R51 ThinkPad Review
  235. Bose QuietComfort 2 Headphones Review
  236. Sony PSP Review
  237. Primera Bravo Pro Duplicator Review
  238. Samsung HL-R6168W HDTV Review
  239. SageTV 2.2 Hauppauge PVR-150 Bundle Review
  240. Canon EOS 20D Review
  241. LG VX8000 Review
  242. Cambridge PC SoundWorks Review
  243. Velocity Micro Review
  244. Active Reactor Watch Review
  245. Averatec 3270 Notebook Review
  246. World Tech Keyboard for Sony Vegas Review
  247. Ulead DVD Workshop 2 Review
  248. ATX Power Supply Recommendations
  249. The Best DVD Media and CD Media
  250. Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe Review

Reviews

Entertaining

Happy Dancer

May 14, 2019 Worth a Listen
Default Image
The 24 Hours of happy was groundbreaking when released over 5 years ago. The dancer at…