Hydrasynth Firmware 1.5 Brings Five New Filter Models, Distortion Effect, Micro Tuning & More

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ASM updates Hydrasynth to firmware 1.5 with many new features: five new filters, distortion effect, modulation improvements & more.  

Last year in September, Ashun Sound Machines came out of nowhere and presented the Hydrasynth, an extremely beautiful sounding digital Synthesizer with modern technologies. It offers a powerful wave morphing synthesis engine paired with a polyphonic aftertouch keyboard. There are no newcomers to the synth industry behind this development. Among others Glen Darcy, ex product developer/manager at Arturia and Dominic Au formerly active at Novation.

That people with a lot of know-how are at work can be seen in the design but also in the engine. Even if there is little to criticize about the instrument, the Hydrasynth is constantly being further developed and improved. Firmware Update 1.5 is now available, which again includes many new features.

Hydrasynth Firmware 1.5

New Filters

The new Hydrasynth 1.5 firmware features five new filter models for the filter 1 section: LP Stn12, ASM’s version of a popular 12dB low-pass filter; LP 1 Pole, a gentle 6dB low-pass filter; and LP 8 Pole, a steep 48dB low-pass filter; alongside BP Stn12, a popular 12dB band-pass filter with dual 6dB slopes; and HP Stn12, a popular 12dB high-pass filter expanding its total to 16 filter models. I’m not surprised by some of these new filter types. Consider Glen Darcy was part of the Arturia Brute Synthesizer series based on the Steiner Parker filter. Nice to see it now as an inspired filter in the Hydrasynth. These bring some new dirty characters in the synth.

Also, the filter 2 section has been upgraded. This offers now the ability to switch between LP/BP/HP (low-pass/band-pass/high-pass) or LP/NOTCH/HP (low-part. Further, it comes with microtonal scale support that opens up a brave new world of musical expression beyond the 12 tones most prevalent in Western music to allow composition and performances from any culture or harmonic discipline with 32 custom scales loadable using MIDI Tuning Standard files.

Modulation Improvements

In firmware 1.5, the Hydrasynth envelopes can now be triggered from as many as four sources, including LFOs, keyboard, ribbon, CV inputs, and pedal expression input, whereas previously they were all triggered by the keyboard only. Also, the LFOs have been upgraded to allow up to 64 steps when set to step mode, with a new SemiLock feature to quantize those steps for pitch control of the oscillator

Mod Matrix improvements in the Version 1.5 firmware update makes creating modulation routings one step easier by allowing users to choose a specific parameter in a module to be the modulation destination via direct selection, thereby creating a link between the source and destination in the fewest number of possible steps. Since the mod matrix itself has been expanded to allow new modulation destinations with many more VOICE parameters and macros being added to the destinations, there are now many more sound design options available. Further, the random page got an upgrade so users can set the percentage of how much randomization takes place in each module. The result is better usable patches with the random function.

Effect Improvements & New Module

The PRE-FX and POST-FX modules both benefit from the addition of a new stereo Distortion effect, with controls for Drive, Tone, Asymmetry, and the Overdrive curve, as well as the output level.

Also New

LATCH mode moves things onwards and upwards, allowing users to press a key and have that key stay holding for as long as the LATCH button itself is enabled — ideal for ambient and generative patches. The new Hydrasynth firmware 1.5 updates also includes a new save system state allowing users to boot up their Hydrasynth with a patch of choice.

  • shorter timing options in Vega mode
  • additional (Buchla®) 1.2V per octave support via the CV outputs
  • the option of selecting MIDI CC mode or NRPN modes, making automation in DAWs that do not support NRPNs possible
  • user-assignable ribbon controller can now send NRPN or pitch bend data.

ASM Hydrasynth 1.5 Firmware update is available as a free download for existing users. Hydrasynth is available to purchase through ASM’s growing global network of authorised dealers at an MSRP of $1,599.00 USD ($1,299.00 USD MAP) for the keyboard variant and at an MSRP of $999.00 USD ($799.00 USD MAP) for the desktop variant.
More information here: ASM 
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