Ashun Sound Machines’ entrance into the synth world this year was undoubtedly loud, and it was met with a very warm welcome from the community. And rightfully so, as Hydrasynth seems to check all the boxes for an outstanding and innovative synthesizer, which despite the booming market is still quite a rare thing. It is like that you have heard about Hydrasynth by now, but if by some strange course of circumstances you have not—check out our in-depth article.
This week ASM visited our event space to showcase the synthesizer in its two incarnations: a keyboard and a desktop versions. While talking about synthesizers’ features can be very rewarding, there are no substitutes for actually experiencing the instrument in action. This is exactly what ASM planned for this event—simply showcasing the power of Hydrasynth through the prism of four artists integrating the synth into their live performance practice.
The first performer was Los Angeles-based electronic music producer, composer, and singer Hydrah (reportedly, the name is a mere coincidence). Throughout the live set, she employed techniques utilizing Hydrasynth’s powerful arpeggiator, as well as its integrated ribbon controller, which is easily mappable to pretty much any parameter. Important to know that all the sounds in Hydrah’s set, whether percussive, melodic, or textural, were created on Hydrasynth.
Next was techno/house producer and performer Annika Wolfe, who comfortably plugged the desktop version of Hydrasynth into a setup of Roland TR8, Elektron Digitone (used for sequencing Hydrasynth), Moog DFAM, and a Korg Monologue. This combination of instruments skillfully navigated by Annika kept every single foot in the space tapping along. Furthermore, Annika’s set offers a good look into how the abundance of connectivity options on Hydrasynth pays off when interfacing it with other gear.
If you follow our articles, and/or events the name Trovarsi should already be on your radar. Generally, she produces and performs techno/house music using a variety of software and hardware equipment: from Ableton Live to Eurorack, and everything in between. As Hydrasynth landed on her table, the walls began to shake. Combining the Hydrasynth with a small Eurorack system, and a Digitakt Trovarsi constructed an engaging, bass-heavy set seamlessly transforming grooves while maintaining a constant flow.
The closure of the evening was designated to Inhalt, a solo project of record-producer, and sound designer Matia Simovich. With his performance, which seemed directly inspired by the '80s soundtracks to dystopian sci-fi films, Inhalt aimed to demonstrate a variety of patches that he has been exclusively developing for Hydrasynth. The bank of patches will be available in the near future, so you will have a chance to explore those sounds yourself.
Hydrasynth is a beast. Like a multi-headed creature that inspired its name, it has many strengths and vast potential, allowing it to sound distinctly unique in the hands of different artists. Its voice can range from being soothing and soft to extremely harsh, the sounds can easily be transmuted from plain and simple to absurdly complex. This is the amount of choice that the designers of the synth granted its users. One common observation about the Hydsynth that keeps surfacing is how intuitive the interface is, and this is a bullet-proof guarantee for great user experience.