Seemingly out of nowhere, comes another new poly manufacturer - Ashun Sound Machines.
ASM have pulled together a team of industry big hitters, most recognisably Glen Darcey - the guy behind some of the Arturia synths and a smart guy - he has synth design pedigree- to create this new range. The Hydrasynth - which is a digital Wavetable Morphing synth with 8 voices, and an all new POLYTOUCH keybed - yep - it has poly aftertouch.
Available as a 49 key unit (with polytouch) and a desktop version (with polytouch pads).
We've got both in the studio, but have not had time to post a full review (arrived yesterday!), but the signs so far are good.
Hydrasynth is an 8 voice, 3 Oscillator mono-timbral synth, with twin filters (modeled), 5 Envelopes, 5 LFOs, Delay, Reverb and a selectable pre and also final effect (several algorithms) - all of which at first listen, sound pretty good.
FX are also able to be incorporated into the 32 slot (yes 32) mod matrix.
About the Oscillators:
Oscillators 1+2 are switchable between fixed wave (219 waves) and wavetable scanning - with eight slots you can morph between whatever waves you put into them. After that, there are 2 Mutators per oscillator. (only 1+2) These offer: Linear FM synthesis, WaveStackTM, PWMod, PWSqueezeTM, PW-ASMTM, Hard Sync, Harmonic Sweep and can be incorporated into the modulation matrix too.
POLYTOUCH, Ribbon controller and Macros
In concept, the parameter access is similar to the Ensoniq way, with dedicated module buttons which open up the 8 way parameter section with additional pages where required, these 8 controls can also be assigned to Macro controls at the patch level for contextual editing for each patch - its a pretty intuitive way to work. Add to that the proper polyphonic aftertouch enabled keybed - their own design and manufacture (it feels pretty good), plus a full 4-octave ribbon controller for pitch, mod and theremin type modes and we're getting into CS-80 territory - something which ASM do refer to as an inspiration.
Prices: ASM HYDRASYNTH 49 key $1299 MAP, Desktop $799 MAP
Shipping November 1st.
This feels like a pretty competitive price point and the construction feels chunky.