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ASM Hydrasynth Deluxe 16-Voice Digital Polyphonic Aftertouch Keyboard Synthesizer with PolyTouch


Manufacturer's Description

The HYDRASYNTH DELUXE is our flagship Hydrasynth, offering a dual sound engine setup and the largest ASM Polytouch® polyphonic aftertouch keybed to date. The user interface is designed with the utmost attention to detail and offers a rapid workflow.

The Hydrasynth Deluxe can operate as a single 16-voice Hydrasynth or it can be split or layered, with a dedicated 8-voice Hydrasynth engine for each part. Each engine also has its own set of balanced analog audio outputs.

The sound engines feature advanced wavetable synthesis with 3 Oscillators, dual Wave Mutants, and 2 filters that can be configured in series or parallel. The tone generating capabilities are simply unmatched.

As for performance capabilities, the Hydrasynth Deluxe has our proprietary 73-note Polytouch® keybed with polyphonic aftertouch. This provides a level of expressive, per-note control found only in certain vintage synths.

Add to this a 4-octave ribbon controller and ergonomically-designed pitch and mod wheels, and you have expression and control that are unequalled by any other hardware synthesizer on the market.


Dual Sound Engines

The Hydrasynth Deluxe contains an impressive dual sound engine architecture, and as a result it provides a massive 16 voices of polyphony. You can play one 16-voice patch in Single mode, or use two simultaneous patches in Multi mode.

In Multi mode the Deluxe unleashes two completely independent, full-fledged 8-voice Hydrasynth sound engines. 

The keyboard can either be split, with one engine for the Lower part and another for the Upper part, or it can layer the two parts across the entire keyboard.

The top panel has a dedicated balance knob for adjusting the relative levels of the Lower and Upper parts. The Hydrasynth Deluxe also has separate stereo audio outputs for each part and independent MIDI channel assignments for true bi-timbral operation

Polytouch® Keybed

The perennial pursuit of musical instrument manufacturers is to find better ways for musicians to express themselves. Options have been limited for keyboard players; we've had to settle for a velocity-only approach to emphasize one note over another. Pressure-sensitive keyboards could only change all of the notes at the same time.

Not any more!

Enter ASM, with our patented Polytouch® technology. The 73-note semi-weighted keybed on the Hydrasynth Deluxe provides fully polyphonic aftertouch, as well as Note On / Note Off velocity sensitivity and the monophonic aftertouch found on other keybeds. Finally, variations in key pressure can affect notes individually.
It feels great, too: our 73-note Polytouch® keybed features high quality, standard sized keys, so you will feel right at home, right away. It's like putting your hands in a glove that fits perfectly.

The revolutionary Hydrasynth Deluxe Polytouch® keyboard helps you be more in touch with the music you are making. Now every note you play can ebb and flow like the tide.

Ribbon Controller

Add powerful expression to any patch using our 4-octave Ribbon Controller, which is perfectly situated above the keyboard for easy access by either hand. It can be used as a freely assignable modulation source, a pitch bend control, or even as a monophonic instrument!

This is possible thanks to our Theremin mode, which uses the ribbon to trigger a note. You can choose continuous pitch operation or quantize the ribbon to one of 60 scales, including microtonal scales. And if that's not enough, the ribbon can also be used as a CV source to control a Eurorack system!

Laptop shelf

The included, detachable laptop shelf can be home to a lot of different types of instruments or processors. It helps take even greater advantage of the generous space above the upper two octaves of the 73-note Polytouch® keyboard.


The tone generation capability is the heart of any synthesizer, and the 3 Hydrasynth oscillators are alive with potential.

Each of the oscillators lets you choose from a selection of 219 single-cycle waveforms. And on top of that, two of the oscillators have powerful wavemorphing capabilities.
Wavemorphing is a feature usually found on synths with preset wavetables. But creating user wavetables on those products is arduous or downright impossible. Unlike most wavetable synths, our oscillators 1 & 2 have our easy-to-use WAVELIST mode.

This mode lets you select any 8 waves from our diverse collection of 219 waves, arrange them in the order you want, and then morph from one wave to another. This can be done automatically with any modulation source, such as an LFO or an envelope, or manually with a physical control such as polyphonic aftertouch or a Macro.
And now in version 2.0 you can choose the bit depth of each oscillator, which puts those sought-after vintage or grungy sounds at your fingertips.


Oscillators 1 & 2 are routed into our MUTANTS. The Mutants allow you to modulate, bend and sculpt the sound in new (and old) ways.

Each Mutant lets you choose from the following processes:

  • FM-Linear: This is for making classic FM sounds. Choose multiple FM sources, including external inputs.
  • WavStack™: Creates 5 copies of the input source and allows you to set a detune amount.
  • Osc Sync: This gives you those classic hard sync sounds. Try hard-syncing a morphing wavetable for some fun.
  • Pulse Width Modulation (PW-Orig): Performs the classic pulse width modulation on any waveform.
  • PW-Squeeze: Compresses the center section of the waveform, for a unique type of PWM.
  • PW-ASM: Divides the incoming wave into 8 slices and lets you set the amount of FM that is applied to each segment. This is FM unleashed.
  • Harmonic Sweep: This will sweep the harmonics of the input source.
  • PhazDiff: Generates the difference of the incoming wave and a version that is inverted and phase-shifted.

The Mutants can also generate their own waveforms in both FM and Sync modes so you don't 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 gives you independent control over the levels and stereo positions of those 5 sources.
After this you are able to choose how much signal from each source is routed to filters 1 and 2.
The filters can be routed in parallel or series for ultimate flexibility.
Who knew that a simple mixer could be so powerful? Well, in all humility, we did.


If oscillators and tone generators are the heart of a synthesizer, the filters are the soul.
The soul of a Hydrasynth is a complex thing; it can claw or caress, scream or soothe, mangle or melt. It has been known to speak. The multi-faceted Hydrasynth filters are right in the thick of it.
Filter 1 has 16 different models ranging from 1 to 8 poles, many with high-, band-, and low pass options. There is also a flexible vocal filter with formant control. Even if Filter 1 were the only filter the Hydrasynth had, it would take a lifetime to exhaust the possibilities.
But it is not alone.

Filter 2 is a 12dB per octave state-variable filter, which means it can sweep continuously from either low pass > bandpass > high pass or low pass > notch > high pass. It is similar to the classic SEM filter in many ways.
These two formidable filters can be configured in series or parallel. This means the one can feed and be sculpted by the other (series), or they can complement one another (parallel). With careful use of source panning in the Mixer module, the left and right outputs can be completely different or rich in unified complexity.


5 Low-Frequency Oscillators…YES, FIVE.
Much like our sound engine, the LFOs are not ordinary by any means.
The Hydrasynth LFOs feature a STEP mode that lets you create patterns with up to 64 steps. Having 5 mini step sequencers gives you an amazing number of possibilities for further shaping your sound.
Of course, there are also 10 standard waveforms available, including Sample and Hold, Noise, and Random.
Each LFO has delay, fade in, 3 triggering modes, smoothing, start phase, BPM sync, and a One-Shot mode so that they can act as envelopes.
The version 2.0 LFOs have some exciting new features, including a Step option for the One-Shot mode that allows the Step wave to advance by one step per trigger.
And LFOs now can be quantized to create stepped values. It's like bit reduction for your LFOs.
Wait...LFOs can be envelopes?! Can envelopes be LFOs? We're glad you asked...


5 DAHDSR Envelopes…YES, FIVE.
An advanced sound engine needs plenty of modulation sources. Our 6-stage envelopes feature Delay, Attack, Hold, Decay, Sustain, and Release stages.
The durations of the ADR stages can be set to seconds or subdivisions of the tempo, giving you envelopes that play in sync to your song.
In fact, you can also loop the envelopes, which turns them into LFOs that can be shaped by any source in the modulation matrix.
Each envelope can be triggered by up to four different sources, and there's a Tap Trigger option too.
And now the envelopes can be quantized to different step levels as of version 2.0. Bit reduction strikes again!

Modulation Matrix

The modulation capabilities on the Hydrasynth are endless.
With 32 user-definable Modulation matrix slots, there are plenty of ways to use the 35 modulation sources and 191 modulation destinations.
Almost everything in the synth engine can be a modulation destination, including the effects and arpeggiator.

The modulation routes themselves can also become modulation destinations, and can be targeted by the Macros too.
Modulation sources & destinations include the CV Mod In & Out jacks as well as all 128 MIDI CCs.
We should mention that there are some hard-wired modulation routes located in other modules too. This means you don't have to burn up one of the 32 mod routes in the Modulation matrix to do certain basic functions.
It's rare that someone actually uses all 32 mod routes in a patch anyway, but hey, we're feeling generous.


The Upper and Lower parts can have independent arpeggiator settings in Multi mode.
Each arpeggiator has all the standard arpeggio directions plus a few twists (up, down, and/or sideways, sort of). There's also a built-in phrase mode, and version 2.0 adds new features like Step Offset and increases the range to 6 octaves. Parameters like RATCHET and CHANCE will generate other semi-random rhythmic patterns to add life and spontaneity to your performance.
You can also modulate most of the parameters in the arpeggiators. Imagine using LFOs, Envelopes, Polyphonic Aftertouch or the Ribbon controller to modify your arpeggios in real time! It boggles the mind.

CV / Gate - MIDI - USB

Industry-standard MIDI and USB/MIDI interfaces are available on the Hydrasynth Deluxe, but we go deeper and allow the use of CV / Gate interfaces for connecting to the modular world. This opens a door to the unlimited expansion of your musical horizons.
Our CV / Gate / Mod connectors support the standard voltages for Eurorack modulars, the 1.2V per octave Buchla standard, as well as some of the Japanese Volts > HZ products. The CV Mod In & Out jacks allow for modulation from DC to full audio range, which multiplies your modulation capabilities.
The Hydrasynth Deluxe can have separate MIDI channels assigned to its Lower and Upper parts in Multi mode. The CV / Gate settings will respond to the Upper part.

Main Controls

The Main System controls are where you navigate the patch banks, configure system settings, and can view parameters like the envelopes, waveforms, and filters in the OLED screen.
The INIT and RANDOM buttons make it possible to initialize or randomize a complete patch, a specific module, or an individual parameter with a simple press & hold button combination. There's even an option that randomly selects features from other patches to make a new patch. The results are surprisingly good! It has never been easier to find new inspiration.
A single press of the HOME button always takes you back to the Home page, where you can continue to browse the amazing patches on the Hydrasynth Deluxe.

Master Controls

The Master Control section is where all parameter editing, patch naming, and Macro performing is done. It sounds simple, and it is. We always make sure of that.
Using OLED screens, high-resolution encoders with LED rings, and 8 buttons, this section is designed to give you good feedback on what is happening inside the patch and during a performance.
The VOICE parameters give you access to polyphony modes, analog feel, voice panning and many other features, including the new per-voice modulation capabilities that arrived in version 2.0. Now there's a Glissando option for the Glide feature, too.


The Hydrasynth Macros are designed to allow deep control over the engine in live performance. They're easy to make and fun to use.
In Multi mode, the Hydrasynth Deluxe makes it possible to control the Macros of the Lower and Upper parts at the same time.
The 8 assignable pairs of encoders and buttons can be routed to as many as 8 destinations per part, including effects parameters and modulation routes. In Multi mode that's a total of up to 128 destinations at the same time! Complete sound transformations can take place with the press of a button or the turn of a knob. You can save the results as a new patch, too.


The Hydrasynth Deluxe holds 8 banks of 128 patches in Single mode, plus 5 banks of 128 Multi mode patches. Each Multi holds a Lower and Upper patch, which are independent from the patches in Single mode.
With all of these patches in one unit the capabilities have been multiplied exponentially! So we hired some of the best sound designers in the world to take advantage of the sonic potential of the Hydrasynth Deluxe.
Finding the patch you want and searching the library is made easy with our Browser. Three patch sorting methods make it even faster.
The Favorites browser lets you select 128 patches from any bank for immediate access. Patches from Single mode and Multi mode can sit side by side.
Our Patch Manager application for Windows and macOS also helps you move and organize patches easily, so you can create your favorite order as well as load in new patch libraries in the future.


The Hydrasynth 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, including pitch effects, Lo-Fi, EQ, and Distortion.
In Multi mode the Hydrasynth Deluxe has two independent effects chains for the Lower and Upper parts. The settings can be identical, complementary, or wildly different if you like.
The delays and reverbs were modeled after some of the most popular effects on the market. They're smooth, silky, and perfectly synced.
These high-quality effects are the perfect way to complete your sound, in the box. You're always ready to create the perfect mood with a Hydrasynth Deluxe.


Physical Specifications

Metal Chassis

  • Steel top and bottom
  • Aluminum side panels
  • Detachable laptop shelf

Polytouch® Keybed

  • 73 keys, semi-weighted
  • Polyphonic aftertouch
  • Note On and Note Off Velocity

4-octave Ribbon Controller (67 cm, 26.4”)

  • Pitch Bend mode
  • Mod Only mode – use the ribbon as a modulation source
  • Theremin mode - the ribbon triggers a note
    • Choose continuous pitch or one of 60 scales, including microtonal
    • Selectable range: 2, 4, or 6 octaves
  • Ribbon can be CV source

Additional Hardware Controls

  • Octave Up/Down buttons for instant transposition
  • Chord mode button: stack up to 8 notes in a chord
  • Pitch bend / modulation controls with adjustable depth
  • Balance knob controls relative levels of Upper / Lower patches in Multi mode

Patch Memory

  • 8 banks of 128 patches in Single mode
  • 5 banks of 128 patches in Multi mode
  • Each Multi contains two complete Hydrasynth patches: one for the Upper part, one for the Lower part
  • Upper / Lower patches are independent of Single mode patches
  • Sort patches by Patch number, Name, or Category
  • Browse Favorites: Select 128 patches from any bank, including Singles or Multis, for immediate access

CV / Gate Inputs and Outputs

  • Supports multiple CV / Gate standards
    • CV
      • 1v per octave 0-10V
      • 1v per octave +/-5V
      • Hz to Volts 0-10V
      • 1.2V per octave
      • Adjustable offset: +/-99 cents
      • Adjustable reference note: C-1 to G9
    • Gate
      • V-trig, S-trig
      • 3V, 5V, 10V
    • Mod In / Out range
      • +/-5V, 0-10V, 0-5V, 0-1V
      • Adjustable offset: +/-3V
    • Clock Out
      • 1PPS, 2PPQ, 24PPQ, 48 PPQ
      • Clock Voltage: 3v, 5V, 10V
      • Selectable clock division: Off, 1/2, 2, 4
      • Adjustable offset: +/- 100ms


  • Voice overflow mode to expand polyphony with a second Hydrasynth

Expression pedal input

  • Selectable curves and polarity

Sustain pedal input

  • Polarity sensing
  • Three modes of operation: Sustain, Sostenuto, and Modulation Only

DC input jack

  • USB port
  • Supports USB MIDI In / Out

Audio outputs

  • Stereo analog outputs: two pairs (balanced)
  • Automatic routing when Upper / Lower outputs are connected
  • Two headphone connectors
  • 6.35 mm (1⁄4 inch) and 3.5 mm
  • Shared volume control
  • Impedance: 16 – 75 Ohm


  • Without Shelf: 113.1 x 34.9 x 11.9 cm (44.53” x 13.74” x 4.65” inches)
  • Shelf installed: 113.1 x 42.3 x 11.9 cm (44.53” x 16.65” x 4.65” inches)


  • 13.3 kg (29.33 lbs)

Sound Patch Specifications

16 Voice Advanced Wavetable synthesis

  • Single mode: Operates as a 16-voice Hydrasynth
  • Multi mode: Split or layer two 8-voice Hydrasynth engines

Oscillators 1 and 2: Wavemorphing oscillators

  • 219 single-cycle waveforms
  • User wavetables
    • 8 user-selectable waves per oscillator to build custom wavetables
    • WaveScan parameter lets you morph through the wavetables
    • Every patch can have two unique wavetables
  • Bit reduction: 11 settings from 2 to 16 bits, and Off
  • +/- 3 octave tuning range
  • Keytracking: 0-200%

Oscillator 3: fixed Wave oscillator

  • 219 single-cycle waveforms
  • Bit reduction: 11 settings from 2 to 16 bits, and Off
  • +/- 3 octave tuning range
  • Keytracking: 0-200%

Dual Mutants per oscillator (Osc 1 and 2)

  • FM: Linear FM
    • Selectable Modulator source:
    • Internal Sine & Triangle waves, Oscillators 1-3, Ring Mod, Noise generator, Mutants 1-4, External Mod

inputs 1 & 2

  • WavStack™: Generates 5 detuned waves from the input source, with adjustable detune amount
  • Hard Sync (Osc Sync): gives that classic sync sweep sound
    • Selectable sync input source: Oscillators 1-3
    • Adjustable Hann window to shape the output
  • Pulse Width Modulation (PW-Orig): Adjusts the pulse width of any waveform
  • PW-Squeeze: Compresses the center section of the waveform, for a unique type of PWM
  • PW-ASM: 8 adjustable Warp points can be applied to the waveform, for a unique form of FM synthesis
    • Warp points can be modulated individually through the Mod Matrix
  • Harmonic Sweep: scans through the harmonics of the incoming waveform
  • PhazDiff: creates a new sound by combining phase shifting and summing techniques
  • Depth control for all Mutants
  • FeedBack control for all Mutants (except WavStack): 0-150%
  • Ratio control for Osc Sync, Harmonic, and all PWM Mutants: 0.250:1 - 64:1
    • Mutations occur up to 64 times in one waveform cycle, or as few as once in four cycles
  • Dry/Wet mix to blend the input source with the Mutant output

Noise Generator

  • White, Pink, Brown, Red, Blue, Violet, Grey noise sources

Ring Modulator

  • Selectable input source:
    • Oscillators 1-3, Noise, Mutants 1-4, External Mod inputs 1 & 2
  • Depth control

Sound source mixer

  • Independent level control for Oscillators 1-3, Noise, and Ring Mod
  • Panning for each source
  • Filter routing mix
  • Each source can be soloed
    • Solo status is saved with the patch

Two Filters

  • Series or parallel routing
  • Filter 1
    • 12 & 24dB/octave modern ladder (compensated)
    • 12 & 24dB/octave vintage ladder (uncompensated)
    • 3-Ler LP, BP, HP
    • MS20 HP, LP
    • Low Pass Gate
    • STN LP, BP, HP
    • 1 pole LP
    • 8 pole LP
    • Vocal filter
    • Multiple vowel order options
    • Formant parameter
  • Filter 2 (SEM style)
    • Continuously Variable Low pass > Band pass > High pass
    • Continuously Variable Low pass > Notch > High pass

Patch-level parameters

  • Poly, Mono, and Unison modes
  • Two glide modes: Glide and Glissando
  • 60 scales available, including microtonal
    • New scales can be imported from third-party software
  • VoiceMod: independent modulation levels available per voice, per patch
  • MPE support
  • NRPN / CC automation capability
  • Randomize or initialize parameters, modules, or an entire patch

Modulation Specifications

5x Low Frequency Oscillators

  • 10 static waves
    • Sine, Triangle, Saw up, Saw down, Square, Pulse 27%, Pulse 13%, S&H, Noise, Random
  • Step Wave: up to 64 user-definable steps (similar to a step sequencer)
    • SemiLock for chromatic pitch sequencing
    • Can advance one step per trigger
  • Clock sync
  • Variable rate
    • BPM Sync Off: 0.02 - 150 Hz
    • BPM Sync On: 1/64T - 64' (16 bars), including dotted and triplet options
  • Starting phase
  • Start delay
  • Fade in
  • Master LFO output gain
  • Trigger modes: Mono, Poly, Off (free run)
  • One shot modes: Off, On, and Step
  • Adjustable smoothing of waves and LFO steps
  • LFO quantize: 8 levels

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
  • Use Tempo or Time option for setting the length of each stage
  • BPM Sync option
    • Looping of AHD stages
    • Loop 2-50 times or indefinitely
  • Envelopes can function as additional LFOs
  • Envelope quantize: 8 levels
  • Trigger modes: Reset, Retrigger, Legato (not available in Poly mode)
  • Trigger Sources: up to 4 trigger sources available for each envelope

Matrix modulation

  • 32 slots for source-destination mod routings with amount
  • 35 sources, 191 destinations
  • Modulation slots can be mod destinations and/or Macro destinations
  • Per-voice Modulation sources: bipolar or unipolar

8x Macro knobs and buttons

  • Each Macro knob allows positive and negative control of up to 8 destinations
  • Macros can be modulation destinations


  • Arp parameters can be modulation destinations
  • Modes
    • Up, down, up/down, up & down, note order, random, chord, phrase
    • 64 preset phrases
    • Adjustable length
    • Step offset +/- 32 steps
    • Tap Trigger option: advance arpeggiator with Tap Tempo button
  • Octave
    • Range: 1-6 octaves
  • Play order
  • Up, down, up/down, alt 1, alt 2
  • Swing: Adjustable from 50-75%
  • Gate time: 5-100%
  • Ratchet: repeats notes
  • Chance: sets how often the ratchet takes place

Effects Specifications

Pre-effects: before Delay and Reverb

  • Chorus, Flanger, Rotary, Phaser, Lo-Fi, Tremolo, EQ, Compressor (with side chain), Distortion


  • Mono, Stereo, Panning, LRC (left/right/center), Reverse
  • BPM sync option


  • Hall, Room, Plate, Cloud
  • Freeze mode

Post-effects: after Delay and Reverb

  • Chorus, Flanger, Rotary, Phaser, Lo-Fi, Tremolo, EQ, Compressor (with side chain), Distortion