ASM Hydrasynth Explorer


Digital wavemorphing synthesizer

  • 37 velocity sensitive "medium size" keys with aftertouch
  • 8 voices
  • Monotimbral
  • Full polyphonic aftertouch
  • Arpeggiator including ratchet, chance, gate time & swing (8 modes)
  • 3 oscillators with 219 single-cycle waveforms
  • WaveScan parameters for modulating through wavetables
  • Wavelist mode for crossfading up to 8 wavetables
  • 8 user-defined wavelists per oscillator
  • Mixer including noise generator and ring modulator
  • 2 filters (serial or parallel)
  • Filter 1 with 11 different filter models (12 & 24 db ladder, vintage ladder, HP, LP, vocal etc.)
  • Filter 2: 12 dB (SEM style) incl. Continuous sweep from low pass to band pass to high pass
  • Modulation matrix
  • 32 user-definable modulation routings
  • 5 DAHDSR envelopes
  • 5 LFOs
  • LFOs incl. Delay, fade in, 3 trigger modes, smoothing, start phase, one-shot mode
  • 5 banks with 128 patches each
  • 256 factory patches
  • CV gate outputs
  • 8 high-resolution encoders including LED rings
  • OLED displays
  • Support of all common CV/GATE standards
  • Clock input and output
  • PC/MAC-based Patch Manager plug-in
  • Pre- and post-effects for sound editing
  • Optional battery operation (8xAA batteries)
  • Dimensions: 554 x 247 x 58 mm
  • Weight: 3.46 kg
available since December 2021
Item number 527778
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Number Of Keys 37
Touch-Sensitive Yes
Aftertouch Yes
Split Zones No
Modulation Wheel Yes
Number of simultaneous Voices 8
Sound Engine Digital
MIDI interface 1x In, 1x Out, 1x Thru
Storage Medium None
USB-port Yes
Effects Yes
Arpeggiator Yes
Number of Analog Outputs 2
Digital Output No
Display Yes
Pedal Connections 1x Pedal, 1x Sustain
Weight 10,0 kg
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Free shipping incl. VAT
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Awesome synth and controller
TomNL 12.12.2021
Being an enthusiastic owner and user of a Hydrasynth desktop, I didn't hesitate to purchase the Hydrasynth Explorer.
I love my Hydrasynth, but playing with pads isn't my cup of tea.
The Explorer offers polyphonic aftertouch and note off velocity in a handy format.

Although the case is plastic it feels and looks very solid.
The knobs are the same quality as on the other versions.
The keys are very nice slim keys. You can adjust the sensitivity of the polytouch to your wishes.

This is not only an amazing synth, but also a very versatile controller.
Almost every knob sends MIDI CC. When you select a module the CC's of the four macro knobs will change to their specific CC's.
The macro's can send any CC or NRPN you want, which makes it a very versatile MIDI controller. I use it mostly to control iPad apps and that works fine.

With the Explorer I got the perfect MIDI controller for me with a fantastic synthesizer on board in a very handy and portable format.
I hope Thomann will offer a case for it soon.


Stellar, as expected
Torstai 16.12.2021
I'm a mainly a bassist by trade, synth studio dweller by night. Bought mainly for a do-it-all keybass and a main desk synth / midi-controller

Having caught the hydra-bug when the original models released, and after steadily studying the manual thereafter, considering making the (rather sizeable) purchase , I jumped at the offer of the exact same engine, but in a smaller, more desk-friendly formfactor, AND with a smaller price-tag.

Despite the rather large amount of expectations I had grown during the wait, the Explorer dissapointed in no regard. I'll go by the list of initial concerns, and how they were met:

1. Keybed

Playability is paramount to me, so this requirement had to be met. The intstrument has mini-keys, as they had to be considering the width available. Despite this they don't feel like a significant compromise, and the feel is by far the best I've felt. No rattling, no plasticy of flimsy feel, a suprisingly sturdy response and fast, tactile action. I also didn't expect the poly-aftertouch to feel so natural, despite the small travel space. You really have to dig into the keybed to hit 127, way more headroom than I would ever need for my playing. 3 octaves is enough for expressing harmonic ideas on two hands, and besides I can always turn to my 88 master keyboard If i need more (though I lack the polytouch on mine. (hint hint, ASM...))

2. The lack of space

Definitely not a big problem. once I got used to the button layout, I patching mods as fast as I could think of them. I'd say I have 90% of the speed I have programming my knob-per-function prologue. Having every control really close by is great for performance and one hand playability. (Also the filter knob and volume being by the mod-strips is a great touch, as I am always riding on those when performing)

3. Overall quality

Solid, good weight, STURDY knobs. I try to wiggle one and the whole table shakes, I think that says enough. Doesn't feel like a corner-cut downsize unlike some other mini-synths.

Overall pros and cons:

- Giggable, fits in my backpack.
- Well built.
- Way more features than I could need, but without feeling overwhelming - by virtue of the excellent ux. Feels like you can't hit a limit or creative roadblock when patching.
- Polytouch + touchstrips + bucketloads of mods + random button= Most expressive piece of gear I own, in terms of sound-design AND playing.
- Also sounds excellent, which is most important.
- 600 eurobucks. You can't beat that.

- "No" step sequenser. Though the arp and lfos(!) allow the possibility of stepped, chromatic sequensing, and I don't know where they could even fit a fully featured one. If they tried to cram more power into a space this small I think it would cause a supernova.

If you're on the edge, I'd say just buy it. Support great synth-design.


Digital is the new... Digital
Spyros_VJ 13.07.2022
Ah, Hydrasynth!
Bought the Hydrasynth to complete my -mostly- analogue synths setup. Chosen the Explorer to accommodate my limited space.
This is an amazing, feature-packed, proudly digital, deep as the abyss, synthesizer with amazing, AMAZING sound and functionalities. It can be cold, warm, analogue-esque, it can sing, talk, growl and chirp (all at once). A chameleon instrument with countless tricks under its sleeve.
Did I mention how good it sounds? And also how expressive it can be with the use of Poly After Touch!
If you're -like me- thinking ""what more HYDRA can do compared to a VST?", think again. Then toss that thought in the bin and buy it. No regrets here.
Inexperienced users, that get intimidated by menu-diving or myriads of options might look elsewhere.
Mildly or highly adventurous musicians / sound designers who don't get constrained by digital Vs. Analogue pseudo-dilemmas, or want to dive into sonic landscapes composed by 0s and 1s and change it, this is your thing.
Bravo ASM team!
Thanks Thomann for the speedy & safe delivery.



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Kompaktes Soundwunder
JB2018 14.12.2021
Lange erwartet - und jetzt ist er da! Über den eigenständigen Sound und die vielfältigen Möglichkeiten der Klangbearbeitung und -veränderung findet man in Youtube bereits profunde Videos, zumal die Soundengine der des Desktop- und des kleineren Tastaturmodells entspricht. Mit den wenigen Einschränkungen angesichts des geschrumpften Formats kann man gut leben.
Apropos Format: Er ist überraschend kompakt, nicht zu leicht, nicht zu schwer und kommt aufgrund der soliden Qualität von Gehäuse und Bedienelementen sowie der hervorragenden Tastatur äußerst wertig daher. Das Keyboard ist zwar nichts für ausgesprochene Mini-Tasten-Hasser, vermittelt allen anderen aber ein präzises, knackiges Spielgefühl, das sich durchaus in der Liga von Fatar & Co. bewegt.
Der Synthesizer ist sicherlich kein "bequemer" Klanglieferant für alle möglichen Anwendungen, sondern fordert zur eigenen Klanggestaltung heraus, zumal die Presets zwar anregend, aber insgesamt nicht umwerfend sind.
Fazit: Angesichts der riesigen Palette klanglicher Möglichkeiten und der Qualität der Hardware ist es erstaunlich, was hier für den moderaten Preis geboten wird! Abschließend noch ein Tipp: In die Gator GK2110 Multi-Effect Bag passt der äußerlich Kleine und innerlich Große perfekt hinein.


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