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Hydrasynth features compared to Kronos
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out this 2 SoundCloud demos on the ASM webpage:

http://www.ashunsoundmachines.com/hydrasynth-key

ASM Estrosynth
ASM Earthshine

I'm noticing many Hydra demos are a bit on the thin side.

Kronos can definitely get more beefy while getting ethereal.
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HardSync
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, psionic. I couldn't find their website a few days ago - good to know they do have one. :)

I think once this synth gets out into the wild, we're going to hear a lot of great, lush sounds from it. The Hydra is a sound designer's synth, in my view. It's definitely not a workstation like the Kronos. But I can easily imagine what the Kronos can do with custom Hydrasynth samples, or perhaps even better, running the outputs of the Hydra into the Kronos's inputs...
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:
Check out this 2 SoundCloud demos on the ASM webpage:

http://www.ashunsoundmachines.com/hydrasynth-key

ASM Estrosynth
ASM Earthshine

I'm noticing many Hydra demos are a bit on the thin side.

Kronos can definitely get more beefy while getting ethereal.


Thank you Psionic for these examples. Interesting to follow, for sure.
Yes, you're right : I'm always searching for a solution that Kronos could give for such or such problem ! After more than 2,5 years, I've got the same enthousiasm as the first day !!! But of course, as all instruments, it gest its own limits !

This Hydrasynth seems very interesting. Though, I'm not sure I would buy one. I've already got many things to explore with Grandmother and Neutron too. Not enough time !!
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's so true, not enough time!

This is a synth Golden Age.
I have a Moog One, MODX7, and Blofeld I don't spend enough time with.
I'm still very enthusiastic with my Kronos, more than ever.
And I have yet to conquer sampling and sequencing!!

But I always wanted Poly AT
And I'm really digging FM and wave tables for months now.
Just *one more* hardware purchase, then I'm done. Right?
Wink
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HardSync
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:
Just *one more* hardware purchase, then I'm done. Right?
:wink:


Ha! Unlikely. Good luck with that. :) It's not a bad thing. I suppose it's normal. I've owned so many keyboards in the last 30 years, from digital and analog synths to Hammond organs and classic electric pianos -- I've kept most of them, unable to bear to part with them probably for nostalgic reasons. Some of them are heart worms, and some aren't. But all of them have been inspirational and useful. I fire up the older, unused ones from time to time and really enjoy them before putting them back into storage.

What I haven't been able to "get into" is pure soft synths. There is something special about hardware, with all of their quirks and flaws, that really speaks to me and soft synths just don't "get there". Hardware synths aren't dependent on operating systems, memory and such. Plug them in, turn them on, and they work and sound fantastic. I'm not knocking those who do amazing things with soft synths. It's just not my thing. Give me real keys (or a MIDI module) and I'm good. :)

I'm not convinced we are in a "synth golden age." I mean, I was super impressed with my Korg M1 (I have two M1 Plus +1s) when it first came out. When I played in bands, it was my go to synth for almost everything and it never let me down for 15 years. Just one of the best gigging keyboards I've ever owned. Honestly, it is always been about making music, and pretty much every synth out there is capable of real magic in the right circumstance. I suppose it is sometimes hard to balance want versus need. Sometimes want wins out. :)
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been playing keys for almost 30 years also.

Funny thing is, for the first 15 years, I had 2 boards, both gone
Juno 106
DW-8000

For the next decade, I scraped together
Fusion 6, Fusion 8
Micron, X-station

It's only within the last 5 years have things gotten crazy
(I won't list them here)

I have 2 laptops, and I'm trying to go ITB.

But I keep gravitating back to hardware.
Correction, I keep gravitating back to my Kronos.

Cool
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, I've been playing keys for more than 40 years !!!
My first one was an Elgam organ, I was 16, I was so proud of it ! Noawaday, I'm smiling when I see a picture of it !

Then it was the first MS-20. I've been so stupid to sell it, some years later.
Then the DX-7. I was ever unable to program the least sound on it ! I didn't understand the FM synthesis !
I played on Korg 700s, Korg Delta...and gigged with DX-7 and Juno 106 !

In early 90's I was a seller in a synth shop. So I've been playing on all synths wich came out.
I worked on Korg T1, WS A/D/, ensoniq SD1, AKAI S1100 and many others. I did music for advertisements.

Then, I was sicked with all that stuff and stopped playing, selling all my gear. And didn't play for years.

Then I started again with a Yamaha stage piano PF.
Caming back to music with this fabulous Kronos, a bit more than 2 years ago. Soon after, I've bought a Sledge (a kind of blofeld) because I wanted a light keyboard, and then a Grandmother, and then a Neutron, and then of course a mixer, and then...and then....

Stop, stop !!! Care of G.A.S. (you know what ?) Gear Acquisition Syndrom.
I'm sure I havn't exploit more than 20% of all that stuff is able to do. So, I must be wise, keep quiet, take a long breathe, and begin to really work with my present gear and, why not....make music !!!
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for this long digression !

I would like to come back to this matter of WaveTable / WaveMorphing.
Because searching for explanations, I see numbers of articles and videos which make a confusion between the both.

As we saw before, in Kronos we can create wavetables with Wavesequence but it's not Wavemorphing per se.

In my Sledge (wich is a kind of blofeld) there are Wavetables. We can choose the start point and modulate in it but the transitions are factory fixed. So I suppose we can't call that Wavemorphing ? (It would be possible to reproduce the exact waves progresion in Kronos, I guess)

Here is a very interesting Loppop video about creating Wavemorphing in eurorack : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IffwamiO0A&t=93s
Watch the title : Analog wave morphing like wavetable synths according to him, Wavemorphing and wavetables are the same thing !
There, Loopop adds waves (2 then 4) and get a final new wave. But is it Wave morphing ?

Here is a short video where we see a wave morphing (I suppose !). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKE01rZzk0Y Don't you think that what we hear there can be heard in Kronos. Is there a real difference berween Blending and Morphing ?

Back to Kronos. Suppose I initialize an Exi Prog. 2 AL-1s. The first with a single Sawtooth, the second one with a square wave, for example. I set a delay for the second OSC and set the right AMP EG so that the second wave appears when the first one disappears in a gentle transition. Is it wave morphing ? In a way, what I'm doing there is a kind of little wavesequence, no ?
On another side, if the two waves are mixed, I get a new waveform, visible on scope, but is it a wavemorphing ?

I'm a bit lost in all these appelations. What is your opinion ?
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love talking about this stuff. Let's start with some definitions.
It's important to know the history and the context.
The terms have often been conflated.
And there is some marketing / deception going on as well.
(that last video you linked is really blending, not morphing, listen carefully)

Traditional analog waveform
- sine, triangle, sawtooth, square, pulse, noise
- named this way because that's how they look on an oscilloscope
- created by electrical currents; not mathematically perfect
- basic or building block waveforms, since they have predictable harmonics
- saw and square/pulse have rich harmonics; LPF removes high end
- we mimic natural sounds by using filters and envelopes to shape saws, etc
- also creates novel, unnatural (synthetic) sounds; hence "synthesis"

Sample
- a digitized (1001 0100) recording of an originally natural sound
- a dog barking, a drum loop, or even whole songs can be sampled
- when talking about synthesis, we focus on small samples (a few ms or seconds)
- samples can more accurately mimic natural sounds
- larger samples require more storage space (RAM, ROM, flash, SSD)
- early samplers had limited space
- using many samples, you can almost re-create natural music instruments (romplers)

Virtual analog
- no more electronic circuits, everything is digital
- some VA synths compute to re-create saw, pulse, etc; mathematically perfect
- some VA synths use samples of saw, pulse, etc; frozen picture of sound
- due to space, only a few samples could be used
- best to use building block sounds, then filter away higher harmonics (like analog synths
- later models included other waveforms (clav, bell, chiff, guitar)

ROMPLER database
- contains hundreds of small samples of instruments, voices, drums, etc
- like Kronos ROM banks
- each sample is independent; static
- normal use is to play them separately, as instruments

Wavetable
- several simple samples arranged consecutively
- Waldorf's innovation was to play wavetables, not mimic natural instruments
- synths could now "scan" through pre-arranged tables, for evolving textures
- the samples themselves are still distinct; stepping is distinct
- by placing related samples consecutively, the result was less distinct, smoother

Wavesequencing
- also uses either wavetables (small) or entire ROM database (large)
- novelty here was to play any wave, in any order, for any length of time each
- like in wavetable "scanning" synthesis, makes evolving sounds
- if similar samples are played consecutively, makes smoother evolving sounds

Wavemorphing
- one waveform is slowly changed to another waveform
- these are mathematically generated; dynamic
- if no math is involved, we can still simulate morphing
- original wavemorphing sound is digitized, producing a list of similar samples
- each digital snapshot (frame) is played consecutively

Wave "blending"
- waveforms are played in steps, consecutively, but overlapping
- each step is crossfaded with the following samples; smoother, simulated morphing
- no math, just crossfades

Waveshaping
- can be done in the analog realm, with electronic circuits
- a triangle wave is altered slowly over time to eventually become a square
- pulse width modulation (PWM) is the original waveshaping example
-- a pulse waveform is completely turned on for a time, then completely off
-- a pulse waveform that is ON 50% of the time, is a square wave
-- a pulse waveform can be waveshaped to become 45%, 30%, etc

Later technologies figured out how to waveshape more than just pulse waveforms. You can now electronically or mathematically shape waves in real time. Wave shaping is a form of wave morphing. Both are continuous changes of the wave (and timbre), with novel waveforms being created.


Whew.

So the key takeaway here is this:

Wavetable scanning plays distinct samples consecutively.

Wavemorphing take 2 separate waves, then mathematically computes the "-n-between" stages. The resulting sound in the middle is a new creation, a new waveform that did not exist before.

This is not to be confused with mixing or blending waves, while crossfading. The sound can be similar to wavemorphing, especially with careful crossfades or blending. But the original waveforms are preserved at all stages; there is no creation of new hybrid waveforms.
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's use Kronos AL-1 engine for audio examples.

(Warning: the following is my guess, without using oscilloscopes, only my ears.)

Pull up an Init Exi program, and go to Osc Basic.
Make sure waveform parameter is Saw/Pulse.

In Wave Morph field
000 = saw
100 = pulse
50 = blend of saw and pulse
25 = mostly saw, some pulse (again, blended, 2 distincts waveforms at the same time)
75 = mostly pulse, some saw

Let's explore Pulse Width Modulation
WaveMorph = 100

Now highlight the Pulse Width Modulation field.
Play and hold a note, while moving the Data Slider up and down.
As you change the PWM value, you are morphing the pulse.
PWM is a form of wavemorphing, only using pulse waves.

HOWEVER

Put WaveMorph = 0 (saw)

Select PWM field, play and hold a note, and move Data Slider.
Notice there is no change in the sound?
That's because the Kronos is not performing wavemorphing here.
Here's the "deception" (or misleading label, to be kind):
AL-1 Wave Morph does not actually morph between saw/pulse.
It only blends between saw and pulse.
Wave Morph is more like a balance knob here.
You blend the underlying waveforms, from 0 (original wave) to 100 (affected wave)

Try selecting other Waveforms (square/triangle, Detuned Saws, etc).
Then move the Wave Morph value. Observe that you are only blending volumes.

The one exception is when you choose Saw waveform.
You then have a Phase parameter.
Changing the phase does radically change the waveform.
This is like wave morphing, but with a single wave.
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A video is worth thousands of words:

Watch this video up to 5:35.
This will explain what modern wavetable synthesis is all about.

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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So to come full circle, this is why I'm interested in the Hydrasynth.

It has 219 single cycle waves.
(Kronos has thousands of samples in ROM, but only one bank of single cycle waves).

If you put single cycle waves in order, you have a bubbling sound.
This is a modern "wavetable" sound.
It's very similar to wavesequencing.
In fact, if you use single cycle waves in a wave sequence, it's VERY similar to modern wavetable synthesis using a wavetable of morphed waves.

But if you take 2 waves,
then perform a mathematical interpolation
you will get in-between waveforms.
These single cycle waveforms will sound like hybrids of the original.
You can play each single cycle wave as an independent loop.
Or you can "scan" through the de novo wavetable created from the original 2 waves.
The in-between single cycle waveforms did not previously exist
(not previously stored or found in ROM banks).

This is the difference between wavemorphing and wavesequencing.
Old school wavetables had fixed samples stored in a list.
New school wavetables use generated single cycle waves in a list
-- these generated waveforms come from morphing between waves
-- each in-between wave (frame) is an interpolation between neighboring frames

Ack. I think that's enough for today.
Hope all this made sense.
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psionic311
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, my friend, this is why I'm gaga about Hydrasynth.

At 21:12, Flux manually scans through the 219 single cycle waveforms so we can audition them.
(the video below will automatically start at 21:12)

But then Hydra can take any 8 of those waveforms,
and place them into a custom list. (at 23:00)
When you enable wave morphing,
it interpolates between your chosen 8. (at 23:56)
You have a custom wave-morphed wavetable Cool

Better yet, you can perform other operations on it:
- you can FM your custom wave-morphed wavetable (which he shows)
- you can wavestack it (similar to Kronos polyphonic unison detuning)
- you can perform OSC sync on it
- harmonic mode sweeps thru and emphasizes the harmonics

So much experimental fun for a synth fanatic like me.

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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waoo ! What a job you did here ! Thank you so much for all this time spended. I will take time to look at it and will get back.
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This is not to be confused with mixing or blending waves, while crossfading. The sound can be similar to wavemorphing, especially with careful crossfades or blending. But the original waveforms are preserved at all stages; there is no creation of new hybrid waveforms.


This is more clear now.

There's one word you said wich seems important to me : interpolation". It is very significative of the difference with "blending". Interpolation between two or more waves.
In the last video you've mentionned, we can here (and see) this interpolation (from 23:57).

What I wonder now : would we be sure to be able, just with our ears, to make the difference ? Saw - morph - Square / Saw - Blend - Square ? Interesting subject, for sure !

I'm sure it will be a very good synth for you, and you'll got fun with it. I don't think I will buy one, but who knows !! Its sounds are quite cold, almost acid tones, I think. But it certain that for the price its a good deal. And it has something very innovative. Do you think you will get yours soon ?

I saw above that you have a Moog One ! Great ! I'm sure you've got wonderful sounds with it ?

Is it possible in the Hydrasynth, or in Serum, to download two custom samples (whatever they be), and create a morphing between the both ?
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