I got mine for a ridculous 5 or 10 pounds, or less even, can't remember. I even have a second one I can't remember when I got, probably in a bundle. Is it worth full price, I don't know, but I know I have paid a lot more than $100 for stuff worth less than the Hybrid 3, and you always get it on sale for pocket change anyway.
The impression you get from the presets is that this is a house/techno synth, not my type of genres, but if you get under the hood you'll discover it's a very versatile and powerfull synth. It lacks some of the analogue warmth I usually go for, but the sound is exceptionally clean.
First, I got this for free when I got it in a hardware bundle, so I don't think I would have paid $149 for it. The GUI is a little hard to understand from first glance if you don't traditionally use Air Music Tech products, but after a bit I was able to get the gist of it (with this being my first synth from them). The synth itself comes packed with a lot of presets that seem a bit outdated, but there are still a lot that fit well in modern music. The only major issue I ran into was the lack of stereo imaging for one Part. To create a preset with stereo width, you need to duplicate Part A to Part B and pan them away from each other (hence taking away a Part). Other than that, I would recommend buying if it is on sale.
I, m not a Fan of the UI, everything is small, it stress my eyes.
I, m a big fan of the amazing sound, the great presets, and hidden settings.like the sequencer or the effect chain.
Is it worth 149$ ? Probably not, i got mine for free in a bundle with Hardware and yes it has a great sound and nice features but in this price range i would think about to take a Hardware Synth like one of the Volca Series or a Behringer Crave or something.
Sound quality is pretty good. My favorite feature is the ability to layer sounds in it. The one thing I don't like, is the small screen and no ability to adjust it. But still a very valuable synth, that goes on sale for a $1.00 many times during the year.
I picked this up for an insane $1.00 on pluginboutique.com. If you ever see this come up on special, you must grab it. This is simply one of the best all-purpose synths out there today.
AIR Technology has been around for a long time; until recently, their plug-ins were only available to Pro Tools users (they make the default effect suite included with Pro Tools), but they have opened it up in recent years to other formats.
I expected this to fall along the lines of the instruments included with Pro Tools; professional, but outdated, bearing the imprint of circa-mid-2000's. But boy, was I wrong. Of course the presets are techno-centric, but they sound fantastic and serve as great starting points. I found myself sinking in and wasting many an hour digging in and even coming up with ideas.
What really sets this apart is the multitude of features. It reminds me a lot of Omnisphere, without being sample-based: dual oscillators that can be blended or turned on or off separately; a rich step-sequencer and arpeggiator; a rich selection of saturation for the filters and excellent in-line effects. I'm reminded that AIR used to be Wizoo, who made some of Steinberg's finest, long-lost synths, whose ethos still runs through Cubase today.
Not only this, it's insanely light on resources. I'm not sure that I could top out Cubase, running on a 2013 MacBook.
I could go on and on, but really, this is a tremendous, still totally relevant synth today, and worth every penny at full price, but it's shocking that one can pick this up for as little as one dollar. I urge anyone to check it out; it's the underrated secret deal of the decade.
I bought it very cheap, as usual, I mean, who pays the regular price for Air stuff... I had demoed it and liked some of the presets, and given the low price, I thought why not, let's go for it.
And I must say that it has surpassed my expectations, a lot :)
What I like most is the sound quality as such, also of the included effects. There is a soft shine on higher octaves where other synths tend to sound a bit metallic and irritating. It has a nice full presence in the mid-range, basses can also get very profound, especially when using an eq in the effects section. I often use the simple bass-treble eq and set the bass to +6db. That yields a solid foundation that you can "feel", for instance in synth bass patches. Even resonance sounds pleasant and the volume does not go down, unlike on Sylenth1 and many others. (I know hardware did that as well, but probably not on purpose).
The DCF vs VCF switch really makes a difference, it is not a shallow gimmick. That applies to all controls actually, they are rather effective.
What I also noticed is that it sits well in the mix, it simply sounds good when adding tracks and doesn't turn into a bland synth brew.
Unison and voice stacking sound very good when set right, unlike on Predator, where there is always an ugly "phase bulge" at the beginning of each note.
The wavetable feature is quite basic by modern standards, but I think it is simply intended as an add-on to the standard subtractive waveforms. I often use it on one osc while I use two classic waveforms on the other two osc's, just to add a different flavor, for instance a metallic character.
All in all, it is a very musical, intuitive, human synth, which makes very nice 80's sounds for instance, even DX7 bass sounds.
There are a few things I think could be improved, most of all the GUI, which is relatively small on my big display, and too modern in my view. Since there is no mighty mod matrix like on other synths and LFO's don't go beyond 30Hz, Hybrid 3 will likely not be the first choice of EDM kiddies, anyway. So a more classic GUI might be appropriate, fully scalable if possible.
The layout is OK, though, easy to remember visually. There is quite some clicking, though, because of all the tabs.
I particularly don't like the graphic envelopes, they are small, and the dots are sometimes almost one behind the other, so it is hard to grab the one you actually want to change. The envelopes don't allow for additional stages etc., so conventional sliders for those 5 values would have been better.
When using osc and envelope retriggering, the previous note is cut off too abruptly in my view, not as elegantly and noise-free as on Sylenth1. And the last note priority does not retrigger the previous note completely like it does on Predator for instance. So when you have a punchy or percussive sound and release the second note, the first one continues at the right pitch, but without the punch. Some synths do it this way, others like Predator. Not sure if there is a right way to do it...
Related, mono mode without legato is not Hybrid 3's strength, there often is a slight blip on the attack, even when using slow attack. A lot of synths do that and I don't like it. I think it might have to do with voice stealing.
I would also like to have a phase knob for setting the phase right when in retrigger mode.
Anyway, for 30 bucks it was a steal. I know I like it because I make a lot of patches for it, without having to :)