I usually don't do reviews but I'm going to make an exception here..
I've been using Hydra for a while now and I always seem to find a place for it in my mixes. It's still one of the best modeled analog synths around.
It starts of with the good looks, a clean and clear GUI which helps you figure out the workings in about 10 seconds. The oscillator routing is a nice twist and with tons of waveforms at your disposal you can really get some original sounds out of this machine. Even quality percussive sounds, helped by the envelopes which can be switched to percussive mode. It's not a coincidence I use it a lot for ambient percussion. But it's an extremely capable pad machine as well, very warm pads, actually.. the whole synth feels warm to me probably helped by the great filter. No surprise there, synapse have always coded good sounding filters.
I really can't say anything bad about this one. It looks good, it sounds great and it's a lot of quality for the money if you ask me. And at less than £60, I think it's a steal too.
This is by far the best instrument from Synapse. I got the SynthPack from them and also use the Scorpion occasionally which is nice for bass sounds, and then there is the Plucked String which I barely use. The Hydra features multiple models, it can do both subtractive and fm-like synthesis. The filter and envelopes are always available, something which pure FM synths badly lack. Additionally there is a percussive mode for drum sounds. The drum sounds included are not too useful, but the mode still is for other synth sounds.
Version 4.0 had some stability issues. They released 4.1 shortly afterwards, that runs rock stable, did not crash on me once.
The Hydra is a great update for the Junglist. The Junglist was allready great and *different*, the Hydra is simply better. Extremely easy to program, great and unique sound, "easy on the eyes interface" (well, it looks boring but works) and some features you won't find in any other VSTI out there. Personally i don't like the presets, they are boring and don't show the Power of Hydra, but it's really easy to create impressive sounds within Miniutes after loading it, and that's a good thing.
news: Hydra v1.1 released (making hydra rock stable). what should i say more - sounds very good - has a great user-friendly interface and quick operational - one of the best virtual analog synths around - is much much more then Junglist. like all synapse plugins, it sounds very diffrent from competitors. some say thats good, some say thats bad - but after you will try it you will buy it for sure. is a terrible weapon.
the junglist was one of my favorite synths and now the hydra is; the "update" to the junglist did not miss a beat.
GUI- the gui seems a bit more organized from the previous incarnation. the grey is nicer to look at for hours on end in comparison to the previous blue.
SOUND- i really enoy the sound of this synth. 39 waveforms for each osc gives you a wide variety of sound textures to begin with. the filter is one of the best around and probally the secretly the best 303 emulator with enough coaxing.
Features- there are some features that jump out at me. percussive envelope is one of my favs, the pitch up and down controls are fun also.
Documentation- the docs are very good but i really never used them because this thing is pretty self explanitory if you have ever used a synth.
Presets- deffinatly the weakest part of this synth. the presets do not show case the full sonic potential of this synth. all the presets are super bread and butter type stuff.
**EDIT**Customer Support-the previous problem that i had with their customer support is more my problem. i stumbled across their forum while on thier site. imo its alittle hidden but its there.
VFtM- being a previous junglist owner i had to only pay 29.99 soooo its seems like i only payed 30 bux as opposed to 100. i have no complaints.
Stability- have no recieved a problem in this area seems about as stable as the junglist was.