Software Synths VS. Digital Hardware Synths.

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
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pixel85
KVRian
1499 posts since 11 Apr, 2008

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:23 pm

beleca wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:26 am
If you aren't buying some kind of rare/vintage synth out of basically sentimentality or for a very specific use, there is literally no advantage to the hardware anymore. Especially since you can expect anything you buy new to lose 90% of its value within a few years.
Yes, if someone is buying hardware just to sell it then it can make sense. But... drumroll... a lot of people is buying instruments to actually use them ;)

You're forgetting about the priceless value that can't be calculated based on 2nd hand market: usability. Usability = time spend with an instrument eg. hours of fun and leisure and/or income if an instrument is used at work.
Beware! The software discussed in this topic has unacceptable aliasing at -386dBTP but it can be fixed by changing the sample rate to 12Bit

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bharris22
KVRAF
2198 posts since 3 Mar, 2010

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:43 pm

I am sure that the sound of most digital hardware synths can be reproduced exactly by one software VSTi or another (with or without additional effects). However, even though I own most of the major software synths, I still find it to be a much more rewarding experience to plug a sequencer into a hardware digital synth - even something as simple as the Korg NTS-1 - and start turning knobs. If it is just about the sound, then there is probably no benefit to digital hardware synths. But, if I have some time to actually play around, using a piece of hardware is just more satisfying.

EnGee
KVRAF
7646 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:12 pm

I don't know if others feel the same! But buying some hardware and using them made me more practical (and have less GAS) with software synths! I don't know also if this is a temporary feeling or a good cure against the flashy (buy me) software synths!

Anyway, I went through my software synths after playing for one week or so with my hardware synths and I put a list of the frequently used soft synths (i.e. those synths that I insert first in my DAW and tend to use most of the times) and I found I'm actually using just 4 or 5 most of the times and the rest (about 30) I just use rarely in my music (but using them mostly as standalone to play around without a specific aim). I like them all but when it comes to making music, I use the same few synths I used over the years and in the end it doesn't matter if it is digital or analog!

Maybe also due to my small bedroom (not very small but about 4x4m) I can't have many hardware, so I must choose carefully what I fill the space. That makes me limited in spending on hardware also and become more practical! While with the software (synths and DAWs) I have more than enough virtual space that I can't fill it easily, so buying a software is a continuous spending here and there all the times! Also, no one is watching what I have inside the computer :hihi: No passing by one can tell me: "Wow! You have too many synths!! Why? Are you really using them all?! How much they cost you?! This is crazy!!".

Well, just some random thoughts I don't know if they are useful or just garbage! One thing is true and that is my inspiration in music is not related to any specific synth or instrument! I can be inspired with whatever DAW or Synth or Instrument out there (software or hardware)!

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foosnark
KVRAF
6037 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:58 pm

beleca wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:57 am
yeah, 90% was (I thought) obvious hyperbole but a cursory look at the first page of an ebay search has 2 used digitones made in the last 5 years that lost 25-40% off retail price.
When I resell a used Eurorack module, I usually get more than 70% back from the new price. And I have done a LOT of trading/buying/selling of Eurorack modules (something like 135 modules in 5 years).

If you buy used gear you can usually resell it at the same price, unless something weird happened in the market (newer and more in demand version of the same item for instance, or a reissue, or a dramatic drop in the MSRP of new ones).

From reviews it looks like the original price on Digitone was $739. I see them on eBay right now for no less than $718 and on Reverb for $650.

beleca
KVRer
11 posts since 2 Nov, 2021

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 2:23 pm

foosnark wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:58 pm
beleca wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:57 am
yeah, 90% was (I thought) obvious hyperbole but a cursory look at the first page of an ebay search has 2 used digitones made in the last 5 years that lost 25-40% off retail price.
If you buy used gear you can usually resell it at the same price, unless something weird happened in the market (newer and more in demand version of the same item for instance, or a reissue, or a dramatic drop in the MSRP of new ones).

From reviews it looks like the original price on Digitone was $739. I see them on eBay right now for no less than $718 and on Reverb for $650.
Weird cuz I think that exact model was my first result on google where Sweetwater has it for ~860 new. I'm sure you're telling the truth, but if you google "digitone 8 voice", assuming we don't somehow get different results, you should see it as the first "shopping" result. And that kind of difference is much more in line w/ my experience regarding synths.


"If you buy used gear..." yeah, I don't disagree. My comment specifically said if you buy new. *Most* things with modern computer chips in them depreciate in value *most* of the time; its a by-product of Moore's law. I can't believe this is foreign to anyone who's lived through the first few decades of the 21st century. Nothing against you personally, I made the mistake of being a tad hyperbolic and now some guy who is really cool and definitely gets laid a lot is really disgruntled over it.

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
11574 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 3:03 pm

foosnark wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:58 pm
beleca wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:57 am
yeah, 90% was (I thought) obvious hyperbole but a cursory look at the first page of an ebay search has 2 used digitones made in the last 5 years that lost 25-40% off retail price.
When I resell a used Eurorack module, I usually get more than 70% back from the new price. And I have done a LOT of trading/buying/selling of Eurorack modules (something like 135 modules in 5 years).

If you buy used gear you can usually resell it at the same price, unless something weird happened in the market (newer and more in demand version of the same item for instance, or a reissue, or a dramatic drop in the MSRP of new ones).

From reviews it looks like the original price on Digitone was $739. I see them on eBay right now for no less than $718 and on Reverb for $650.
Prices now are skewed due to the supply chain issue, so it’s really not fair to use this moment in any sort of bench mark.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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vurt
addled muppet weed
88864 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 5:04 pm

beleca wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:26 am
If you aren't buying some kind of rare/vintage synth out of basically sentimentality or for a very specific use, there is literally no advantage to the hardware anymore. Especially since you can expect anything you buy new to lose 90% of its value within a few years.
ive never once thought about resale value of anything ive purchased for music.
i buy things because they do something i like.

collectables, those i buy thinking of possible resale value, but only in the "well son, you can sell it when im dead".

live your life, money isn't everything.

beleca
KVRer
11 posts since 2 Nov, 2021

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 5:23 pm

vurt wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 5:04 pm
beleca wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:26 am
If you aren't buying some kind of rare/vintage synth out of basically sentimentality or for a very specific use, there is literally no advantage to the hardware anymore. Especially since you can expect anything you buy new to lose 90% of its value within a few years.
ive never once thought about resale value of anything ive purchased for music.
i buy things because they do something i like.

collectables, those i buy thinking of possible resale value, but only in the "well son, you can sell it when im dead".

live your life, money isn't everything.
It was more encouraging someone who claimed to be totally new to this type of hardware to consider buying used rather than gasing himself into some ill-considered purchase. It seems to me like the synth vendors are kinda extra price-gougey. Its why I feel bad for kids who are tricked by marketing into thinking the best "beginner" MIDI controller they can buy is some 25 key cheap plastic with rainbow lights and buttons they'll never use that's marked up 50%.

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Constructed Identity
KVRist
235 posts since 29 Sep, 2012 from Minneapolis, MN

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:10 pm

I don't think anyone has mentioned this little truth- Midi controllers are garbage so a real synth is a better option long term for both it's sound and use with soft synths. You can spend $150 on a midi controller and have it last a few months or you can spend $1200 on a used analog synthesizer and have it last for a decade. In the end, paying more upfront is the more economical choice regardless of devaluation because used midi controllers with non-functioning keys are all going to be worth about $0.00.
Speaking from experience

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Uncle E
KVRAF
12821 posts since 22 Nov, 2000 from Southern California

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:54 pm

Constructed Identity wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:10 pm
I don't think anyone has mentioned this little truth- Midi controllers are garbage so a real synth is a better option long term for both it's sound and use with soft synths. You can spend $150 on a midi controller and have it last a few months or you can spend $1200 on a used analog synthesizer and have it last for a decade. In the end, paying more upfront is the more economical choice regardless of devaluation because used midi controllers with non-functioning keys are all going to be worth about $0.00.
Speaking from experience
Some good examples are Virus, Triton, Z1, Fantom G, Take 5, K2600, PC3, and any current Moog.

Gadget Fiend
Banned
434 posts since 5 Feb, 2012

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:57 pm

bharris22 wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:43 pm
I am sure that the sound of most digital hardware synths can be reproduced exactly by one software VSTi or another (with or without additional effects).
I'm not so sure about that. Even though discoDSP makes an emulation of my Nord Lead 2, the discoDSP clone falls far short of capturing the punchiness and aggressiveness of my Nord. I also have a Nord Lead 3. There is no software instrument that combines the purity of tone and the pristine sound of the NL3's FM oscillators. And then there is my Virus. While Dune, Spire, Hive, etc. are all in the same ballpark, nothing sounds quite like the Virus TI.
Matrix-1000, MicroWave with Access programmer, MicroWave II, MKS-50 with MidiClub programmer, MKS-70, MKS-80 with Kiwi Patch Editor, Nord 2 Rack, Nord 3 Rack, Prophet REV2 module, Pulse 2, Shruthi, Virus TI

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digitallysane
KVRist
103 posts since 11 Mar, 2021 from Romania

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:39 pm

Constructed Identity wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:10 pm
I don't think anyone has mentioned this little truth- Midi controllers are garbage so a real synth is a better option long term for both it's sound and use with soft synths.
My MODX is also the best MIDI controller / master keyboard / DAW controller I have.

EnGee
KVRAF
7646 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Post Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:52 pm

digitallysane wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:39 pm
Constructed Identity wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:10 pm
I don't think anyone has mentioned this little truth- Midi controllers are garbage so a real synth is a better option long term for both it's sound and use with soft synths.
My MODX is also the best MIDI controller / master keyboard / DAW controller I have.
The MODX is great but not its keybed or build quality! The keylab mk ii, for example, has so much better keybeds and build quality overall.
So, I don't agree that Midi Controllers are rubbish! The cheap ones maybe yes, but a Midi controller like Arturia keylab mkii or NI S series have great keybeds and build quality. Those can last many years.

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digitallysane
KVRist
103 posts since 11 Mar, 2021 from Romania

Post Wed Nov 03, 2021 12:12 am

EnGee wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:52 pm
The MODX is great but not its keybed or build quality! The keylab mk ii, for example, has so much better keybeds and build quality overall.
The cheap ones maybe yes, but a Midi controller like Arturia keylab mkii or NI S series have great keybeds and build quality. Those can last many years.
No idea what you're talking about.
The build quality is great and the keybed very playable.
Yes, it's not as high end as Montage (metal and top of the line keybed), but everything is high quality (buttons, switches, sliders, knobs) and the keybed is great. Speaking of which, of course the Montage is an even better controller, but for a different price.
Yes, a top of the line MIDI controller are also great, but they cost as much as a MODX while most of them lack a lot of features (for example, the MODX can output 8 MIDI channels as a master keyboard, the Arturia Keylab can't).
Not to mention well known low quality of Arturia's knobs on their controllers.

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pixel85
KVRian
1499 posts since 11 Apr, 2008

Post Wed Nov 03, 2021 1:02 am

Here is the list of keybeds used in synthesizers. Very often it's Fatar TP/9S. If I'm not mistaken, only a few midi keyboards has this quality.
I agree, the difference is huge and playability is waaay better on keybeds like Fatar. Of course some synths have basic "synth-action" keybeds which are on par with cheap midi keyboards.


https://www.yamahamusicians.com/forum/v ... hp?t=11929
Beware! The software discussed in this topic has unacceptable aliasing at -386dBTP but it can be fixed by changing the sample rate to 12Bit

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