Which hardware synths can be fully controlled from the DAW?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
roman.i
KVRist
273 posts since 25 Aug, 2019

Post Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:13 pm

Which hardware synths can be fully controlled from the DAW?
Including saving current state in a project.
Basically synth that can be integrated into a DAW like a virtual instrument.

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pekbro
KVRAF
3281 posts since 29 Sep, 2010 from Maui

Post Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:48 pm

Lots of them, so long as someone has written and editor for them like these guys do.
https://soundtower.com. If you want deeper DAW specific integration than
that I dunno.

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BertKoor
KVRAF
12204 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:03 am

How about a Virus TI?



wasn't this "begging the question" ?
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chk071
KVRAF
25505 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:09 am

I'm a bit surprised about the question. Isn't the whole point of hardware synthesizers to not be dependent of working in the box? Better choose a software synth, if you want to be fully in the box. That will beat ANY hardware DAW integration.
Plugins and a DAW. On a operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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BertKoor
KVRAF
12204 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:20 am

Still having the whole cake while also having eaten some slices...
Sorry, that gotta be a virtual cake ;-)
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

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fmr
KVRAF
9740 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Post Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:28 am

BertKoor wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:20 am
Still having the whole cake while also having eaten some slices...
Sorry, that gotta be a virtual cake ;-)
:lol:
Fernando (FMR)

chk071
KVRAF
25505 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:43 am

BertKoor wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:20 am
Still having the whole cake while also having eaten some slices...
Sorry, that gotta be a virtual cake ;-)
Yeah, but, the question surely hints to integration being a very important thing for the workflow of the OP.
Plugins and a DAW. On a operating system. Which runs on a computer.

lfm
KVRAF
5441 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Post Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:12 am

There are options in some daws like Cakewalk do have ins-files, that are instrument definitions.
One could get a list of patches to choose from or similar. You can make these yourself pretty much if you want, if some basic command set in synth. Just never used it myself, I find this totally overrated. Names of patches change as you make your own etc.

If daw supports sysex and synths can dump sysex - you can record a complete patch in a synth on the track, and don't have to think about this later. Just put such a recorded clip a few bars before project starts to play once when project open. I usually start project as such on bar 5.

Or setup to send this from sysex manager in Cakewalk. I think all daws but StudioOne support recording sysex, so this workflow can be used.

I almost exclusively use external midi gear and find this good enough. Most of the time I just make a note in daw which patch in synth and which synth I used for that track etc. I don't even bother to have daw send program change, to get the right one.

To even choose synth from this perspective is nothing I would ever consider. Pick synth from other needs like sound, fun to work with, wallet size etc.

Nice things with external gear is just a power button to press and sit and play a bit. No computers or software to start in sequence etc. And synths usually provide knobs and faders for everything on panel to make own sounds. This totally make up for convenience of VST instruments in daw. And you can have fully analog synths this way.

roman.i
KVRist
273 posts since 25 Aug, 2019

Post Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:49 am

I don't have enough experience, so overcomplicating the workflow is not an option right now.
Software synths are great, but hardware analog synths open a new palette of sounds. I do have two analog synths from Behringer, but they don't have the sysex control, which is a big issue for me.
It will be nice to have best of two worlds, the (real) analog sound but fully integrated into the daw.
Hardware digital synths not that interesting since they have alternatives in software synths.

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Halonmusic
KVRAF
4373 posts since 13 Nov, 2015 from Norway

Post Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:34 pm

Roland SH-201. There is a vst editor for it.
EnergyXT3 - Reaper | Roland SH201 - Waldorf Rocket || SoundCloud

chk071
KVRAF
25505 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:05 pm

roman.i wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:49 am
I don't have enough experience, so overcomplicating the workflow is not an option right now.
Software synths are great, but hardware analog synths open a new palette of sounds. I do have two analog synths from Behringer, but they don't have the sysex control, which is a big issue for me.
It will be nice to have best of two worlds, the (real) analog sound but fully integrated into the daw.
Hardware digital synths not that interesting since they have alternatives in software synths.
You may wanna take a look at the Trueno synth then. http://truenosynth.com/
Plugins and a DAW. On a operating system. Which runs on a computer.

lfm
KVRAF
5441 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Post Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:14 am

roman.i wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:49 am
I don't have enough experience, so overcomplicating the workflow is not an option right now.
It might be a combination of which daw and which synth then.

You mention bigger palette of sounds in hardware - but if to have something that is handled exactly like VST instruments - you might be down to zero.

Cubase has a pretty neat external instrument definition - and when you freeze, press freeze on instrument track, it opens a dialog and sending midi to that instrument and record it's audio - as transparent as VST instruments. From that point of view choice of daw might be more important. But speed is realtime, 2 minute playback take 2 minutes to render to audio. But freeze and unfreeze is smooth.

Problem with this in Cubase is that it locks exclusive rights to those audio inputs, so not available for other audio. I fixed though in RME panel to use inputs not used at the time, and made internal loopbacks - so I got each audio input on 2 inputs - and could make instrument definition on one, without loosing that input in audio interface.

Later I expanded audio interface to have all gear having it's own audio inputs anyway.

I just find it easy having return audio from external gear on an audio track, monitored while playing back. And recording is done on midi track. Then when I feel midi is done, I just arm record and do this in realtime. From then on it's just audio in daw and no different than VST instruments. It's just different and takes getting used to. Pros and cons on everything.

This realtime thing you cannot escape from, they play back in realtime. VST instruments can do offline rendering in seconds.

To reduce the choice of synths based on this is nothing I would do.

deastman
KVRAF
7514 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:16 am

There are very few hardware synths with this level of VST integration. The Virus TI is the only one which comes to mind, although I’m sure there are a few others. Choosing a hardware synth based on these requirements is going to rule out 99% of the synths on the market, and what you’re left with is not necessarily going to have the best sound or features. Really, this is a fool’s errand.
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

Ph-J
KVRist
272 posts since 13 May, 2003

Post Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:03 pm

Elektron synths have full recall with overbridge
(at least my AK does, I think it's the same for the Digitone)

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pekbro
KVRAF
3281 posts since 29 Sep, 2010 from Maui

Post Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:51 pm

Tbh I don't really get the attraction for vst-type functionality. I practically have to reach over my synths
to control them via the DAW anyway. A number of them have facilities for incorporating hardware instruments built in anyway. E.g. Bitwig, Cubase, Reason, Live probably more.

The editors are good if you are making and storing lots of patches, which is really the main reason to use them.

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