Have Modern VST Instruments Replaced Your Hardware Synths ?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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e-crooner
KVRAF
2165 posts since 22 Aug, 2019

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:11 pm

The only hardware synth I ever had was a JX-8P, and it was underwhelming. I never missed the Roland after I sold it. Any good softsynth is more useful than that.

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rod_zero
KVRAF
3142 posts since 28 Jan, 2011 from MEXICO

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:51 pm

I started with software, I tried to move to hardware but it is too much hassle, not for me. I am happy back with software.
dedication to flying

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
10344 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:11 pm

Yes... and then... no.

At one point in the mid 00s I was happily chugging along with a room full of VAs, ROMplers and a Wavestation. My wife and I decided that we’d move into a one-bedroom, maybe a studio, and tough it out for a few years until we had enough for a down payment on a house. So, I sold everything and went ITB. It was actually a really easy transition. I like the ITB workflow (I’d already been using a DAW for a long time) and having instruments that just worked inside that software just felt right. Even the Wavestation in software sounded a bit better.

We never moved into that apartment. We got bad advice to just buy a condo with no money down. (Which actually went OK, though we were under-water for years.) Anyway, the hardware synths quickly snuck back in, but not VA. I don’t really see much reason for that. Not now, not then. But I developed a taste for analogs. I’d never really been able to afford them back in the 80s and when the MoPho came out, I picked one up to augment my software and now I’ve got about 8 hardware synths, all either analog or hybrids. I still think I could probably remain 100% ITB if processor speeds pick up to the point where I can really run the stuff I want without issues, but I find that without some hardware synths and effects, I run out of processor speed. Also, I think that hardware analogs do have a bit of magic that puts them ahead of the VA for some things.
Zerocrossing Media

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

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
4673 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:28 pm

HanafiH wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:11 pm
The problem with the local cave is that there are twenty thousand other dudes also with laptops all with the same software as you all making roughly the same sound with roughly the same presets.

I’ve gone the other way. I could have bought a car with what I’ve just spent on Eurorackery. It’s such fun. It’s so intense and it’s nearly unique. The flagship wavetable engine I took delivery of yesterday has a serial number 1,736. That’s how many other people out there can make same sound. How many hundreds of thousands of Xfer Serums are there? How many million Omnispheres (when you count the unofficial ones)? In a world of instantly reproducible software instruments hardware is unique. It’s like the original cover of JMJ’s Equinoxe. All those hopefuls, all scanning the same horizon for the same chance in the same lottery.

Somewhere there is some place
That one million eyes can't see
And somewhere there is someone
Who can see what I can see?
Someone, somewhere in summertime.

Simple Minds, 1982.
In software its easier to sound different. VCV rack would give you even more options than any Eurorack you could afford in a life time...
I guess its more about what inspires and how. Sometimes touching things and limiting options is more important.
That are valid arguments for going hardware. Its a matter of taste. My hardware is a computer and tons of controllers. I got rid of hardware synthesizers long ago mainly because I lost interest in synthesizers for their lack of expressivity. Since I got a LinnStrument this changed big time...
Sometimes I lurk for little sounding toys, but then I realize that already my ipad give me more options and is even smaller. There is no point to get into hardware. But then I see a performance with an Udo-6 and I see how a performance could benefit from a real instrument...
I started when itb would mean to buy a Synclavier or Fairlight. I had no chance. My first synth was a Poly-800 later a DX-7, S612, FZ-10m. The last one a Wavestation AD... The only one I fell in love as an instrument was an Arp 2600 which I had to sell at one point as I needed the money. All those models I ever owned or longed for I have as virtual instruments now (the last one is the Fury-800). The virtual Arp though does not come even close to the inspiration the hardware version gave me back then. And its not the sound its the way you interact and touch it...
The virtual Korg and DX7 on the other hand are way better than the originals...

ztrauq
KVRist
271 posts since 13 Dec, 2004 from USA

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:56 pm

For me, it's gotta be ITB simply due to space considerations. I've got room on my desk for my music laptop, audio interface, a couple of mini keyboard/pad controllers and that's it (and I can only fit the controllers because the laptop is on a stand and the controller is tucked underneath). Switching all my stuff over to hardware equivalents, if it were even possible, would take at least a hundred times the available space...

c1c2
KVRist
226 posts since 12 Jan, 2005 from Germany

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:39 am

After 15 years of using software only I just bought a virus. Just like it. :)

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e-crooner
KVRAF
2165 posts since 22 Aug, 2019

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:06 am

c1c2 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:39 am
After 15 years of using software only I just bought a virus. Just like it. :)
Crazy, a lot of people get a virus for free these days.

Auplant
KVRist
367 posts since 21 Mar, 2015

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:54 am

with xFer OTT and the right tweeking, you can change the software VST output to sound like some hardware synths

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whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
28759 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:57 am

vurt wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:00 am
has one set of useful tools replaced another set of useful tools?
no, i now have more useful tools.
:clap:
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

dune_rave
KVRAF
1821 posts since 23 Jun, 2006 from Hungary

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:01 am

you can't "replace" hardver, because you can't put the sotware in the free space of the hardware...

mtelesha
KVRist
282 posts since 21 May, 2018

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:05 am

zerocrossing wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:11 pm
I still think I could probably remain 100% ITB if processor speeds pick up to the point where I can really run the stuff I want without issues, but I find that without some hardware synths and effects, I run out of processor speed. Also, I think that hardware analogs do have a bit of magic that puts them ahead of the VA for some things.
What computer are you using?

I ended up making a LAN Computer for live performance and have 16 cores and 32 gigs of RAM and it's a beautiful thing and I never think about CPU or memory.
-------------------
Waveform and Bitwig are my DAWs and UHe is my Bae. I maybe buy one synth a year. REMEMBER SELF just one synth a year!

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
10344 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:16 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:28 pm
HanafiH wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:11 pm
The problem with the local cave is that there are twenty thousand other dudes also with laptops all with the same software as you all making roughly the same sound with roughly the same presets...
In software its easier to sound different. VCV rack would give you even more options than any Eurorack you could afford in a life time...
I guess its more about what inspires and how. Sometimes touching things and limiting options is more important.
I have to laugh at the “everyone’s using the same software” crowd. When I was a pup, you could count the available synths on your fingers, and for polyphonic synths, one hand. (That’s most likely an exaggeration) They were also insanely expensive in their day, so everyone except pros mostly used Junos, and later CZs and DXs. I had a Juno 106, that I shared with my band mates, because we wanted a synth, but no one had the cash for one on their own. There seemed to be more variety of sound in those days because it really has nothing to do with the instrument. Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Holly both used Fender Stratocasters. Pink Floyd and Talking Heads both used Prophet 5s.

People need to stop blaming instruments, virtual or otherwise, on a lack of creativity. The truth is, there have always been trend setters and trend followers. We tend to forget about all the followers, which makes history seem full of unique artists. Are there a ton of kids out there using Serum and the same preset packs? Sure, but that’s just more obvious because anyone can post their music. I could take those same presets and end up with a sound that’s nothing like them because of the way I use the sound, what sounds I combine and my style of music.
Zerocrossing Media

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

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
10344 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:20 am

mtelesha wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:05 am
zerocrossing wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:11 pm
I still think I could probably remain 100% ITB if processor speeds pick up to the point where I can really run the stuff I want without issues, but I find that without some hardware synths and effects, I run out of processor speed. Also, I think that hardware analogs do have a bit of magic that puts them ahead of the VA for some things.
What computer are you using?

I ended up making a LAN Computer for live performance and have 16 cores and 32 gigs of RAM and it's a beautiful thing and I never think about CPU or memory.
Yeah, I should probably do something like that. I’m on an older i7 (I forget the exact processor model) that runs at 3.4 ghz and I think I have 16 gig of ram. It’s no slug, but I just passed on Zynaptiq’s Morph 2 because it mostly crackled and popped. I also run my rig at a 64 sample buffer to keep my latency down. I use the DAW as a sort of live container for performance. I thought I’d upgrade this Christmas... but then Arturia came along and now I must have their new PolyBrute. :lol:
Zerocrossing Media

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

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
10344 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:32 am

ztrauq wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:56 pm
For me, it's gotta be ITB simply due to space considerations. I've got room on my desk for my music laptop, audio interface, a couple of mini keyboard/pad controllers and that's it (and I can only fit the controllers because the laptop is on a stand and the controller is tucked underneath). Switching all my stuff over to hardware equivalents, if it were even possible, would take at least a hundred times the available space...
Space is always a consideration. I’d ultimately love to have a very minimal space like the one you describe. My problem is that I fall in love with hardware synths. Mostly because I pick ones that have various features like overdrive/distortion, feedback and audio rate modulation options that plain and simply sound better in hardware, and when they do sound pretty good in software, they demand a lot of resources. I’d love to find a replacement for some of my hardware synths, but the truth is, I haven’t. Find me something that sounds remotely like a Sequential Pro 2 and I’d sell it in a second.
Zerocrossing Media

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

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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
28119 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:52 am

I currently own more hardware & more software than ever ... so I guess my answer to the OP is no.

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