Went OTB - and then ITB again

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
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KVRist
191 posts since 25 May, 2012 from Sunny Philly

Post Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:07 am

DrGonzo wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 11:37 pm
kcearl wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 5:12 am
Some nights nothings made, synths are rearranged, cables are tripped over, pedals and preamps are linked…but sometimes thats just as fun…like tinkering in a garage or something.
I had exactly this experience just a couple of weeks ago when I was rewriting a setup. I was a bit frustrated and automatically thought to myself that bloody hell plugins are so much easier, then I recognized that I actually like doing the physical rearrangements and connect the cables, and although things were going quite slow - I absolutely enjoyed myself :hihi:
Tbh, and I know its partially my fault, but theres been nights once the kids gave gone to bed I fired up the rig, clicked on Ableton, its started to update so it take 5 or 10 mins to boot.
Opened Arturia J60…a window pops up “you have 8 arturia products needing updated” ignore or that another 15 mins.
Forgot to turn on Push 2 first, turn on Push, blue circle…wait 10 mins, click on Ableton “Ableton” not responding. Do you want to wait or shut down? shut down.

Device manager, Ableton end task…hang….hang.

Go to shut down system, do you want to update and restart? yes, I mean no…fck!…15-20 mins later. Look at screen, shut down computer, go to bed, no music.


Night #2

Turn on Force

Turn on synths

Make music



Ok bit of an exaggeration but they all happen, often, partially my fault…but hardware almost no time booting up, the very odd firmware update, instant music. On a Saturday I boot up the whole rig and its fine, but when Ive only got a couple of hours at night Im dawless OTB every time.

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KVRAF
5882 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Sat Jul 24, 2021 8:21 am

If Bitwig (or some plugin, or Windows) wants to update but I want to make music, I will ignore them and make music.

I just timed it and it takes about 14 seconds for me to start Bitwig, throw back the dust covers on my synths and turn them on, and I'm ready to rock drone.

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KVRAF
5816 posts since 9 Dec, 2008 from Berlin

Post Sat Jul 24, 2021 9:07 am

Yeah, Bitwig throws less sticks between your feet with being able to find newly connected midi controllers while running, install plugins while running and have them instantly found (even if they are on a track - just deactivate the plugin, update, reactivate, done), scanning plugins in the background...
Keeping Windows 8.1 with manual updates helps too.

But I know exactly what you mean kcearl ;-)
Computers have a tendency to make you get distracted. Be it with updates, email, the interwebs, whatever.

So yeah, I think there definitely is a place for a piano, a harmonium, a flute, your voice - works even when the power is out.
And it is alive.

I had hardware in the past (LMK 3 & a Roland U220) that I controlled/recorded via Bars and Pipes and my Amiga 500, so started hybrid. Than a while just hardware (the above + a Wavestation Rack, then a very old grand piano), then got Cubasis AV (shudder) with my early PCs, then I went ITB pretty much completely and sold all the real instruments, then years later got a real guitar at one point, tried some flute stuff (did play that in school), tried wind controllers, MPE...
Then abovementioned Harmonium last year.
And recently two simple Behringer synths, a Neutron and a Crave.
So hybrid again.

In conclusion for me it boiled down to:
- For real instruments, OTB is what I prefer, both classical things and analogue synths. They simply make more sense that way and are more fun to use. A guitar can't be played with a keyboard, a synth is more fun with knobs that control exactly one thing, that Harmonium can't really be sampled, you have to pump it...
- For everything digital and some experimental stuff I like plugins more, since the interfaces usually make more sense on a computer with a big screen and the knobs always reflect the actual state of the parameter.
Effects I also prefer ITB, although I have a couple of simple guitar pedals to play without a PC.
- Recording I prefer in the digital realm ITB as well.
- I found I do not like using controllers. I tried a lot of them but it never really clicked.

So hybrid it is and recently more balanced between ITB and OTB again. :-)
Bitwig makes that rather seamless for me with it's CV support.

Cheers,

Tom
Last edited by ThomasHelzle on Sat Jul 24, 2021 9:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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KVRist
191 posts since 25 May, 2012 from Sunny Philly

Post Sat Jul 24, 2021 9:11 am

foosnark wrote:
Sat Jul 24, 2021 8:21 am
If Bitwig (or some plugin, or Windows) wants to update but I want to make music, I will ignore them and make music.

I just timed it and it takes about 14 seconds for me to start Bitwig, throw back the dust covers on my synths and turn them on, and I'm ready to rock drone.
you keep your rig booted up permanently? :wink:

As I said I was exaggerating its partially my fault, partially windows 10 fault, and partially the age of my PC (my mac doesnt take long)...I have most things on automatic updates and just dont bother with it during the week. I'm all hardware fx and instruments, thats wouldnt change Daw or not.


Anyway, got nothing against plugins, software, daws, anything really... I will be mostly delving into Sampletank at some point this afternoon...just whatever approach you want is fine by me, consenting adults and all that :D

cnt
KVRian
532 posts since 9 Mar, 2001

Post Sat Jul 24, 2021 9:43 am

Goes in periods. Went fully OTB for jamming/making songs in real time. Lots of Synths, gigantic eurorack, Octatrack, ext comp, reverbs. Perfect sync wasnt a problem. Made a great 40 min ambient/chillout track for example... just by recording 8 layers in two sessions in real time.
Just pushed record for all tracks in Cubase and started tweaking...

Such a huge difference, the fun factor of hardware using two or four hands (a friend) beats software any day for me. Although I have now sold almost all synths. I miss them and the setup I had... I might go back when i get more time. However, doing "highly produced" music is not really effective OTB. Depends on what kind of music you do and what level of polished you want..

Banned
102 posts since 23 Jul, 2021

Post Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:23 pm

Totally ITB. Absolutely nothing against OTB, but it's just way easier (and really cheaper) to have my tower, midi keys, soundcard, an ATOM, a set of good headphones and sonarworks (or is it called reference now? Whatever) :lol:

db3
KVRAF
2628 posts since 22 Aug, 2012

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:04 am

Went from ITB to OTB (hybrid) for the sound, but technical issues and workflow have made me change hardware and optimise for ITB. My focus now is hardware with total recall/editing and minimum latency. Out went synths without VST editors, Elekton Overbridge for latency, and Virus for sync issues. Got my eye on an Arturia Polybrute for the sound and Connect software combination.

KVRAF
2421 posts since 1 Sep, 2016

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 2:28 pm

Would love to go OTB/hybrid as I find making music with screen and mouse uninspiring. However, I don't know what the alternative is. I have limited space (one large desk) and limited budget so any hardware setup would need to be either a single cheap synth that doubles as a MIDI controller (too much compromise with sound/functions/number of keys etc for my liking) or 2 or 3 small modules/desktop synths, which could be fun additions but not really constitute a shift in workflow. Might as well just stick with VSTs really.

Banned
102 posts since 23 Jul, 2021

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 2:39 pm

In some ways, that's my situation. Color me bland, but I just don't want to deal with the expense, and the heat (yes, that's a thing) and the maintenance, the cables.

When I look at setups like Gregor for Presonus I'm like "I'm just not that organized" even though I lust over the gear. It's just so much easier for a hobbyist like me to be ITB. And I'm different in that software totally inspires me these days. They are no longer gas that just bleeds my wallet dry, I'm generally happy every time I play something :)

And that's it for today :lol: I'm just way too juiced about the very cool topics here!

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

2690 posts since 24 Oct, 2000 from A Swede Living in Budapest

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:37 pm

kcearl wrote:
Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:07 am
Tbh, and I know its partially my fault, but theres been nights once the kids gave gone to bed I fired up the rig, clicked on Ableton, its started to update so it take 5 or 10 mins to boot.
Opened Arturia J60…a window pops up “you have 8 arturia products needing updated” ignore or that another 15 mins.
Forgot to turn on Push 2 first, turn on Push, blue circle…wait 10 mins, click on Ableton “Ableton” not responding. Do you want to wait or shut down? shut down.

Device manager, Ableton end task…hang….hang.

Go to shut down system, do you want to update and restart? yes, I mean no…fck!…15-20 mins later. Look at screen, shut down computer, go to bed, no music.


Night #2

Turn on Force

Turn on synths

Make music



Ok bit of an exaggeration but they all happen, often, partially my fault…but hardware almost no time booting up, the very odd firmware update, instant music. On a Saturday I boot up the whole rig and its fine, but when Ive only got a couple of hours at night Im dawless OTB every time.
Oh god... yes. This happens to me constantly as well. Especially when you have an idea and want to nail down the fundamentals of it right away. That - or Maschine or some other plug decides that oh-golly-now-its-high-time-to-scan-all-your-1000-plugins-vsts-and-audio-units-and-I-will-crash-a-couple-of-times-as-well.

That's seriously the darkest side of making music in the box.

/C
Plughugger Sound Design
ELEMENT 27 - MODAL COBALT8 sounds for OMNISPHERE
HARDWARE SAMPLER FANATIC - Akai S1100/S950/Z8 - Casio FZ20m - Emu Emax I - Ensoniq ASR10/EPS

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KVRAF
2396 posts since 13 Jun, 2014

Post Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:44 am

There are a lot of hidden costs ITB compared to OTB. For example, updating your audio workstation PC over the years, especially if you're buying a powerful 1000$ PC every 4-5 years. Updating software (for example Arturia's V collection) can costs hundreds every cycle too. Also, as some others have pointed out, cost in time is considerable if you're constantly updating software to the latest versions, constantly updating drivers, and so on. Then there is Windows and its annoying updates and quirks that throws you off. Your DAW will most likely update and present you with another change to workflow you're unfamiliar with that can sink time too.

Then there is the volume of time you will spend on these forums. Endless hours reading up about other's setups, their special tricks on production, their favourite tools, all because you want to either sound like them, or recreate that exact sound.

Best advice I can give is to minimize your PC setup as much as possible to DAW, and the bare minimum of instrument and effect plugins necessary. If you're into EDM for example, then stick with just one major plugin like Serum or Hive or whatever flavour of wavetable synth you like best. If you're into synthwave, then you'll likely head to the same analog modelled synths that are used in the genre. But even so, the possibilities can be overwhelming and your creativity will likely get stuck or copying from others.

All in all, ITB you'll get either stuck or lose inspiration, because the PC is a horrible uninspiring mess.

All that changes once you go OTB, because you suddenly feel like you're getting serious into your hobby. You'll get the gear, the racks, the cables and start building your studio and holy shit, you're in yet another f**king trap!

Hybrid - You became wise. You use the best of both worlds while trying to avoid each of their trappings. Minimalism is key, you're not into it to show your perfect studio, your endless vintage gear collection. You're in it for the fun, for the hours of passionate intensity, you get lost into the quality synth you bought and now love, and not the bad quality clones you were marketed and bought into. Congratulations, now make a f**king track.
<list all your stupid gear here>

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KVRAF
5882 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Mon Jul 26, 2021 4:47 am

egbert101 wrote:
Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:44 am
Congratulations, now make a f**king track.
This weekend I just released my 21st album since 2018, and it turns out there is not much of a prize for "making a f**king track" -- unless you are both willing to put more effort into self-promotion than music, AND are one of the lucky few. Except for your own sense of accomplishment.

If people just want to make noises, jam, entertain themselves and annoy their cats, and never record a thing -- that's completely valid.

If people start a bunch of things and never finish, that's fine too (as long as they don't invest too much of their sense of self-worth in finishing things).

If people want to be absolutely meticulous and spend three weeks choosing just the right snare drum sample and another two weeks tweaking a compressor, and six years later they might release an EP, that's also fine.

And if you release an album every couple of months or so, that's fine, but you get pretty tired of people universally claiming that nobody on forums talking about gear ever makes music.

KVRian
1143 posts since 23 Sep, 2004 from Kocmoc

Post Mon Jul 26, 2021 5:15 am

Went from full ITB (Amiga500/1200/4000) to Hybrid with Amiga running samples in 14bit (OctamedPro) and MIDI running synths. Went from hybrid to full ITB back in 2004 or 2005 using Cubase SX and Reason, I think when I sold all my external stuff, still there and very happy. I hate cables, really hate, they get all the dust etc. and are always in knots :D

I'd like some really good external compressor or such box, but I dont think it'll happen anymore, they cost way too much for what I get out of them compared to software. Also can multiply software easily on channels. Mostly its convenience thing.
Soft Knees - Demoscene - Live 10 - Diva - Omnisphere - Slate Digital VSX - TDR - Kush Audio - Fabfilter - PA - Valhalla - Fuse - Pulsar - NI - OekSound etc...

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

2690 posts since 24 Oct, 2000 from A Swede Living in Budapest

Post Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:22 pm

foosnark wrote:
Mon Jul 26, 2021 4:47 am
This weekend I just released my 21st album since 2018
Great post and 21 albums since 2018 is seriously impressive. Congratulations! How do you manage to be that productive? OT but damn interesting.

/C
Plughugger Sound Design
ELEMENT 27 - MODAL COBALT8 sounds for OMNISPHERE
HARDWARE SAMPLER FANATIC - Akai S1100/S950/Z8 - Casio FZ20m - Emu Emax I - Ensoniq ASR10/EPS

User avatar
KVRist
191 posts since 25 May, 2012 from Sunny Philly

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 4:47 am

If you dont count troubleshooting/cable management as part of the music making process then ITB is the way for you 😁

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