Long Live the Soft Synth, Hardware Synths are dead

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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KVRian
809 posts since 4 Feb, 2021

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:24 am

2004 Crystal ball readings? Mine are not dead yet, tho softsynths have indeed gone better ever since. Can't win a game of one above the other if there ain't no fight. There are none in our studio.
Tribe Of Hǫfuð https://soundcloud.com/user-228690154 "First rule: From one perfect consonance to another perfect consonance one must proceed in contrary or obligue motion." Johann Joseph Fux 1725.

KVRAF
2830 posts since 3 Mar, 2006

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:23 am

Softsynths have improved by leaps and bounds over the past 15 years. Can hardware say the same?

KVRAF
2345 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:41 am

MitchK1989 wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:23 am
Softsynths have improved by leaps and bounds over the past 15 years. Can hardware say the same?
It depends on how you define leaps and bounds. If you don't like hardware you won't find these examples convincing but there are general improvements / trends that I have seen over the years :

Greater polyphony, better tuning stability in new analog synths, increased sample ram, higher resolution midi with 14 bit resolution and reduced stepping, often a more complete midi spec, midi and CV to support connection to eurorack/ modular gear, more DSP on board for integrated efx, use of endless encoders in some synths, increased affordability and in some cases longer warranties, firmware updates that don't brick the device, better on board LCD (OLED even) screens or even touch in some cases, lighter weight for increased portability, self-tuning functions for complex analog synths, smart keyboard functions to constrain to scale and modes, deeper sequencers with probablity and randomizers some with polyrhythmic functions and motion sequencing.

The hardware scene hasn't been static. Yes you can do all of this on softsynths but that wasn't your question.

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KVRAF
5928 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:59 pm

MitchK1989 wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:23 am
Softsynths have improved by leaps and bounds over the past 15 years. Can hardware say the same?
Yes.

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GRRRRRRR!
12567 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:44 pm

Examigan wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:56 am
The original thread title mentions "Hardware synths are Dead", but they aren't to me, as I bought one only 6 years ago and still own it.
Maybe that's because you're crazy?? I currently have seven hardware synths but I still agree 100% with the thread title because, honestly, I don't need them and if we didn't play live I would never use them. A cull is coming (obscure 23 Skidoo reference) and when the smoke clears I will only have three. When it comes to actually making music, they are way more trouble than they're worth and they don't sound one whit better than softsynths (but they can look cool on stage).
Scotty wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:11 am
Staring at computer screens at work, watching youtube tutorials on my phone, streaming netflix on my flat screen, and decreasingly not interacting with physical objects except for a "gesture" on a touch screen doesn't cut it for me in my artistic pursuits.
So buy a MIDI controller.
There is a fun factor with the hardware.
Maybe but there are also extra layers of misery that you simply don't have to deal with ITB. As I've mentioned before, I've spent more than $200 on cables this year, around $100 on krap like powerboards and PSUs, another $200 on a mixer and the same on cases to transport things. Last year it was a new keyboard stand and other peripheral shit, it feels never-ending sometimes. And I always have to put covers over my hardware to keep dust out and it takes me longer to get it all switched on and running than it does to fire up my laptop and load a softsynth. It's all stuff I was happy to put up with for 20 years but these days it's way more effort than it's worth.
Here is Hanai Rani - live from Studio S2.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFRdoYf ... iQ94AaABAg
Urgh! That was painful to listen to and watching it was like watching paint dry.
I love the physicality of the performance as much as I love the sounds.
As I suggested, buy a MIDI controller. Buy a Roli Seaboard or a Linnstrument and feel how superior the immersive experience of software can be.
Scotty wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:41 am
It depends on how you define leaps and bounds. If you don't like hardware you won't find these examples convincing but there are general improvements / trends that I have seen over the years :

Greater polyphony... more DSP on board for integrated efx
Not true. The Kurzweil K2000 had 24 voices of polyphony in 1991 and by 1999, Korg's Triton workstation had up to 68 note polyphony (with the MOSS board). Both these instruments and many others had plenty of on-board effects and fairly complex routing to make best use of them.
better tuning stability in new analog synths, increased sample ram, higher resolution midi with 14 bit resolution and reduced stepping, often a more complete midi spec, midi and CV to support connection to eurorack/ modular gear,, use of endless encoders in some synths, increased affordability and in some cases longer warranties, firmware updates that don't brick the device, better on board LCD (OLED even) screens or even touch in some cases, lighter weight for increased portability, self-tuning functions for complex analog synths, smart keyboard functions to constrain to scale and modes, deeper sequencers with probablity and randomizers some with polyrhythmic functions and motion sequencing.
All either incremental improvements, at best, or things taken from softsynths. Totally unconvincing.
The hardware scene hasn't been static. Yes you can do all of this on softsynths but that wasn't your question.
No, the question is why the f**k would you?
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10(64), Evo8 | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Iron 2 | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

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KVRAF
6359 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:08 am

BONES wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:44 pm
Here is Hanai Rani - live from Studio S2.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFRdoYf ... iQ94AaABAg
Urgh! That was painful to listen to and watching it was like watching paint dry.
This was one of the most inspiring and stunning performances I have heard for quite a while. BONES is just jealous or doesn‘t know anything about music except for his own style (which I like btw…)

KVRAF
6545 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:03 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:08 am
BONES wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:44 pm
Here is Hanai Rani - live from Studio S2.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFRdoYf ... iQ94AaABAg
Urgh! That was painful to listen to and watching it was like watching paint dry.
This was one of the most inspiring and stunning performances I have heard for quite a while. BONES is just jealous or doesn‘t know anything about music except for his own style (which I like btw…)
That was very enjoyable.
Thank you for quote-posting it again as I missed it the first time.
(And not a fan of Bones-noise.)

KVRAF
2345 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:26 am

Bones.

You have 7 hardware synths by your own admission. You are claiming to be a vegan who just ate 7 cows while extolling the virtues of "almost meat". There is a reason you bought hardware and some of it recently. You wrote gushing and effusive comments on the UNO and the UNO Pro and it wasn't because it "looked cool on stage". Why are you being blantantly hypocritical about it?

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KVRAF
6359 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:05 am

He is here to entertain us. I think I mentioned that already. Read it, put a smile on your face and only respond if the smile remains…

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addled muppet weed
85951 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:07 am

Scotty wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:26 am
Bones.

You have 7 hardware synths by your own admission. You are claiming to be a vegan who just ate 7 cows while extolling the virtues of "almost meat". There is a reason you bought hardware and some of it recently. You wrote gushing and effusive comments on the UNO and the UNO Pro and it wasn't because it "looked cool on stage". Why are you being blantantly hypocritical about it?
its not hypocrisy it's punk!

KVRAF
2345 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:21 am

vurt wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:07 am
its not hypocrisy it's punk!
Ok I get it, it's a schtick.

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KVRAF
11369 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:36 am

Scotty wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:21 am
vurt wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:07 am
its not hypocrisy it's punk!
Ok I get it, it's a schtick.
Such a tedious and boring schtick. I really wish people would stop quoting his posts. It’s harshing my ignore.
Zerocrossing Media

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

KVRian
586 posts since 17 Nov, 2015 from Yuma

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:54 am

i would easily agree with the TO, while i use only software myself, except maybe my guitars, my bass and my trumpet, IF it wouldnt be the case that the folks nowadays vowing for and executing perfectly in tune produced material are sonically and intellectually the utmost unrevolutionary boring f**ks ever to crawl on the planets face, no matter the producer or the audience...i swear it. just need one fuckin day on the inet or any given forum to prove that to myself, that all theyre interested in is glamour and moneyand making music is jsut a vehicle, just like selling udnerwear, cookies or cars

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KVRAF
11369 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:56 am

What’s funniest about these threads isn’t how incredibly wrong the statement was/is, hardware instruments have obviously grown in variety and quality since the thread was started, but how people are so incredibly unable to see beyond their own opinions. I could point to millions of things that I don’t like and call them “dead,” but the truth is there are people who love those things and a mature adult should be able to look beyond themselves and imagine a different point of view. I hate the sound of an accordion, but I’m not going to walk onto the zydeco dance floor and explain that they should find a new instrument because accordions are dead. I’m also not going to hang around much either, though in the past I’ve even appreciated it to some degree. At least in small doses in a live setting.

If I could replicate my hardware synths in software, I’d happily ditch them all, but I can’t. Even a simple synth like my ATC-X has no equivalent in software. By that I mean and excellent analog emulation (at least as good as RePro/Legend) that’s got cross modulation, ring modulation, three envelopes, filter FM and four filter types. On GearSpace we were talking about the PolyBrute, and I can’t for the life of me think of a single plugin that can touch it. Not one that also has a great analog tone. Maybe you don’t care about that type of sound. That’s fine. It’s not like music needs it to be good, but if you like it, well then there’s still no better way of getting it than in a hardware synth.

Of course, I have a ton of great plugins as well and many with feature sets that you won’t find in hardware. So that’s why I keep both at hand.
Zerocrossing Media

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

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KVRAF
5247 posts since 15 Oct, 2017 from U.S.

Post Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:00 am

MitchK1989 wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:23 am
Softsynths have improved by leaps and bounds over the past 15 years. Can hardware say the same?
Softsynths needed to improve
Living rent free

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