Software Synths VS. Digital Hardware Synths.

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
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KVRist
197 posts since 29 Sep, 2012 from Minneapolis, MN

Post Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:42 pm

solar28 wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:22 pm
I think digital hardware synths sound 20% better than software synths.
I think 73.4% of these types of numbers are made up on-the-spot :hihi:
also,
analog synths are 400% better than digital synths!

KVRAF
29952 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:45 am

I think you guys are only 56.73% correct with your assessments. We'll get there eventually though.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRAF
8076 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:09 am

Tino Fiumara wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:42 pm
I make music mainly at my home studio so I would like to know what are the advantages of having a DIGITAL hardware synthesizer over a software one and viceversa (especially in terms of sound).
The same advantages/disadvantages of having an analogue synth vs Diva/Repro/Obsession etc etc.

There are very few analogue synths out there now where it's genuinely worthwhile buying them for sound alone.

KVRist
126 posts since 2 Mar, 2009

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:11 am

Hardware synths may have the fun factor, but does that justify all the workflow inefficiencies that one has to deal with when recording these instruments? It depends on your individual preferences. If you have the cash and you find that a piece of hardware inspires you, it might be a worthwhile investment.

Another option if you want to have a more hands-on music-making experience is to learn to play a 'real' instrument, like guitar. Ultimately, all of these instruments are just tools for our creative expression. Try out some different options and discover which tools facilitate your creativity.

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KVRAF
20405 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:37 am

SonicDimension wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:11 am
Hardware synths may have the fun factor, but does that justify all the workflow inefficiencies that one has to deal with when recording these instruments? It depends on your individual preferences. If you have the cash and you find that a piece of hardware inspires you, it might be a worthwhile investment.
What workflow inefficiencies?

My Arturia Polybrute is:
easier to do sound design on
easier to tweak while recording
can morph between presets on the fly
never has cpu crackles due to cpu overload

8)

KVRAF
29952 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:51 am

pdxindy wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:37 am
What workflow inefficiencies?
Asking that question already tells me that you won't be very receptive about stating the objective deficiency every hardware synth has, compared to software.

What difference would it make anyway. ;)
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRAF
5927 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:30 am

chk071 wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:51 am
objective deficiency
Literally all of the pros and cons of hardware and software synths are subjective.

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KVRAF
1566 posts since 9 Jan, 2014 from Worldwide

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:31 am

I prefer the "Analogue Hardware Vs. Analogue Software" debate.

KVRAF
29952 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:37 am

foosnark wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:30 am
chk071 wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:51 am
objective deficiency
Literally all of the pros and cons of hardware and software synths are subjective.
I doubt that you can see having to bounce every sound you do on a hardware synth to audio before you can work with it in your DAW, or having to use cables to transmit audio or MIDI as a "subjective" workflow deficiency. It's an objective, real deficiency. It IS more tedious, and less flexible than doing it virtually. Same with stuff like hardware taking physical space, or lack of preset saving in purely analog hardware.

Look, I get that hardware is attractive for many (for me as well), and that you have to defend your thousands of € expenses, but, we should really stay down to earth. There'll always be the physical hands on appeal of hardware, and, I'm sure it's also more motivating to spend your time with, compared to the hundredth virtual instrument you load on your computer in an instant, but, that shouldn't distract from the obvious things which are easier, more flexible, and less physical space consuming in software.
Last edited by chk071 on Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

User avatar
KVRAF
20405 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:39 am

chk071 wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:51 am
pdxindy wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:37 am
What workflow inefficiencies?
Asking that question already tells me that you won't be very receptive about stating the objective deficiency every hardware synth has, compared to software.

What difference would it make anyway. ;)
Actually, it tells you nothing... it could be a joke, silliness, a challenge to the concept of workflow inefficiencies itself, and so on.

But I get it... you are claiming I am closed minded as the rationale to avoid stating the 'objective deficiencies' (because secretly you know there are none). :hihi:

KVRAF
29952 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:42 am

I just did. Look! ;)

The thing is that it's all pointless to state, because you just won't accept it.

What's always mind boggling to me is that we even have to still hold such discussions in 2021. Again, I do get the appeal of hardware. Ease of use, and flexibility in terms of workflow is surely not its appeal, when compared to software. Which was the question here.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRist
126 posts since 2 Mar, 2009

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:48 am

pdxindy wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:37 am
What workflow inefficiencies?
That's just my own experience with hardware synths. It takes more time to finish a track when the instruments are not self-contained as plug-ins within the project.

Hardware has other disadvantages that people tend not to discuss very much. They collect dust, they take up physical space in your home, they require lots of cables, most of them are not very portable, they can be damaged or stolen, etc. Even if I could have a studio full of high-end hardware instruments and effects for free, I would not want to deal with the hassle.

KVRAF
29952 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:54 am

Biggest workflow deficiency for me would be that, once bounced down, you can't change the sound anymore. If you want that, you have to record it again. And, if you then, after adding some more sounds, realize that it's still not perfect, you have to bounce again. And so on. Preeeetty unflexible compared to just tweaking some sound parameters on screen.

"On screen" is a good cue, when I remind my time with the Waldorf Blofeld... quite a let down with so few parameters, compared to almost beijng able to control the whole synth from one page in Largo.

Well, going around in circles here. What I just can't understand is how you can seriously consider those obvious deficiency as subjective, when it's a total pain in the ass compared. It's more like washing your clothes in the river, instead of using a washing machine. Albeit more fun and inspiring. ;)
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

User avatar
KVRAF
5927 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:13 am

chk071 wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:37 am
I doubt that you can see having to bounce every sound you do on a hardware synth to audio before you can work with it in your DAW, or having to use cables to transmit audio or MIDI as a "subjective" workflow deficiency.
I don't "bounce" anything, I record live. In fact I only record the full mix, which is part of the performance. I commit to it, and that works far better for me than the endless tweaking process I used to use.

The minimal sequencing that I do is either in the built-in sequencers/arpeggiators in my gear, or modular. Everything else is drones, generative modular stuff (in Eurorack or Bitwig Grid) or manually played. So that's not only not an "objective deficiency," it's completely irrelevant to me.

Using cables is not a deficiency, it's just a requirement for hardware. Just like having a computer is a requirement to run software, and a source of electricity is a requirement to run the computer. It's really not something that negatively affects my workflow.
chk071 wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:37 am
It IS more tedious, and less flexible than doing it virtually.
Tedium is subjective; I find nothing tedious about it at all. You know what's tedious? Browsing through presets. :hihi:

I find my hardware is more flexible in some ways and less flexible in other ways than software. That's why I use both.

I would definitely rather use a software EQ than a rack-mount one, for instance. But if I'm patching a feedback loop I'd rather do it in hardware than have to deal with the stupid workarounds to get feedback sort-of working in software.
chk071 wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:37 am
Same with stuff like hardware taking physical space, or lack of preset saving in purely analog hardware.
Hardware taking physical space is definitely a thing! I'll admit, I have occasionally struggled to find ways to arrange my gear or make room for something else. But this also helps me keep my budget in line and not own a bunch of stuff that I don't use. The resale value on hardware is generally much better than on software.

(FWIW, I've also found myself running out of disk space in the past, and needing to upgrade or delete stuff... mostly big Komplete sample libraries that I wasn't using.)

Preset saving is irrelevant to me. To me, presets are largely a waste in both hardware and software, beyond having a customizable default setting. Even on the OPS7, where I first wanted to find a bunch of old DX7 patches... every time I've actually used it in a recording, I started from INIT and created my own sounds.

KVRAF
29952 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:17 am

See, that's what I mean. :)

"Washing in the river is more tedious than using a washing machine."
"Eh, woot?!? Browsing through the washing machine's programs is WAY more tedious. ;)"

Pointless.

Use what works for you. But, don't tell me that it is less tedious, and that everything would be subjective, because, it isn't.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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