What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
beater
KVRer
21 posts since 25 May, 2010

Post Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:10 pm

I have always used and wanted to use hardware synths(20 years) and thought softsynths are a sort of mediocre means to an end. But I'm finding some softsynths have a sound that is truly amazing. I used zebra today after years of ignoring it and thought why the hell don't I use this anymore, it sounds stunning, almost perfect, infact I can't imagine how sound could get better! Are there any softsynths that give you that feeling of pure sonic bliss like analogue synths provide?

nordickvr
KVRian
936 posts since 29 Sep, 2013

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:19 pm

Most of u-he.
Pulsar 900 Series Modular Synthesizer (Mac only).
For me anyway.
Edit: Xils, definitely.
Last edited by nordickvr on Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.

dark water
KVRian
971 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:25 pm

u-he synths are excellent.
So are some Xils and GForce, amongst others.
I like LUSH-101 too.
I'm sure you'll get many more suggestions: it is a very popular topic of discussion here.

There are MANY threads at KVR about similar ideas and recommendations: you'll benefit from reading them.


Software synths have had a remarkable development in terms of quality during the past 10 years.
However, to compare them to hardware synths (unless a software clone is intended) is often to do them a disservice. They often offer many advantages above and beyond direct comparisons with hardware synths.

Finally, to answer the question - hardware synths are great for hands-on control and sound. Less for portability and taking up space (and also often for recall if an analogue dinosaur etc).

Many of us use a hybrid setup of hardware and software.

punkfest2000
KVRist
98 posts since 13 Sep, 2005

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:12 pm

I was tempted to buy hardware once but came to my senses. The Roland unit I was about to drop a thousand bucks on had some voice chip issue so I backed out of it. Put that money to good use buying soft synths.

I'm not into old unreliable electronics, noise, brittle aging plastic, and just taking up valuable studio space for very little, if any, audible difference compared to the VST equivalent. Not worth the maintenance.

The same goes for mixers, consoles, effects, amps, and even drums. ITB all the way. Love digital.

User avatar
risome
KVRAF
1980 posts since 30 Oct, 2006 from Australia, NSW

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:18 pm

Its all good especially quality hardware.The only thing i avoid are external digital mixers.
http://www.voltagedisciple.com
Patches for ACE,PREDATOR,SYNPLANT,SUB BOOM BASS2,PUNCH
AALTO,CIRCLE,BLADE and Ableton LIVE Packs
https://soundcloud.com/somerville-1i

glokraw
KVRAF
6590 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:56 pm

beater wrote:I have always used and wanted to use hardware synths(20 years) and thought softsynths are a sort of mediocre means to an end.
Hardware synths are easier to use when drunk.
Assuming you're just playing, and not designing sounds.
And you're right about Zebra!
Cheers

beater
KVRer
21 posts since 25 May, 2010

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:05 pm

Haha true.

Gunna check out the xils stuff. Cheers guys.

Examigan
KVRAF
4458 posts since 15 Sep, 2005 from East Coast of the USA

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:38 am

I bought a hardware synth after I already had tons of great softsynth plugins. I didn’t buy it after having any beers either. :hihi:

chk071
KVRAF
17688 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:43 am

Considering Hans Zimmer's opinion about Zebra, and how other soft synths "break apart when used on big cinema sound systems", he should try some more of the current generation soft synths. Pretty sure he will rest his point pretty quickly. ;)

Dunbar
KVRist
486 posts since 28 Apr, 2004 from location: location

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:48 am

Turning on a computer makes me feel like I'm back in the office.

Turning on a hardware synth and firing up a bank of Moogerfoogers makes me feel like making terrible music.
eh?

chk071
KVRAF
17688 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:50 am

Fair point. :tu:

User avatar
Hink
Rad Grandad
27504 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:00 am

how about the fact that hardware synths have the potential to appreciate in value (and of course many have) meanwhile you may be able to sell a soft synth but it will depreciate and actually because most often a transfer fee is involved someone has to literally pay to sell it?

BBFG#
KVRAF
5366 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:14 am

Been trying to change the ratio in my hybrid setup to be more software than hardware. However, I'm finding that more live players prefer their hardware boards. Top reasons seem to be;

Self-containment. (Less cords and external boxes.)
Portability.
Dependability. (Road worthy.)
Immediacy. (Hands on machine rather than mouse.)

Now a laptop is very portable, but everyone I talk to that uses one stresses the need to always have a backup and stresses the fact of their experience that problems are not an 'if' but a 'when'. Which happens far more than their hardware counterparts. And they all speak to the idea that one backs up, not replaces, the other.

User avatar
zerocrossing
KVRAF
9315 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:26 am

There are a lot of great analog emulations. RePro, Legend, the Roland Cloud synths, XILS, etc. Love them.

However, they all are a bit CPU intensive. I've got a decent i7, and I find that with effects plugins, I'm starting to push my CPU into cracklelandia fairly easily if I've got a couple of them going on. So, I also keep a handful of analog and hybrid synths around to keep my CPU cycles free for running effects and other stuff. RePro might sound as good as my Prophet 6, but the hardware synth requires little CPU to run it and it's always on "HQ" mode.

Also, software isn't as good at emulating things like distortion and feedback as well as hardware is. Some are decent, but when I compare them to my hardware synths, they always lose. Even my cheap Bass Station 2 blows everything I've ever heard in software away.

Then, there are specific character traits of synths. Yeah, we've got a couple of great Model D emulations, but I love my Spectral Audio Neptune 2, and no one is emulating it, and probably never will. Same holds true for my Tetras and my Tempest. So, if you happen to fall in love with a modern synth that probably won't be emulated for a long time, you've got no choice but to own those hardware synths or go without.
Zerocrossing Media

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

AnX
KVRAF
3432 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: What's the point of hardware synths?(Drunken rant,ha)

Post Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:41 am

Smells like a shill thread

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