Why buy hardware synths?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
lhm1138
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 192
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:07 am
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by lhm1138 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:24 pm

Software has its pluses, but when I work solely in a DAW for a while, I start feeling icky. It's sort of like the difference between standing on the edge of a large mountain with an epic view, and standing in a 6 X 6 cell with the same scene painted on the walls by a matte artist.

User avatar
Yoozer
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1390
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:31 pm

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Yoozer » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:36 pm

sensorium wrote:"Dreamed up by us"?

Yes. Lots of replies here in the thread consider this as some kind of absolute, either/or choice. The women, sex, scenery and car analogies are just the crazy icing on the cake.
"Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.

danbroad
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:26 am
Gear: TSC4 P12 NI9

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by danbroad » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:09 pm

sensorium wrote:
danbroad wrote:There really isn't any need for a hardware/software debate; it's all dreamed up by us, on forums such as these. A truly gifted musician can accomplish anything using any equipment; doesn't matter whether it's hard or soft, keys or rack, electric or acoustic, analog or digital.

So who are you to decide what is worth debating? "Dreamed up by us"? So I dreamed up that I prefer hardware for it's immediacy, interface, hands-on aspect, and sex appeal? Damn!....And all this time I totally thought my personal preferences were valid.
Reread my post. I love my hardware too, and in essence I agree with you. But in the absence of our peers, in worldwide meeting places like this, we'd all just choose what worked best for us, and not get so wound up about whether it compared favorably to what others have. That would be entirely the wrong reason to buy hardware. And those are my thoughts in answer to the OP.
Less words more noise

goodmourning
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:28 am

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by goodmourning » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:48 pm

personally, i like to own it,physically, having a soft synth just dont cut it for me, even if the sound is the same, or even better, its like owning a cd, record or cassette, im a collector, and really like to have the hard version....

User avatar
Syn303
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1400
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:46 pm
Gear: Quite a bit...
Band: Syn303
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Syn303 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:12 pm

I prefer hardware, with the added notion that i can shape and control my sounds hands on as it's happening, rather than having to use a mouse to do it all, only time i use the mouse is to edit, mix and master my music.
| syn303.bandcamp.com | soundcloud.com/syn303 |

psionic11
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:18 pm
Gear: -Fusion 8HD/6HD, Micron, X guitar, VFX-SD
-Ex5r, WSA1r, DD65, Performance Pad
-BCF, FCB, ExpressionMate, VF1, BC3
-(past) Juno 106, DW8000, Fantom Xa

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by psionic11 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:19 am

I also prefer hardware for the performance aspect. The 88 piano key feel, the smooth velocity and aftertouch response of semiweights, the rhythmic immediacy of pick on strings. When I play a brass piece, I call up my trombone chops, when I play a flute-like line, I express thru an internal recorder.

You may counter that you could just get the same effect with MIDI controllers. Sure, after you've invested the mental energy to learn software environments, configure pc latency issues, upgraded hardware to handle polyphony requirements... the point is the musical immediacy of hardware performance, not the cerebral muddling thru software's potentials.

Granted, if you want mechanical, like step sequencing or effects layering or beat-matching or mix production, then your tools of choice could be more software.

But when you want outdoor picnic, power outage sing-alongs, intimate artist to audience, or portable spontaneous party fun, it's hard to beat the hardware of an acoustic guitar.

User avatar
Yoozer
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1390
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:31 pm

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Yoozer » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:28 pm

psionic11 wrote:Sure, after you've invested the mental energy to learn software environments, configure pc latency issues, upgraded hardware to handle polyphony requirements... the point is the musical immediacy of hardware performance, not the cerebral muddling thru software's potentials.
* You can't do this on a workstation either if you want to sequence. Or even on an MPC. You have to load stuff first to get going.
* You only have to do this exactly once.
* For that effort, the actual return in power you get is immense; what is configuring something once when you suddenly get a thousand compressors, reverbs and equalizers?
* For that effort, the actual return in convenience you get is immense; no restrictions on the track count of audio and MIDI. No dicking around with SCSI for samplers.
Granted, if you want mechanical, like step sequencing or effects layering or beat-matching or mix production, then your tools of choice could be more software.
What exactly is mechanical about effects layering? Step sequencing is exactly an example of what hardware does better because you can blindly hit the buttons. As of now there are a lot of pad controllers - but no x0x controllers.
"Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.

User avatar
CS_TBL
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1677
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:47 pm
Gear: All "In-The-Box"
Mainly FM8
Location: NL
Contact:

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by CS_TBL » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:36 pm

Heh, this discussion is like suffering from arachnophobia. The HW guys see spiders everywhere and refuse to go there (coming up with all kinds of silly excuses).
"You know I love you, CS, but this is bullshit." (Automatic Gainsay)
s: VSL/FM8/EWQL/LASS h: DX7/FS1r/VL70/SY77/SN2r/JD800/JD990/XV88/Emu6400/Poly61/Amek35:12:2/genelec1030 r: Violin/AltoSax/TinWhistle c: i7-4770/RAM32GB/SSD
FM8 vids

User avatar
D-Collector
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1229
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 3:01 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by D-Collector » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:17 pm

There is no denying the conveniency and ease you get with a good software setup, everything is right there as you left it, no loading of OS floppys, SCSI sample drives, patches, etc. EVERY time you start up.

But then, I like floppy disks...

rickyd
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:35 pm

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by rickyd » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:56 am

These posts are just a matter of personal preference. There is no right or wrong here, it's just the closed-minded snobbiness approach to it all that bugs me #-o .....................Instead of arguing over which one is best, just use the best of both worlds if you need to; that's what it's there for.

In defense of soft synths for a moment, there is nothing wrong with it. It may not be for some, and that's perfectly cool, but it's really ignorant when some hardware purists put down those who use it, as if it is an inferior way to create good music or something. OF COURSE there are gonna be situations when one is definitely better than the other, like hardware is obviously best for live gigging etc.

When it all comes down to REALITY and the END RESULT, the average consumer buying music doesn't really care how the music was made anyway, and most don't even care about the musicians themselves. Even the clients coming in to your studio shouldn't care about how the music is made, as long as you can give them what they want, and I'm pretty sure that they shouldn't care how much gear your studio has. I mean f**k, do they come in to take a tour or to get their music made? :roll:

BTW, this is in no way to disrespect anyone, especially the fact that most guys here have been helpful to me while shopping around for synths , but I felt to state some truth here.
Last edited by rickyd on Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:05 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Snarecrash
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:03 pm
Real name: Mark
Location: Augusta Treverorum
Contact:

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Snarecrash » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:19 pm

I don't like the feeling to entrust my music a piece of software that i can't properly install anymore after a system crash or system change or that is not working with certain soft-sequencers. Hardware is just plug and play and it still sounds better imo. :D
I've used nothing else than software synths and drum samples for a long time in the past and some day i just was fed up with it.

User avatar
Analogue Crazy
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 652
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 5:31 pm
Real name: Rob
Gear: Alesis Andromeda
Korg MS20 Mini
Korg Micro Preset
Korg DS-8
Yamaha Motif 7
Yamaha DX11
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Analogue Crazy » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:27 pm

Because im gigging tonight and hate using software live. Im taking out my Andromeda and DX7S and for me you can't beat the sound of a hardware Analogue and Digital Synth live. A bit irrelevant but it's also nice when people reccognise my DX7 and i get talking about it. :D
A6 Andromeda, MS20 Mini, M500SP, DS-8, Motif 7, DX11,

MarcinP78
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by MarcinP78 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:23 pm

Why buy hardware? Because I play hardware keyboard synths not soft synths, guitars, turntables, trumpets, drums, and so on. Why doesn't the OP go to a Guitar Forum and ask people why buy hardware guitars?

User avatar
Dj Pound
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 239
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 2:34 am
Gear: Korg ESX-1
Korg EMX-1
Korg ES-1
Microkorg
Akai MPC-2000XL
Boss Br-532

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Dj Pound » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:14 pm

MarcinP78 wrote:Why buy hardware? Because I play hardware keyboard synths not soft synths, guitars, turntables, trumpets, drums, and so on. Why doesn't the OP go to a Guitar Forum and ask people why buy hardware guitars?
+1 =D>
Korg ESX-1
Korg EMX-1
Korg ES-1
Microkorg
Akai MPC-2000XL
Boss Br-532

User avatar
TrondC
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1280
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:47 am
Gear: Machinedrum UW & Monomachine Mk2's
Korg KP3 & Zero 4
Band: Siesta Submarina

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by TrondC » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:31 pm

Because frankly, I'm too lazy to deal with software synths, audio configurations, drivers etc. I had a major freakout trying to get the nano-controllers to work, and after about a WEEK if not f**k getting it in trying to make software a part of my rig, I decided that if a $1000 synth that does the same as a $50 software, I'd still have to pay around $950 in medication to cure the f**k madness I get from softsynths and their unintuitive and complicated (yes, to me, I don't "get" the computer realm. been trying for years. don't get it. end of story) ways.

so, to me (my own, personal, subjective opinion)

hardware = instant gratification, fun, allows for better artist-instrument interaction, is inspiring, and frankly, as a live artist (or, planning to be more so), even the slightest bit of hardware makes the audience look at you as a musician using instruments, and not just a guy with a pre-made set on a laptop (no, I know you probably are just as busy with a laptop, but is sure doesn't look like it..)

software = more power per dollar spent, but I would rather have fun banging my head with hardware in my room than bang my head against the wall because app X doesn't interact with app Y until problem 1 is resolved, which needs you to download program Z, install, re-boot, try again to see problem 2 now occurs because of a malfunction in a previously installed VST you're no longer using etc etc etc...

I am aware this kind of thinking won't allow me to be a "professional" musician, but that's not my aim. the goal, in the very end, is to have fun.

oh, ans for beginners, a $100 electribe IS easier to afford and get into than having to get a $400 laptop, interface, software, controller etc etc etc

now I'm off to make techno love with my elektrons

Post Reply