Why buy hardware synths?

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:47 am

Cumulus wrote:With software I would bet that nobody comes up and says "Wow, is that the Aruria Minimoog V? I've always wanted one of those!"
You buy an instrument so you can induce envy in others? Do you really have that little going on in your life that it's come to this?

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by griffin avid » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:30 am

Strangely enough I've seen the recent trend where Studio Pic Threads are filled with shots of a computer and MIDI controller in a very nice looking room. It was generally accepted as that being "The place where you make your music" and not a genuine studio. I guess the same should apply when a 'hardware' Studio is nothing more than a rack with a bunch of keyboards piled up.

I've seen studio shots where the boxes of software are stacked like a CD/DVD collection and that's what sparks the questions about what you use. "Oh you use Reason?" *after seeing the Propellerhead logo...*

So I don't know if I'd get excited about reading a long software list in a signature like I would about hardware, but I would be curious about seeing a row of boxes on a shelf. I've had people comment on my desktop icons too. "Oh, I have that" or "How does XYZ sound?"
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Diametro » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:45 am

meatballfulton wrote:
Diametro wrote:Why should you care what other people are using unless you're some kind of follower ... ???
I want people to dig me because of my rig =D>
That's merely a desirable side effect ...
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Cumulus » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:19 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:
Cumulus wrote:With software I would bet that nobody comes up and says "Wow, is that the Aruria Minimoog V? I've always wanted one of those!"
You buy an instrument so you can induce envy in others? Do you really have that little going on in your life that it's come to this?

You got my number. That's the only reason I buy instruments....

Seriously, I wasn't thinking in terms of having peopel envy what I have. I was thinking more in terms of striking up conversations with fellow synth enthusiasts who might get a kick out of seeing a cool old instrument being used in a performance..

I have never gone to a show and gawked at anyone's laptop, although I always enjoy checking out their hardware set-up. That is part of the fun - seeing how they put together a rig and how they use it in their performance.

I have nothing against computers but you just don't get that with joy watching someone play software emulations.

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by pflosi » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:27 pm

i also prefer hardware gigs, but i usually have a look at the laptop on laptop gigs (if possible) to see what program they use... and surprisingly, not everybody uses ableton :)

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:37 pm

It's funny that most posts are back and forth about hardware and software.
I think the vehemence of this thread comes from the fact that the title of it presupposes there is no real need for hardware. As such, you get the people who recognize a need for hardware speaking out against that presupposition. In doing so, the software people (who are a bit defensive about software to begin with) react as if instead of fighting against the title's presupposition, the hardware people are criticizing their mode of audio creation.

Then, of course, you have the people who use both and don't understand what the fuss is about.

And then, as per usual, you have someone saying everyone it's stupid for having an opinion and expressing it in a forum.
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by CS_TBL » Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:55 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:the software people (who are a bit defensive about software to begin with)
Only when people come up with nonsense arguments like:
- sounds thin, cold, cheap etc.
- has bugs, viruses, both at the same time of course
- requires a heavy and veeeery expensive computer
- requires a special and veeeery expensive sound card
- ooooodles o' latency
- computers are unreliable in any situation

I couldn't care less what people use. It would simply be nice if people would just get their facts together instead of coming up with fairy tales which are presented as being facts. If all of the above would be true then I couldn't have worked without problems for the past 3.5 years with my current system. I speak to colleagues now and then, and all have moved to the in-the-box method, successfully.. if these boxes are supposed to be so endlessly c**p then they wouldn't be using them.
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Cumulus » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:48 pm

Several years ago we couldn't have even had this conversation.

As computers and software solutions improve there may come a time again where we will not have any need to have this conversation.

If software synths ever get to the point where they are indistinguishable from theri hardware brethren (and even cheaper to run than they are now) there will be many more peopel who feel there is no need to have hardware at all.

Sure, there will still be people who like hardware but at some point, I can see a future where most people who play synths will do it on software.

Just like today, there are still plenty of people who say they prefer the sound of vinyl, how many people are recording on it these days?

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by metrosonus » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:35 pm

i could come up with a list of pros and cons for both hardware and software, which would be easy to do and prolong the discussion. There are simply too many factors involved to make a direct argument for one or the other and all of them are subjected to the point of view of the individual making the assessment.

If you can ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself, you'll know what you need and why.

What's my budget?
How much space do I have for equipment?
How much time will I devote to playing, programming and learning a synth, a week?
What's my purpose: gigging, hobby or professional?

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by balma » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:43 pm

I just found a KEYBOARD MAGAZINE from February 1996. There is an add:

"In ten years, software will have replaced 100% of all the hardware synthesizers, so grab yours now"

assh*les! :lol:

Forgot to memorize the name of such wonderful software. Maybe it was made on Pascal
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by griffin avid » Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:07 pm

"In ten years, software will have replaced 100% of all the hardware synthesizers, so grab yours now"

That's okay. How many Sci Fi shows would say the year is 198X and show flying cars and laser guns? 2001 Space Odyssey or 1984 or Space 1999 etc... not even close to where those movies guessed we would be.

I think it's a great topic that should come up every so often and mostly it's about a poster wanting to have their say about it. Some veterans have had this talk several times in the past and I'd hate to think anything I wanted to comment on- someone would say Search up an old thread to satisfy my desire to communicate my current personal opinions.

But it is funny that our tools become more advanced, sophisticated with more and more capabilities and we have so many options in front of us and yet music hasn't become more expressive, important or relevant. Some might even say that modern music is actually worse. I don't subscribe that it's due to 'everybody tryin to get in to the act'.
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Dj Pound » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:29 pm

balma wrote:I just found a KEYBOARD MAGAZINE from February 1996. There is an add:

"In ten years, software will have replaced 100% of all the hardware synthesizers, so grab yours now"

assh*les! :lol:

Forgot to memorize the name of such wonderful software. Maybe it was made on Pascal
I never understood that promotional approach. So snide and confident in their dismissal of hardware. The same can be said about so many of the sales people selling these products at the major outlets, persistently hawking software when you've already told them that your interested in hardware :? Its to the point now that they will blatantly discourage you from buying the very hardware that they are showcasing in their stores in favor of getting something like the latest "sampla" or "fruity loops" software :lol:

*BTW nothing against people who use those programs, more power to you :mrgreen:
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by AstroDan » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:44 pm

You buy an instrument so you can induce envy in others? Do you really have that little going on in your life that it's come to this?
You say this as if there are other reasons to buy possessions.

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by balma » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:04 pm

griffin avid wrote:"In ten years, software will have replaced 100% of all the hardware synthesizers, so grab yours now"

That's okay. How many Sci Fi shows would say the year is 198X and show flying cars and laser guns? 2001 Space Odyssey or 1984 or Space 1999 etc... not even close to where those movies guessed we would be.

I think it's a great topic that should come up every so often and mostly it's about a poster wanting to have their say about it. Some veterans have had this talk several times in the past and I'd hate to think anything I wanted to comment on- someone would say Search up an old thread to satisfy my desire to communicate my current personal opinions.

But it is funny that our tools become more advanced, sophisticated with more and more capabilities and we have so many options in front of us and yet music hasn't become more expressive, important or relevant. Some might even say that modern music is actually worse. I don't subscribe that it's due to 'everybody tryin to get in to the act'.
It's nice that you mentioned Orwell's 1984 and that future hasn't happened yet (hope never happens)

"everybody trying to get into the act"

Now that's happening. And it was predicted on a 1984 similar book: THE BEDGLASS GAME, last Herman Hesse's book.

He predicted that it would come an age where we will be oversaturated of garbage information. Too much information! too much of everything, any commentary can be exposed on Youtube, millions have computers at their home, there are hundreds of softwares for "music productions".

Anyone with a computer, can get a software to make music for $0. And he can subscribe a forum, and call himself a music producer.


Let's say creative producers are blue beans, and all the rest, those ones who try to produce during a few years and then left the hobbie and get married, etc, or are mediocre producers, are red beans.

15 years ago, you had 20 blue beans, and 2000 red beans. 0.10

Now you have 40 blue beans, and 40,000 red beans. 0.0010

If you have all the beans on a pot, maybe you won't be able to find the blue ones

Griffin, is true that we have increased our tools to develop our creativity, I'm absolutely sure that there are smart people outside there, getting the best of it. But creative producers, are now disolved on a bigger number of mediocre producers, and they are harder to find. They cannot shine as much as before, since the tiny poor light of a million of crappy ones, obscure them.

As per me, I always have used hardware, and also, try to read a lot from several areas, and even, make my best efforts to break absolutely the routine. Go to Amazonas and drink Ayahuasca, remake your mind or something like that.

Innovation requires sometimes, and its a contradiction, an innocent, naive mind.

Sometimes, you must learn all the music basics and procedures taught by others, to use them, and then, abandon them completely and invent yours. Learning everything is as hard as forgetting everything.

For example, exteriors sampling is a forgotten world. And despite 20-25 years ago, there were people doing incredible things with sampled sounds, trying to extract sounds from their environment and giving them innovative usages, I think that's an area waiting to be explored.

I complaint there are not EXTERIOR SAMPLERS, only a few crappy ones on the market, like the Boss SP sampler (batteries) . If somebody just could have the balls to create a great portable sampler machine, waterproof, able to record tiny sounds, different frequencies, 12-16-24 bits, I would sell my a*s to get it. Furthermore, the actual hardware sampler market is poor.

But it's a fact that with the actual hardware gear available, many great and unheard things, can be created.

We are just flooded, with too much c**p information, like Herman Hesse predicted around 50-60 years ago.

Another good analogy??? YOUTUBE comments. Good comments, are so hard to find, there is almost no way to filter trash. But good comments are there, hidding between 10.000 comments saying: "you faggot, you n*****, screw you, this is gay" etc etc etc etc etc.

that's what is happening with creative people. Well, at least that's my theory :^o
Last edited by balma on Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by CS_TBL » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:03 pm

The bean thing is true.

It's way more easy to produce something decent than it was 10, 15, 20 or 25 years ago. Back then -if you wanted something big- you had to have a bag o' money for an orchestra or a bag o' money for a fairly large studio filled with fully expanded Synclaviers, Fairlights, CS80's, a mixing console you can land a chopper on, expensive outboard reverbs, expensive pre amps etc. etc. That meant only the elite could produce tracks like that, or otherwise charge lots to produce albums for smaller artists. By doing so there would really be a notable difference between elite quality and small artists/bands.

Somewhere around '99 I started using orchestral Akai libraries and .. whoa.. suddenly all these romplers (synths, modules and even sounds from a Technics keyboard ^^) I was using were ancient. Gradually more everyday people started using them.

Then some years ago I started streaming even larger libraries and .. whoa.. suddenly all these typical Akai libraries sounded ancient. And again, gradually more and more people are using them.

In the end, everyone uses them and in terms of production quality: everyone has equal weapons now. There's no more elite and ordinary,.. well perhaps the only elite that's left are the people who have budgets to use real instruments/orchestras and who have the contacts and the tactical licking abilities to stay in touch with those important business friends, as they see that their unique position isn't so stable anymore. I fear the latter is really the problem here. Many musicians aren't businessmen. Those businessmen who are tonedeaf or otherwise have no taste may just choose a random clown who knows how to make business deals rather than someone who knows his musical craft.
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