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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:00 pm
by piRoN
You forgot the defensive vitriol subroutine.

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:52 pm
by druzz
because it is exciting !!

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:37 pm
by ryryoftokyo
Well, do you really want to attempt running nine softsynths and then virtual drum machines + fx? My computer gets a little angry with me when I do that...

I feel like software hasn't managed to catch up with even the DX series of boards. If it comes down to using FM-8 by NI or my Yamaha DX-21, my metal behemoth gets plugged in...so you can imagine trying to emulate some of the crazier boards out there. I also feel like a VA on software synths is a joke. Even Arturia's stuff still feels sort of cheap, with the exception of that Moog Modular V.

A good example is DiscoDSPs Nord Lead 2x emulator...doesn't sound the same...at all. Still a ripping softsynth in it's own right, but not a NL2x.

Portability is nice...I don't want to carry around my laptop on the road...that's just asking for trouble, unless of course, you are in a huge band that pulls tons of cash, which let's face it...probably none of us are in.

There's a few other reasons...reliability, control, sex appeal....the list goes on.

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:33 pm
by tyrannosaurus mark
elsongs wrote:When you're playing, and someone accidentally trips over the extension cord/power strip, which one will boot up faster, a hardware synth or a computer?

There is a time and place for plugins, but hardware synths > software synths.
Haha yeah, have you actually used a computer live.. and was it a desktop computer?

Might be more of a problem on your end than on the computer's end

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:01 pm
by Stab Frenzy
Also, has anyone ever actually been to a gig where someone's tripped over a power lead and unplugged anything; synth, computer, amp, whatever? I've seen guitarists unplug their leads by stepping on them and not having them looped through their strap, but never seen power go out on anything.

I suppose it could happen in theory if you were stretching extension cords across the room and have power boards connecting off the ground, but if you do that you deserve to have power go out on you.

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:12 pm
by CZ Rider
tyrannosaurus mark wrote:
elsongs wrote:When you're playing, and someone accidentally trips over the extension cord/power strip, which one will boot up faster, a hardware synth or a computer?

There is a time and place for plugins, but hardware synths > software synths.
Haha yeah, have you actually used a computer live.. and was it a desktop computer?

Might be more of a problem on your end than on the computer's end
LOL! I was thinking my boot up the arse of the one whom unplugged my rig.
Hey, I still use my desktop live to this day. Not every musician can afford to buy the latest in new gear. I still cart a 233Mhz Pentium, filled with my soundblasters with the Emu8000. Has a unique sound and I haven't found anything similar to replace it with. Didn't we have this same discussion back in the 80's, when I was still giggin' with my obsolete, no patch memory Minimoog? :lol: Then again I still gig with a computer that boots from a 5 1/4" floppy!
SE30 concert with 233 Pentium and Sync2
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I did have someone unplug my rig 10 min. before a show, and never said a word to us. (Afraid of my boot?). Had just finnished tuning everything up, final check, started the recorders, stepped out for a break before the show. I remember some knuckle-head was looking for an outlet to plug in his video equipment to tape the show. Our power was all run from one large 30-amp extension, that was tapped down, ran behind the stage to an outlet. I was not there, but I guess someone did a "what does this go to?" and disconnected it. Had to make a loud sound as our whole rig went dark, realized the mistake, then plugged it back in. The PA was live, THUMP......! Anyhow, they announce us, we start the show, and I am experiencing massive failures everywhere. Didn't get a recording of the show, as even our recorder failed. The next day realized what must have happened, checked the boot log on the computer, and there it was, reboot at 10:45PM. No matter how much you try to idiot-proof your setup, sh*t happens!

Getting back on topic, I have one of the original softsynths Seer Systems Reality from the late 90's. The original version needed a soundblaster to work, and cost around $500 for ver 1.0. Then they released ver 1.5 for $300, but wanted $100 for the upgrade. So new users paid $300, old users that supported Seer paid $600? Today, unless you have a legacy PC, you are out of luck and your investment. I would imagine the same will apply for today's softsynths 10 years from now. So you will have to cart your old PC/MAC like I'm doing now. Hey, if it was great 10 years ago?
Crappy live rig with 10-20 year old computers! (Nov.2008 live at WXPN Phila PA.)
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:42 pm
by pflosi
that's what you call a crappy live rig???

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:50 pm
by balma
something that I hate from most of the computers, is their annoying drive noise. Most of the hardware synths are totally silent, except for a few ones like the sampler Sp808.
noisy computers drive me crazy

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:10 pm
by tyrannosaurus mark
Stab Frenzy wrote:Also, has anyone ever actually been to a gig where someone's tripped over a power lead and unplugged anything; synth, computer, amp, whatever? I've seen guitarists unplug their leads by stepping on them and not having them looped through their strap, but never seen power go out on anything.

I suppose it could happen in theory if you were stretching extension cords across the room and have power boards connecting off the ground, but if you do that you deserve to have power go out on you.
On bigger stages, for sure. But when I've played on the floor at house parties or more crazy shows I've had stuff unplugged by people dancing and going crazy right on top of all my gear. But you're right, I've hardly ever had or seen stuff been unplugged, haha.

And good on you CZ for doing the desktop! haha, awesome

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:18 am
by aredj
balma wrote:something that I hate from most of the computers, is their annoying drive noise. Most of the hardware synths are totally silent, except for a few ones like the sampler Sp808.
noisy computers drive me crazy
Stuffing a SSD in my laptop was one the the best upgrades I ever made to any computer.

(and then I bought a hardware sequencer to phase the computer out - the best move I made to my music making process :o )

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:30 am
by Stab Frenzy
aredj wrote:
balma wrote:something that I hate from most of the computers, is their annoying drive noise. Most of the hardware synths are totally silent, except for a few ones like the sampler Sp808.
noisy computers drive me crazy
Stuffing a SSD in my laptop was one the the best upgrades I ever made to any computer.

(and then I bought a hardware sequencer to phase the computer out - the best move I made to my music making process :o )
This, plus the fact that a decent laptop (well my mac at least) has next to no noise compared to a buzzing amp, or a crowd, or 120dBs of rock and roll. You know, those things that you often get at gigs.

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:03 am
by Torstein
aredj wrote:(and then I bought a hardware sequencer to phase the computer out - the best move I made to my music making process :o )
Funny, I've been wrestling with soft synths since Propellerheads' ReBirth back in 1997 and getting all the mods by Peff. Was a fan of Reason for several years, then six months ago I decided to go the Ableton Live route controlled by a Behringer Midi Foot pedal to control looping and section changes. While I was able to get it set up and working pretty slick-like, it was still this constant mindsuck to head over to the computer to tweak anything. I also wrote a couple of what I'd consider decent songs, all within Reason, as Thor is probably the best softsynth I've worked with (other than Absynth, but that's just a monster). But composing still felt like a chore. Like mowing the lawn. Lawn looks great afterwards, but then I just want to take a nap.

Then I did what you did. Decided that like others here, I also spend way too many hours in front of a computer for my day job, and wanted none of it for my musical endeavors. Buying a hardware sequencer is the best thing that has happened to my creativity since buying a Fender Blackface back when I first was learning guitar 15 years ago. A good hardware sequencer driving hardware synths, for me, is absolutely the most creative setup I've ever experienced. I'm ripping out A/B/C sectioned songs in just an hour or two now, not three days. My chosen poison is an RS7000, though I almost went for an ASR/X Pro instead. So far I couldn't be happier. The system mostly gets out of the way, though sometimes surprises me with a happy accident, and we make music together.

Maybe I'm not as evolved as some, but I like my synths and sequencers to be in meatspace.

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:14 pm
by Jack Spider
Stab Frenzy wrote:Also, has anyone ever actually been to a gig where someone's tripped over a power lead and unplugged anything; synth, computer, amp, whatever? I've seen guitarists unplug their leads by stepping on them and not having them looped through their strap, but never seen power go out on anything.

I suppose it could happen in theory if you were stretching extension cords across the room and have power boards connecting off the ground, but if you do that you deserve to have power go out on you.
I have - my mate has knocked the power cable out of the keys (which provides the drums) at many of our gigs. His record is four times in the space of two songs at one gig. It's a good job I can keep time on bass, that's all I'm saying! :lol:

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:13 pm
by Stab Frenzy
Jack Spider wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:Also, has anyone ever actually been to a gig where someone's tripped over a power lead and unplugged anything; synth, computer, amp, whatever? I've seen guitarists unplug their leads by stepping on them and not having them looped through their strap, but never seen power go out on anything.

I suppose it could happen in theory if you were stretching extension cords across the room and have power boards connecting off the ground, but if you do that you deserve to have power go out on you.
I have - my mate has knocked the power cable out of the keys (which provides the drums) at many of our gigs. His record is four times in the space of two songs at one gig. It's a good job I can keep time on bass, that's all I'm saying! :lol:
If they were in my band they'd get booted before the set finished. :D

Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:35 pm
by Jack Spider
I'd have a job with that as it's his band. Luckily for us, the crowd think it's part of the act.