Why buy hardware synths?

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by harness » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:42 am

Sometimes I love jamming with my eyes closed. On my main pieces I know where every button, knob, switch is, how many times I have to press a button to get to a menu I want, how many clicks I need to turn to get the parameter I want.

Intuition, inspiring to play, sound quality, resale value.
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Tsarik » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:58 am

i laugh when someone shows me their music collection... and its on an ipod.

i think i'd laugh so hard i'd have a stroke if someone showed me their "gear"... and it was just a bunch of softsynths on a mac

its a material world, and i am a material girl... er.. um.... boy

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by b3groover » Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:36 am

Ok, sorry to bring this back up but I was reminded of this thread whilst playing around with some demos tonight.

One thing I don't like about softsynths is the typeface/graphics some companies use. Like Native Instruments, for example. I cannot see a damn thing without squinting and I'm using dual 19" LCD monitors!!! Why can't you choose the size of the window and make the typeface bigger? I'm only 32 years old, I ain't blind yet but I feel like these softsynths are going to make me blind!

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:47 am

b3groover wrote:Ok, sorry to bring this back up but I was reminded of this thread whilst playing around with some demos tonight.

One thing I don't like about softsynths is the typeface/graphics some companies use. Like Native Instruments, for example. I cannot see a damn thing without squinting and I'm using dual 19" LCD monitors!!! Why can't you choose the size of the window and make the typeface bigger? I'm only 32 years old, I ain't blind yet but I feel like these softsynths are going to make me blind!
You mean like you can on hardware synths? :roll:

What are you talking about? You can't choose the font or window size of a hardware synth, this has absolutely nothing to do with the topic.

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Yoozer » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:45 am

Stab Frenzy wrote: You mean like you can on hardware synths? :roll:
No, I think it's more a plus for hardware that they've already chosen fonts that ought to be readable at a distance when playing the thing, instead of aiming at a single monitor resolution. Of course there's several exceptions to that too. Since user interfaces are a valid argument, and this has to do with user interfaces, I think it's on-topic.

The ideal is of course a completely seamlessly scalable interface, kind of like how Novation Automap works, but then those fancy 3d renderings wouldn't really work anymore. Companies have to *gasp* think about how to redo an interface that's more suitable for the screen and mouse, instead of waste precious dollars on making a meticulously rendered 3d copy with a twist.

Offloading more work to the graphics processor - as is very much common with stuff like the Aero theme - is perhaps a good idea. After all, you've got lots and lots of interface elements on the screen that all have to be updated - VU-meters (fake or real), knobs rotating. Seamlessly zooming in and out on your project would be really nice, but right now those things are still plain GDI calls. All of this is something even a basic graphics accelerator is really great at - you've seen modern games, haven't you - and instead it's doing nothing at all. Doing that would free up CPU resources. OS X has a bit of an edge here with Core Graphics, but since several sequencer packages have to be dual-platform using native controls is kind of a nightmare (which is why for instance Ableton Live looks like it does, and why Cubase has those weird dark gray tabs instead of standard Windows tabs. They simply completely rewrote that to make crossplatform easier).
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Ashe37 » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:56 am

Well, with OpenCL being out, maybe they can offload some audio processing onto the GPU...

btw, several pro graphics apps, mainly 3d software, uses methods for drawing the interface other than GDI calls...

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by b3groover » Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:30 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:
b3groover wrote:Ok, sorry to bring this back up but I was reminded of this thread whilst playing around with some demos tonight.

One thing I don't like about softsynths is the typeface/graphics some companies use. Like Native Instruments, for example. I cannot see a damn thing without squinting and I'm using dual 19" LCD monitors!!! Why can't you choose the size of the window and make the typeface bigger? I'm only 32 years old, I ain't blind yet but I feel like these softsynths are going to make me blind!
You mean like you can on hardware synths? :roll:

What are you talking about? You can't choose the font or window size of a hardware synth, this has absolutely nothing to do with the topic.
Calm down, Beavis! :lol: :)

As Yoozer mentioned, my point deals with the user interface. Unless I have my 19" monitor about 6 inches from my face, its really hard to see the values and positions of knobs and sliders on a lot of softsynths. CS80v is especially bad. Yeah, it looks great. But man is it hard on the eyes to edit anything with precision.

On a hardware synth, for example my SY99, you have a monochrome display with easily readable text. Not as fancy looking for sure, but very easy read and edit.

I'm not trying to rag on soft-synths; I'm just saying I wish the interfaces were scalable. Or just less cluttered. Or maybe a separate view that's just values and not all the fancy graphics. I can use Cubase just fine; the color scheme and text size make things easy to read. But with something like the CS80v or Moog Modular... things are so tiny. It's really a drag.

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by maindeglorie » Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:40 pm

Why hardware?

Cause chicks don't want to f**k dudes playing Axioms. :lol:

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by aXL » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:26 pm

maindeglorie wrote:Why hardware?

Cause chicks don't want to f**k dudes playing Axioms. :lol:
Real men get their controllers from CME and Novation :mrgreen:
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by sensorium » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:51 pm

Why buy hardware when we have VST's?

Why buy a 25 year old professional Vegas hooker when we have Penthouse magazine?

Same thing really ;)

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Yoozer » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:57 pm

You mean you desperately want the clap, and not the one in the 808?
"Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by danbroad » Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:06 pm

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.

The real issue here is right now, there isn't much in it to find an argument about; we've never had such a great opportunity of choice. Software synths are just as capable as hardware synths. That one might be somehow 'better' than another comes down to sonic character; and that's just a matter of personal preference. There's no arguing the fact that some soft synths have a magical character that hardware doesn't have - and vice versa.

If there is one facet of hardware that software can't match, it's the immediacy of the dedicated interface. But, to counter that, hardware synths are a pain to chain together, cables can look unsightly, and there aren't many hardware synths that integrate into a sequencer workflow as easily as an instance of a soft synth.

How's about this? Analog circuitry is limited in scope and often overrated by eager purchase-justifiers. Digital synths are just soft synths in a dedicated box. Software synths lack mystique and ownership cachet. Discuss that instead...

Anyway, I own both. I bought soft synths for the ease of music workflow, and I bought hardware for the interface. I proudly take advantage of all that there is to offer, and in an age of bounty, I'd be crazy to limit my options with artificial snobbery.

Of course, we're all here because we love the sounds, and adventures, of an instrument that was all but absent just 50 years ago; along with the electric guitar it's responsible for the majority of human music in the latter 20th and early 21st centuries. The early pioneers of synthesis dreamed of the situation we find ourselves in now; these are our halcyon days - why not just enjoy them?
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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by taskoni » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:41 am

aXL wrote:
maindeglorie wrote:Why hardware?

Cause chicks don't want to f**k dudes playing Axioms. :lol:
Real men get their controllers from CME and Novation :mrgreen:
#-o damn, and I have Akai MPK 49 :x Thanks God I'm reach (don't judge me because of my short gear list) :lol:

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by Yoozer » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:02 am

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.
Phew. I almost thought I was alone in here thinking that.
these are our halcyon days - why not just enjoy them?
Image

The more I read on "forums such as these", the less I want to have to do with 'm :(.
"Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.

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Re: Why buy hardware synths?

Post by sensorium » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:00 am

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 :(

Please read the original posters question again. Nobody is saying you can't product great music with software. Sometimes I'm pleasant shocked when I find out one of my favorite albums was produced completely ITB, but that doesn't change what I PERSONALLY like about hardware.

Of course it's worth discussing/debating. This is a discussion forum...that's what we do here, and everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

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