Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri May 30, 2014 12:48 am

Hmmm, I guess those guys have never used a Poly Evolver Rack, Mopho or a Tetra. Terrible interfaces which need to be used with a software editor to use in a non-frustrating way.

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by Hallu » Fri May 30, 2014 2:18 am

They use a lot of reductive, self-preserving arguments in this video. Anyone wanting to explore the limits and frontiers of synthesis are using software. A lot of people connecting with "knobby" interfaces are using software. As others have said, the Tetra and PolyEvolver racks could just as easily be attacked by what they're saying than software.

I think what people get hung up on is that software synthesis, when just modeling hardware counterparts, is clearly not as enjoyable or dynamic because it is constantly looking over its shoulder at what it is emulating. But take CSound, Max/MSP, Haskell-based live coding software, and the such ... in a minute or two I could be making sounds a room of modular equipment couldn't ever touch, and I'd have better control over it too.

However, nothing jams out a groove like some of the monosynths I own.

Something else that is rarely mentioned in these "analog vs digital", or "hardware vs software" debates is what it is trying to do. If I were to suggest Max/MSP to someone on a forum I bet there would be a dingle or two that would chime in and say "you know as great as it may sound, ITS NOT ANALOG." On the flip side, if people posted on people considering a vintage Roland or the such and said "You know, this thing will never sound like a wavetable synth, or granular synthesis, or additive, or re-additive, or physical modeling, or vector synthesis, oh and that single "cross mod" knob is very very weak FM ..." etc etc people would get called annoying prats. Analog subtractive synthesis is a relatively small, niche area of the entirety of synthesis, and countering software or digital suggestions with "its not analog" is like when modern media covers global warming debates with a single scientist and a single science denier and treats it like an equal argument.

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by Bitexion » Fri May 30, 2014 6:08 am

But what the h**l, both want to sell their hardware products, of course they won't go into a rant about how great software synths are and that everyone should just buy those instead :D They are both still active in their own companies making hardware synths.

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by madtheory » Fri May 30, 2014 7:43 am

Hallu wrote:They use a lot of reductive, self-preserving arguments in this video.
This.

Excellent post Hallu. I agree with all of your points. Because you're right!!

Hard v Soft is really one of the more ignorant false dichotomies in this little minority sport of ours.

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by Dr. Phibes » Fri May 30, 2014 10:06 am

Anyone who uses softsynths is a Nazi.

End of argument.

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by SeventhStar » Fri May 30, 2014 10:55 am

Dr. Phibes wrote:Anyone who uses softsynths is a Nazi.

End of argument.
A Synth Nazi! I don't know if that term would specifically apply to soft synth users.. But I do think there just may be a few Synth Nazis on this forum.. The most amazing things, and terminologies, come to fruition on this forum.

"Synth Nazi". I like it! You guys crack me up on here :lol:

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by pflosi » Fri May 30, 2014 1:00 pm

Godwins law on the second page already? Good job.

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by CS_TBL » Fri May 30, 2014 2:18 pm

Meh.. "The Soup Nazi" anyone?
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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by meatballfulton » Fri May 30, 2014 6:31 pm

Image
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by SeventhStar » Sat May 31, 2014 2:52 am

pflosi wrote:Godwins law on the second page already? Good job.
I had not heard of Godwin's law.. I had to look it up. Interesting stuff:

Godwin's law - "if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism."

"For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress. This principle is itself frequently referred to as Godwin's law. It is considered poor form to raise such a comparison arbitrarily with the motive of ending the thread. There is a widely recognized corollary that any such ulterior-motive invocation of Godwin's law will be unsuccessful."

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by Dr. Phibes » Sat May 31, 2014 6:56 am

Do you know how Stuka dive-bombers made that howling sound? That's right, Reason.

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by SeventhStar » Sat May 31, 2014 9:34 am

Dr. Phibes wrote:Do you know how Stuka dive-bombers made that howling sound? That's right, Reason.
Yes that's right.. Hans-Ulrich Rudel, the lone recipient of the Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, did mention the use of Reason in his book, "Stuka Pilot". I am now beginning to see the historical origins of your Synth Nazi connection..

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by KBD_TRACKER » Sat May 31, 2014 8:04 pm

Bitexion wrote:It is kind of funny to hear Dave explain why he doesnt like software. It's like listening to your granddad explaining why everything was better in the old days when there was no computers and menus on telephones, and you had to actually WALK to the bank to pay your bills, and how all this new fangled stuff the kids nowadays like is just hogwash :D
music technology is not synomym with DAW-related tools. DAW-related tools are just and nothing more than a subset of music technology.

dave smith life-long dedication and contributions to electronic music technology are incommensurable and will last long in the future. i venture to say that his opinions deserve more than cheap disrespectful ageist sarcasms.

still, to be fair i must recognize that these days bashing dave smith (and DSI) is a fashionable occupation at VSE.

never-the-less, i get the feeling that these guys would not relate so much to the overtone of this whole thread:
http://www.residentadvisor.net/feature.aspx?2074

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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by wiss » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:30 am

CS_TBL wrote:Ah, gramps is out of bed! So, he likes his stuff because people can twist a knob .. that's it? He doesn't know that controllers can twist virtual knobs just as easy? He doesn't know that not much is tucked away in menus? Perhaps he hasn't seen synths that have more than 20 parameters? Let him do a synth with unique knobs for 200 parameters (kinda like a quadruple JD-800), then we'll talk. For now it's nothing more than mumbling old memories.

So, yes, they may have been pioneers and all that, but I'm sure the hundreds o' thousands o' people working in the synth industry today know a fair bit more then they do. I mean, it's not like today's cars are worse than the very first 19th century car, is it?

Now, where are my pills..
YOU SHOULD BE BANNED FOR LIFE AFTER MAKING THE MOST IDIOTIC ILL INFORMED COMMENT OF ALL TIME.
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Re: Dave Smith and Roger Linn on Hardware vs Software

Post by CS_TBL » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:47 am

Wiss: It's called 'freedom of speech'. And unless I'm name-calling forum members or calling for violence, I should be legally entitled to vent any opinion I can think of. In the best case I have a point, in the worst case I'm merely a loon you don't agree with. So what? I don't care.. But, allow me to be more in-depth below:


4:17 RL: He focuses on human interface, and easy to use, musical, with a soul. The interface is something you can do with a controller for software. Ease of use - I find all software easy and predictable to use (know one, know 'm all). Musical? I can create great sounding tracks with 'm. Soul? Subjective, it's between your ears, not in the machine.

4:50 RL: "require you to enter all these different settings" -- he doesn't know the existence of preset storage, or the fact that they're automatically saved with the DAW-project? That's always been one of the biggest pluses of software compared to hardware, and he dares to make this silly comparison?

5:17 DS: "personality and soul" .. same thing again, it's between your ears. Sound is just moving air, and I don't want machines to be in control of what I want it to do. It's almost like ill people thanking some higher force when they revive -- no, it was hundreds o' years of development in medical science; give the doctor some credit, will ya?

5:43 DS: This clearly shows he's talking out of his a*s, big time. He's actually watching his mouse when clicking/moving it? He has his keyboard far away from his screen? Look, again ye olde FM8 'n such, but if I can do fairly complex sounds using a (for most people) complex way of synthesis, in a fairly short amount of time, then what am I? Someone with supernatural powers? Or: do I simply know how to work with a PC, with experience using sound synthesis? I think it isn't the first one.. Now, of course he may like hardware more (for whatever reasons), but in this video he talks as if most software works/sounds c**p by definition. It's this comparing of apples 'n oranges, this fallacy, that pops up so often in these discussions.

5:58 DS: Heard it before, mentioned it before. He likes the fact that one knob does one thing. Fine, can't argue with that. I guess we'll wait for him to create a knob-synth with 200 parameters or something (Jellinghaus has 150 knobs already, and that's based on the DX7). I'm not sure how big it would get, or what price tag it would have.. Let's just sum up things: if a synth has menus (or in case of software: multiple pages), then it'll be because there are more parameters than physical controllers. That's not a consequence of things being digital or software, it's just a consequence of the actual synthesis model being big. He'll probably be happy to brag about an ARP 2500 too.. if you forget about size and price..
Further on from this he talks about software becoming vapour-ware. Can't argue with that, other than that I'm not working with software from 1995, it's nothing more than logical that software evolves with evolving computers (speed, memory, harddisk space). I bet he actually writes using a recent MS Word, rather than Jessica Fletcher's typewriter (even though the latter must have oodles o' soul and personality!). Progression means that the software can do more, or will be more accurate, in either case: the user gains. Personally I think that, once you've a 64 bit system and you use VST's, you're quite set for the future. You can compare this with videocards. Decades ago you were annoyed by the countless amounts of videocards and drivers. Then something important happened: DirectX, and if your videocards weren't compatible with it, the manufacturer wouldn't sell many videocards. It's a kind of virtual standard to which other manufacturers have to conform. You'll see the same with soft synths; if a software manufacturer makes something new, and it isn't a VST, then that's a showcase of bad marketing research, and it'll show in the few sales he makes. And yeah: AU, AAX etc., often you see plug-ins being release in all major formats, I guess it isn't so hard to do then.. the future for current software is pretty solid.

7:33 RL: Can't argue with that, other than that these minor details just may not interest me, or I'll settle with whatever software implementation of those non-linearities there is. In the mix (especially in a dense mix) I really can't be bothered with it.

Later on they talk about possible resale value (and that can only be when it doesn't break down and can't be repeared due to extinct components). Not interested in that, I'm a sound designer, if I want to make money I'll do real estate.

12:43 EG: Yes, each note in software will sound new if you program it like that (or if the synth in question allows to do such). This depends on whether or not it's programmed like that, machine gun notes are not a software property by definition.

13:04 DS: So, just turn knobs. Fine, and this is not possible for software?

13:50 DS: Yes, he's obsessed with menus, that much is clear by now! "And drag a knob up or down, or whatever you have to do these days"

Uh.. 'whatever'? So, he talks all blahblah this blahblah that about software, but:
he
just
doesn't
know


Now, before the riot starts: I'm not against any synth (analogue, digital, hardware, software), it's all fine to me. Heck, I'm not even against the gear from DS and RL, which is (within their technical boundaries) probably excellent. The only thing I protest against are the usual fallacies people make regarding software (poisoning the well). And for me it really doesn't matter whether some big yahoo from the industry is saying so (argumentum ab auctoritate), I rather think he's merely covering their own asses and protecting their businesses

So: let me rephrase: all synths are fine (theirs also), it's all about the usual H-vs-S fallacies.
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