Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

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Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by vin14 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:48 pm

.. computer / controller keyboards? The Virus TI has got me thinking. The benefits of a 'real' tangible synth and a plug in. The best of both worlds. Or is it? Is the Keyboard/Module just a dedicated computer and set of controls for an albeit top notch soft synth? If so, does this apply to other virtual analogs too? Personally I'm not bothered once I like how it sounds, I just wondered what other people thought

cheers

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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by Synthaholic » Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:56 pm

Well, VA synths typically have custom or specialized DSP chips in them to handle the tasks of synthesis, in more efficient manners than a computer-based softsynth can.

Also, VAs are dedicated, while a PC isn't. The PC has to handle running a Windows (or Mac) OS, networking, screen GUI, keyboard/mouse polling, background virus scanning and numerous other tasks that a VA doesn't have to worry about.

A given VA synth will always have a DAC designed for it inside, so every Virus TI (for example) will sound the same. A PC softsynth's sound quality is dependent on the quality of the sound card/chip inside the PC, so the same softsynth and patch may sound slightly different on a Dull Ultraplex 572387C running Doors PX vs. a Banana 9000E running PeelOS. ;)
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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by pflosi » Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:57 pm

i guess cpu capacity is a big thing. lots of vsts need quite a lot of it.

but i dont know really, may the people that actually use vsts / VAs speak... 8)

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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by masstronaut » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:12 pm

Well the answer is yes, basically.

Except, and I'm sure this point is made every time the subject comes up, a synth is not just the sound making engine, it is also about the interface which determines the way in which a player / user works with it and relates to it. So it's like a totality of those things, man.

As for processing power, it's actually quite staggering how much a modern CPU like an i7 can do. Most DSPs don't come close, so there should in principle be no problem with native soft synths matching the sonic detail of stand alone digital synths.

Having said that I am a big fan of dedicated boxes. I think it impacts on design decisions and in the way they fit into a creative studio environment. Let a synth be a synth I say.

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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by AstroDan » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:18 pm

Aside from the amplifier (VCA) and if it had an analog filter, I would say it is software in a dedicated engine.

I still wish they would develop a universal hardware controller based on a standard - say a Minimoog - and let every badass softsynth company develop a compatable CD-ROM or 'cartridge' to be played on it. DX7 to ARP 2600 to Roland JV's popped in a slot in the side, automatically assigned to every parameter on start-up, and go. (Of course, I realize for these examples you would need about two Andromeda layouts, but I want this out now.) :)
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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by masstronaut » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:22 pm

It wouldn't be dedicated then. ;)

Anyway, there is Plugiator, that's quite close to what you're asking for. Sort of.

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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by pflosi » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:38 pm

also the novation remote zero sl

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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by Cycom » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:43 pm

I never understood the appeal of the Virus or other VA's. They're just software synths with a keyboard. Overpriced c**p.
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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by masstronaut » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:20 pm

Yeah that's right. They are keyboards that make sounds. You know, musical instruments.

I never understand the appeal of pianos, they're just bits of string with a keyboard.

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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:32 pm

As synthaholic wrote, hardware VAs differ from softsynths in that they use dedicated DSP hardware rather than just running DSP code on a general purpose CPU.

Whether or not that has an impact on the final sound has been argued over in many, many threads here.
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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by Yekuku » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:52 pm

VA's are definetelly soft synths ,using dedicated DSP's and D/A converters.
I cant see any drawback about this...
Cycom wrote:I never understood the appeal of the Virus or other VA's. They're just software synths with a keyboard. Overpriced c**p.
what is the problem about being a software synth with a keyboard ?
Is the sound not good enough for ya ?
Overpriced? probably you are only talking about the virus... Most of the VA's that are available in the market are dirty cheap nowadays.
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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by Pro5 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:00 pm

My AN1x cost less than a NEW MIDI CONTROLLER KEYBOARD and a LEGIT VST SOFT SYNTH. And also offers many advantages and inspirational pros over just software... So I don't get the hate even if they are 'just software' internally

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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by Murderhausen » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:30 am

My Nord Lead or JP8000 aren't going to become obsolete once Microsoft releases a new version of Windows.
Voyager XL*LittlePhatty*ElektronTrinity*ProOne*Mono/Poly*NordLead2X/3*Juno106*JX3P*JX10*JP8000*VirusKB*Blofeld*Ion*OctaveKitten*Polivoks*MS2000*AN1X*AlphaJuno1/2*ESQ1*SVC350*MG1*CS15*DX7II*etc...

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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by bluedad » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:36 am

Murderhausen wrote:My Nord Lead or JP8000 aren't going to become obsolete once Microsoft releases a new version of Windows.
Neither will my vsti's; I see no reason to move from XP

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Re: Are virtual analogs just soft synths with their own...

Post by Old Iron Giant » Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:46 am

I would agree that both VSTi & VA are the same.

But this also reminds me of Virtual-Poker... all the elements of the real game, minus the the authentic human interaction. :roll:

I'll stick with my VA & Keyboards :wink:

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