hardware and soft synths/samplers comparison

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narcossist
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hardware and soft synths/samplers comparison

Post by narcossist » Tue May 23, 2006 10:23 am

ez,
not trying to drag another old arguement up again for the sake of it, but i've gotta write an essay on this for college by thursday. If any hardware users have time and could just give a few advantages of their kit, and anyone who's switched one way or the other could say waht they reckon that'd be wicked.

got to compare one hard synth to a soft synth and one hard sampler to a soft one but bein purely a software head its gonna be tricky to do it properly.

thanks

joe
Last edited by narcossist on Tue May 23, 2006 3:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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clarkycatdealer
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Post by clarkycatdealer » Tue May 23, 2006 11:14 am

ive got a hardware moog and a vst... can't even compare man , but digital and analogue are both good in their own right. quite like digital bass as its nice to have it all eq'd up before it even leaves the comptuer.. ultimately there are good and bad analogue and digital synths , so i reckona bit daft to take "sides"

but specifically the sound on most analogue synths fluctuates a little , oscillators go out of tune a little etc . warmer sound. much more fun to tweak obviously... end up with more happy accidents... sounds need far less processing , usually abit of reverb is enough. a big pain is that everything coming out of the hardware has got to be recorded as audio before you can process it so its a bit more time consuming .. the biggest difference for me is the filters , seems like every possible setting is a sweet spot vs lots of really woolly sort of sounds on the vst. check sound on sound or something like that, there must be 1000s of pages on this sort of business i think a moog or the ms20 would be alright for the vst comparison essay ting. both have high profile hardware and software versions, should be loads of review floating about.

i guess it doesnt matter all that much though at the end simply bec a shit tune isnt going to be made good by a nice sounding synth sound.

narcossist
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Post by narcossist » Tue May 23, 2006 11:27 am

cheers really appreciate the help. agreed that the idea of one being "better" is daft, changed the post heading..

eventualdecline
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Post by eventualdecline » Tue May 23, 2006 7:47 pm

I really like how the da converter on my EMU colors the sound, in addition to that since all sampler functionality takes places on the EMU it frees up processing power on my computer for other tasks. Also some pieces of kit have proprietary algorythms that aren't emulated properly yet by VSTs such as the z-plane filters.

badsign
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Post by badsign » Tue May 23, 2006 8:19 pm

not tryin to knock the emu, just wanna make that clear ;)

but, i heard the coloring in the emu comes from basically a gain boost (perhaps specifically to the lower end of the frequency spectrum). any thoughts on that?

i ultimately went with an akai but ill prolly get an e4xt eventually.

akai apparently = good for beats
emu apparently = good for bass

thats just what i heard tho.

sorry to jack ur thread narcossist :5:

narcossist
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Post by narcossist » Tue May 23, 2006 8:32 pm

badsign wrote:sorry to jack ur thread narcossist
nah jack the thread all you want man 8) ... thanks for whats been said by everyone. Just wanted to try an get a bit of a users perspective, rather than the usual numbers and stats you get from the music technology mags. Deadline is getting closer so i'm gonna have to write the bugger this evening. peace.

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testfeld
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Post by testfeld » Tue May 23, 2006 8:57 pm

IMO the main advantage of softsynth/softsampler is the way you can save your project. So when you worked a view hours on your track and want to go to bed or what ever you just press the save button and thats it.
You can start working on your project the next day, in a week, a year. you open it and its just as you left it. No hassle with mididumps, sysex, scsi ...

Another advantage of softsynth you can use as many instances you want or your computer can handle, hardware only once.

The soundquality of hardsynth aswell as softsynth depends on the manufacturer and the algorithmes they use. I dont know for sure but I would say that softwaresynth developers use the same algorithmes they used in their hardware in their softsynths aswell i.e novation v-station. Another thing is analogue gear because their soundmodules rely on transistors.

There are still great hardwaresynth you wont find as software equivalent, so hardware is still an issue. I use more and more softsynth, but still like my hardware.

eventualdecline
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Post by eventualdecline » Wed May 24, 2006 1:57 am

badsign wrote:but, i heard the coloring in the emu comes from basically a gain boost (perhaps specifically to the lower end of the frequency spectrum). any thoughts on that?
Well the EMU(I have an e4 platinum) can do a couple things. It has an internal gain to add some slight over-drive and it has the colouring that occurs naturally from the da converter. However what makes bass huge on the EMU is when you throw the shelf morph filter on your sample. That shit makes the low end huge.

Since I posted about hardware, I'll talk about what I like about software. I like how it's easy for me to try out different software products without commiting myself financially. I like the versatility of software, hardware at times can feel constrictive but on a computer ultimately if you can't find some software that does what you want, you can just code your own. Plus like someone else mentioned... just hit ctrl+s and all your shit is saved. Hardware, especially the EMU can be a bit more of pain to save things exactly how you like when you like.

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Post by shonky » Wed May 24, 2006 8:39 am

Still got an old Emu E4k, which I've retired in favour of an emulator x. The emulator x does everything the E4k could (apart from the transform multiply which is now being "introduced" on X2.

I think that my workloads reduced greatly by having the sampler as a vst. Used to take ages moving samples over SCSI, trying to get a recordable signal into the pc (usually resampling audio into the sampler and then sending it all via SCSI, which would take ages). Now I can just import as many samples as I want at a time, normalised and set up in a preset in seconds, whereas this would've taken 20 times as long before.

As far as sound goes, I can't really notice that much difference and it does more than the original. I think the E4k was £1050 when I bought it (£3500 new!!) and the soundcard system's only £200.
Hmm....

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dj $hy
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Post by dj $hy » Wed May 24, 2006 12:03 pm

I've got a Ultra 6500 E-MU sampler at the studio and I bought a Carillon Audio PC for my home which has teh E-MU 1280M soundcard with a soft version of the E-MU 6500.

There is NO difference APART from having to use a mouse to navagate the program.

Saying that...

I have a Virus TI adn using that as appose to a soft synth is just no comparission. Being able to lay a rough rift down n just turn away from the pc n work on my virus is pure bliss.

Problem is this, I work in IT so I'm in front of a PC ALL DAY. So when I get home and into the studio I dont wanna sit in front of another PC which is one reason I bought some hardware.

My 2 pence
http://soundcloud.com/afterdark-dubstep
New Deep one! Unsigned ATM
Soundcloud

A deep one... Dropping on Family Tree Records END OF THIS MONTH!!!!!!!
Soundcloud

narcossist
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Post by narcossist » Wed May 24, 2006 12:44 pm

think i'll just print of this thread and hand it in :lol:

those virus' look mint. guess the desktop one is a hybrid of everything thats been discussed here.
http://www.access-music.de/events/11-20 ... sktop.php4

eventualdecline
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Post by eventualdecline » Wed May 24, 2006 2:02 pm

DJ $hy wrote:Problem is this, I work in IT so I'm in front of a PC ALL DAY. So when I get home and into the studio I dont wanna sit in front of another PC which is one reason I bought some hardware.
Haha, I work as a network admin and I feel ya that one.

shonky
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Post by shonky » Wed May 24, 2006 2:11 pm

DJ $hy wrote:I've got a Ultra 6500 E-MU sampler at the studio and I bought a Carillon Audio PC for my home which has teh E-MU 1280M soundcard with a soft version of the E-MU 6500.

There is NO difference APART from having to use a mouse to navagate the program.
Mind you when you set it up to a controller keyboard, very little difference in performance, and it's good not to have to glare at tiny lcd's. I'm working in front of pc's most of the day, and then doing music on them in the evening and must admit I seem to be spending 15 hours or more a day in front of them, which is a bit much
Hmm....

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j_j
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Post by j_j » Wed May 24, 2006 2:57 pm

MOTU MACH 5 !!!!!!!!!!!
NN-XT !!!!

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