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Is there any reason to own hardware effects in 2019?
Old 28th March 2019
  #1
Lives for gear
Is there any reason to own hardware effects in 2019?

The thing is - there's a local shop that has quite a ton of used hardware effects racks - Midiverbs, Lexicons, Digitech stuff, you name it - dirt cheap. And when looking at those shelves filled with such hardware my GAS becomes wallet-threatening. But at the same time since I'm using a computer as a center for everything music related - by now there are simply tons of great sounding plugins doing whatever - and without the latency that would come with bouncing the sound back and forth through converters to an effect rack or pedal.

So is there any reason to own any of those nowadays apart from them looking extremely cool in a rackspace?

And yeah - I'm talking about digital stuff, not analog.
Old 28th March 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
pr0gr4m's Avatar
There are several reasons, and probably some I haven't thought of.

Sure, if you do everything ITB it might seem a step backward to use outboard gear for processing. But not everyone works ITB and integrating outboard gear can be easier for those people.
Some people like a physical device or prefer it's interface to that of a mouse/keyboard.
Live music.
If someone feels that the outboard gear has a superior sound, they may want to use that instead of plugins, regardless of whether or not they are ITB.
Old 28th March 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

No.
Old 28th March 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Mostly, yes. Goes for most hardware synths as well. Unpopular opinion here perhaps but I genuinely think it’s true. You can do pretty much anything itb or suffiently approximate it for most purposes. Fact is the people in this subforum like gear, including me, but for the most part I cannot seriously rationalize gear vs software solutions.
Old 28th March 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Of course. It is obvious why to use them. They sound better.
Old 28th March 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Yes there is, its not an issue of the year but of what it is you actually do and whether it fits into that.

If you're a bedroom producer who does everything with a computer, I can't really see the benefit of that sort of gear.
Old 29th March 2019
  #7
Deleted c985153
Guest
Yes, there is. But at the same time, there is not
Old 29th March 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 
pounce's Avatar
 

Yes

I have some effects that are clearly better than plug ins. Also, and somewhat importantly, it also allows one to offload some of the processing from the computer to the outboard units.

My studio is hybrid, so my outboard gear (effects, synths, etc.) all do the things they do well, allow me to divide processing power, and I am still obviously able to use whatever plug-ins I want as well. Best of both worlds. Most of the synths or effects that I have as hardware are ones that I don't believe are well represented in software, OTOH I love using things like Altiverb as a convolution reverb when creating realistic spaces is an important goal. Or certain software synths that have features not particularly easily found on hardware. I can't face this as an either or questions as there is a place for both, which by default means that the answer to your question is yes, there is a place for hardware in 2019 and beyond. The more high end hardware you get to work with the more you realize the value of it (which doesn't take away the value of software, but recognizes that it's not always replaceable).
Old 29th March 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Moonwhistle's Avatar
 

I still use a MIDIverb II & PCM80.

They're terrible but have a sound.
Old 29th March 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
grasspike's Avatar
A lot of the older rack gear like the ones you mention do not have any software equivalent.

For example I love the Midiverb II. It does things that no plug in can do. Same for my SPX90, FX500 and many other effects units that I have.

Thats why I own hardware
Old 29th March 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Of course. It is obvious why to use them. They sound better.
I own an OTO BAM, I love it, I post in almost any thread about one why people should buy them, but I would fail in a heartbeat if asked to do a blind test between the BAM and Valhalla VintageVerb.

I used to own a SH-2, have a 101 in my shared studio, have played a System 100, and would easily fail a blind test when the real thing is compared to the Boitique/Cloud plug-ins.

My signal chain is quite nice, too. Lynx Hilo (mastering grade interface) into a KH O300 with a treated room. The people who seem so adamant to act like ITB is inferior seem to be comforting themselves.

In 2019, if you want gear to have “vibe”, ITB can give it. I own gear to inspire me differently than ITB, but I use both and the boundary is gone in terms of sound. The different results I get from ITB vs OTB is equally exciting. Combining them gives me another type of result. If you only have the time and money to do so much, follow what makes you happy. The only difference I see between people who are staunch OTB supporters is they tend to record less, and further produce less finished tracks that sound worth sharing. A few 100% OTB people I know basically just post videos on Instagram.
Old 29th March 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
 
shreddoggie's Avatar
I love this thread.
Old 29th March 2019
  #13
Deleted 9145577
Guest
these sorts of thread support simulation theory, not just GS. it's like the collective unconscious is apprehensive of making an inefficient decision that will bring the ire of the collective.

how do you record? if you're tracking physical instruments, i think having rack unit effects/pedals is very valuable. for taking something already in your box out and back, no, they don't make sense. how are you creative and do they support that workflow? Answer that question and you wont' need to ask the collective anymore about how to do it.
Old 29th March 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 
shreddoggie's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthshaker View Post
these sorts of thread support simulation theory, not just GS. it's like the collective unconscious is apprehensive of making an inefficient decision that will bring the ire of the collective.

how do you record? if you're tracking physical instruments, i think having rack unit effects/pedals is very valuable. for taking something already in your box out and back, no, they don't make sense. how are you creative and do they support that workflow? Answer that question and you wont' need to ask the collective anymore about how to do it.
I can't live without the collective. Soon you will be like me and I like you and we are all together.



Old 29th March 2019
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
I just realized that
yes there are good reasons and no there are no good reasons, are incompatible claims. in order for the claim that there are no good reasons to hold, there have to be, no good reasons. if on the other hand, there are good reasons, the claim that there are no good reasons can not hold.

I'm hoping someone is going to be able to solve this conundrum, as I don't have too much time to wait around.
Old 29th March 2019
  #16
Gear Head
 

Just for fun.
Old 29th March 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
Yes and no. Depends on many things.

Do you need a quadraverb for mixing, no, better off in the box.

Would a Lexicon 480 hardware be better than a plug. YES!

From one perspective, unless you get the good stuff, there is no point in going out of the box.

Does eventide sound better in hardware than plug, Yes, there is a fricking ton of processing power on the eventide units thats not available on the computer. Good reverbs, same thing. The hardware sounds better than plugs, at least in real time without lag for tracking in context of the mix. Tracking in context of the mix is often desirable.


But then there is the recording chain to consider. You get best results with the least adjustments between what's tracked and what's mixed.

Tracking with Compression, EQ, Effects, etc is risky, but comes with a payoff of all analog ajustments before the sound ever hit a converter. The sound of a $15,000 recording chain is fricking awsome. Can you get a great track with much less, sure, depends what you are shooting for. There are many fantastic pieces of sound gear out there. Many do things a computer can aproximate 95% at 5% the cost. What's that last 5% worth to you? You have to look at it task by task.

One EQ and one Compressor can shure up the gaim when used on your primary always used recording chain.

Assuming 8+ converters, one analog reverb allows you real time quality verb with no CPU tax.

Many ways to slice it up. Use it all as it's available. No rules man.
Old 29th March 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Bignatius's Avatar
It is not an either/or situation.

And it can not be simplified to a single yes/no.

Personal preference, user interface differences, the ability to stand alone, portability, unique features, costs, scarcity, there are many reasons why one picks hardware over software or software over hardware. There is no one answer.

Salt and Pepa...
Old 29th March 2019
  #19
Lives for gear
 
string6theory's Avatar
I was literally just reading the manual to my PCM-42, took a little break, saw and opened this thread.

Let’s see... for me there’s the PCM-42, 70, 70, 81, 81, 81, 92, DP/4, DP/4+, H3000 D/SE, D/SE, Orville and M7 on one side. (Not including all the many digital stomp box, guitar rack FX and hardware synth effects).

And... Sound Toys Bundle, Waves Diamond Bundle, the effects in NI Komplete-11 Ultimate, PT HD bundled Air FX and some Massey on the other. (Not including all the many effects suites bundled with various software instruments, soft synths, etc.)


Despite strong capabilities in the software arena, those hardware beasts are reason enough for me! I’d actually love another 42 and M7... maybe some Fractal FX too.

Let me touch, twist, turn, push, and otherwise tactically interface, over mousing, track-padding/touch-screening and otherwise instantiating plug-ins any day.

Old 29th March 2019
  #20
Lives for gear
 
shreddoggie's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by string6theory View Post
I was literally just reading the manual to my PCM-42, took a little break, saw and opened this thread.

Let’s see... for me there’s the PCM-42, 70, 70, 81, 81, 81, 92, DP/4, DP/4+, H3000 D/SE, D/SE, Orville and M7 on one side. (Not including all the many digital stomp box, guitar rack FX and hardware synth effects).

And... Sound Toys Bundle, Waves Diamond Bundle, the effects in NI Komplete-11 Ultimate, PT HD bundled Air FX and some Massey on the other. (Not including all the many effects suites bundled with various software instruments, soft synths, etc.)


Despite strong capabilities in the software arena, those hardware beasts are reason enough for me! I’d love another 42 and M7... maybe a Fractal too.

Let me touch, twist, turn, push, and otherwise tactically interface, over mousing, touch-padding/screening and otherwise instantiating plug-ins any day.

WORD.

Analog domain gain staging.

/thread
Old 29th March 2019
  #21
not for just throwing a pretty verb on, old HW fx can be a great tool for OTB sound sculpting in a low fi way, especially if driven. Onto an EQ as a filter then submix. Basically a type of modular synthesis I guess.
Forty bucks might open up options for something you can punish and toss if it craps out.
Old 29th March 2019
  #22
Gear Addict
 
Elektronix's Avatar
 

They look better for when the girls come round, girls don't care about laptops, girls wanna come round your house & see stuff with buttons & lights & stuff, it's much better, trust me.

Basically, it's all about twisting knobs.
Old 29th March 2019
  #23
Lives for gear
 
string6theory's Avatar
They FEEL warm!
Old 29th March 2019
  #24
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraze View Post
The thing is - there's a local shop that has quite a ton of used hardware effects racks - Midiverbs, Lexicons, Digitech stuff, you name it - dirt cheap. And when looking at those shelves filled with such hardware my GAS becomes wallet-threatening. But at the same time since I'm using a computer as a center for everything music related - by now there are simply tons of great sounding plugins doing whatever - and without the latency that would come with bouncing the sound back and forth through converters to an effect rack or pedal.

So is there any reason to own any of those nowadays apart from them looking extremely cool in a rackspace?

And yeah - I'm talking about digital stuff, not analog.

Not for me. Not for most normal people.

There are some who claim they can hear the difference and somehow that makes the hardware better.

To me they sound the same and I don't have money to throw away like many seem to have.
Old 29th March 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Bignatius's Avatar
I agree with the perspective that there is no real substitute for things like transistors, tubes, and springs, and to me there are several inexpensive distortion pedals that sound better than any digital distortion type thing I have ever heard, or an analog bbd delay on the very edge of self oscillation, or a real Space Echo, full of the real life inconsistencies that happen because of subtle imperfections or fluctuations because of the power or heat or manufacturing tolerances.

I think certain degrees of perfection sound artificial, at least subconsciously. Like the subtle weirdness of master planned neighborhoods where every single plant and tree was precisely placed, unnatural symmetry, an abundance of homogeneity, a glitch in the matrix, if you will. Can I prove it to a skeptic, probably not. That is fine. I like what I like. I like digital too, but would not trade one for the other. Editing waveforms on a big monitor is much preferable to a tiny screen...

Get both.
Old 29th March 2019
  #26
Lives for gear
 
string6theory's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by typical user View Post
Not for me. Not for most normal people.

There are some who claim they can hear the difference and somehow that makes the hardware better.

To me they sound the same and I don't have money to throw away like many seem to have.


Bravo... dig into that 4th passive aggressive post, oh typical (normal, contrarian-conformist, sound-samey, sonically non-discerning, non-disposablely disposed and seemingly frugalistic) user!
Old 29th March 2019
  #27
Gear Maniac
depends on the effect. some are bread and butter and can be easily done ITB. others however, have unique character, capabilities, or sound. it depends entirely on what you're after with your sound.
only outboard effect I have these days is a TC Electronic Fireworx. everything else is ITB.
Old 29th March 2019
  #28
Deleted 9145577
Guest
this is one of those threads where the people who see it one way will never see it the other, so, again, it all depends on how you record.

if i could go back to chat with past me when i was first starting out i'd try to impress upon myself that it's way more fun and "productive" to look at recording as trying to capture lightning in a bottle and it is much less rewarding and "productive" to instead focus on constructing a beautiful and efficiently made flower garden.

it took me a while to "get it" but i do now and i think the people who seem to stick to a financially-sound, gearslutz technocratic rationalism are missing out on why this endeavor is worthwhile and individually important. but... don't take my word for it, they sound the same so that's the end of it i guess.

Old 29th March 2019
  #29
Lives for gear
 
drockfresh's Avatar
Yes. The reason is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Old 29th March 2019
  #30
Lives for gear
 
drockfresh's Avatar
(And screen time)*

* turns out screen time is very bad for you just ask any parents
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