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Anyone gone from hardware to software?
Old 26th July 2012
  #1
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metrosonus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Anyone gone from hardware to software?

I had an idea for a feature for my blog and what I want to know is, if you went from a hardware to a all software setup? even temporarily is ok, such as college, moving, travel.

It's not supposed to be a pro software or anything article, but rather, I just like to put the spot light on what real people do and how they cope with it in terms of their music making. I thought it'd be a neat angle.

Would you like to participate in the feature?

If so.. could you do the following and post them in this thread? Thanx

1. photos would be nice, but if none, that's ok. provide me with a before and after shot of your studio (or temporary SW setup). Hardware, then no hardware.



2. List your hardware and software.

3. Briefly summarize why switched, what you tried to replace with what, what works, what doesn't etc.


thanks
Old 26th July 2012
  #2
ozy
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ozy's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
a TWO THOUSAND pages thread on the same issue, from past two monts,

is available upon kind request

at www.gearslutz.com
Old 26th July 2012
  #3
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metrosonus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
well.. this is for a feature article for my blog, Computer Music Guide and rather than just cull through some threads I searched in and without the users permission, I thought I could just ask for volunteers instead?

When I can, I like to make my blog a community driven outlet.
Old 26th July 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Ive been through that transition several times, from all hardware to all software , back again...now hybrid.

Sorry i cant help with your project as ive kept no photo diary of my various setups.

Reasons for swithching have been varied, sometimes economic ,sometimes space related.
The last time i went to an all software setup was for a film scoring project and i had to make a grown up desicion when i realised that a room full of synths and sequencers wasnt going to get me the kind of results i could achieve with a couple of fast computers and extensive kontakt libraries.

sorry i cant be of more help, good luck with your project.
Old 26th July 2012
  #5
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metrosonus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have to agree though that with scoring and soundtrack work, nothing these days beats a ITb setup. What's out there as far as sample packs is phenomenal.

I think that may also be a reason we're seeing keyboards that are becoming more and more gig friendly.

In deed back in the day, using my XP30 with the orchestral board was about as good as it got. But now that's been off loaded ITB and keyboards are focusing on being gig friendly with more performance options rather than pulling double duty as compositional tools.
Old 26th July 2012
  #6
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metrosonus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
thanks for the input!

and you know what.. no photos are ok! feel free to comment

Just FYI, Disclaimer - if you post in this thread, you give me permission to post your comments on my blog.
Old 26th July 2012
  #7
VST
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VST's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Yep, I've gone back and forth a bunch. If you really like synthesis like me, you have to have a few of the real ones around.
Old 26th July 2012
  #8
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crufty's Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
home hobby noisemaker

>>1. provide me with a before and after shot of your studio (or temporary SW setup). Hardware, then no hardware.


i don't have any photos handy...too revealing anyway.

>>2. List your hardware and software.
HW, at height, what i would call ghetto fabulous:
Mac pro, logic, 2 x motu midi, apogee duet in
2 bus compressor: rnc "nice"
console: ramsa 820b (24x8 chan w/3 band api style eq)
fx: dm-100 delay, ce300 chorus, lexicon mx200 x 2
Drums: tr 909, jomox 999, drum station
va: vsynth, jp8080, virus ti
vco: fr 777, fr revolution, fr xs, moog voyager rack
DCO: bass station rack, mks-7, mks-50, dsi per
keys: a6 andromeda
romplers: korg M1/M3, yam SY77, EMU proteus 2500, roland d550, mdc1, vs1
groovebox: emu xl7 command station, electribe mx

today: NONE.

after dallying w/reaper briefly on a pc laptop, picked up mbp and as of today:

OS 10.7
Ableton Live (x86)
NI Komplete w/Goldbaby / driven drum / zero-g sample packs
VA: Diva, ImpOscar 2, PPG Wave v3, D16 *, AudioRealism *, Dcam, fabfilter twin
Rompler: Korg Legacy, Omnisphere
channel setup: VCC -> eq -> TB Reel
Compressor: IK Vintage Racks, Sonnox, Glue, Horizon, Rocket, Dada Sausage
EQ: Equick & Equality, Sonnox, IK Vintage Racks
fx: Eventide *, fab filter *, D16*

>> Briefly summarize why switched,
i switched because the hw setup wasn't working for me anymore. I loved the sound. My wife was unhappy with the space the studio took and that was the real killer.

To be honest, burying myself alone in a room wasn't practical. It's a hobby, and it took me away from my family. My kids loved interacting with the synths, but how often was i making music? At first every week, then every month, then every couple of months..then i think one year, i turned it on a grand total of three times.

Meanwhile i had this pc laptop , and i slapped on reaper and a bunch of free vsts. A new world opened up to me. i installed the old plugs from the mac pro and hey...it was ok. I didn't like the sound but it was close enough to explore...and i could save and revisit things.

on the mac pro setup, if i fumbled a key or got carried away w/knob spinning, w/no multi-track a/d conversion, that fumble was permanent. i used to take pictures of patches, but the reality was i was never going to go back and do over a part.

a few years went buy and now my kids are older. i ditched the hw because the space could be better utilized by things that actually would get used on a daily / weekly basis. like tinkertoys.

>> what you tried to replace with what
i also realized that i wasn't building a replacement sound...i was building a different sound. someone can go skiing in the desert, or get hot in the mountains. But the reality is, if you want to go skiing just go to a mountain--and if you want to get hot go to the desert (or swamps).

at first, I was trying to recreate the 909/777/a6 sound itb. Those are my fire boxen...everything else i could do without. And, I realized, i was trying to go skiing in the desert.

Once i changed my mindset that i wasn't replacing, i was doing something totally different...my composition freed up. i spent less time worrying about how analog something sounded, or how disappointed i was that none of the plugins sounded like my 909/777/voyager/a6 combo.

>>what works
I also have tried, tried tried TRIED to give up on drums. a drum line is a crutch--say a bar is boring. 808 kick + 606 hats and yay! that bar is now exciting.

plus, i have conditioned myself to think that all electronic music is DANCE music, and must have 115 - 133 bpm, 4/4 etc etc.

but the realitiy is...all i did when i slap down what i call the 'rock' 4-4 was something lazy. so recently I have spent a lot of time critically listening to classical music. I am thinking that electronic music has yet to reach its zenith. and not that i will be a part of that wave, but at least i can try. I think this has helped me itb.

and part of that try is that the masters, had the virtue of having the instruments naturally arrange themselves. that when the violins attack dies down, the pianist naturally plays their notes a little louder. and all these interactions between composer, conductor, and player, that i never tried before becaue my otb setup was very noisy.

so itb, i have really tried to focus on space, and arrange based on attack and release. the clarity one can get itb is unmatched for the $ spent, and just recently--the last 6 months even--plugins have really started to sound good. Not good for what they are...but good on their own.

>>what doesn't etc.
if space has been my focus...my take...itb still doesn't do well with 3d sounds. i have given up on that, getting that MASSIVELY wide sound. 'wide enough' will have to do for now.

the other thing is that itb really has a problem with density. i felt like with the ramsa, i could pan, eq, and the analog sounds all just melded together w/only small amount of attention to arrangement. i spent a lot of time on the patches.

itb, for some reason, sounds thicken up a track a lot quicker. so arrangement and composition is really a focus, especially since patch creation takes a lot longer. and i have to constantly delete and trim, since what sounded good in the moment, with my ear trained to hear the new part, will sound like ass a few days later, when my ear has forgotten what was going on and its just mush.

i am no great musician, just a dude who has fun. I am always in awe at the creativity and musicality of fellow gs.

so thats my 'guy in basement' story, hope it helps. Please feel free to trim the word count / edit / paraphrase etc.!
Old 26th July 2012
  #9
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Breaks Dude's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
PM sent.
Old 26th July 2012
  #10
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metrosonus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
thank you crufty, that's an excellent post and what i'm trying to get at..

and no photos aren't required. i shouldn't have made that a requirement.
Old 30th July 2012
  #11
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metrosonus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The article is up! Thanks again everyone for participating and proving that we can move beyond the typical x vs. y discussions and into something positive with real insights! Thanks again

What Happens, When Life Happens?
Old 30th July 2012 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by metrosonus ➑️
The article is up! Thanks again everyone for participating and proving that we can move beyond the typical x vs. y discussions and into something positive with real insights! Thanks again

What Happens, When Life Happens?
Cool article. Wish I had seen this.

I also made the switch from Hardware to Software about 3 years ago.
Old 30th July 2012
  #13
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metrosonus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
thanks and if you want to chime in, feel free I can add your comments to the end. I just posted it a few minutes ago and can make a quick edit.
Old 30th July 2012 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by metrosonus ➑️
thanks and if you want to chime in, feel free I can add your comments to the end. I just posted it a few minutes ago and can make a quick edit.
Hardware Gearlist

Emu Sampler ESI 2000
Roland Juno 60
Roland JX3P
Roland SH-2
Kawai K5000s
Kawai K3m
Korg MS2000
Waldorf Pulse
Yamaha CS1x
Mackie Mixer (12 channel I think, cant remember what its called)
Various rack mount effects and effects pedals.
Various rack mount romplers, cant remember them.

Software

Presonus Studio One
Cubase 5
Sylenth 1
Omnisphere
Native Instruments FM8 / Absynth / Massive (Komplete)
Native Instruments Kontakt Sampler
EOS Reverb

I started using synthesizers around 1995 or 96. I made a hardware setup that had quite the flux in gear, until around 2009 I finally decided to go software. The moment it changed for me was me simply being tired of routing instruments to mixers and effects chains, and things of that nature. It's simply too easy to do it ITB. Around late 2000s is when I also felt that software had FINALLY caught up.

It also just took me realizing that software would not do exactly what my analogs would do, and coming to terms with that. One I let that go, then using software become so much better. I dont really miss my analog gear, but I do miss some of the sounds. I found that buying analog/hardware gear is a vicious cycle. To get the best out of it, you end up needing to buy more expensive gear to make it all work. It just simply became too pricey. I heard what current dance artists are doing w/ a laptop and bringing into a studio to mix . . . and it became silly for me to think I had to do otherwise.

I will always have a love for hardware and analog gear, but I just find living in apartments and never having enough space, a powerful computer is the way to go.
Old 30th July 2012
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
For me it is about mobility and space.
I'm lucky I can spend 4 weeks or more on the beach each year - almost in a row.
I love hardware but it is too complicated for travelling.
It is nice to be mobile and come back and switch on some gear to finish it.
I miss my guitars and bass and amp badly when I'm looking at the waves
Old 30th July 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
metrosonus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
thanks subby33!

funny, I had the same issue with hardware. it seemed that when ever I added one piece of gear, I needed to buy two more somethings to get it to work with the rest of my setup. I just felt like I was in a loop that I was never going to come out of.

I finally sold off everything and decided get a workable software setup going first and then worry about hardware. That way I could still work while I saved and bought more gear.

I'm mainly going with east / west romplers for romplers, natch lol. Zebra 2, ANA, Dune for VA and then once I get back into hardware, it's going to be mostly racks and stuff I can put away when not in use. And then when I want to play, it's sort of a creative, mix and match free style thing that I'll record and then chop up into Live and stuff.

given the time and headaches and my time constraints, hardware is just too much a commitment in time and money to
me :(
Old 30th July 2012
  #17
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mike vee's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
i have and it's totally doable, but the bottom line is that it's just not as fun or cool.
Old 30th July 2012 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by metrosonus ➑️
thanks subby33!



I finally sold off everything and decided get a workable software setup going first and then worry about hardware. That way I could still work while I saved and bought more gear.
Exactly. To have a fully function working hardware studio, you really need to buy a lot of . . . well, hardware. LOL. Especially w/ the old analogues I like, you need to keep getting them midi retrofitted, and fix them when they break (because they break), etc etc etc.

It truly is a sign of the times. You can pretty much do what took a 250,000-500,000 dollar studio . . . in a bedroom . . . with a decent computer and some of your fave plug ins.

It just made more sense to me.

This all said. If I could afford to have a full hardware setup (if I got rich and famous) . . . I'd probably invest in it. I'd still use a lot of software of course, but I'd make a great hybrid setup with some nice analogues. But for now, I'm happy w/ my softies.
Old 31st July 2012
  #19
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Not really, all you need is a audio interface to act as a mixer, some have up to 24 inputs, and the hardware synth itself. And keyboard if it doesn't have one. A lot of audio interfaces have midi as well.

Not much different to an all software setup, just the source is different. You can still use software to do all the processing like EQ, comrpession and effects
Old 31st July 2012
  #20
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ohmicide's Avatar
I went from just a ****ty laptop and/or desktop to



to



to





to





to



to



to

Old 31st July 2012
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I'd be curious to know how people go about ****ing around in a software setup. No joke, for me ****ing around aka play is important to being creative! As a for instance, in ohmicide's last photo the environment does look better, but I'd still want to stick say the slim phatty and sherman in an opposite corner just to screw around and play with to cut up later in Live.
Old 31st July 2012
  #22
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metrosonus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
the key for me, is setting up templates. for the mixer, controls etc. I also use the racks in Live pretty extensively and I try to keep everything as consistent as possible so i always know what track something it mapped to or knob or effects or something.

Once you get that kind of stuff out of the way, it's easy and enjoyable as far as I'm concerned. lol.
Old 31st July 2012
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Uck.

Invader, you obviously have way too many headphones. I mean, why do you need two?

You could probably size it down a bit.
Old 1st August 2012
  #24
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ohmicide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by subby33 ➑️
Uck.

Invader, you obviously have way too many headphones. I mean, why do you need two?

You could probably size it down a bit.
Hahaha
Old 1st August 2012 | Show parent
  #25
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MrTechno's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee ➑️
i have and it's totally doable, but the bottom line is that it's just not as fun or cool.
Love DAWS, and I am hybrid with a console.
But doable on 100% software hmmm I am not so sure.

Outboard compression and EQ here and all analog 100% console driving my sound, would I ever loose my console........never ever, I may as well never mix again without a console.
Old 1st August 2012 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Nut
 
minusdb's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmicide ➑️

Not even a single controller/synth? How do you play notes? Do you just use the laptop alpha keyboard as a controller or a midi/piano roll to enter/trigger notes?
Old 1st August 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Teknobeam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Great topic. Like some.. I started out with hardware..never thought much about it.. the PC had yet to be invented.... Played live for about 7 years in rock bands..Then I got into Film and theater work, and some Foley. Discovered the Atari 1040ST...This was before Windows had emerged, but Apple had the first Macs. Samplers had hit the scene, but HD recording wasn't there yet. And samplers memories were measured in seconds ( E2 17.6 seconds). The ADATS emerged, but it was linear digital recording and well,,,this was all just before serious recording migrated from established recording studios and into peoples homes. The paradigm shifted ,, and fairly quickly,,but not over night. I personally took about a 15 year absence from music, but I kept all of my old gear. When I came back,, I dove into ITB synths and thought hey,,, a no brainer....this is where it;s at......It isn't. It's a blend.....If I had the money i'd own a Studer 48 track tape rig with a Neve console and an engineer 24/7. I'm not as dated as I sound. I am blown away by what I can do with my Mac and my DAW,,,but only in a limited role. The hardware stuff I have is really important. Part of that is also a tangible element, but the real advantage is the sonic attribute.
Old 1st August 2012 | Show parent
  #28
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MrTechno's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknobeam ➑️
Great topic. Like some.. I started out with hardware..never thought much about it.. the PC had yet to be invented.... Played live for about 7 years in rock bands..Then I got into Film and theater work, and some Foley. Discovered the Atari 1040ST...This was before Windows had emerged, but Apple had the first Macs. Samplers had hit the scene, but HD recording wasn't there yet. And samplers memories were measured in seconds ( E2 17.6 seconds). The ADATS emerged, but it was linear digital recording and well,,,this was all just before serious recording migrated from established recording studios and into peoples homes. The paradigm shifted ,, and fairly quickly,,but not over night. I personally took about a 15 year absence from music, but I kept all of my old gear. When I came back,, I dove into ITB synths and thought hey,,, a no brainer....this is where it;s at......It isn't. It's a blend.....If I had the money i'd own a Studer 48 track tape rig with a Neve console and an engineer 24/7. I'm not as dated as I sound. I am blown away by what I can do with my Mac and my DAW,,,but only in a limited role. The hardware stuff I have is really important. Part of that is also a tangible element, but the real advantage is the sonic attribute.
You said it, sonic attribute, I think this tells us all why we all still love hardware and why it is not going away any time soon. I just spent over $10k on 2 compressors, I did not do this because I dislike software, I did this for the reason of the sonic attribute.
Old 1st August 2012 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
MrTechno's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by minusdb ➑️
Not even a single controller/synth? How do you play notes? Do you just use the laptop alpha keyboard as a controller or a midi/piano roll to enter/trigger notes?
It is an advanced setup okay, the mac reads his mind and tell which notes he wants to play, he does not need a midi controller.Its 2012 after all.
Old 1st August 2012
  #30
Lives for gear
 
BradLyons's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Okay I'll bite. Back in the 1990's I toured for a main production of "JOSEPH and the AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT". I was the lead keyboardist of (4) keyboard players and we had a MASSIVE and I mean MASSIVE rig for the show. I sized down (unfortunately just the keys, not my belly! LOL) and setup shop in Connecticut where I had a pretty extensive rig for tracking and writing which was the following:

(3) EMU E4XT Ultra
(1) Kurzweil K2500XS
(2) Kurzweil K2500RS
(2) Roland XV5080
(4) Roland JV880
(4) EMU Ultra Proteus
(1) Yamaha EX7
(1) Nord Lead

and a lot more

In addition, I had to have (2) 48 channel consoles just to leave everything plugged in.

Today with a 12-core MacPro, Native Instruments Komplete 8 Ultimate, and a few other softsynths----that hardware system just doesn't compare as I get any sound with a click, NO routing of channels needed, no losing effects processing due to going from Single to Multi mode, instant re-call, no system exclusive messages having to be sent for re-call, every session comes up the same as it was left, etc. And frankly, it sounds better when it comes to acoustic sounds. I mean when you can have a piano with 10GB of samples v/s a keyboard that has a total of 64MB that has to cover every possible sound???

Okay that's great for in the studio but what about live? For live performing I transitioned to a MacBook Pro. Is it stable? Well one setup I had (2) keyboards triggering Logic alongside a Roland TD20, all going to LIVE television. Not as much as a hitch.
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