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What would you say is the biggest benefit of going mostly hardware? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 17th July 2017
  #1
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What would you say is the biggest benefit of going mostly hardware?

Out of pure interest i started thinking about the benefits of replacing something like renoise (which is what i use), with hardware. Has anyone made the switch from renoise or a daw in general into the realm of hardware? Do you like it more than working with a daw? Is your work better? Do you enjoy it more? I made another thread that had some discussion of this topic and decided to make a new thread about it. This is NOT a daw vs hardware debate, i'm just interested in the topic of hardware workflow, cause i may at some point make a switch to mostly hardware, and leave the computer for the final recording and some soft synth modular enviroments like puredata and supercollider. I'm in a point that i know much more about production and am now looking for better alternatives for my boring workflow, which is mostly working with samples and vsts (i have some hardware, vermona drm1 mk3, ms20, monomachine). And the music that i make is kinda experimental techno, idm, industrial type stuff. So my main concern of going mostly hardware is that would it prevent the arrangement of more "complex" compositions. So please share you'r workflow and how you work with hardware samplers,sequencers and synths in general.
Old 17th July 2017
  #2
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PorchBass's Avatar
In ten years time everything will still work without a vintage computer! No monthly subscription either...
Old 17th July 2017
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorchBass View Post
In ten years time everything will still work without a vintage computer! No monthly subscription either...
This is mostly true. Yes, the hardware will still work, but things like editors and patch managers etc may not. I still have a winXP machine around just for that purpose.


As for the biggest benefit of hardware, for me anyway, is the immediacy. I can turn a knob and press a key at any time, with no wait. Not having to load a daw and then load a vst just to mess around is nice.


also, how's the used market for plugins?
Old 17th July 2017
  #4
Im all hardware for synths and samplers, 50/50 with drums, same with fx etc....but I couldnt do it all through a hardware sequencer as Push2 is my "studios" brain. Ableton is a tape recorder mostly be M4L means I can write editors to control most of the stuff that doesnt come with its own editor. Though I create patches in the synths Its not often I use the keys to play them into ableton
Old 17th July 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
Im all hardware for synths and samplers, 50/50 with drums, same with fx etc....but I couldnt do it all through a hardware sequencer as Push2 is my "studios" brain. Ableton is a tape recorder mostly be M4L means I can write editors to control most of the stuff that doesnt come with its own editor. Though I create patches in the synths Its not often I use the keys to play them into ableton
I would love this kinda of workflow in renoise, but its pretty much impossible, or maybe i'm just too dumb to figure it out. The main reason why is pretty simple, no proper audiotracks. Any modern daw should have audio tracks, just cause its a tracker doesen't mean it can't be done, its a **** excuse. I would probably use ableton but i for some reason can't get into it after using trackers for the last 6 months.
Old 17th July 2017
  #6
Gear Nut
For me the biggest advantage is being able to just stand there staring at a synth, saying to myself "god damn....i love this synth"
Old 17th July 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
 

These discussions have unearthed that it largely comes down to your priorities.

If you prioritize enjoyment of process, hardware tends to be the more enjoyable approach.

If you prioritize outcome or efficiency, its ITB or ITB hybrid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huye View Post
So my main concern of going mostly hardware is that would it prevent the arrangement of more "complex" compositions.
Going all hardware will indeed put limitations on what you can do, which simultaneously forces more creativity in what's there. You won't end up with "the complex sound of now" though, unless we're talking very niche genres, the complexity of the "now" sound is found largely ITB. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your priorities and goals.
Old 17th July 2017
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huye View Post
I would love this kinda of workflow in renoise, but its pretty much impossible, or maybe i'm just too dumb to figure it out. The main reason why is pretty simple, no proper audiotracks. Any modern daw should have audio tracks, just cause its a tracker doesen't mean it can't be done, its a **** excuse. I would probably use ableton but i for some reason can't get into it after using trackers for the last 6 months.
Im a Daw slut, I track in Ableton and mix in Studio One...I yave Ptotools, Sonar X3, and Logic as well...I think if I had to use the last three Id gave given up years ago as the feel like running through mud. I think you have to go with what your brain connects with, Ableton is not for everyone, Push certainly helps.

Never used a tracker but they seem pretty limited compared to a modern DAW...is there anyway the tracker could be paired with a daw? Theres so many well featured daws at entry level prices...harrisson mixbus v4 is going for a steal
Old 17th July 2017
  #9
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The fact it makes you really appreciate a DAW?
Old 17th July 2017
  #10
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sim238's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
The fact it makes you really appreciate a DAW?


Funny you say that.

The other day I was browsing hardware loopers and I thought, "Damn, Ableton already comes with a looper." That's a few hundred saved.

I was also browsing Dave Smith hardware synths and I thought, "Damn, my $99 Repro-1 plugin sounds amazing and is incredibly versatile." That's a few thousand saved.

Same with my Legend plugin.

And then the effects.

And so on.

With just Ableton, Push, a MIDI keyboard, and like $500 worth of plugins, I could have virtually everything I need: great sounding synths, sequencer, looper, sampler, sample player, effects, etc.

But then I was messing around with my plugins and Ableton froze. So that was that. It was back to hardware for me. Too much hassle dealing with a laptop exclusively.
Old 17th July 2017
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
These discussions have unearthed that it largely comes down to your priorities.

If you prioritize enjoyment of process, hardware tends to be the more enjoyable approach.

If you prioritize outcome or efficiency, its ITB or ITB hybrid.



Going all hardware will indeed put limitations on what you can do, which simultaneously forces more creativity in what's there. You won't end up with "the complex sound of now" though, unless we're talking very niche genres, the complexity of the "now" sound is found largely ITB. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your priorities and goals.
I'm mostly outcome and enjoyment kinda guy, i don' care about efficiency at all, i just want to be able to get ideas out or to be able to make the ideas that i already have in my head into reality, time is not a concern for me. Thats my biggest problem. I never seem to get the idea that i actually have of what i want to do done, it seems impossible sometimes. Thats the main reason i'm looking for a new workflow, so that i could jam at the start and then start to form the actual track. i personaly think jams are good for getting ideas, but some ppl think that these "jams" work as actual track, i disagree. Thats one of the reason hardware seems to be really important to ppl who jam a lot, and thats why i got interested in getting a mostly hardware studio. My problem is that i'm not too sure how or what i would actually use in hardware to form a track from a jam to a finished track.
Old 17th July 2017
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
Im a Daw slut, I track in Ableton and mix in Studio One...I yave Ptotools, Sonar X3, and Logic as well...I think if I had to use the last three Id gave given up years ago as the feel like running through mud. I think you have to go with what your brain connects with, Ableton is not for everyone, Push certainly helps.

Never used a tracker but they seem pretty limited compared to a modern DAW...is there anyway the tracker could be paired with a daw? Theres so many well featured daws at entry level prices...harrisson mixbus v4 is going for a steal
I have used it with reaper, its just the latency makes that kinda rewire workflow impossible.
Old 17th July 2017
  #13
For me, it's all about inspiration and execution.

Hardware synths inspire me, so I use them to create sounds and play them. But, I'm also very much into arranging my compositions, and I really need a DAW to be effective at that.
Old 17th July 2017
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
Never used a tracker but they seem pretty limited compared to a modern DAW...is there anyway the tracker could be paired with a daw? Theres so many well featured daws at entry level prices...harrisson mixbus v4 is going for a steal
Renoise has Redux: a sampler plugin that uses the tracker commands for its phrase sequencer, so it kinda embeds a tracker in the DAW.
Old 17th July 2017
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
Im a Daw slut, I track in Ableton and mix in Studio One...I yave Ptotools, Sonar X3, and Logic as well...I think if I had to use the last three Id gave given up years ago as the feel like running through mud. I think you have to go with what your brain connects with, Ableton is not for everyone, Push certainly helps.

Never used a tracker but they seem pretty limited compared to a modern DAW...is there anyway the tracker could be paired with a daw? Theres so many well featured daws at entry level prices...harrisson mixbus v4 is going for a steal
Trackers to me are the only fun way to make music on a computer. They are only limited by the lack of audio tracks imo, renoise has one of the best softsamplers i have ever used. The workflow is also lighting fast.
Old 17th July 2017
  #16
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In short: Bragging Rights.
Old 17th July 2017
  #17
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Muser's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huye View Post
I would love this kinda of workflow in renoise, but its pretty much impossible, or maybe i'm just too dumb to figure it out. The main reason why is pretty simple, no proper audiotracks. Any modern daw should have audio tracks, just cause its a tracker doesen't mean it can't be done, its a **** excuse. I would probably use ableton but i for some reason can't get into it after using trackers for the last 6 months.
Renoise doesn't do audio tracks in the sense that all audio resides in RAM. it's basically a sampler. you can get it to work very similar to audio tracks by using autoseek. my advice would be to try to use the phrases in each instrument rather than phrases in renoise tracks. if you use the sampler instruments with only Renoise stock FX, you can at any time use Redux and load your instruments in any DAW.

when you do that, you'll know pretty much exactly what's going on in the instruments because you made them. it's then only down to what you don't know about the DAW. but the choice of any DAW is then a modular choice. so Renoise & Redux instruments have real advantages.

in respect of the OP, one of its advantage is that it actually samples directly. so if you find any advantages in hardware, you can sample the result and have it right in your DAW as a sample instrument component. you aren't bound by the DAW's own sampler paradigm and the formats incompatibility. you don't have to use complex samplers like kontakt and the outlay is trivial. but its not going to be for everybody.
Old 17th July 2017
  #18
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Fun.
Old 17th July 2017
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser View Post
Renoise doesn't do audio tracks in the sense that all audio resides in RAM. it's basically a sampler. you can get it to work very similar to audio tracks by using autoseek. my advice would be to try to use the phrases in each instrument rather than phrases in renoise tracks. if you use the sampler instruments with only Renoise stock FX, you can at any time use Redux and load your instruments in any DAW.

when you do that, you'll know pretty much exactly what's going on in the instruments because you made them. it's then only down to what you don't know about the DAW. but the choice of any DAW is then a modular choice. so Renoise & Redux instruments have real advantages.

in respect of the OP, one of its advantage is that it actually samples directly. so if you find any advantages in hardware, you can sample the result and have it right in your DAW as a sample instrument component. you aren't bound by the DAW's own sampler paradigm and the formats incompatibility. you don't have to use complex samplers like kontakt and the outlay is trivial. but its not going to be for everybody.
The sampling directly is really amazing when using hardware units, ill try what you suggested with phrases and autoseek.
Old 17th July 2017
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorchBass View Post
In ten years time everything will still work without a vintage computer! No monthly subscription either...
This. I’m still using gear I bought back in the 80s…

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
The fact it makes you really appreciate a DAW?
And this. I would never want to go back to only using analog tape and hardware sequencers. The fun in occasionally using them now is in their being a choice and not a necessity.

These are good times!
Old 17th July 2017
  #21
There are a million benefits and drawbacks to working with a DAW. Same goes for hardware. Same goes for working with a hybrid setup. All of the particular reasons why can be argued into the ground by either side or the middle as we have seen on many a thread. For me personally it just comes down to what I would rather do at the time having worked all 3 ways many times over.

Right now I am in a hardware-only phase where I prefer to make music on my modular rig and track stereo into a DAW for the finished product. Sometimes I collaborate on purely DAW-only projects. Sometimes I hook up everything to the DAW to sample and sequence it. Sometimes I use my Octatrack and nothing else to make a whole song. Call it short attention span, but anytime I think I have it all set up "perfectly" and have tunes flowing, I get a new idea and tear it all down. I love working with my modular more than anything but sometimes it's easier or just more appropriate to use one of the other brilliant tools we are blessed with in this age of ages for electronic music making...
Old 17th July 2017
  #22
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login's Avatar
it is all subjective and depends on the individual doing it,

For me what makes whatware appealing in the Hands on control on synths, the rest I am more confortable doing it with the computer.
Old 17th July 2017
  #23
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drockfresh's Avatar
Biggest benefits is won't have any money left to do anything other than working in the studio. The trick is to limit the time spent running wires and moving stuff around to less than 68% of your studio time.
Old 17th July 2017
  #24
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Here we go again!

Since it's still in my buffer, I'll post this again, as it make sense to this thread as well.



They can have everything/anything they want. They choose both hardware and software and use both when it makes sense. Personally, I love the ITB workflow. Boring? Hardly. I can do routing and control things in an instant that stretch my creativity to its limits, while if I was trying to do that in hardware, I'd just probably hook up things in one way and leave it at that, rather than deal with moving things, repatching, etc. But, we're all different. Xanderbeanz loves to dive into a cryptic UI searching for some weird thing to exploit in 90s hardware, while I'm cool using a trackball to make similar things happen in Omnisphere. There's no correct way to go about things, just what you like. Then again, there are hardware instruments that I feel have a sonic character that I don't get in software, so I add those instruments to my studio. They're also handy because they don't tax my CPU, which frees it up to do other things that hardware can't easily do, or do at all.
Old 17th July 2017
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huye View Post
So my main concern of going mostly hardware is that would it prevent the arrangement of more "complex" compositions.
Over the past few years I've moved from making all my sounds on the computer to gradually making them all with hardware. I use a Pyramid sequencer to build some ideas, then record takes into Cubase. I like to tweak the synths, drum machines and sequences while I do this (I have a Vermona too and like the drums to change through the track). While I might record 4,5,6 tracks at once, chances are I'll keep only one or two then add more, so from that point the computer is always on and is the master.

That's what allows me to do more complex things (although I still have a long way to go to get where I want). I could work on more parts in the Pyramid and "play" everything there in fewer takes, but I get impatient and find sounds I like so I want to capture it. I do a lot of deleting, chopping and moving around of parts in Cubase and use software compressors, EQs, sometimes reverb etc.

I first got a hardware synth for more hand-on control while learning about synthesis (after having tried all kinds of controllers), but then basically fell in love with the machines. Also I have everything set up so that I can stand - it's the contrast with sitting at the computer all day at work. So yes, I enjoy it more. Whether my music is better... it feels like it is, but maybe that's just more practice in general. It feels richer and more interesting, but obviously there's ways to do that on the computer too.

I've spent a bit of time and money on patchbays, MIDI thru's etc to make sure everything is connected and ready to go - I find that essential.
Old 17th July 2017
  #26
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Here we go again!

Since it's still in my buffer, I'll post this again, as it make sense to this thread as well.



They can have everything/anything they want. They choose both hardware and software and use both when it makes sense. Personally, I love the ITB workflow. Boring? Hardly. I can do routing and control things in an instant that stretch my creativity to its limits, while if I was trying to do that in hardware, I'd just probably hook up things in one way and leave it at that, rather than deal with moving things, repatching, etc. But, we're all different. Xanderbeanz loves to dive into a cryptic UI searching for some weird thing to exploit in 90s hardware, while I'm cool using a trackball to make similar things happen in Omnisphere. There's no correct way to go about things, just what you like. Then again, there are hardware instruments that I feel have a sonic character that I don't get in software, so I add those instruments to my studio. They're also handy because they don't tax my CPU, which frees it up to do other things that hardware can't easily do, or do at all.
Thanks for the reply! For me the linear daw workflow is just too boring. But as i said before i love trackers, so i will still keep using them. The kinda hybrid workflow is pretty clearly for many the way to go, i will most likely go down this route aswell. Also i have even more respect for Alessandro cortini after rocking that vatican shadow shirt
Old 17th July 2017
  #27
If you're considering getting into hardware from a Tracker, I'd recommend either the Korg Electribe 2 Sampler or older ESX-SD. It's basically like a tracker in hardware form, with some good effects and hands on controls. Got a sample, load it up, play it back chromatically, or loop it, or upload a single cycle wave form and make a synth out of it... good times, good fun.

Advantage of Hardware... depends what your goals are... if you make music for enjoyment, than hardware is more fun (at least for my anyway). If you make music as a source of income, your better of sticking with Renoise as you can make professional sounding tracks ITB for a really low price.

I went from a DAW to hardware, and I can say that what I produced in the DAW was more professional sounding, but I thought it sounded a little too formulaic, as all the transitions, ABACAB section etc... were programmed. When I use hardware, sometimes you make a mistake while jamming, so then you repeat the mistake 4 measures later to make it sound intentional... then you take your track in a new direction... and what you end up with was unexpected and kinda cool... those accidents are things you kind of miss out on in DAWs... especially trackers which are programming intensive

L8r & good luck.
M.
Old 17th July 2017
  #28
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Here we go again!

Since it's still in my buffer, I'll post this again, as it make sense to this thread as well.



They can have everything/anything they want. They choose both hardware and software and use both when it makes sense. Personally, I love the ITB workflow. Boring? Hardly. I can do routing and control things in an instant that stretch my creativity to its limits, while if I was trying to do that in hardware, I'd just probably hook up things in one way and leave it at that, rather than deal with moving things, repatching, etc. But, we're all different. Xanderbeanz loves to dive into a cryptic UI searching for some weird thing to exploit in 90s hardware, while I'm cool using a trackball to make similar things happen in Omnisphere. There's no correct way to go about things, just what you like. Then again, there are hardware instruments that I feel have a sonic character that I don't get in software, so I add those instruments to my studio. They're also handy because they don't tax my CPU, which frees it up to do other things that hardware can't easily do, or do at all.
True or False: I sometimes wear a hard hat when mining for gold inside a 90's UI?
Old 17th July 2017
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud drift View Post
Fun.
Yup, Fun.

People have different goals. For some, the only thing that matters is the end goal track. For others, the process is all that matters, there may not even be a track saved or recorded.
Old 17th July 2017
  #30
Gear Addict
 
MixedSignals's Avatar
think there may be others that, at the end of the day,
realize they use electronic instruments because they primarily are musicians first and it just happens to be the medium.
There isn't anything in particular about electronics that hooks me; i guess it's more of being an artist....acrylics, oils, spray paints, they're just tools.
I know a laptop and PC does not seem very musical to me, because it involves too much visual information, personally.
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