Getting old sample libraries in my software-only setup
I am looking to return to production this year after a few year hiatus, and now that I am no longer a starving student I plan to invest in samples or hardware rather than the limited collection of soft synths I was using before.
A lot of legacy synths have VST emulators now but I'm not sure about the best way to get at some of the old sample libraries bundled with those synths.
Example: I was fond of the string synths used by VNV Nation on their 1998 album. I am pretty sure this was the Roland M-0C1, AKA the SR-JV80-02 later repacked as the SRX-06. I am endeared to the outdated sound of this sample collection and I have heard nothing but good stuff about it but it's expensive since it must be coupled with some base hardware, e.g. Roland just rereleased this in the Integra 7 for a cool $2000.
I am planning to track everything off the PC with Cubase, but it does kind of surprise me that I can't find this as a soundfont that can be played directly from off the PC and I have to drive the hardware device that has been pointed to the SRX patch and make sure i don't get it out of sync with my software setup etc. etc. Isn't this just a Roland proprietary soundfont?
I'm planning to just do a crappy job sampling these on the computer or bitcrushing some other string samples for the time being. Is it worth ever spending time on hardware samples when everything else in your setup is on the PC?
Just buy an old sampler with lots of libraries and either sample them into your computer and resell them or use them as MIDI instruments. I'm not familiar with what VNV Nation were using at the time, but something out of the Roland S series are available for next to nothing and you can get a huge amount of libraries if you look... I bet you could get out handsomely for under a few hundred bucks.
Is it worth ever spending time on hardware samples when everything else in your setup is on the PC?
You haven't thought this through. When you hear a sound coming from a sample based synth such as a Roland JV-2080 with the SR-JV80-02 card you mention, you don't hear the raw sample but rather a sound which is the result of passing the raw sample through the very capable synth engine of the JV-2080 modulated in real-time based on your midi input, so a soundfont on a PC will never sound the same.
Given that you can buy a JV-2080 with the card you mention for very little money (a couple of hundred bucks at most) I don't really see why you would want a soundfont which will only ever be an approximation of the original sound.