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Hardware Synth vs. Software Synth?
Old 17th October 2013
Here for the gear

Hardware Synth vs. Software Synth?

I currently use Reason & Logic and am using a basic USB MIDI keyboard. Having said that, I produce music within a jazz-indie genre. Artists most similar would be Toro y Moi, Washed Out, and King Krule. I know my way around software but I'm starting to question if it's time to start getting hardware and if it's worth it. If it is, I don't know where to begin. I don't know what's better about getting a Moog over a Korg or what not. If anyone can help me, I'd really appreciate it - if you have any questions, let me know!!
Old 17th October 2013
Lives for gear
Demokid's Avatar

Of course it is worth getting hardware. I think it just easier, faster and more fun to use since you have all the knobs and sliders in front of you when you are playing. You don't need to look at a screen and use a mouse to program a sound. You don't need to boot up your computer and start software to play, you can take your HW synth and sit on your bed with head phones and play.
Yes you can have a MIDI controller and map the knobs/sliders to control your software but I have found that it is pretty painful if you have a lot of different SW.

So are you going to play polyphonic or monophonic? Does it matter if it is real analog, new or vintage or virtual analog?

Check out the synths from Dave Smith Instruments e.g. Mopho SE (mono) or Prophet '08 PE (poly) and Prophet 12 (poly)
Dave Smith Instruments :: Evolver :: Prophet '08 :: Poly Evolver :: Mopho :: Tempest

Kind regards
Old 17th October 2013
Lives for gear
Birdland101's Avatar
There is a huge thread on this already.
Old 18th October 2013
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aaeronn's Avatar

Another consideration is that you can easily buy used hardware at a substantial savings over new, try it out, and if you don't gel with with it, sell it and recover your $$.

With software, you're pretty much stuck with it.
Old 18th October 2013
Lives for gear
Birdland101's Avatar
a soft synth's are basically plug ins with knobs, just get **** loads of synth plugs and one very nice controller more options and basically the same thing, not withstanding the ****y converters in some of them.

Dont worry about being stuck with software, you can get the arturia vintage synth collection every vintage synth you could ever need at a fraction of the cost of the originals.

Also rather then a soft synth you can get cheap vintage synths, like the korg delta, for like 400 dollars

Last edited by Birdland101; 18th October 2013 at 10:38 AM.. Reason: .
Old 18th October 2013
Lives for gear
Demokid's Avatar

Can someone please recommend a good controller which has a lot of knobs to handle complex synths e.g. 3 OSC with complete knobs, three envelopes, two filter sections, 2 LFO's. A bonus is if the controller can have several memories for different knob-mappings.

I haven't found a really good controller to cover all kind of plugins. I usually need to use the mouse to do some simple editing.
Old 18th October 2013
Lives for gear
eve69's Avatar

I bought a Samson Graphite for my nephew.

For less expensive synth keyboards Korg makes a bunch of items.

I would recommend for all synth lovers you watch --I Dream of Wires--- a four hour documentary on the synth. It gives one a grand overview of the major players in the synth world. The subject is pretty vast.

Hardware will always be more tweakable. A synth is essentially something which takes voltage and tweaks it into sound. The fun of hardware is that you're hearing the components. In software that's simply not the case.

Sure you can get awesome sounds from both, and the end user may not be able to tell the difference. But the user will feel the difference. You can emote through hardware, not through the computer. The process will effect the outcome.
Old 18th October 2013
Deleted #255447
get a virus (both hardware and software).
Old 19th October 2013
Gear Head
Bgstevens's Avatar

also consider when buying older synth hardware you have to sync it up to a master clock if you want Arppegiators, LFO's, etc to work in time with your track
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