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Sound Quality Wise Are Do You Think Soft Synthesizers and Hard Ware Synthesizers
Old 25th April 2006
  #1
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Sound Quality Wise Are Do You Think Soft Synthesizers and Hard Ware Synthesizers

Are almost on the same level, a few days ago I would definitly would have said that software just doesn't cut it, except for maybe absynth, but I recently got alot of Arturia's Soft synths, and I was amazed by the crispness and high quality of sound that some of those synths produced, I never paid much attention to alot of soft synths, but the more I explore, I realize that soft synths are starting to sound as good as the hard ware synths, so aside from the filters and FX and etc... that come with alot of HardWare Synthesizers, do you think sound quality wise SoftWare Synthesizers or at least some of them are almost on the same level ?
Old 25th April 2006
  #2
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octatonic's Avatar
It is all how you use them and some are better than others.
I've got a good collection of hardware synths and they all get used for different things.
I'll use a bunch of soft synths also- I really like Albino, Blue, ES2, TDM Virus.
Some of the soft synths sound better than the hardware.
FM7 is great.
Absynth is wicked.

In hardware-land I like my Nord 2, Waldorf Pulse and my collection of quasimidi synths.
I love the Yamaha SY vector control and just took delivery of an EMU Orbit which is great for ****ed up loops.

One thing I like though is now a lot of s/h synths sell for about the same as a plugin and being a gear slut I just love buying the boxes.

I don't think you can say hardware is better than software or vice versa- it is all useful in a variety of ways- you just gotta get amongst it and use the ****ers.
Old 25th April 2006
  #3
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I have played a lot of hardware synths and I am also familiar with some software synths and I think that we are definitely heading towards software. For instance the best electric pianos I have been able to find I have found in the Yamaha Tyros keyboard that easily beats all the Korgs and Rolands I have tried. But when I tried NI Elektrik Piano at 96KHz I was really surprised about the depth and detail of that sound, what a warm and beautiful vibe, the only thing that sucked was that you could hear some speaker distortion in the sample which made it useless. But the interesting part is that the core sound of it really was something much more than what can be found in any hardware counterparts. From that I drew the conclusion that this is only the beginning of a new era. In the future we will have more CPU power, Tera Bytes large storage devices and the memory prices will go down as it becomes mainstream. That creates ideal opportunities for software synthezisers to really shine.

Another problem that exists with hardware synthezisers is that they often lack digital connection, so that means you get addidional D/A + A/D which is complete waste of sonic quality and very inefficient. So it's not only a matter of the samples not being stored as stereo samples and detailed enough, you typically also get "mid-quality" conversion as well...

And you know, for me that run a home recording studio I also get nice conversion and amplification quality by using software synths in the digital domain. So I have already made the decision that I will be using software synths as much as possible. It's really a smart thing to do, especially in digital recording... I know that a lot of session keyboardists have chosen the same path.

Currently you need to be extremely selective with software synthesizers, but this is the kind of landscape where technology can shine for years to come. So prepare for software...
Old 25th April 2006
  #4
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyCrazyMan
Another problem that exists with hardware synthezisers is that they often lack digital connection, so that means you get addidional D/A + A/D which is complete waste of sonic quality which is very inefficient. So it's not only a matter of the samples not being stored as stereo samples and detailed enough, you typically also get "mid-quality" conversion as well...

So I have already made the decision that I will be using software synths as much as possible. It's really a smart thing to do, especially in digital recording...
I agree with you to a point- but sometimes there is a lot to be said for less than perfect AD/DA conversion.
The highest audio fidelity isn't always a desirable characteristic.

JR
Old 25th April 2006
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondjames
I agree with you to a point- but sometimes there is a lot to be said for less than perfect AD/DA conversion.
The highest audio fidelity isn't always a desirable characteristic.

JR
Yes, but it's more efficient to be able to choose than to not be able to remove the extra conversion from the signal path.
Old 25th April 2006
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondjames
I agree with you to a point- but sometimes there is a lot to be said for less than perfect AD/DA conversion.
The highest audio fidelity isn't always a desirable characteristic.

JR
crappy converts are what give many classics their sound. i forget the model but someone added a digital output to an old synth and it went from sounding great to sounding crap. how good can can the samplers sound and they ran at very low sample rates, so much for all the hype about 192KHz. hardware, at least the older stuff, was made as an entire unit not as a sound being generated then going to a seperate converter.

there are so many synths around now days its hard to answer this without narrowing down comparisons.

for somethings software has proven its self. for others, like analogue synths, software will replace the sound of them. to me this whole idea of 'analogue modelling' is ridiculous, you can not replicate that old analogue hardware in a bit of software. 'analogue' shouldn’t be written on a piece of software unless its a patch in a sampler.

anyway, 'quality' can be matched and often exceeded (if exceeding the quality is good for your application) it comes down to how you use the sounds.

i still like hardware, knobs and buttons are nice.
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