Hardware vs Software

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avasopht
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Post 27 Jan 2023

Jac459 wrote:
27 Jan 2023
I want to clarify something obvious but it seems some got confused about it.

The fact that software can produce as good and rich sound than hardware with the same quality is a given, we can debate if it is since 10 or 20 years but it is a fact. Done.

Now when some people are saying that their hardware synth sound better than the same VST, it is in fact ... absolutely possible and probably the case. But the reason is just the DAC they are using to listen to.
In one case they use professional DAC to connect the synth to a music interface.
In one case they may use the poor shitty DAC of their laptops ..
But that only impact the way they can listen to it. The final quality of the master is not affected by the DAC quality of the PC...
Yep, there's that, and then there are DACs that might have some pleasing saturation. Soft-clipping and auto-gain control (simple compression/limiting) are incredibly cheap to add to an analogue circuit.

And there just happens to be an RE/VST that emulates the AKAI S950.

There are some other REs:
  1. Oenkenstein Audio: Rumblit Bit Crusher Effect (£34)
  2. Bcase: One Bit Converter (£58)
I spent a lot of time in my early days trying to figure out what is so special about hardware workstations (e.g. Korg Triton, Yamaha Motif, etc.). After 20 years, it's just:
  1. They put a lot of work into compiling their 32MB ROM and creating tones through subtle combinations of waveforms (and there was probably a fair amount of processing to make the samples work).
  2. DA/AD converters can add some pleasing saturation - especially when driven hot.
Well, there's one more thing - the interface is nice. Our simple brains just respond differently to tactile devices (even if it has a touchscreen).

Mice are indirect. You have to think about moving a pointer around the screen by moving this thing on your desk with your arm rather than just touching it on the screen. Knobs don't feel as indirect. I think that plays a massive role.

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dioxide
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Post 27 Jan 2023

I had an SH-101 and an S950 amongst a few other things. I sold them both when I got my hands on Reason 1 and have never looked back. These days you're lucky enough to have good emulations of various synths and there's even an S950 filter emulation in RE format. I remember when a friend got a S2000 which was supposed to be an upgrade on his S950. I never liked the sound of it, too clean. So the difference you're hearing is mostly between 12 bit samplers and 16 bit samplers plus the fact that almost nobody knew what clipping was back then so a lot of the samples were sampled too loud.

Anyway, around the same time I came to the realisation that most of the tracks I liked could be done with a single sampler, a single synth and some effects so long as you were willing to mutlitrack or use the sampler for loops. It's rarely the gear that's the limitation, it's usually the user. I know many people with nice, well equipped (home) studios full of classic gear and they struggle to finish a single track.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 27 Jan 2023

avasopht wrote:
27 Jan 2023
Our simple brains just respond differently to tactile devices (even if it has a touchscreen).

Mice are indirect. You have to think about moving a pointer around the screen...
Maybe you didn't get the memo, but we do have touchscreens on laptops and for PCs for quite some time now :puf_bigsmile: :lol:
-------
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Jac459
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Post 27 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
27 Jan 2023
avasopht wrote:
27 Jan 2023
Our simple brains just respond differently to tactile devices (even if it has a touchscreen).

Mice are indirect. You have to think about moving a pointer around the screen...
Maybe you didn't get the memo, but we do have touchscreens on laptops and for PCs for quite some time now :puf_bigsmile: :lol:
Windows laptops have touch screens.
Apple ones don't.

If Apple doesn't provide it that means you DON'T need it.

(kidding).
Bitwig and RRP fanboy...

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mimidancer
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Post 27 Jan 2023

Jac459 wrote:
27 Jan 2023
crimsonwarlock wrote:
27 Jan 2023


Maybe you didn't get the memo, but we do have touchscreens on laptops and for PCs for quite some time now :puf_bigsmile: :lol:
Windows laptops have touch screens.
Apple ones don't.

If Apple doesn't provide it that means you DON'T need it.

(kidding).
My Keylab Pro MKII is a tactile experience.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 27 Jan 2023

Jac459 wrote:
27 Jan 2023
Windows laptops have touch screens.
Apple ones don't.
You can buy Apple-compatible touchscreens :puf_wink:
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Jac459
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Post 27 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
27 Jan 2023
Jac459 wrote:
27 Jan 2023
Windows laptops have touch screens.
Apple ones don't.
You can buy Apple-compatible touchscreens :puf_wink:
I was a long time windows user very happy to use a touch screen (especially as Bitwig is touchscreen compatible and is my main DAW).
Then the M1 came and blow everything under the water. I will stay with Apple until competition catch up :-). But not sure if I will invest more...
I wonder if adding an IPAD Mini on the side is working though... Did you try ?
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moalla
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Post 27 Jan 2023

Do I think hardware outboard iss needed, Yes when it comes down to mixdown, therefore I´m saving money to get outboard 500Rack stuff next year, maybe two Lindell 6x500 pre and a 7x500 fet comps, or a pair of SeventhCircle a12b pres and some Diyre OLA5 comps... But today thats a little bit expemsive for me

Yeah it´s sometimes crazy if you experiment with things like di transformers, so I´m now going with the lowend theory and upgraded a mindprint Di-Port preamp with new caps and now I´m thinking of adding transformers to the outputs, like a vtb1847 or Api2503, EdcorPC600, potentialy small ones like Neutrik NTM/E 4 would be the better choice
...
So if someone here in the forum has experience with mods of unsymmetrical 50-150Ohm arround opas2134 or TL072 IC´s to make the outputs symmetrical, i would appreciate your tips.

Is still own a inheritedTelefunken 2194 tube stereo radio, with 2 band EQ what had a beautiful sound, but at 2023 it needs new tubes

So i know from earlier times, people often moddified tube stereosystems for studio usage, would be nice if you share your experiences from the past.

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avasopht
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Post 27 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
27 Jan 2023
Maybe you didn't get the memo, but we do have touchscreens on laptops and for PCs for quite some time now :puf_bigsmile: :lol:
Wasn't Steinberg one of the first to offer a tablet app to control the DAW?

I'm surprised this hasn't been capitalized on.

Laptop and PC touchscreens are uncomfortable to use. They're at the wrong angle.

Design software has taken advantage of this and there are all-in-one solutions that are basically tablets with an advanced graphics stylus (pressure, tilt, etc.)

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motuscott
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Post 27 Jan 2023

I also have an Alesis MMT-8
Motuscott's Insta OG Value Pak

I'm a drumber. I have no idea how to use any of these things.
Who’s using the royal plural now baby? 🧂

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 27 Jan 2023

avasopht wrote:
27 Jan 2023
Wasn't Steinberg one of the first to offer a tablet app to control the DAW?

I'm surprised this hasn't been capitalized on.
I don't know if they were the first. But Reaper comes with a web-based remote as standard. Works great as well. I use Touch Portal on a Android tablet to control Reason. Works also like a charm :thumbup:

But touchscreens can't replace something like my Tascam US-2400 :puf_smile:
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crimsonwarlock
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Post 27 Jan 2023

Jac459 wrote:
27 Jan 2023
I wonder if adding an IPAD Mini on the side is working though... Did you try ?
I'm on PC, so no iPad here :lol: But Touch Portal does run on Mac and iPad, so just try it out. You know you can get my TP template if you like it.
-------
Analog tape ⇒ ESQ1 sequencer board ⇒ Atari/Steinberg Pro24 ⇒ Atari/Cubase ⇒ Cakewalk Sonar ⇒ Orion Pro/Platinum ⇒ Reaper ⇒ Reason DAW.

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miyaru
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Post 27 Jan 2023

I still rely on tubeamps when I play guitar for fun and recording. For headphone use I have a cabsim and an ampsim (Mooer RADAR and Mooer Two Stones).
My amps are small and they cover a whole spectrum these little bastards. For clean and slightly overdriven sounds, I have a '73 Silverface Fender Champ and for more rough sounds (and some clean sounds) I have a Marshall DSL1CR combo. I have an A/B switch on my Pedaltrain pedalboard, so I can switch between amps on the fly. For recording I mostly prefer a Large Diagram Condenser Microphone.

I used to be fond of analog pedals, but lately I swapped my EHX Memory Boy for a Zoom MS70CDR as it has tap tempo for most of it's delays.
Greetings from Miyaru.
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Korg N1, Yamaha RM1x :thumbup:

Jac459
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Post 27 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
27 Jan 2023
Jac459 wrote:
27 Jan 2023
I wonder if adding an IPAD Mini on the side is working though... Did you try ?
I'm on PC, so no iPad here :lol: But Touch Portal does run on Mac and iPad, so just try it out. You know you can get my TP template if you like it.
Yeah I saw it mentioned on another thread, looks tempting...
Bitwig and RRP fanboy...

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 27 Jan 2023

Jac459 wrote:
27 Jan 2023
crimsonwarlock wrote:
27 Jan 2023


I'm on PC, so no iPad here :lol: But Touch Portal does run on Mac and iPad, so just try it out. You know you can get my TP template if you like it.
Yeah I saw it mentioned on another thread, looks tempting...
There is a limited free version for Touch Portal, with only eight buttons iirc. If you have an iPhone you can try it out that way and get an iPad mini (if you don't have one yet) if you like it.
-------
Analog tape ⇒ ESQ1 sequencer board ⇒ Atari/Steinberg Pro24 ⇒ Atari/Cubase ⇒ Cakewalk Sonar ⇒ Orion Pro/Platinum ⇒ Reaper ⇒ Reason DAW.

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QVprod
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Post 27 Jan 2023

Goriila Texas wrote:
25 Jan 2023
As a a Triton Studio owner no the sounds doesn't sound the same as the vst. You have to remember although the Triton is digital it still has hardware components that the signal passes thru to the converter and out the 1'4" outputs. It's the same reason any other hardware sounds better, it's some about going thru electricity and hardware components that make them warm. I can tell you for a fact my Triton cutoff filter sounds way more analog than the vst.


avasopht wrote:
24 Jan 2023
The only difference we saw between software and digital hardware was who made it (and how they made the sound libraries).

There's nothing about the Korg Triton or XV5080 that prevented it from being developed as a VST from the start.

The benefit of hardware DSP accelerators is that, like GPUs, they can process much more data than a general purpose CPU of the same price for DSP.

Other than that, it's the exact same 1s and 0s.

The 32mb Korg Triton ROM sounds exactly the same in the vst, meaning that sounds was always possible with a CPU and such a small set of samples.

Air's Xpand!2 was on par with the Korg and Roland workstations at the time and like them didn't need gigabytes of ROM.

Don't believe the hype.

That being said, hardware solutions tend to come with dedicated user interfaces designed to offer a complete solution without a keyboard and mouse.

The reduced context switching frees up head space and may help you stay more focused on the music and in the zone
That's an effect of the preamps/converters its being run through. One could run the outputs of an audio interface into the inputs and get a similar effect for virtual instruments or run VIs through saturation plugins. I think the only place this hardware vs software debate still holds any ground beyond just preference is with analog gear (synths, compressors, preamps...etc...)

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jam-s
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Post 27 Jan 2023

motuscott wrote:
27 Jan 2023
I also have an Alesis MMT-8
Motuscott's Insta OG Value Pak

I'm a drumber. I have no idea how to use any of these things.
Just hit them with sticks. They'll make a sound. :thumbup:

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 27 Jan 2023

jam-s wrote:
27 Jan 2023
motuscott wrote:
27 Jan 2023
I also have an Alesis MMT-8
Motuscott's Insta OG Value Pak

I'm a drumber. I have no idea how to use any of these things.
Just hit them with sticks. They'll make a sound. :thumbup:
... once :puf_bigsmile:
-------
Analog tape ⇒ ESQ1 sequencer board ⇒ Atari/Steinberg Pro24 ⇒ Atari/Cubase ⇒ Cakewalk Sonar ⇒ Orion Pro/Platinum ⇒ Reaper ⇒ Reason DAW.

Jac459
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Post 27 Jan 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
27 Jan 2023
Jac459 wrote:
27 Jan 2023


Yeah I saw it mentioned on another thread, looks tempting...
There is a limited free version for Touch Portal, with only eight buttons iirc. If you have an iPhone you can try it out that way and get an iPad mini (if you don't have one yet) if you like it.
I have neither an ipad mini nor an iPhone.

I replaced my 15 inches i7 32gb razer laptop with an 8gb m1 macbook air because it is so much more powerful I can do my mixing and mastering in the same session than the song writing.
But the screen is too small, I will upgrade to a macbook Pro m2. I am not very tempted by the 16 as more expansive and not very transportable and generally to bulky. So i wonder if macbook pro 14 + a bit more surface with an ipad would make sense.
Bitwig and RRP fanboy...

robussc
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Post 27 Jan 2023

Jac459 wrote:
27 Jan 2023
I replaced my 15 inches i7 32gb razer laptop with an 8gb m1 macbook air because it is so much more powerful I can do my mixing and mastering in the same session than the song writing.
But the screen is too small, I will upgrade to a macbook Pro m2. I am not very tempted by the 16 as more expansive and not very transportable and generally to bulky. So i wonder if macbook pro 14 + a bit more surface with an ipad would make sense.
Have you considering an external monitor? They’re dirt cheap.
Software: Reason 12 + Objekt, Vintage Vault 4, V-Collection 9 + Pigments, Vintage Verb + Supermassive
Hardware: M1 Mac mini + dual monitors, Launchkey 61, Scarlett 18i20, Rokit 6 monitors, AT4040 mic, DT-990 Pro phones

Jac459
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Post 27 Jan 2023

robussc wrote:
27 Jan 2023
Jac459 wrote:
27 Jan 2023
I replaced my 15 inches i7 32gb razer laptop with an 8gb m1 macbook air because it is so much more powerful I can do my mixing and mastering in the same session than the song writing.
But the screen is too small, I will upgrade to a macbook Pro m2. I am not very tempted by the 16 as more expansive and not very transportable and generally to bulky. So i wonder if macbook pro 14 + a bit more surface with an ipad would make sense.
Have you considering an external monitor? They’re dirt cheap.
Yes and... I have one. But I have a weird way to do music. Very often I don't do it in my room but I go to the living room and do it in a confortable chair with basically my laptop and my arturia midi controller and an headset. It allows me to be with family...
As i am doing that a very large part of my free time, it works for me (don't judge). And with work from home, my room is now associated with work... not a nice feeling to stay there for music making 😅

That's why I am preferring very much portable solutions... portable solutions are my daily drivers.
Bitwig and RRP fanboy...

Jac459
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Post 27 Jan 2023

avasopht wrote:
27 Jan 2023


And there just happens to be an RE/VST that emulates the AKAI S950.

There are some other REs:
  1. Oenkenstein Audio: Rumblit Bit Crusher Effect (£34)
  2. Bcase: One Bit Converter (£58)
Do you know this one?
https://reasonstudios.com/blog/giveaway ... emulation/
Bitwig and RRP fanboy...

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motuscott
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Post 27 Jan 2023

Offloading the real hardware dealz right now from the trunk of my '68 Impala
Does it work? Do the pieces talk to each other? How would I even know?
You realize who you're dealing with, right?
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visheshl
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Post 28 Jan 2023

Software offers a lot of flexibility. Perhaps a little too much. For example the reason rack.
Almost all parameters are automatable.
It gets too overwhelming.
Hardware is too limiting.
So as of now my setup for live sets is Ableton.
I use rrp and i select the parameters most useful for live control, and i map them to macros.
Trying to prepare a live set now.
But trying to do it without using premade midi clips. Because the last time i did a gig with a laptop and Ableton,the primary feedback was, you're just triggering midi clips.
So trying to not do that now.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 28 Jan 2023

Jac459 wrote:
27 Jan 2023
I have neither an ipad mini nor an iPhone.
I'm pretty sure you can install the Mac version on your laptop and the mobile part on a Android phone and that will work as well. Also means that if you like it, instead of getting an iPad mini, you can get a 10 inch Android tablet for probably less money.

Just install it, it takes about 5 minutes to get it up and running :thumbup:
-------
Analog tape ⇒ ESQ1 sequencer board ⇒ Atari/Steinberg Pro24 ⇒ Atari/Cubase ⇒ Cakewalk Sonar ⇒ Orion Pro/Platinum ⇒ Reaper ⇒ Reason DAW.

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