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Re: Digital Synths vs Virtual Instruments - Lets Fight! [Re: Anderton] #3015424 11/09/19 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Interesting discussion...I became aware of this issue when reviewing Korg's re-issue of the M1 as a virtual instrument. I was SURE it sounded better than the original. Korg swore up and down the algorithms were exactly the same, it was a 1:1 port. However, the D/A converters on the hardware instrument itself were way inferior (12-bit, IIRC) compared to the D/A converters in the modern-day computers that could host virtual instruments. The better conversion is what accounted for the better sound quality.


Truth. I've owned quite a few "vintage" (obselete) keyboards, including boards that were quite expensive when new (Kurzweil K-1000, Ensoniq MR-76...) and support Winston's point regarding price. You can pick up some nice older boards on the cheap. Processing is the Achille's Heel on these otherwise fine instruments, that and the keyboards did not have the same level of control regarding velocity, aftertouch, etc. To my ear they just don't sound as good as more current computer based - MIDI controller driven offerings.

I've had a few vintage tube organs here as well. These fare much better in terms of tone, there is no touch sensitiviy, they are huge, heavy, filled with foul, dusty old stuff and often have electronic problems nestled in a gigantic maze of intricate wiring.

On the other hand, a friend had an original Mini Moog in a custom cabinet and I took on getting it mounted into the cabinet properly. It probably wouldn't have hurt to spray some De-Oxit here and there and some pot cleaner but that thing sounded AMAZING. He paid a lot for it, way out of my range.

Haven't found an analog synth for a steal yet but I probably would keep it. Apples and Oranges.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Digital Synths vs Virtual Instruments - Lets Fight! [Re: Winston Psmith] #3015441 11/09/19 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
Coming late to this discussion, but here goes . . .

I collect old hardware Synths, in part because I love a physical Instrument, and in part because I find them cheap. Korg Wavestation SR, $150US at a nearby GC, Casio CZ-1, $2 from a community yard sale, Roland D-110 w/PG-10 programmer, $50 from a fellow Musician, Alesis QS8, $150 from another friend; any one of them, bought new, would have cost me more than I spent for all of them, as used, not-exactly-vintage gear, and those are just a few of my old toys.

I also like physical gear, because sometimes it leads me to try things that seem silly, until they work. I recently plugged one of those little Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators into a Boss GT-1, a $50 calculator-sized Synth into an entry-level Guitar Processor. It sounded amazing! Next up, I tried my Korg Monologue through the GT-1, and again, it made the little MonoSynth sound HUGE! I'm likely to take them out for one of my next shows.

I have enough MIDI Patchbays and splitter boxes that I could network all of my Synths and MIDI gear, and not have to worry about memory, processing power, as I would stacking VI's within a computer. But in the end, I just like gear that I can hold in my hand. Probably comes from starting out on Guitar and Percussion.


No dispute with what people love - that should always be the deciding factor and I admire your pursuit of "things that seem silly" 2thu

I plug my VSTs into hardware effects or the audio inputs on my analog synths. I love running Diva through my Empress Multi-drive or one of my Moogerfoogers and then the fun begins! There's no re-cabling, just one mouse click to route the VST to the proper audio interface output and a couple of button pushes on my mixer. Some people might see this as a hassle, headache or just not fun. But just maybe it's because they're not really set up to do it easily even though it can be. I don't think its any better or worse than what you're doing - just what I prefer for digital synths. To me a VST is just another synth. Regarding memory/processing problems when stacking VSTs? Can be, but doesn't have to be (up to a point).

Am I taking my setup to my next show? You got me there big time. But I did preface this subject be focused on studio application. So there cop grin.

I still have my Wavestation A/D in the back storage room and had the EX prior to that. I've been using the Korg Legacy software (or whatever it's called now) ever since it came out and never looked back. Is it better than the hardware? Depends- if we're talking live you got it. But we're not. I think it would be hard to dispute that creating original wave sequences from scratch is way easier and faster with the VST. I often read complaints about the dreaded mouse and the "I use a computer all day at work bla bla bla". But we're not talking knobby analogs here - these are digital synths. The SR interface is one of the worst as I recall and even the A/ D with bigger screen and more buttons doesn't come close to the ease of editing and creating patches on the VST version. I did however create patches for years using these type interfaces without even thinking about it so whatever works best for you. Not creating your own patches? Using presets? I have no problem with that other than note we seldom get this context when people (not you specifically or at all) claim how one thing is so much better than another.

I guess the thing that annoys me with any of these decisions is the take sides mentality when there's really none to take. I quoted your response but please know this comment does not reflect on anything you stated. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

Re: Digital Synths vs Virtual Instruments - Lets Fight! [Re: Markyboard] #3015464 11/10/19 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard

I plug my VSTs into hardware effects or the audio inputs on my analog synths.


last time I was at Little Grey Studio (Markyboard's) I played Scarbee EP 88, Kurzweil keyboard as a controller through a Mooger Fooger MP 103 withoutout knowing what I was playing. It was one of the better Rhodes sounds I have ever heard in my life. This coming from a guy who has owned at least one Rhodes piano since 1977, and will go play my current one (1981 MKII 88) as soon as I finish writing this post. cool


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Digital Synths vs Virtual Instruments - Lets Fight! [Re: Markyboard] #3015482 11/10/19 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard


No dispute with what people love - that should always be the deciding factor and I admire your pursuit of "things that seem silly" 2thu

Not creating your own patches? Using presets? I have no problem with that other than note we seldom get this context when people (not you specifically or at all) claim how one thing is so much better than another.

I guess the thing that annoys me with any of these decisions is the take sides mentality when there's really none to take. I quoted your response but please know this comment does not reflect on anything you stated. Thanks for sharing your perspective.


Thank you for reading my post.

I do design my own patches, and have to agree on the PITA factor in programming old-school gear: given the depth of programming available in the Wavestation SR, that little display screen is absurd. I keep an old MacBook running OS9 around, so I still have access to SoundDiver; makes editing much easier.

I can't honestly claim that my old hardware is "better" than modern VI's, it's more that it suits my budget and my set-up. Also, as I said, I just like it, in spite of the encumbrances, like address label-sized LCD's.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

http://www.novparolo.com
Re: Digital Synths vs Virtual Instruments - Lets Fight! [Re: Winston Psmith] #3015595 11/11/19 02:26 PM
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Sorry for piling on posts, but I found that I couldn't edit my previous post, so . . .

The Synth duo I'm in takes a 'best of both worlds' approach. My rig is hardware-dependent, Guitar w/hex pickup driving Guitar Synth + MFX, while my bandmate's rig is built around an iPad and a KB Controller. We like the sounds that we get, and more important, people listening to us like our sound. That's the only side that really matters.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

http://www.novparolo.com
Re: Digital Synths vs Virtual Instruments - Lets Fight! [Re: Markyboard] #3015629 11/11/19 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
[
I guess the thing that annoys me with any of these decisions is the take sides mentality when there's really none to take. I quoted your response but please know this comment does not reflect on anything you stated. Thanks for sharing your perspective.


One quiet evening this week, I will go down to our 40 parking space underground garage with the small cream carton that is now empty.

The lush echoes/reverb down there is wonderful but we are near a freeway so I need a quiet time.

I will set up my Tascam DR-40 with the mics turned wide, on a tripod. 24 bit 96khz, recording on, meters set high.

I will place the carton (similar to the ones we were given at lunch time in school) on the floor and stomp on it.

That will become a snare drum sample.

There are no sides, there is only stuff we like to do (and hear).


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
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