I recently bought a nord 2x synth, played with it for a month, got bored. now i’m selling it, feeling hardware is not quite my thing. anyone else have similar feelings?

I’m not wealthy enough to buy 'ardware, and using hardware as I would a vsti in renoise is much more involved.

wow those things are expensive arent they?

I’ve often considered buying hardware, you know, samplers, drum machines, vocoders, you name it, but I think it’s more of the thought of actually having a “real life vsti”. Cuz they look pretty awesome.

I’d probably end up not using it though, seeing as I have all the sounds I need in vst instruments. That’s what’s stopping me.

I have a midi Keyboard with knobs and faders. That’ll do 'till I eventually find the need to get some hardware. And it won’t be any time soon.

Certainly I can’t help falling in lust with big slabs of shiny gear :D What I dislike about hardware is the space it takes up, the clutter, having it all set up in one place… and leads!

Maybe the compromise is to invest in some MIDI controllers for your software, be they keyboards, drum pads, knobs, faders or buttons?

The more I use Renoise the less I feel the urge for hardware. The amount of stuff that can be done through just QWERTY keyboard and mouse is staggering. That’s why I’ve fell in love with the tracker way of composing.

Having said that… I have found the Novation Nocturn complements Renoise perfectly. There is something about having knobs to control simple stuff like level/pan/sends that feels more immediate and natural. And it’s great to be able to tweak VST plug-ins with knobs and buttons.

I do lust after an Elektron Machinedrum and Monomachine though. Having sold all my old gear I miss not having a drum machine to noodle on, and the MD is compact and powerful. I love the sounds that come out of it too. The MM would complement the MD, being a synth with a drum machine style interface, and it is nice to break away from the laptop now and then.

i just sold a bit of hardware (alesis airfx) cos without a mixer it’s pretty much impossible to record any of the sounds - was pretty good for djing but as i only play out about once every 4-6 months and the rest of the time it lay unused in the corner taking up valuable space. i plug my ds in sometimes though and cant wait to get the korg ds 10 for it - that’ll do me for a ‘hardware’ synth i reckon

I’m using a combination of software and hardware since a few years. I am enjoying hardware synths alot more then software synths, it is just not the same thing imo. You can TOUCH it, you can ROTATE the knobs, you can MOVE the sliders. It gives so much more controllability imo. In VSTi I am often looking for a certain knob, browsing through dozens of menu’s and whatnot. On a hardware synth (most of them atleast) each knob is there. You twist it and the sound changes… I like that.

Not to mention a hardware filter simply cannot be emulated by software, ever. The dirtyness does it for me :)

What I think I’d like to end up with is this combination…

An Elektron synth & drum machine controlled by a custom, live performance orientated, Max/MSP interface which is itself manipulated by a Lemur.

The output of this would be recorded and then messed about with in Renoise.

All I need now is the £4000 to buy this gear, and loads of time to learn Max! :lol: :lol: :lol:

i can relate for a 100%.
i think the main reason hardware is so unattractive to me is this whole cumbersome patch remembering thing.
when i use hardware, i want to use it LIVE and not as a sample source, so i use it just as i would use a VSTi inside the arrangement of a tune triggering the notes upon each playback in realtime.

1st problem:
after loading a song, you manually have to look up the respective patches on the synth. if you didn’t save it - wheee… bad luck, because they’re definately not saved with the song/xrns.

2nd problem:
i’d have to record all the hardware synths via the LINE IN of my soundcard.
now how ancient does that feel? rendering to .wav is of course non-functional here…

the handling of hardware in a musicians everyday life makes things just over complicated… software might be less intresting and fancy (i absolutely agree with that) but it doesn’t sound that much worse anymore (if at all) and surely improves workflow, even though there also are a lot of glitches (software updates killing backwards compatibility).

my microkorg is merely serving as a midi controller and my old CS1X is buried somewhere since a decade.
i don’t even touch gilli’s CS6X for anything more than fooling around on it for a few minutes…

i agree keith. now my biggest problem is finding a VSTi to get comfortable with.

All the hardware instruments I have are instruments that are nigh impossible to recreate well in a VST form. By this I mean several native Bulgarian woodwind instruments and an acoustic guitar. When it comes to synths, VSTs are a good enough alternative. I admit, I might be tempted by a Moog or some other vintage synth, but I’ve restrained myself from buying one on the seldom occasions I’ve come across such. :)

A past version of myself would hate me for saying this, but I just can’t be bothered with hardware synths anymore.

At their highest level they’re just outdated computers.

Of course, if you’re really into the whole ‘analogue quirks’ thing of collecting ancient battered malfunctioning gear and sending it through shitloads of strange boxes, then that’s cool. But if you’re making relatively ‘clean’ sounding electronic music then it’s totally impractical.
The limitless range of stuff you can do entirely inside the computer these days is more than enough for me.

what im gonna try with my small home studio,is just use renoise and softsynths,but also get some nice hardware eqs,compressors,and maybe a multieffect or two,that way i will also get a use of my yamaha mg 16/4 mixer,i just need to figure out,how i set it up :panic:

i’m looking to get a mixer - anyone know a decent (but cheap) 8 channel mixer i should look out for?

I could recommend the Mackie 1402 VLZ. Excellent sound.
The latest revision is VLZ3 which costs about 380 Eur. You can buy without any doubt VLZ 1, 2 or 3 used… I have VLZ1 and I am really happy with it since years.

thanks - will check it out

Imo - situation is similar, when people think, that camera for 1000 euros makes their pictures more interesting.

my philosophy is : do not buy any hardware, until it`s necessarry to make next, natural step further - in other words - buying hardware just because you think it give you inspiration, is a bad idea

I LOVE just being able to work in Renoise… If it was any other software (Cubase, Ableton, etc.) I’d probably just buy an MPC and do everything in h/w, but Renoise is so solid and so quick and as intricate as you could ever need once you know it inside out.

Especially with the Sonnox plug-ins… I mean one reason I never liked going over to ITB mixing in the past is because plug-ins verbs and choruses and compressors and things don’t sound half as sweet as even low-end multifx boxes like the Boss SE70 and things… But the Sonnox stuff, when you really work it, sounds incredible.

But when it comes to instruments: finding/creating the perfect string patch; having great leads and huge basses on tap; that’s where I think s/w still has a long way to go… and also there’s the issue of power… My old XV3080 rack not only has a few thousand odd presets - including all the bread-and-butter stuff you ALWAYS need but can never find in s/w libraries - it has 128-note polyphony and a tonne of FX.

When I’ve taken my laptop on the road and tried to write from scratch with it, I’ve got no problems doing drums, with my sample library and Renoise, but: basses, strings, pads, atmospheres, etc. I just can’t get the sounds I want out of things like FM8, Absynth, etc. I set aside an hour or two to write music, and I find myself fiddling with a few patches then on KVR browsing thru the search engine, downloading things which sound like they give me what I need.

Just simple things like the Kurzweil string patch, which everyone on the planet needs at some point. I spent about 5 hours trying to find it. Best I could get was a freeware soundfont player and a ropey multisample.

Whereas with my gear, I can switch my keyboard on and have 100 different piano patches, 50 strings, etc. right there to start experimenting with… And obviously you’ve got things like the Virus which just has this near infinite scope of sound programming, and of course, things like Reaktor have too, but you’ll just never scratch the surface with that because it never becomes intuitive like a real instrument, and obviously the raw results you get won’t sound as good because Viruses and Nords are chucking a lot more processing at modelling filters and things.

But yeah, so much easier if you’ve got a desk. I don’t like having to route synths straight into the computer and mess with MIDI and stuff. Prefer to think of the computer as an MPC with a big screen and the desk as the nerve centre.

PS - Renoise has awesome pitching/anti-aliasing (whatever it is) as it is - among the best you can get in s/w afaik - but if it could match what an Akai/Emu does when it repitches samples, I’d be seriously sampling a lot of my gear and building a big library so I can work away from the studio more… When I a/b my Akai S5000 sampling and playing back something as it is, the difference is so subtle; but when I play something across a keyboard, like a synth bass, or when I pitch drums/loops up and down, there’s this incredible clarity you retain with Akai, even going up and down octaves, and as far as I’m concerned, THAT’S the one thing which stops Renoise taking over from it completely at the moment… I don’t know for sure whether it’s digital processing/interpolation, or something, or whether it could be something to do with the convertors they use, but whatever it is, it still makes h/w samplers feel more like high quality synths.

I use a combination of both, reposting my picture from the hardware thread:

I’m extremely sample- and VST-based when I create music, but I think there’s a place for hardware. F.ex. I can’t find any replacement for the noisy lofi-sound that the TX81Z FM-synthesizer provides, and I wouldn’t wanna be without the possibility to throw some dub-delay onto whatevers playing in Winamp at the time. I also like the way that I can sample anything (even radio/tape/vinyl/microphone) very quickly, since all sources is connected into the mixer.

I don’t compose the “traditional way” by using external synths as a soundsource very often anymore - in fact I’m amazed when I do - but it would be lonely here with just a midi-keyboard and a computer. It’s also nice to be able to sit down and play the keyboard just for fun and sing into the microphone with some nice effects, and not even have the computer turned on.

Yeah I forgot about that aspect, it is nice to doodle on a synth and some FX without being compelled to stare at the computer screen.

Most synths load the patch if you open the song. The patch number is set by a CC value… also, you can save a preset to Renoise by making a pattern before the song starts and use the midicc device to set all the parameters.