What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

The place for musicians to share their knowledge and ideas about music and remixing, and to post WIP snippets and feedback. Also suggest tunes for remixing, here.

Which setup do you prefer.

VST is the only way I make music.
7
50%
Some hardware but mainly VST's.
1
7%
Equal Mixture of VST's and Hardware.
4
29%
Mostly Hardware with some VST's
0
No votes
Hardware is the only way I make music.
2
14%
 
Total votes: 14

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Doddsy
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What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by Doddsy » 26/07/2012 - 14:56

Over the years my studio has changed to accomodate new technologies as well as old. My first remix was done just using Hardware synths. My current setup is a mixture between VST and Hardware. What do you prefer? Maybe space (and electric bills) is tight? Maybe you think VST are cheap and thin sounding?
What are your views. I've also added a poll.

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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by Commie_User » 26/07/2012 - 16:09

Viewers already know my views. In a nutshell, it's what sounds good and does the job that counts.

Cracking mixtures of cheap VSTi, samples or recordings of actual hardware on top of mixing other instrument sounds together give you some amazing results.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7613

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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by Chris Abbott » 26/07/2012 - 16:50

The poll doesn't differentiate between what you prefer and what you actually do (or afford!). I like hardware stuff, but yeah, anything which sounds good is good. Hardware used to have the edge in tweakability, though apps on tablets are beginning to be very impressive.
Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?

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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by Commie_User » 26/07/2012 - 20:35

I agree on the convenience. Even though all my gear across the house is wired into a network, where all I do is patch and switch on, it's still the quicker option to boot a VST. And often I do that before the muse runs out.

And afford? Come on, you can buy all sorts of, ahem, junk from Ebay at pocket money prices. Unless they've been modded, that's all the 8 bit gear is really. MSSIAHs are also sold for peanuts and there's no shortage of old bits to sample. I even played a beepy touch-tone phone on one experiment. Software's even easier - freeware, trials and copious samples are just dished out for nothing these days.

We're the chosen people with our home studios now. And it's great, you have to admit.

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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by NecroPolo » 27/07/2012 - 2:56

VSTi fits my workflow much better. I tend to burn too much time on being lost among settings and concentrate less on actual music content when I have too many knobs around so when I compose I force myself to use the necessary basics only. I love to work with hardware when it is about recording anyway, but only after everything in is its place in the actual song. So the actual sentence "VST is the only way I make music." is 100% true to me as it is how I actually make music.

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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by LMan » 27/07/2012 - 5:40

What NecroPolo said :)

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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by TNT » 27/07/2012 - 19:52

I'm not a pro and I probably won't become one. It's just the fun that keeps me going making music and to spend some time on improving my skills in how to handle the substance. And of course I need a lot of space for my life next to the music, so I prefer creating music using only one program controlling as many vst effects as possible on just one machine called computer. I don't like the imagination of tangled wires and walls of hardware controllers. It has to be as simple and easy as possible. And it shouldn't take a lot of space which I don't have.

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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by Analog-X64 » 28/07/2012 - 0:12

I just play around with both when I have the time but more and more, I find just doing it all in VST to be the way to go.
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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by Commie_User » 29/07/2012 - 16:03

I take hardware to mean any physical instrument. Does this example of mine represent both? Sample-powered keyboard and software are sounds of the real thing:

Mike-and-speaker room ambience, mixed with electronic piano line signals, may also be an example of both.





1986. Just look at all that hardware for just the stage show alone. Virtual instruments by hardware too you know. And I don't think you could call even that 25-year old gear antiquated.


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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by Doddsy » 06/08/2012 - 16:07

Thanks for posting that 80's Youtube clip. It's suprising to see how impressed they were at him composing his own simple piece of music as if it was some mystic art and in a way it was back then; it was new territory for the average amateur home musician and mainly only studio boffins knew about professional production techniques. Magazines of the day such as The Games Machine did devote a few pages to it but it wasn't until Future Music came about in the early 90's that it really opened up what was needed to make music using synths. One thing I did notice was during the mid to late 80's the cheap synths notably the DX range that he's using. Classic synths such as the Prophet V were pricey even then. I'd say we are fortunate to have VST's when you look at that clip. Consider the price of all that hardware and even then you need to budget for outboard gear as well. Now you get it for nothing with quality results. If I was a 17year old kid now I'd be using just VST's. I like classic hardware synths but the sounds in them are now cliched they have been used so many times on commercial records though they do have their uses..

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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by Commie_User » 07/08/2012 - 15:09

Ah, you should watch The New Sound Of Music, where the computer controlled synth took up a whole wall of a room as late as 1979. The compact and far more powerful C64 came out just three years on.

In the 1980s, full synths were still too expensive and fiddly for the average guy. A piano or preset keyboard won hands down back then, with even pro musicians still sceptical about MIDI.

I love the old relics but, for me, most now belong in the museum. Today's complex synths but with plenty of presets to adjust are the happiest of mediums.


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If I was a 17year old kid now I'd be using just VST's. I like classic hardware synths but the sounds in them are now cliched they have been used so many times on commercial records though they do have their uses..
You can always merge those sounds with others to create new voices. Or play them in ways far removed from the cliche pop singles. I enjoy unusual combos of sound or style and they seem to have served me well so far.

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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by Razmo » 12/09/2012 - 13:51

Well... I'm the one poll'er for hardware only, but I guess you would have guessed that :lol:

Personaly I like the sound of analog gear better than digital, and that goes for VSTs as well as hardware digital synths, and as such, I use mostly analog hardware gear, or hybrids of digital/analog... I NEVER use VSTs... not because they're less good than digital hardware, but because I like the stability of hardware, compared to crashing software in a DAW.

I do have a few digital hardware machines though, but it's strictly for synths that does sounds that are so unique, that it's impossible to replicate on something analog... FM synthesis and Physical Modelling is two such examples. I still have my good trusty old Yamaha FS1R, and greatly miss my Yamaha VL70m.

But in the end, what matters is not what was used to make the music, but what music you made... for me it's solely a choice of hardware analog (and some digital) because I like the sound of it, and because what I like using, makes me want to make music... simpe as that... I could not use VST's for example, because there are simply too many options, and I prefer restrictions.

It's nothing about having knobs within reach, as I control all my hardware through software editors, I very rarely touch any of them to be honest... it's a pure restriction/stability/sound thing for me.

Newest addition to the "factory" is this (and my only piece of hardware, where I'm forced to touch the knobs, as it have no preset memory):

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Regards, Jess D. Skov-Nielsen (Razmo).
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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by trace » 12/09/2012 - 15:59

I only use software stuff, one hardware but only for playing on and tweaking the software :D
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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by poke16384 » 13/10/2012 - 12:32

95% VSTi's for me at the moment.... It's convenience mainly I guess!

I can sit down and compose/arrange fairly instantly on those days when I have an idea bouncing around in my head.

The standard of sampled instruments has got better and better, mainly over the last few years. So much so that it's now
virtually impossible to distinguish from the real thing, (in the right hands). It really makes me laugh when people comment
on the latest 'orchestral' remixes that the instruments sound 'artificial'. NO! they don't... They ARE the real instruments!!

It's the arrangement and style of playing the instruments that sometimes makes it obvious that you're listening to a sample
rather than a physical performance. (Omoroca.... take note :) ).

I still like to use my guitar to add a touch of 'human' to the MIDI but I've found that having the ability to play a few instruments
helps me a lot when it comes to arranging the MIDI performances. So, I suppose the logical conclusion is that you can't/couldn't
and wouldn't have the gorgeous VSTs that we now enjoy, without the understanding of the original instruments.

Back in the 80's there were people who cited the same argument against the mini-moog the DX7 and the Juno6. It was reckoned
that whole orchestras would be put out of work by one-man-and-his-synth. How ironic then, that we now have the people who
question the validity of using digital recordings of those 'Now classic' instruments. IMHO, what the critics missed back then is the
same thing the critics are missing now.... It's all about the performance! It's about the way you arrange it and play it.... and in this
context only, musicianship becomes primary.... the source instrument or sample becomes secondary.
It's all about the notes, where you put 'em, what you do with 'em and how long they last

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Re: What do you prefer VST or Hardware.

Post by Doddsy » 13/10/2012 - 14:57

I agree.
If I hear a remix that uses artificial instrumentation and it sounds good then I'm not fussed. For the record on VST's, when some people say that "this VST" doesn't sound as warm as the real hardware one then I think that's just nitpicking or scared that their two grand synth has now being replaced by a cheap VST! Remember you can add addition FX to warm/colour the sound of your VST quite easily.

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