hardware synths vs vst/vsti?

Discussion in 'Synths / Samplers & VSTi' started by Guelph_Guy, Jan 10, 2016.

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  1. Guelph_Guy

    Guelph_Guy Active Member

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    ooks like an interesting collection ... I have to get through everything I got samplewise and separate the wheat from the chaff
     
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  2. Guelph_Guy

    Guelph_Guy Active Member

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    I've noticed that my Akai 5000's sonically punch much harder and the filtering is smoother... I've laid down drum tracks using my digital drum kit mapped too the akai sampler and they are really nice. I periodically get , which patch I used off the drum kit? question ... most of the kits are variations of drums re-sampled from my Kory and tweaked ..,the samplers are good for fat pads as well. I had expanded the samplers to 128 note polyphony so there's lots of room to breath.. I suspect I could do an album off the 2 samplers alone. They are just so capable..
     
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  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    I'm a 90s child with eclectic taste, almost all of the hip-hop I was into from that era featured the Akai sampler. There is no question how hard those machines "bump".
     
  4. Guelph_Guy

    Guelph_Guy Active Member

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    I'm still very fond of the Akais now , they're fully loaded with SSD drives so like instant on! They also have the USB interface you can drag and drop samples directly to AKAI Storage..The interface is much easier then the Roland to Navigate
     
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  5. Terry Leigh Britton

    Terry Leigh Britton Active Member

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    Sean,

    Off topic, but responding to your need for better sax sound: The Saxlab plugin from Linplug is truly among the most lauded from what I've read around the 'Net and have heard directly from folks I've recommended it to who bought it. Sometimes a dedicated solution is the best!

    Back on topic - I still play a hardware FLUTE! :)

    Terry
     
  6. Guelph_Guy

    Guelph_Guy Active Member

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    They do "4 on the floor" kick drum bass like there's no tomorrow! Kick drum sound is pretty effortless on th
     
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  7. Guelph_Guy

    Guelph_Guy Active Member

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    Oops posted by accident .. "on the Akai" Lol , yes I still play hardware too ....
     
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  8. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Terry, I'll have to check that out.

    The first instrument I learned to play was the trumpet...I still have a few and still play if required...nothing like a little brass for a touch of class;)
     
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  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    That's a pretty cool sounding sax instrument Terry, I'm definitely going to consider it when I'm filling in holes in my sound set.
     
  10. Guelph_Guy

    Guelph_Guy Active Member

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    speaking of vsti's and controllers, does anybody have experience with the old Roland A90ex?

    I found a mint one for sale just down the road from me so I plan to grab it as a master controller . I know it's pretty dated but it has the sound module option
    As well..

    I've google it out and it seems pretty good for the time ..
     
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    No, but weren't you talking about the pile of gear you have?? Jk. Lol we cannot Escape G A S, gear acquisition syndrome. Your not alone, I have 2 Bluetooth speaker sets, and 3 Bluetooth headphone sets, still in boxes. 'Waiting for the right time' .... It's doesn't stop.

    Holy crap, it sold for 2k in 96' well 2k lbs according to sound on sounds review. It got good marks.

    Honestly a well made controller is gonna always feel well made, provided it's taken care of. One of the advantages of higher end stuff. I bet some of the sounds are fun.

    I'd be surprise of Chris Donny or Dave haven't had their hand on one.
     
  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    "One controller to rule them all, one controller to find them...One controller to bring them all, and in midi data bind them..."

    LOL.. sorry for the Tolkien-esque reference. ;)

    I have three controllers - as of this writing - which are a culmination of having experimented, tinkered and toyed with for many years, trying to find the right combination that would cover the bulk of what I do, for my own workflow...

    Oh High end - shmy end ... LOL... ;)

    As long as the controller feels good to you for what you are doing, as long as it can TX midi data at minimum latency, has the pedal jacks you need, can change octaves easily, has mod and bend controls, and as long as it responds in the ways you want, then there's no need to spend huge amounts of money on them.

    Remember... we're talking strictly midi controllers here - I don't need a keyboard controller that also happens to have 200 gig of internal samples/patches, because I'm using VSTi's 99% of the time.
    A keyboard that has internal patches and samples isn't really a "controller" - it's an external synth - and yeah, while you can use any midi device as a controller, as long as it has some way of triggering/sending that data, then sure, of course you can use it for that purpose. You can use anything as a midi controller as long as it's capable of triggering and TX'ing midi data.

    For me, there's a bit more to it than just that requirement. For what I do, I have specific controllers for specific needs, that I integrate into my system to make my performances better.

    And for some people, one controller alone might be fine, and will handle their own performance and production styles perfectly.

    But my own styles and methods require more than what just one controller can deliver.

    So:
    I have an 88 key, piano-action Casio that I use solely for pianos - acoustic grand's, upright's, Rhodes, Wurli's or other EP's. It's wonderfully expressive, because it "feels" like a piano.
    I have an M-Audio Oxygen II 61 key controller with synth-action keys that I use for, well ... synths, of course, but also for B3 and brass samples.
    I have a Roland Octapad II for drum sample triggering.

    I've not yet been able to find one controller alone that will cover all my needs... it's hard to play solo synth lines, as well as B3 parts ( swells, glisses, fans, fast runs, etc.) on a piano-action keyboard - not only because you can bust your knuckles doing B3 fan-swells, but also because it doesn't react quickly enough - but, by the same token, it's just as difficult to play expressive piano parts on a synth-action controller; which ( for me) reacts too quickly for the expressive way tat I play piano, with those more subtle nuances.

    While any midi controller can trigger drum samples, it's difficult for me to do this with any real sense of a drummer's feel and nuance.
    The Octapad allows me to do cool things with actual sticks; press rolls, ghost sticking, stick drags, etc. that is nearly impossible to do on a keyboard controller.
    If I'm not going to play real drums, or play real drums in order to eventually trigger drum samples with, then I'm going to use the Octapad, because at least I can use sticks with it. Sure, I could use a keyboard controller for basic kick-snare-hat patterns, and I have done that, but for any sense of feel, nuance or realism, sticks on pads work much better.

    But ... all of these things mentioned above are for my workflow, and what I've determined over time to allow me to give the best performances on midi-based tracks.

    IMO...
    -d.
     
  13. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Sorry d. I'm just on a kick lately. Next month it'll be cheap modded guitar pedals. Lol

    I've felt the biggest difference in weighted action keys amongst the different types. I like the korg triton, the silver one from the late 90s. If I remember correctly it might be the 'studio' edition. I have limited experience w keyboards in general.

    Synth action keys always feel about the same to me regardless of brand make model, and price. I bought a $100 Kork midi controller and an alesis drum machine and was happy.
     
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    That's all that really matters, K.
    As long as your gear supports ( or sparks) your creativity, and allows you to be productive, then very little else matters.

    Again, different workflows, production and performance styles will require different tools, and these choices are as personal as the type of drum heads we like, the guitar action or string gauges that we prefer, or, even the coffee that we drink.

    It's impossible for anyone to tell someone else what it is that they "need".

    Really, the only thing anyone can do, is to let others know about any negative experiences they may have had in relation to a particular piece of gear they've used, present the details, and then from there, let them decide for themselves.
     
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  15. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    @DonnyThompson Iv'e been thinking about something like this, for the very purpose you state...can you enlighten us more on this and share a few other tips on how it has its advantages over other midi devices for drum applications, and if so other applications you find it good for besides a drum trigger?

    The obvious one for me is the response being similar to a drum strike as opposed to a key stike...does it make it more "human" in feel so to speak??
     
  16. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    well, as long as you're able to play real drums, you can play the Octapad. Think of the Octapad as a mini-electronic drum kit... essentially, that's all it is - pads that can transmit midi data ( either on Omni or on separate midi channels per pad); and you can trigger whatever midi-based/VSTi samples you'd like with them - horns, synths, anything, really - although as you know, the response of the sample will depend on the sample itself.

    I'm not even sure Roland makes the Octapad anymore - I got mine years ago, back in the 90's. But there has to be someone who makes some kind of pad-midi trigger device.

    I like it for things like press-roles, flams, stick drags, ghost beats, those little nuances that a real drummer incorporates into their playing - things like the way a drummer will drag the stick on the snare, coming into or off of the backbeat strike, or little "ghost" taps in between the backbeat, and to me, those little nuances make all the difference in the world when using drum samples presented as a real kit... in sounding as if a real drummer is playing - because when you are sticking the pads on the controller, ( the octapad) you really are playing.

    It's not that a talented midi programmer couldn't also achieve these nuances... yeah, it can be done, but besides it taking a lot longer to do than simply playing the part you like in real time with real sticks on the pads, perhaps most importantly, it's the non-quantized little inaccuracies, the "non-perfect" things - the human element - that is hardest to achieve when programming , and which make a huge difference in how the parts sound performance-wise.

    "Programming" is not the same thing as performing. Human performance gives us those little non-perfect nuances, those little inaccuracies that can turn out to be shining gems that give a track human feel and groove and expression.

    This method isn't as necessary on drum parts that are obviously drum machines, that are intended to sound like drum machines... songs like Cameo's Word Up is a simple kick/snare pattern, that never changes for the entire song... so in that case, sure, use your keyboard controller @ C2/D2 , play a few measures of the beat, and then copy-paste for eternity - or at least until the song is over.

    But if you're wanting sampled drums with "feel", or wanting to present them as what a real drummer/real drum kit would sound like from a performance view, then pads come in handy, if you're not in a position to use a real kit.
     
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  17. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

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    I started my playing in cover bands behind the kit...I still have a nice Pearl custom kit...but having the room to keep it set up full time is another thing...thats where something like an Octopad would come into play.
    There are a few on ebay...wow they hold their value well!
    They look like a good piece of kit
     
  18. Guelph_Guy

    Guelph_Guy Active Member

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    YI took drum lessons 4 four years... it helped ALOT ... But didn't have the room for an acoustic kit... So I wound up getting a digital kit ... There are nuances that are missing (brushes for example) but on the whole its pretty good.
     
  19. Guelph_Guy

    Guelph_Guy Active Member

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    WELL... THE A90 EX IS IN THE HOUSE ... WOW...

    The keyboard bed is amazing, it responds really well (been playing it for 2+ hrs)... The onboard sounds are of course dated but there are some pads and sequences in this unit that I'd almost be willing to dump my wavestation ex and my super jx10. The piano could probably hang with my fantom xr pretty well, but the motif is still better for piano..mind you different eras of hardware too..

    Midi routing and zones are crazy you can do ALOT with this keyboard....
     
  20. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Ssssssweeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttt!!!!! Congrats, glad you like it.

    When you say the motif is better at piano, do you mean the way it feels/plays, or sonically? Jw.
     
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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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