Soft Synths and sound cards

Discussion in 'Synths / Samplers & VSTi' started by Barkingdogstudios, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    If I'm using soft synths and sampled sounds, does the soft synth software actually make any use of my sound card or does it generate the sounds totally independent of the sound card?

    If they are independent, does it matter if I have a crap sound card?
  2. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    New Milford, CT USA
    Home Page:

    Soft-synths use the computer's CPU to calculate all the sounds, so the sound card doesn't matter as long as you mix within your DAW and export to a Wave file.

  3. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    Hey Ethan,

    But if I did want to play the sound font sounds to a pa or record them on an external device (multi-track or whatever), the sound would then have to go through the sound card? I guess I'm still not sure if going this route takes the sound out through the card and has any effect on it or if the card is just working as an output channel and not "interpreting" the sound being generated by the software ....
  4. mjones4th

    mjones4th Active Member

    Aug 15, 2003
    The short answer is yes. A better sound card make your softsynths sound better, in the monitors, over the PA system, etc. But it will not make a digital bounce of a softsynth's output sound any different.

    I believe this is the reason many believe that softsynths are not up to par with hardware synths yet. Because of the quality of their soundcards.


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