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Old 2006-04-16, 05:51
tamias6 tamias6 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 0
Hardware or Software??

I'm hearing a lot of Reason users wishing to be able to have a MIDI out feature.. It would be nice to have a MIDI out to run other software synths like Moch Five from Reason or, maybe for power users out there, to go MIDI via ethernet to run a bank of computers each runing a software synth playing super high quality voices and samples that would put a single system alone on its knees then using Reason as a sequencer to drive them all. To me doing theses things would be the appeal of adding a Midi Out feature to Reason.

However, unless I'm missinterpreting, I preceive that many users would love to have a MIDI out feature to run hardware synths, samplers, and other such devices. This would be cool esp. for those who have a trusty hardware synth with that unigue sound they just can't give up for the world. But other than that, I say "Why?" Why spend tens of thousands of dollars on such hardware when just a few grand would allow one to create a softwere based system that sounds just as good as any hardware setup.

One might argue that hardware synths sounds better than softwere synths. Ten to fifteen years ago I would hold that fact as high as I do the Ten Commandments. In thoses days it would be really tech to run a collection of hardware and use a computer to sequence. But today computers are lightyears more powerful. A mid level to high end Rig has no problems playing a chorus of samples and synth voices at 96 K at 24 bits. Also if one looks at hardware they will find hundreds of voices, shoe-horned into a memory of a couple of dozen megabytes in size limiting sound quality. To make things worse, one cannot upgrade hardware all that much.On the other hand, one can install gigabytes of RAM into a computer's memory and top that off with a huge hardrive allowing for massive libraries of big and highly detailed voices with high end sample rates and long durations of 40 sec. or more. Just to top things off, one can add more voices to what's already there by simply dumping them into the hardrive. Last but not least, software and computers get better and more powerful with each upgrade made which expends crwative freedom. With hardware synths one is stuck with what's there unless one is willing to spend a few thousand dollars to replace a tired work horse for a newer and better hardware synth. If one is running a rack full of these things, do the math. As powerful as computers are today and as good softwere synths are becoming, to me, the "hardware synths sounds bettwer than softwere synths" argument is holding less and less water. Just give me a powerful computer with a good sound card and/ or audio/Midi interface to pipe data in and out of the system and I could sound very good indeed. Then when I factor in the cost of hardware synths and samplers verses the cost of a softwere based setups, I for one will jump on the software band wagon any day.

But that is my preferences for now. Since I'm exploring the wonderful and exotic world of sound production and still have alot of territory to cover before I'm can call myself a Jedi Master, I do want to hear from both sides of the fence on this.