Hardware Vs. Software Synthesizers
Tactile or Digital
With the rapid advancement of music technology, being able to synthesize sound in unique ways has never been easier. Today, there are a plethora of options on both the hardware side and software side, with their own pros and cons, and unique functionalities.
That Hard Analog Sound
One of the main advantages of getting a hardware synthesizer is that it offers a truly tactile, authentic sound. Analog circuitry produces subtleties, desirable imperfections, and other characteristics that model iconic records of the past. While software synthesizers are incredibly versatile, dialing in a sound on a specific hardware synth can be a more intuitive process, resulting in more human, dynamic performances. However, many will debate that everything can indeed be done with a good software synth equivalent.
Undoubtedly the main draw of software synthesizers is the sheer breadth of options you have at your disposal. In the modern era, plugins can mimic a specific hardware synth while offering the ability to modify the sound or switch to entirely new ones with a simple click. Furthermore, these plugins blend seamlessly into the modern producer's workflow, which is often on a laptop or entirely in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). The convenience is undeniable, and often, the cost savings.
Best of Both Worlds
More and more often, manufacturers are finding creative ways to provide intuitive ways to add extra software capabilities to hardware synthesizers, or to program software to smoothly link with a variety of hardware. It all comes down to what you need for your production or performance style, so definitely get experimenting.
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