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Hardware vs. Software

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Hardware vs. Software

Postby nickle15 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:52 am

So I'm working on prep for the church service on Sunday. We play modern Christian music with piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, drums, strings (via keyboard) and I'm allowed to tag along with a second keyboard. I've been using a Korg Krome EX the last few weeks and it's got some decent pad sounds in it that have worked ok. My question is this: when I play the Krome after having played around in Roland's Zenology software instrument I'm left feeling somewhat let down. How are the sounds in the Roland software SO good and the Korg is ok, but not what I would consider immersive. Plenty of sounds in Zenology make me forget what I was doing and I just get lost in them. I'm not feeling that with the Krome. Is this primarily just a result of hardware/storage limitations of the physical keyboard?
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Re: Hardware vs. Software

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:54 am

nickle15 wrote:Is this primarily just a result of hardware/storage limitations of the physical keyboard?

Almost certainly not. The 'hardware vs. software' debate, while valid some time ago, is rather moot now. There is good and bad hardware, good and bad software and a good one of either can sound as good as the other. A lot of modern 'hardware' synths are a hybrid in any case, in that they generate the sound using software internally.

This sounds to me more a case of the specific sounds available for your use case suit you better. This could be subjective (you prefer the sounds but the audience may find the 'richer' sound less appealing in context) or objective (the sounds you prefer really are better in context) but in either case there will almost certainly be situations where the opposite is true.

Go with what works for you best. Software has the advantage of more powerful host systems (as a rule) with more storage, but hardware has the advantage of tight integration as an entire system, along with custom hardware in many cases.

There is no absolute 'better'... only that which works better for the needs of your ears/application and those of your audience and that will vary with different people and different use cases ;)

I think what I'm saying in a roundabout way is that synths are (lovely) tools and different tools suit different jobs.
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Re: Hardware vs. Software

Postby The Elf » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:38 am

Eddy has nailed it. There is absolutely no 'better', and the whole 'versus' thing has been kicked to death long ago.

The honest answer is to use what works for *you*. Nobody who really matters knows or cares where your sounds are coming from as long as it moves them in some way.
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Re: Hardware vs. Software

Postby desmond » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:48 pm

nickle15 wrote:How are the sounds in the Roland software SO good and the Korg is ok, but not what I would consider immersive. Plenty of sounds in Zenology make me forget what I was doing and I just get lost in them. I'm not feeling that with the Krome. Is this primarily just a result of hardware/storage limitations of the physical keyboard?

This is nothing to do with hardware versus software. Roland's Zencore is the engine that powers their current generation of synths - so pick up a current Fantom, or Jupiter X etc, and you're playing the same engine with the same sounds.

Perhaps you just like Roland's voicing and character more than Korg's? You could always trade in your Korg synth for a Fantom X or something, which you give you a keyboard form factor but with the sounds you want.

Or you could augment your keyboard with a laptop running the Roland software...
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Re: Hardware vs. Software

Postby nickle15 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:43 pm

Thanks all. This was very helpful! I appreciate your input, as always. Have a great and safe weekend!
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