Gearspace.com - View Single Post - HELP! Please help me overcome my GAS for wavetable hardware. Can I achieve similar results with VST?
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Old 4 weeks ago
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Originally Posted by Simonator ➡️
I'm absolutely gassing for both a Modwave and a Waldorf M. I cannot easily afford either... But if I have to then I'll sell some bass guitars, synths and kidneys to fund the purchase.
Go for it.

If it's not what it's cracked up to be, you should be able to sell it again easily (or even return it within the warranty period).

If it is all you've dreamt of, congrats.

I'd go for the M first, though.

In case of the Korg, there's the obligatory warning - I really like Korg synths. I've got a TR rack here. Its effects are gorgeous. They're also a big part of the sound; switch them off and things get quite a bit less impressive all of a sudden.

I want to believe I can get close to the auditory goal with the gear I have.
There's an important one missing from this list, and it's https://vital.audio/ .

My suspicion is that software, when pushed to its capacity, might be able to get into the range of the Modwave. Perhaps the Waldorf M is a step beyond what can be done in a DAW.
In order to level the playing field, you're going to need to make a one-to-one comparison. That means:

- choose the lowest common denominator - if the plugin has 3 oscillators and the hardware has 2, then the plugin should use 2
- don't use features that are available on one but not the other; i.e. Serum's unison trick doesn't exist in the hardware
- very important: use the same wavetables
- use the same processing and recreate the actual patches. This is much more difficult with a wavetable synth than with a Minimoog or Prophet 5 because there are so many more timbral possibilities.

In the Waldorf M example I'm hearing panning effects. The VCA is stereo so I suspect that half of the voices are routed left and the other half (with different modulation, if it's voice-dependent) is routed right. This is quite different from taking an oscillator, running it through a single filter, and then throwing a chorus effect on top.

Serum handles the panning on the oscillator level; I assume but don't know for certain that the whole path is stereo. Massive has dual filters but only a single amp/pan section. Vital also handles it on the oscillator level, but it offers a lot more stereo options - the LFO can be stereo.

An advantage in that sense for analog filters is that they have to be calibrated. The filter per voice is not an identical clone (but it's very close!). So, with plugins, you have to explicitly model this behavior; and as with all modeling things, the trick is to go for perfection first and then build in the possibility to make things imperfect, rather than to force imperfection from the start.

The Modal synths for instance have several voices panned hard left and hard right, to maximize the available headroom. The expansion board allows this to be undone again because it's not always practical. Since plugins don't have to care about noise in that sense and crunch 64-bits numbers, it's not necessary there, so it's again something you have to explicitly model.

Last but not least: the wavetables in the M are likely to be less complex than the ones you'll find in most wavetable synths. This is not a knock on the M. The practical advantage here is in playability and musical results. Simpler tables are more useful in a lot of cases. Serum's got some really gnarly stuff that's only useful in very specific cases.