Quantcast
Why is My Hardware Sampler Sounding Better Than My Software Sampler!? Same Samples!.. - Page 2 - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Why is My Hardware Sampler Sounding Better Than My Software Sampler!? Same Samples!..
Old 30th August 2006 | Show parent
  #31
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Bingo! Every piece of gear has analog stages of circuitry that it passes through (in this case the DA & output stage of the MV8000)... These analog stages color the sound and make things sound different to us.
This is a very good topic and I'm still in search for the answer. I come from 10 years of MPC, Roland S760, etc and then switched to software for the last 5 years and now starting to buy hardware again. With lot's of struggle, software can come pretty close but somethings still not there....

Please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't HW sort of like software with dedicated computer, ADC/DAC, analog circuitry, etc?

I mean when we run our softsynths,aren't they still going out thru a DA and the analog circuitry in our convertors/sound cards?

I was sort of concluding to myself that older DACs (with all it's imperfections) are the reason for the superiority of hardware vs software.

Still searching....
Old 30th August 2006
  #32
Gear Head
 
T Grev's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:

All help appreciated,

Will
Well, this might sound (npi) smart a$$, and a tad time consuming, but you might just wanna sample your sampler. Never thought i'd say that?!

Last edited by T Grev; 30th August 2006 at 03:28 AM.. Reason: quote parentheses wrong
Old 30th August 2006 | Show parent
  #33
Lives for gear
 
Switchcraft's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I dont know, but I dont think the differences are that serious...

I had dropped the same samples in EXS and in my MPC, sequenced a simple beat and mapped it to the hardware and software instruments , did a bounce and found very little difference, if any, in the result.
it was a just a tests to hear differences, not to make a track. with all that being said I still use a sp12, but that is a different story, obviously.
https://gearspace.com/board/showthread.php?t=67472
Old 30th August 2006 | Show parent
  #34
Lives for gear
 
popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't HW sort of like software with dedicated computer, ADC/DAC, analog circuitry, etc?
On some scientific level, yes.

Here's my take on most software (not just samplers). THey rely on other factors. System config...soundcard converter/clock quality...third party plugs "playing nice"....anyway, it all adds up to a a big "it's not my fault" syndrome. I mean, if you buy a hardware keyboard and it sounds like ass, have you ever gone, "Well maybe if I upgrade the power connections...I need better cables to allow it to shine." ?? No, you say, "This keyboard sounds like ass."

You buy a piece of software and people will say, "What host app are you using? Are you running the latest OS? Service pack? How about drivers? What kind of soundcard?" And I think the developers know this.

They also know that a large percentage of the evangelists for their software will "evaluate" it in this method--"here's the one beat and/or three chords I know on piano-how much does it sound like my favorite records?" It's not about getting the sample that sits best in the mix. These guys either A)won't make a final mix... or B) will have such earsores for bottlenecks that it won't matter how good or bad sampleX sounds.

If the EXS24 did so well with samples ona 500mhz PowerMac...shouldn't we have something stunning in a day of cheap 3ghz CPUs and cheap RAM?

I'm sitting with a Gigastudio box and used more than 80% of my orchestral samples on my last orchestration from a Roland SRX board. Richer. Scale tuned.

It all comes down to this: software is sold on features. Hardware is sold on sound quality/playability.
Old 30th August 2006 | Show parent
  #35
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by xqtion ➑️
This is a very good topic and I'm still in search for the answer. I come from 10 years of MPC, Roland S760, etc and then switched to software for the last 5 years and now starting to buy hardware again. With lot's of struggle, software can come pretty close but somethings still not there....

Please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't HW sort of like software with dedicated computer, ADC/DAC, analog circuitry, etc?

I mean when we run our softsynths,aren't they still going out thru a DA and the analog circuitry in our convertors/sound cards?

I was sort of concluding to myself that older DACs (with all it's imperfections) are the reason for the superiority of hardware vs software.

Still searching....
Hmmnn... good one. Sort of a 'what separates a fat sounding, vintage piece of analog gear (containing some digital components) from a not-so-fat sounding, non-vintage digital computer (containing few if any analog components)' kind of question, eh?

I'm sure there are better qualified responders lurking about, but for me it seems likely to do with a number of factors:
- The older analog gear, used a lot more discrete componentry, instead of the many hybrid integrated circuits, surface mounted technology, DSP chips, etc. that are commonplace in modern designs.

- Although both devices contain AD/DA converters, the older gear kind of got to the same destination in a different way, what with the higher component count of the support circuitry, if you understand what I am trying to say. Beefier build quality usually translates into a higher load capacity (or headroom, in this context).

- I imagine that the build quality of many of the circuits that are now replaced by a single chip or a few at best, leant themselves in days of yore, to a much higher level of parts specification and tweaking (or calibration) than is now possible with a swiss army knife type of multi-function IC approach.

- And perhaps most importantly, there is probably more pressure to knock out a modern design faster, since the modern components reduce the amount of design work necessary to achieve the same functionality in a circuit. This probably goes hand-in-hand with a reduced budget for the design work as well. Neither of these are conducive to building the best quality circuit possible, although they will do fine in producing a non-descript yet quite functional circuit.

And then there is the whole s/w emulation thingy. Best not to open up that can of 'my Dad can beat your Dad'.

There's just something magical about older gear: the smell of the components, the way much of the layout is hand-dressed, the use of a real circuit board, the solid feel of the power supply, etc. And not unlike the Beatles, the collective results may well be greater than the sum of their parts.

But then again, I could be completely wrong... NAAAAAHHHHHHH! (special thanks to Cedric of York)
Old 30th August 2006 | Show parent
  #36
Lives for gear
 
GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I put all my HW digital synths and sample-synths (Kurzweil, Rolands, EMU, Novation) 5-6 years ago to basement to retire (didn't want to sell them).
I loaded all imaginable VSTis to my DAW (most of them initially cracked for trial and if I liked them I purchased them at full price, so no BS here).
Definitely it added speed (10 or 100 times faster) and efficiency to workflow.
Samples are more precise and cleaner sounding (I use Apogee and Lavry for DAC from DAW so no BS here, too) than any hardware digital synths I have.
GIGA studio brought jaw dropping piano sounds.

I was happy man and than I found analogue summing as missing link to sonic results I was striving for.
Than really bad things happenned.
Old synths and sample-synths that COMPARATIVELY SOUND WORSE than software counterparts in their pure, raw sounds turned to be better sonic source when mixed in analogoe.
Now I again use Kurzweil, EMU boxes (I though it is dead forever), Yamaha (well that's one is newer) and others as sound sources. I do some analogue processing and without ever entering DAW go to analogue mix.
IT IS BETTER.
As I'm doing all for my own pleasure I can afford to spend 10-100 times more on that particular part of the job, even if it improves sound just slightly.

Don't throw out your old instruments. Ever.
Old 30th August 2006 | Show parent
  #37
Gear Nut
 
WilliamFF's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
- I imagine that the build quality of many of the circuits that are now replaced by a single chip or a few at best,
What if it is the chip design ? I am running a Powercore in my setup. It has a differnt set of DPS chips than my DAW....now, the VIrus sounds just as fat and big on the Powercore as the "real" hardware virus. To my ears at least.
The Virus on the Powercore is the one and only soft synth I have come across that actually cuts it....

I am just thinking aloud here, it might well be that the Access people are such amazing programmers and have found ways to implement softsynths that nobody else are aware of...but that sounds weird, no ?

How does the virus sound on a TDM platform ?

I m putting my money on the chips...
Old 30th August 2006 | Show parent
  #38
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Has anyone mentioned the fact that programs may also react in a different way? For instance, I've a Bosendorfer Akai sample (S3000), which gets used a lot. However, I'm wondering if that same program (which contains the samples) will respond exactly the same in a software sampler, eg the Mach 5. There's a lot of information to be duplicated from the old program to the new ... filters, velocity, velocity's effect on filters etc. Things that may be unique to the original program.

Just a thought.
Old 30th August 2006 | Show parent
  #39
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang ➑️
Don't throw out your old instruments. Ever.
Amen brother!


Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamFF ➑️
I am just thinking aloud here, it might well be that the Access people are such amazing programmers and have found ways to implement softsynths that nobody else are aware of...but that sounds weird, no ?
Sure, why not... and no, it doesn't sound weird (to me)? In any organization, there's is going to be the good, the bad, and the ugly. We can expand that cliche to also include 'the great'. This caste system can also be applied to the organization's culture, and the cost factors that drive an employee's workflow process within that culture or organization. So it would seem fairly reasonable to expect all of these factors to have some contribution to the end result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beech ➑️
Has anyone mentioned the fact that programs may also react in a different way?
Just a thought.
And not a bad thought. Everything that has a dynamic end result has to arrive at it in some manner. An unknown number of variables will determine the path that all of the contributing elements will have taken, to be processed during the production of your end result.

But all of these are just a small example of the many reasons, why none of this stuff can ever be (IMHO) objectively quantified -- there are always going to be an infinite number of variable elements that contribute to the end result. So the best advice I've seen on these boards, whenever we get into one of these religious discussions, usually goes something like this: Use whatever sounds best to your ears (and we'll all pray that you've been given a good set ).
Old 31st August 2006 | Show parent
  #40
Gear Maniac
 
Marrone's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hy guys!!

I have been through the same regarding experiments between softsamplers and hardware. One thing which is very important to realise, also in order to be able to give a reliable answer is the fact that hardware samplers already have effects on them and software samplers don't. If you compare a sample on a hardware sampler without effects and a sample from a software sampler (which is the only reliable comparison) i have to say that the software sample is much much better. that is also not strange looking at the fact that a lot of hardware samples are limited in bitresolution and/or sampling rate while a software sample is often recorded in higher samplerates an/or bitresolutions. But,... lets also not forget that when using software samplers that the quality of your soundcard (especially converters) determines the sonic quality of your software samples. Some people have better converters in their hardware samplers than in their soundcards which is a shame. So.. If you have apogee converters (like i have) and good samples from for example EWQL and compare this with the sample on your hardware sampler without effects you will have no more doubts about which is better.
Old 31st August 2006 | Show parent
  #41
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
I think I buy these arguments. I have an SP1200 already. If I were to buy a workhorse rack sampler with a sweet sound, mainly to hold the many 16bit samples (orchestral, ethnic etc.) I have on sample CDs (all main sample formats) what would be your top picks?; the best sounding &/or the easiest to use?

I can feel an eBay trawl coming on

:J
Old 31st August 2006 | Show parent
  #42
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddy No ➑️
I think I buy these arguments. I have an SP1200 already. If I were to buy a workhorse rack sampler with a sweet sound, mainly to hold the many 16bit samples (orchestral, ethnic etc.) I have on sample CDs (all main sample formats) what would be your top picks?; the best sounding &/or the easiest to use?

I can feel an eBay trawl coming on

:J
I would have to go with the Roland S-760. It has a legendary reputation for what are perhaps the best sounding analog filters ever in a hardware sampler.

And while I am not familiar with the later S-770 model, I understand that it also has the same filters plus an improved user interface.

Happy hunting... heh
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #43
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by no ssl yet ➑️
He's already told me, But I swore not to tell YOU.
Yes, we all did.
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #44
Lives for gear
 
Stitch333's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I just got an S5000

What ever happened to the ASR10's? Those sounded chuncky as shee-it...
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #45
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
I would have to go with the Roland S-760. It has a legendary reputation for what are perhaps the best sounding analog filters ever in a hardware sample
That's certainly one I'd consider. Is there an app do you know to convert wav or later aki/emu formats into this Roland one? (I know it converted S1000, from a review I read). Would be a slight shame to have to resample my entire library as audio!
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #46
OHA
Gear Addict
 
OHA's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddy No ➑️
That's certainly one I'd consider.
Are you serious?

Man, this is 2006...

I think I consider a c64 for my dawheh
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #47
Lives for gear
 
deuc647's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Im still in the stonage, MPC 2xl w/8 outs and ASR-X w/8 outs, and guess how many softsynth?tutt
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #48
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by deuc647 ➑️
Im still in the stonage, MPC 2xl w/8 outs and ASR-X w/8 outs, and guess how many softsynth?tutt
I here ya, I still have my S2000 and NO SOFTSYNTHS as I think they sound like CRAP. Ill keep my Korgs ,Rolands, Yamaha's, and EMU's for my synth sounds.
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #49
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OHA ➑️
Are you serious?

Man, this is 2006...

I think I consider a c64 for my dawheh
C64???

Dude, show that wannabe the door and upgrade to a Sinclair ZX1000.
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #50
Gear Nut
 
Ricky's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Tried and used most of em and have settled on, exs2,kontact but use the mach 5 the most. I was so getting used to the sound and was reasonably happy , until I booted up the old 3200 and used it for drums. The old Akai's have more punch than the software counterparts. AB the same sample triggered side by side and the result will blow u away, it isnt even close. Nice distortion and noise shaping I guess. As far as modern sound cards having better specs or whatever, most soundcards dont have ballanced ins and outs,loads of headroom before distortion and musical sounding converters that sound great.
Hey thanks guys that gives me an idea
I may check out using the 3200 as a stand alone converter for the coleration.
Old 1st September 2006
  #51
Gear Addict
 
Chrisac's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Greening ➑️
This makes NO logical sense to me at all. I've been planning to sell my Roland MV-8000 and use a combination of Sequencer + Battery for electronic drum tirggering. Before selling, however, I wanted to insure that I wasn't truly losing anything.

Ive been saying for years that my S750 sounds better than any software sampler, but it goes further than that. There really is something special about the Roland S range convertors. I bought an S750 just under a year after the Akai S1000 arrived and am I so glad I did. I didnt realise at the time it was a far better sounding sampler than the Akai although the Akai has a charm if you like its sound. I bought the 750 because of the mouse and screen which was light years ahead of any of the competition. I could sample a sound, set up a partial and a patch and be playing it within 30 seconds. But theres no denying the S range has something special in its sound and is even more apparent today than it ever was. Oh and the LPF is something really nice. Overall what I liked about this sampler when using the filters was they became part of the sound rather than sitting on top of the sound.
I cant really use it for the moment. Ive gone totally digital and have tried to plug it in to my convertors but the latency just doesnt make a fruitful excercise when playing multiple channels at the same time.

But reading this makes we want to find a solution to start using it again.
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #52
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerla ➑️
I think it's time to take the dust away from this beast:

http://www.loopers-delight.com/tools/akai/remix16.html

grittiest sound I've ever heard (16 bit, 8, 16 or 32Khz!) but I've never thought about using it in the studio...

BTW, is it my impression or studio technology is in "fast rewind" mode, these days?
I think in the last 5 years we've lost a lot of "soul", at least in dance music...

when I listen to techno or house music of the '90s I can't help but conclude that those records had a BETTER sound compared to today's counterparts.
For sure a bit darker, but more dynamics, more "gum" in the bass department, much sweeter top-end, less fatigue for the ears... in a word, more pleasant music!
IMHO, that is one of the reasons why this kind of music sells much less than before: it's a pain for the ears. Check the waveform of Benny Benassi "satisfaction", which was a hit: it's a perfectly painted black block! Human ears like "circles", not "squares"...

I go to plug in the Remix 16 to a couple of 550b's, let's see if "circles" happen!
I do find well-produced music, but mostly in the broken beat, funk, deephouse, clickhouse, "modern" detroit sound. (ifyoucatchmydrift)

but I agree COMPLETELY with your post.A clipped master will give the cutter a bad day, will fall apart in one million pieces on a nice soundsystem because there is no real low freq energy left, and is generally irritating.
It will not "carry" the tune. Even if the tune is "hit"material.
The same is going on with ppl. playing mp3 or minidisk in a club PLEASE DON'T!

But there is a LOT of labels that DO come with excellent material. In the end this will work out. The "loudness war" is bloody stupid. DUH try the knob called GAIN on your amp! "Good" DJs know this, and will pick the well produced records. ONLY.

BTW I still love the SP-12 SP-1200 sound.
A box with switchable filters, and output stage would be neat. on the suggested, sample accurate sampler. Maybe a nice DIY mod? mmmm
my shady 2 cents

Last edited by Reptil; 2nd September 2006 at 11:56 PM.. Reason: cleaned it up a bit LOL
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #53
Gear Addict
 
Chrisac's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDaddyO ➑️


And while I am not familiar with the later S-770 model, I understand that it also has the same filters plus an improved user interface.

Happy hunting... heh
The S770 was in fact the first model which hit the street a few months after the Akai s1000. It doesnt really have an improved interface over the S760 its just different but is the same as the S750 which came after the S770. What the S770 does have is XLR inputs on the front and I think SPDIF and Coaxil digital outs.

The S760 is the one that can take the most memory (32mb I think). The S750 (18mb) and 770 (16mb I think?) I had an s760 but much prefered the 770 and 750 as theres no extra boxes and theuser interface is a little better but thats probably because im used to them more. One thing the 750 and 770 has the 760 didnt for some strange reason was an Internal sampling function which was very handy and again light years ahead of the competition
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #54
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch333 ➑️
What ever happened to the ASR10's? Those sounded chuncky as shee-it...
the hiphop guys bought these. LOL same components as the later ASR-X I believe. when I tried the ASR-X it was buggy. might have improved later though..
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #55
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann ➑️
Ask yourself this question: when has software EVER sounded as good as hardware equivalents?
Ask yourself this question: what is the difference between ones and zeroes on a computer and ones and zeroes in the dedicated computer in a sampler?

It's one thing to say an LA2A plugin doesn't sound like the real thing. It's another thing to suggest that ones and zeroes are somehow fundamentally different on one piece of digital hardware from another.
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #56
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
A lot of these ICs pass audio. they are in fact miniturised transistors. and then there's the different sample rate. and then the different output stage including a filter stage with lovely crappy Curtis or SSM filter ICs mmmm heh
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #57
OHA
Gear Addict
 
OHA's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 ➑️
Ask yourself this question: what is the difference between ones and zeroes on a computer and ones and zeroes in the dedicated computer in a sampler?

It's one thing to say an LA2A plugin doesn't sound like the real thing. It's another thing to say that ones and zeroes are somehow fundamentally different on one piece of digital hardware than another.
No...

After some years ones and zeroes starting to sound better.. Vintage ones and zeroesheh

As I said earyer in this post, every now and then I still use my MPC3000 for its characteristic sound and feel. And the limitations in format and the old DA converters can sometimes sound cool , but this thread has just become vidicelus..

People are talking about the analog components in a XV5080.. Man I've uesed the digital i/o for years... I've missed it There are no analog components in these boxes. Last stage the digital signal is going thru is the Digital to Analog Converters...

Don't you get that all vintage samplers are computers?
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #58
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I disagree.
Samplers DID have "analogue" components, and most use ICs that pass audio, instead of running an os. depending of course on the model what kind. >in ADDITION to a microprocessor, doing the sample playback, just to be clear<

And how do you suppose ANY coverter brings a signal to line level? yes. with an output stage. Part of the sound.

Computers are not amplifiers..
>inside the sampler is an input stage; a line preamp for sampling, a DEDICATED microprocessor, with RAM, filters; that can be digital or analogue (ICs!) and an output stage, which is nothing but another amp. <

check this: http://www.emulatorarchive.com/Synth...s/SSM/ssm.html

*exhale*

Last edited by Reptil; 1st September 2006 at 10:25 PM.. Reason: >bit clearer same idea<
Old 1st September 2006 | Show parent
  #59
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisac ➑️
The S770 was in fact the first model which hit the street a few months after the Akai s1000. It doesnt really have an improved interface over the S760 its just different but is the same as the S750 which came after the S770. What the S770 does have is XLR inputs on the front and I think SPDIF and Coaxil digital outs.

The S760 is the one that can take the most memory (32mb I think). The S750 (18mb) and 770 (16mb I think?) I had an s760 but much prefered the 770 and 750 as theres no extra boxes and theuser interface is a little better but thats probably because im used to them more. One thing the 750 and 770 has the 760 didnt for some strange reason was an Internal sampling function which was very handy and again light years ahead of the competition
Ahhh... got it! You're correct about the 760 having a 32MB memory capacity, don't know about the others. Thanks for the clarification.
Old 14th September 2006 | Show parent
  #60
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Heh, well, sometimes you feel right back where you started. Thanks for the input so far -- I feel that there must be some truth to the IC argument. I certainly identifyt with the people who are sure about the sampler's role as just a computer with AD/DA's -- at the same time, I HEAR a difference which shouldn't be there if that's all it is. For the record, I'm going to take it to a friend's house who has a higher end soundcard than me and repeat the experiment. If his higher end DA's make a difference, so be it, I got sampler cash coming my way. However, what if his soundcard only reveals HOW much better the sampler is!? Heh, rediculous problems.

Will
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 1577 views: 173160
Avatar for abruzzi
abruzzi 6th March 2021
replies: 2221 views: 339935
Avatar for Toyvizier
Toyvizier 3rd February 2021
replies: 51 views: 15178
Avatar for Lawron
Lawron 30th July 2018
replies: 200 views: 36404
Avatar for audafreak
audafreak 31st May 2021
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump