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Why is My Hardware Sampler Sounding Better Than My Software Sampler!? Same Samples!..
Old 28th August 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Why is My Hardware Sampler Sounding Better Than My Software Sampler!? Same Samples!..

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.

1. Made a sequence
2. Loaded up the ideal samples in the sampler
3. Put the exact same sequence on the computer, loaded Battery

Both are perfectly in time. Both sound substantially different. I thought maybe the converters on the soundcard were making a difference, so I recorded out of the soundcard and then back in...no dice.

This is a logical impossibility!!! These are the same sounds being tiggered from the same sequence. What is the missing component? Do hardware samplers have some sort of built in compression/EQ curve on the output buss!? Seriously, it sounds fuller, more crisp, and generally more inspiring. I've read about "MIDI Timing" in these forums...those are refering to the tightness of the groove, and not the actual sounds though, I assume. Anyway, the seqences are not the issue. They play back the same.

Please throw out suggestions if you've been in this situation. I still WANT to sell the sampler because I could use the money towards other gear -- but I'm not going to compromise the sound (I'm not looking to run Battery through a bunch of effects just to get to where the Roland is naturally -- unless there is more going on under the hood of the MV8000 not being mentioned).

All help appreciated,

Will
Old 28th August 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
toolstudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Same experience here, that's way I moved back from softsynth and kontakt to
MPC3000 and my hardware synth.

Instant musical happieness.....

wolfgang
Old 28th August 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
bcgood's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Same Here

I've tried both and I feel hardware sounds better as well, (I have an Akai Z4). To me it's the same thing as software the UA 1176 software not sounding as good as the real thing, hardware is just typically better at doing what it was designed for. I kind of think of it like a Sony playstation's graphics looking better and running better than the same games I play on the computer but maybe that's a bad comparison. I just think that an outboard unit that is designed to specifically do something is going to sound better than a computer program trying to emulate it...

bcgood
Old 28th August 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
H-Rezz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The ideal situation if it ever arises is that someone make a softsampler with the same capabilites as Machfive, Kontakt etc in a stand alone box with it's own convertors but have the ability to sync to the sample accurate clock that softsamplers do inside a DAW, that will be the best case scenario.......

I agree that stock standard Samplers like Akai's, Emu's etc still sound better because of their dedicated convertors with algorithms to match , but where they fall over is that they have to be programmed using sluggish midi messages that aren't that tight especially compared to frame accurate softsamplers , so you do get time shift which is a bitch for those of us who layer then track lay the layered sounds on seperate tracks , any movement in time will cause a flam to layered sounds , this is totally random so there is no point trying to figure it out ! Softsynths can be stacked,layered and then tracked back to audio with no timing issues , so your phase correlation is always where you left it !

Obvioulsy better convertors on your DAW will inprove that sound of your softsynths/Sampler , coupled with a great sounding D.I. into a great sounding PRE and you have upped your tone again and given your sound a polished sheen it could not have had in the virtual domain .....

So the question is can one put up with the slop of midi for a better instant sound or treat the sound later for the desired effect .....???

BTW , the MPC is another kettle of fish , i'm speaking for those of us that use DAW's to sequence and prefer that way of working ....
Old 28th August 2006 | Show parent
  #5
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I know why... But I'm not telling you. heh
Old 28th August 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
same here I went back to my Akai's after kontakt ...
there are a few things that kontakt can do that my Akai's can't ..
But I write music with my hardware samplers ...
I find I just end up tweaking endlessly with kontakt ...
Old 28th August 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
H-Rezz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont ➡️
I know why... But I'm not telling you. heh
Hey Tony , just tell me i won't tell the othersheh
Old 28th August 2006 | Show parent
  #8
no ssl yet
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by H-Rezz ➡️
Hey Tony , just tell me i won't tell the othersheh
He's already told me, But I swore not to tell YOU.
Old 28th August 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Hey, it's okay to share with the group. It's about time this got out. Be my friend .

Or die!!
Old 28th August 2006 | Show parent
  #10
OHA
Gear Addict
 
OHA's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by H-Rezz ➡️
Obvioulsy better convertors on your DAW will inprove that sound of your softsynths/Sampler ,
The old Akais, didn't sound as good as todays soundcards in terms of converter qualities. Still they did something to the sound that isn't so easy to get in software, especaly with drums. More "smack" and punch in the old Akais, even if its the same sample..

Having said that I use soft samplers 90% of the time because it's 1000 times faster to get new sounds into than my old trusty mpc3000 (witch I still love..).
Old 28th August 2006 | Show parent
  #11
OHA
Gear Addict
 
OHA's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OHA ➡️
Having said that I use soft samplers 90% of the time because it's 1000 times faster to get new sounds into than my old trusty mpc3000 (witch I still love..).
Like I use plugins instead of hw many times because of speed/recalls.. You find workarounds for the sound..
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
dlmorley's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I have constantly been fruistrated with software samplers. Practical yes, but I also end up relying on my old boxes

MPC60
Roland S-750.Nothing sounds as fat except for my.....
Fairlight III. Alas has a boot problem, but it#s fabulous.
Yamaha A5000. Super practical with lots of features. Not quite as good sounding as the above but better than my software samplers..

I have yet to enjoy using software as much either, so sure they have more features and integrate better (and usually access loads of libraries), but for creating music with, I am heading back to hardware more and more. Same with sequencers. I love the features of software, but I am more focused and efficient on the MPC60 or my Yamaha QX3.
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
johndough's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont ➡️
I know why... But I'm not telling you. heh
One of the most important topics and you bow out????


You know what... Even the workstations with 128mb of rom sound better to me than the software stuff. I gave it its fair try but it just doesnt doesnt cut it. Dont get me wrong some stuff is great (b4, vsl, etc) but some is horrid.... Akoustic Piano is weaker than a 199 yamaha keyboard..... Most stuff to me sits in between.... Not bad but not great and the hardware just sounds better.

I just cant understand why. How can a 15gig software library sound worse than its 128mb hardware counterpart??????? It should destroy it.... I dont get it......
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
H-Rezz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by no ssl yet ➡️
He's already told me, But I swore not to tell YOU.

Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Ask yourself this question: when has software EVER sounded as good as hardware equivalents?
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
sedohr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann ➡️
Ask yourself this question: when has software EVER sounded as good as hardware equivalents?
in the voice of Horatio Cane, hands on the hips: "you know, that's a good point"

Probably not. But it is often much more powerful and convienient and you can do things with it that you can't do with the hardware. So If you´re after a good sound you'd use the hardware, but if you're after anything else you would use the software.

hmm...?

Kalli
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
FalconerHK's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann ➡️
Ask yourself this question: when has software EVER sounded as good as hardware equivalents?
Amen. There's something about the sound of my E4 that I prefer over Kontact. It's "creamier" or something. One of those hard-to-describe subjective things I can't put my finger on.

Otherwise it's a pile of crap, especially the user interface, like most hardware samplers. Its fan is noisy, the display is small and I've worn the labels off half of the buttons. Did I mention every edit takes forever? Yecch.

I keep going back and forth about selling it, but I have the full Miroslav library and I consistently prefer the sound of that library on the E4 over any of my software orchestral libraries (including the Miroslav library imported into Kontact). Oh well.

Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #18
no ssl yet
Guest
Part of the reason I went for an MPC 4k was to have a rack mount sampler equivalent that could sample 24bit sounds.

I think software has its place. I think huge libraries ala Ivory (which is a library with an interface buit in), Scarbee etc...

For drums and smaller stuff like bass sounds I go hardware.
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #19
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont ➡️
I know why... But I'm not telling you. heh
so a touch of evil
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
If you like the hardware just get the hardware and be done with it. An e4/e64 will cost less than a kontakt so it´s an easy choice.
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Apart from the reality that software emulation may never beat real hardware... it might also have something to do with the fact that certain Roland samplers do contain some of the sweetest sounding filters ever built.

I've got an S-760 that I'll never part with. It's like sprinkling 'audio fairy dust' on any signal that passes through it.

================================================================================

Hey dlmorley - A Roland S-750?
Not sure there is a 750?... by chance did you mean a 760 or a 770?
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Are these converted samples? If they are probably the conversions just aren't quite right. Or maybe the software filters aren't happening.There are some samples like the Scarbee stuff that sound great. But I have Ivory and I have the Coakley Perfect Piano for the Kurzweil, I'm not sure Ivory really sounds much better, if at all, but there is some velocity stuff I have to play with. Keep the hardware use whatevers best for the job
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Isle of Weight's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by H-Rezz ➡️
The ideal situation if it ever arises is that someone make a softsampler with the same capabilites as Machfive, Kontakt etc in a stand alone box with it's own convertors but have the ability to sync to the sample accurate clock that softsamplers do inside a DAW, that will be the best case scenario......

YES!!!!!!!

AA.
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I would post this question directly to the horse's mouth....Eric Pershing of Spectrasonics via Northern Sounds. He has the benefit of being fully in the software domain, and yet he invented many if not most of the sounds you hear inside Roland units. And he was one of the main team members that had to figure out how to actually get those sounds working in the hardware.

If anyone has a take on why you like the hardware better, Eric is the guy who's opinion would mean something. Of course he may not even answer this kind of question, being that his niche is now totally software.
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It's the analog electronics. Same reason a 5080 sounds different from a 1080.

I've had the same conclusion about all this. I'm scoring a film now and have been using all my softsynths. However, when I slot in a track from my Triton or S-760 or 5080 things just come alive. You don't need any blindfold test to verify the difference.

I'm using alot of Cranesong Phoenix on the softsynths to crunch them up a bit.

I know Eric Persing has done an amazing job with Stylus, etc., but I still have trouble getting it to punch like I want it to.

-R
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #26
OHA
Gear Addict
 
OHA's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDaddyO ➡️
Apart from the reality that software emulation may never beat real hardware...
I'll tell you a secret... Inside your Roland, Emu and Akai samplers there is software.. And even microprocessors to But don't tell anyone... shhh

heh heh
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #27
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman ➡️
It's the analog electronics.
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. In this case it sounds better, sometimes it will sound worse, but it's best described as "different".
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
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!
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OHA ➡️
I'll tell you a secret... Inside your Roland, Emu and Akai samplers there is software.. And even microprocessors to But don't tell anyone... shhh

heh heh
Sshhh...ok I won't tell anyone. Here's another dirty little secret: Inside that software, there isn't any analog circuitry to process the signal. So unless you have gear that is designed using discrete components in addition to those *gasp* evil microprocessors, then I'm afraid dear boy that all you have there is a c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r.
... and that can be like a rhythm track without any soul

btw... I said s/w emulation may never beat real hardware (I am open to the possibility) heh
Old 29th August 2006 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Nut
 
WilliamFF's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have had several hw samplers through the years...and they have all sounded "fuller" than Kontak which I am now using

It doesent matter if I run the signal from Kontakt out in the analoge domain and back again, the sobby old hw sampler sounds bigger any which way I go about it..

I was thinking, has anybody tried the emulator soundcard\sampler ? I would think they put the bits and chips from their hw samplers on the card ? so in essence its a hw sampler with vsti compatibillety ? Sounds good on paper, does it work ?
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