That's not true. Even with automap, nothing is ever set perfectly and you do not have enough realtime control over EVERYTHING you're doing. Also, it's really easy to forget what you have mapped to a certain knob unless you use tape or make overlays. With hardware it's right there in front of your face - no guesswork. I guess if you're just making hip-hop like most people on this board, software is just fine. However, I produce various styles of electronic music and there is a lot of live improvisation involved. Programming drums on the fly, muting and unmuting parts, controlling effects, etc. Plus, if you have multiple hardware keyboards you can move from one to the next easy, which is great for doing solos, tweaking parameters, etc. An APC40 + Oxygen combo simply does not offer enough control for me, not to mention it feels boring in comparison. I own an Oxygen midi controller myself, and I've used the APC40 at my friend's house. Like I've said before, I find doing things "in the box" utterly boring. The only exception to this is that I prefer to edit samples and mix with a computer. I record my gear through hardware effects from my mixer to my interface. Once I have the tracks recorded, I like to do final mixes on a computer, but I use my mixer to for volume and EQ adjustments. Occasionally I will use software effects. Most of the time I don't even mix and (attempt to) master my music.
Originally Posted by stillfunkin
With hardware you don't need a "library management system." My drum patterns are saved on their respective drum machines, and the bulk of my sequence / program data is stored in my MPC. All you have to do is label your patches/combis/multis on your keyboards and it's not hard to recall what you're doing. (I don't use presets... *shudder*) If you're using a keyboard without a detailed display, you can always write down notes in a notebook. If you use a sampler with disks, just label the disc. With analog synths you are basically screwed unless you make detailed notes of knob settings and patch configurations, but that's the magic of analog. For me this isn't inconvenient. Besides, I rarely if ever go back to something I did a year ago. What I do is put something together in a couple of hours, jam with it for a while until I know what I want to do, then record. Once it's recorded, I'm done with it and moving on to something else. I will admit that there is a convenience factor involved with producing on a computer, but for me convenience isn't nearly as important as inspiration. I have a super-fast laptop with a ton of software and several midi controllers, but the only way I'd go back to being PC-based is if I hit hard times and had to sell off my gear.
Besides, if you know the gear market well, it's not hard to find good deals. I always buy stuff at cheap prices and if I don't like it or wanna get something else, I resell. I almost always get more than I initially paid, or at the very least I break even. If I sold all of my gear tomorrow, I would get significantly more than what I paid, and I'd still have a computer and midi controllers to fall back on. Software instruments and effects have become a lot better-sounding than they used to be, and if you're on a budget, that really is the way to go. However, I spend ALL of my free cash on gear. I haven't bought myself new clothes in almost 4 years because I'd rather have a new piece of gear... I don't go out to eat, I don't have a cell phone... I don't waste my money on anything but necessities, and the rest goes towards gear. If there wasn't something special about owning it, I wouldn't go through that hassle. Hardware may not be for everyone, but there's something about the analog realm... even digital instruments are transmitted through instrument cables into a mixer or preamp. A lot of my favorite music producers have switched to software and I can hear a difference... I don't like it.
MPC 1000 w/ JJOS - Korg ESX - Korg EA-1 - Ensoniq EPS 16+ - Waldorf MicroQ - Roland Alpha Juno 2 - Yamaha TX81z - Mackie CR1604 - random rackmount and pedal effects