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Thread: Stacking up VST'S VS. Buying a solid hardware synth?

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    Stacking up VST'S VS. Buying a solid hardware synth?

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    So recently I have been on here asking about synthesizers for hip hop. I am considering getting one. My budget is $500. Then I started thinking well hey if I spend that $500 on VST's instead like nexus 2 with a few expansions here and there would I get more "bang for my buck?"

    I would really like a hardware synth so that way I can just sit around on the couch and mess around if i don't feel like firing up the studio. That's not really a big factor in my decision making process though. It is just hard to decide because they don't really have the keyboards I'm looking for at guitar center. Here are some that have been interesting me:
    This is all for hip hop based music btw.
    -korg ms2000
    -novation mini nova
    -Arturia mini brute
    -alesis ion.

    I guess what I'm getting at is, would the vst route be the wiser decision for quality sounds? I know that is very vague but I am not big on sound design. Meaning i would rather first find a preset. Then tweak it to taste. Although I would like to start learning sound design. Which makes me feel like I could learn sound design easier on a synth i can tweak physically rather than using the mouse to tweak. If anyone can shed some light on my situation and could talk with me about some smart options I could do I would appreciate the help alot. Cheers and love

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    Quote Originally Posted by mguz11 View Post
    So recently I have been on here asking about synthesizers for hip hop. I am considering getting one. My budget is $500. Then I started thinking well hey if I spend that $500 on VST's instead like nexus 2 with a few expansions here and there would I get more "bang for my buck?"

    I would really like a hardware synth so that way I can just sit around on the couch and mess around if i don't feel like firing up the studio. That's not really a big factor in my decision making process though. It is just hard to decide because they don't really have the keyboards I'm looking for at guitar center. Here are some that have been interesting me:
    This is all for hip hop based music btw.
    -korg ms2000
    -novation mini nova
    -Arturia mini brute
    -alesis ion.

    I guess what I'm getting at is, would the vst route be the wiser decision for quality sounds? I know that is very vague but I am not big on sound design. Meaning i would rather first find a preset. Then tweak it to taste. Although I would like to start learning sound design. Which makes me feel like I could learn sound design easier on a synth i can tweak physically rather than using the mouse to tweak. If anyone can shed some light on my situation and could talk with me about some smart options I could do I would appreciate the help alot. Cheers and love
    However cool a hardware synth is, personally, I'd say a VST is the best route nowadays with the digital style studios for production.

    The reason being, everything is just quick install, and bam, play! (With the same features to tweak, edit, and design your own sounds -- if your VST allows it).

    Regarding learning more about sound design, you should check out "Synthesis" -- This will get you learning the basics of how to create different sounds, and how things all started.

    Here's a cool video I watched on sound design; quite old, but wow helpful!:



    Also, Nexus 2 is not really a VST that allows you to create sounds from scratch. You're wanting something more like Sylenth1 or Massive.

    Hope this helps!

    GratuiTous!

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    What I hate about VSTs is that eventually you will have to upgrade your computer & eventually you're going to lose your instrument.

    I could have bought a DX7 back in '85, stuck it in a closet once it's popularity ran out, then 20 years later when it became fashionable again, I could dig it out.

    Let's say in 2002 I had a top of the line computer & bought NI's FM7.... well, I guess I can put the whole computer in a closet & dig it out in 2022.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderkyss View Post
    What I hate about VSTs is that eventually you will have to upgrade your computer & eventually you're going to lose your instrument.

    I could have bought a DX7 back in '85, stuck it in a closet once it's popularity ran out, then 20 years later when it became fashionable again, I could dig it out.

    Let's say in 2002 I had a top of the line computer & bought NI's FM7.... well, I guess I can put the whole computer in a closet & dig it out in 2022.
    thats a really good point you have there. That's kinda why I am torn, I mean VST's can be expensive are a lot less than what a keyboard would cost. Just trying to weigh my options and see what would be better for my workflow

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    You can find a Triton LE in a pawnshop for $300-400. That's worth it for what you're talking about because it is full of preset instruments and has a built in sequencer. You can literally sit on your couch with it, a pair of headphones, nothing else, and make an entire beat.

    When you jump into the realm of vsts the 1st question I'd have to ask is what DAW you're using and what vsts you already own...reason being that you don't want to waste money on a module that does things your stock instruments in your DAW can already do.

    The only thing vst I'd throw $500 towards would be NI Komplete 9 because of all the bang you get for buck. But I'm a little biased, I'm a Reason user so most vsts aren't even on my radar it has to be really good to catch my attention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deRaNged 4 Phuk'dup View Post
    You can find a Triton LE in a pawnshop for $300-400. That's worth it for what you're talking about because it is full of preset instruments and has a built in sequencer. You can literally sit on your couch with it, a pair of headphones, nothing else, and make an entire beat.
    Yea that sounds dope. Sometimes I feel like when I go down to the studio. Power everything up. It puts me in a certain mind state, which isn't always a bad thing but it wasn't how I was feeling when I was upstairs watching a flick or lookin out the window whatever.

    But obviously I would want the best tool to accommodate and accompany what I already use.

    I run:

    pro tools 9 m powered.
    and reason 6.5 but would get the upgrade to 7 just for the audio in alone.

    I have reason electric bass which is about it for reason
    And for pro tools I use massive.
    Was thinkng about getting nexus 2.

    I don't really want the future esk sounds as much as the clean ones. I really like the sounds chuck inglish of the cool kids uses. If that helps any.

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    My suggestions in order of what I think is best choice from what I've gathered...

    1. I'd consider Komplete 9($499)within Pro Toolsbefore I went with Nexus 2 and an expansion or 2. You add Komplete and you'll have every sound you'll ever need. It will probably make you ditch Reason and go with Production solely within Pro Tools. It's that good! Don't just take my word, research it. Only thing is...you won't be mobile.

    2. Check out some local pawnshops as well. If they have a Workstation keyboard or even a nice sequencer arranger keyboard in stock for under your budget, drop by and check out the sounds in it. It's worth the money just for the ability to be mobile while producing.

    3. Check out Rack Extensions and Refills for Reason(you can try the Rack Extentions in full mode for a month for free to decide if it fits you). PinkNoise makes some great vintage synth emulation refills. You may be able to eliminate pro Tools from the production process, upgrade Reason to 7 and get a nice setup of sounds to go along with it.

    Last option...have you considered a small laptop to get ideas out on? You could get something to get by for $300-350 which would leave you $150 or so to add a couple plug ins. Reason could be loaded right onto it and you can log in if you don't want to deal with the ignition key. But running PT is gonna take that ilok. Something about iloks hanging out the side of small devices doesn't sit well with me. May not phase you.

    I don't know you, so all these suggestions are based on what I've gathered from your posts, so if one is waaaayyyy off from what you're thinking, just skip it, lol.

    Hope you come up with a good decision, good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deRaNged 4 Phuk'dup View Post
    My suggestions in order of what I think is best choice from what I've gathered...

    1. I'd consider Komplete 9($499)within Pro Toolsbefore I went with Nexus 2 and an expansion or 2. You add Komplete and you'll have every sound you'll ever need. It will probably make you ditch Reason and go with Production solely within Pro Tools. It's that good! Don't just take my word, research it. Only thing is...you won't be mobile.

    2. Check out some local pawnshops as well. If they have a Workstation keyboard or even a nice sequencer arranger keyboard in stock for under your budget, drop by and check out the sounds in it. It's worth the money just for the ability to be mobile while producing.

    3. Check out Rack Extensions and Refills for Reason(you can try the Rack Extentions in full mode for a month for free to decide if it fits you). PinkNoise makes some great vintage synth emulation refills. You may be able to eliminate pro Tools from the production process, upgrade Reason to 7 and get a nice setup of sounds to go along with it.

    Last option...have you considered a small laptop to get ideas out on? You could get something to get by for $300-350 which would leave you $150 or so to add a couple plug ins. Reason could be loaded right onto it and you can log in if you don't want to deal with the ignition key. But running PT is gonna take that ilok. Something about iloks hanging out the side of small devices doesn't sit well with me. May not phase you.

    I don't know you, so all these suggestions are based on what I've gathered from your posts, so if one is waaaayyyy off from what you're thinking, just skip it, lol.

    Hope you come up with a good decision, good luck.
    id say your right on the money. I will look into komplete 9 as well, I have heard good things about it from people on here.

    Def need some new sounds though. I've been making beats for years and only bought like 2 VST's lol. Got the job done i guess just want and update for some added inspiration and fun. Thanks for your help. So nexus compared to komplete you would take complete over?

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    I was going to recommend hardware until Deranged mentioned Komplete hahahaha.


    Seriously though, it's really all up to you.

    The biggest things I like about VST is recallability and ease of use. It's just there, built in to the fabric of your DAW. And sounds great, depending what you get of course.

    Hardware is very nice as well. Personally... I get more inspired working with something physically in front of me. I can't explain it. But... I'm much more creative with my Korg kaossilator Pro in my hands, or the JV1010 or Korg trinity rack I had than I am in Kontakt, Omnisphere, and Nexus. I do love those VSTs. But I love hardware a little bit more.

    For certain tracks it was much much easier for me to get the hardware unit to sit in the mix where I wanted it. I'm thinking of one particular piano-driven song I created where the piano strikes just hit my soul on each chord lol. I've never had that feeling from anything else... and I've tried Ivory, Eastwest Bosendorfer 290, Alicia's Keys, Addictive Keys, etc.