How silly it is to have a computer screen—QWERTY keyboard and mouse on one side, MIDI keyboard on the other—and somehow try to have fun.
Fun is extremely important when playing with a synth! Menus and typing and clicking and so on . . . even using a control surface is not ideal when the knobs’ functions change or don’t have logical placement relative to the instrument they’re controlling. It just doesn’t feel or act like a musical instrument.
(Hardware) is fun. It has knobs and switches. And, unlike soft synths, it’ll still work in 10 years. Soft synths have to be ported forever to new operating systems, platforms, and endless versions.
I like designing an instrument once, then moving on, not working on the same thing forever. The Evolver first shipped in 2002; we’re still selling it eight years later, and there’s still nothing that can touch it!
Smith’s comments come via an interesting new interview by Francis Preve in KeyboardMag.
There has been a resurgence of interest in hardware synths, in recent years. And sound, immediacy and fun seem to be major reasons behind the trend.
What do you think? Are hardware synths just more fun? Or is there more to it than that?