[LAU] Hardware synths

David Olofson david at olofson.net
Sat Dec 1 17:04:22 EST 2007

On Saturday 01 December 2007, bradley newton haug wrote:
> like most 'gut feelings' related to anything audio the only real
> answer lies in a pair of heaphones,a blondfold and an A/B box.
> Solves all problems of perception.

...but that would require playing the *exact* same sounds on both 
systems, which is pretty much where the very problem is here: The 
hardware synths tend to use secret, proprietary algorithms.

Now, even if there is a software version of a synth, using the same 
algorithm, what's the point in comparing them? Well, you'll find out 
if there is a significant difference in the quality of the DACs, but 
that's about all...

From a theoretical standpoint, there's no need for an A/B test at all. 
The hardware synths most people are talking about here *are* 
computers running software synths. Same algorithm ==> same result. 
(Assuming "algorithm" includes using or emulating the exact same data 
types, obviously.)

And, if you find a softsynth inferior to some hardware synth due to 
resolution issues, recompiling it with 'double' sample and control 
values would allow it to beat most hardware synths flat to the ground 
in that department, I'd think. Or why not 'long double' while you're 
at it. ;-)

//David Olofson - Programmer, Composer, Open Source Advocate

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