[LAU] Hardware synths

Gordon JC Pearce gordonjcp at gjcp.net
Sat Dec 1 17:47:21 EST 2007

On Sat, 2007-12-01 at 23:04 +0100, David Olofson wrote:
> 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.

"Algorithm" implies it's a software synth anyway.  A softsynth running
in an FPGA or DSP is not a hardware synth.  Well, not in my book anyway.

> 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. ;-)

It depends on the software involved.  Great though Novation stuff is, it
aliases terribly (for instance).  Nice filters though.

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