Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I wouldn't recommend dropping thousands on a huge, clunky workstation and all the routing hassles that come with it (unless you're planning on performing live) when there are tons of great plugin bundles out there for less than a quarter of the price that will operate seamlessly in your daw. I'd go for something like Komplete or Omnisphere with a midi controller. just my two cents. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pros of a workstation:

* Tactile control and response. You get high quality keys, knobs, faders, LCD screen, pitch/mod wheel, all that fun stuff. Many people prefer this to using the mouse, or to linking MIDI controller knobs/sliders to various VSTs.

* Universally high quality sound design. Workstations just sound great out of the box with 0 editing. That's what they're meant for.

* Portability / live performance. If you want to gig or otherwise perform live, workstations are of course preferable to laptop + interface + MIDI controller.

* Easy to use. Just turn on the keyboard, select a patch and play. Can be more inspiring than futzing about with VSTs.

Cons:

* Most don't integrate as well as VSTs when working on a computer. You will have to set up MIDI/audio routing, patch recall per project, record your parts in live, all of which can be a pain if you're used to offline rendering.

* Harder to get external/expansion sounds without paying lots of money.

* Much more expensive.

* Acoustic sounds other than keyboards (piano, organ, e-piano) typically are not as realistic as modern sample libraries. They might sound very good, pleasing and playable, but they simply won't have the fancy features of something like LA Scoring Strings, Hollywood Brass, and so on. For film scoring in particular, modern samples are way ahead.

Pros of plugins:

* Inexpensive, relatively speaking.

* Easy integration - use as many instances as you want, offline rendering, etc.

* Easy to download new presets, updates, expansions.

* Most realistic acoustic sounds anywhere.

Cons of plugins:

* Quality can be variable. Some synths have poor presets and you must make your own or find good expansions/preset packs.

* Harder to just "plug and play". You must deal with serial numbers, dongles, authorization, setting up templates in your projects, etc.

* Entirely reliant on the power of your computer. A plugin like DIVA might sound great at 1/10 the price of a virtual analog hardware synth, but you might not be able to run it on your 5 year old computer.

--

My opinion? I've owned a number of workstations and hardware synths. However, I find them hard to integrate into my work. I generally prefer plugins.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would prefer a combination of the two. VST plugins combined with a MIDI keyboard. The MIDI keyboard can be used for improv, idea fleshing, and idea forming. VSTs can allow you to get the sound you want, and you can master everything virtually.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would prefer a combination of the two. VST plugins combined with a MIDI keyboard. The MIDI keyboard can be used for improv, idea fleshing, and idea forming. VSTs can allow you to get the sound you want, and you can master everything virtually.

agreed, but for clarification, workstation =\= midi keyboard. The OP is referring to something like this. as I mentioned before though, you can grab a really high end VST bundle and midi controller for under $750, easily, and much more, especially if you've got the kind of budget that can afford a huge Korg station.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks to all for your posts.

I think I'm going to buy new plugins instead. I see I can get East West's "Ra" for like 300$. They have some kinda spring sale going.

no problem, and yeah, always worth it to jump on those huge sales on big bundles and huge sample collections. :D I splurged on Komplete 8 during their spring upgrade special, and it is one of the best decisions I've ever made. EastWest actually had 50% off ALL their products through Sweewater in March... next time that comes around.. SPLURGE ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
no problem, and yeah, always worth it to jump on those huge sales on big bundles and huge sample collections. :D I splurged on Komplete 8 during their spring upgrade special, and it is one of the best decisions I've ever made. EastWest actually had 50% off ALL their products through Sweewater in March... next time that comes around.. SPLURGE ;)

Will do! I think I'll also pick up Symphobia 2, I've been listening to lots of demos and it's pretty inspiring.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use both workstations and VSTs, and I also use hard synths. For my needs nothing can replace a good keyboard with good built in sounds that I can use at a moments notice without having to boot up a PC and load VSTs. I'll also echo zircons pros and cons, with the exception of integration into my everyday music needs. I find that workstation sounds sit extremely well in any song, as they tend to have a rounder and more "complete" sound than VSTs (though they do lack the realism factor that you get from multisampling and all that jazz that VSTs do). But in the end it's really 80% performance and 20% samples, and when I hear a blatant rompler sound in a song I feel warm and fuzzy cuz it's just a cool sound that's playing a cool passage, but when I hear a blatant VST sound trying desperately to sound real (and 99% of the time VSTs don't sound real) I cringe and can't listen to that song anymore.

The only exception to this rule are string and brass sounds. Orchestral VSTs always sound great to me, not real, but great. It's like hearing a really good Neo Geo guitar patch, you know it's fake but it sounds great regardless.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...