I’m happy being software-only. If I had to spend a large budget on music gear, it’d start with a bigger 8-core CPU upgrade kit, not with starting a real/hybrid hardware system.
I never got a chance to play a real Eurorack (it’s not like those things are cheap enough to be a common sight when you live in the sticks). Once I have the opportunity, I’m pretty sure I will still think “that’s another set of trade-offs than a software setup” rather than “this is what I was missing all along”.
I recently realized, from seeing someone’s post on the topic, that it’s common for real VCOs to be slightly out of tune even when properly calibrated, simply because there’s no double-clicking the big tuning knob to reset it to a perfect 0.00000. It can be both a source of annoyance and character.
It made me wonder what are some less obvious, intangible aspects of using a real system, and not necessarily positive aspects, that are absent from a purely software process. Stuff you wouldn’t realize if you lack the experience.
A few more I think about:
- “Swiss Army knife” modules make much more sense when you can’t spam single purpose utilities. I rarely find a good use for Rampage in my patches.
- You can perform with two hands, instead of a single cursor. Some MI modules lack features in VCV because two-handed operation is impossible.
- You have to learn your modules in-depth! In VCV you rarely see people truly learning the advanced features of less popular modules. (I’ve yet to see a single video of someone understanding my own system of modules in-depth, TBH)
- There’s no polyphony.
- To perform the same song consistently, you have to patch it again as it was. The more cross-modulated the rack is, the harder it is to dial it right. To perform a whole set, theree’s even more planning.
- There’s zero CPU cost to consider if you have a huge system, there’s no drawback to having a lot of idle modules.
- There’s no 1-sample delay per module to consider to sync things up
- Serious hard science about modules sounding “Warmer” and “More analog” because the LEDs have “Mojo” and the knobs sound “Hot and just plain better to my ears” especially thanks to the “Vintage brushed metal faceplates” and “New old stock resistors”.
- It costs money.
I could list a lot more, but let’s hear your thoughts instead.