What's the advantage of a hardware synth?

Jonathan Duddington jsd at clara.co.uk
Wed Nov 8 19:41:17 EST 2006

In article <Pine.LNX.4.64.0611081636470.1525 at darkstar.example.net>,
   randy turner <rturner222 at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> do they still build any computers with the older isa slots?
> also has any company built any pci synths that will work in linux?
> what are the choices that are left for linux??

I'm not visually impaired and I've not used a hardware synth myself,
but I'm curious.  What is the advantage of a hardware synth over a
software synth?

I can think of a few possibilities, but I'm curious which are true and
are important for those who use or prefer hardware synths:

1.  It doesn't affect the computer's sound system, which can therefore
play other sounds unaffected by the TTS.  This could probably be
achieved for a software synth by using two sound cards.

2.  System startup messages can be spoken before the point when the
sound system and synth software is initialized and working.  This would
be overcome by the proposed "Spoken Boot" feature.

3.  Problems with installing and setting up a software synth.

4.  Prefer the sound of the hardware synth voice to those currently
available with software synths.

5.  Limitations of computer processor power or memory, although I doubt
this is an issue now.

6.  The hardware synth offers some feature not available in the
software synths.

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