Tech Tip:Real Analog vs. Emulated Synth Sounds

Analog synth sounds can instantly fatten your music, giving it more breadth and warmth. Analog synthesizers typically have a warmer sound because their circuitry delivers a wider, more colorful signal. Unfortunately, its old analog synths are getting more and more difficult to find, and they are often less reliable and harder to fix.


Virtual analog synths emulate analog sounds. These "virtual analog" synths deliver sounds digitally. That is, all sounds are translated into precise, digital information. To give the sounds an analog feel, they usually add some random factors into the digital mix. Most hardcore analog ears will tell you these virtual machines sound too precise and too digital. You be the judge.


The big advantage of most virtual analog synths is their added features. They usually offer MIDI functionality, built-in effects and are easy to integrate into a MIDI setup. A virtual analog synth won't give you lush, rich true analog sounds, but it will get close enough for most ears, and will offer added flexibility and reliability.