Tags: posts polarity-music Audio-FX Synths Hardware Tutorial

Integrating Hardware Synthesizers Into Polarity Studio: Exploring the Possibilities

Tutorial | Jul 27, 2021

In this video, I discussed my recent journey with hardware synthesizers and how I have been integrating them into my setup. I discussed the process of setting up my mixing desk, an ADA 8200 extension port, and an ID14 MK2 sound card in order to record multiple hardware synthesizers at once. I also discussed the shortcomings of hardware synthesizers and how I have to record every parameter movement in order to keep the same sound. Finally, I mentioned my plans for creating special content for my Patreon gold tier members and potentially creating a tier for German videos.

You can watch the Video on Youtube - support me on Patreon

Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:

What hardware does Polarity Studio use?

Polarity Studio uses a variety of hardware, including an Arturia MicroFreak, a Behringer K2 and Mother 32 from Moog, a Volca Beats and Behringer Crave, and a Corks Monologue. Additionally, Polarity uses a mixing desk, a Behringer ADA 8200 Extension, and an Audient EVO 8 audio interface.

How does Polarity integrate all of his hardware?

Polarity integrates all of his hardware into his audio interface by connecting it to a mixing desk. This allows him to record all of the synths at once without having to mute any of them. Additionally, he uses the hardware instrument device of Bitwig Studio to select the correct media output and audio input for each synth and saves a preset for each one.

What are the shortcomings of hardware synths?

One of the main shortcomings of hardware synths is that it is not possible to attach modulators to all of the parameters, which limits the versatility of the sound.


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00.000] Welcome back to another video. Some of you may have asked yourself where does all the hardware since in the
[00:06.360] Polarity Studio coming from so what's what's going on there?
[00:09.760] Polarity is clearly a software guy. He hates hardware
[00:13.680] What's going on? So the story began basically two weeks ago a patron of mine sent it me over
[00:21.040] Or gifted me two
[00:23.240] synthesizers, which is pretty great and Volcar beats and and cork monologue synthesizer and I played around with this for quite a while
[00:34.680] Exactly two days, and I said fuck it. I need another synth and you know it right here acquiring syndrome in full swing
[00:44.120] Was basically giving me
[00:47.600] Yeah, to push to get a MOOC
[00:50.120] Mother 32, and I always wanted to have a MOOC synthesizer
[00:55.800] Because I like the sound. I like how it looks the raw interface
[01:01.040] Yeah, basically the whole concept it's simple and
[01:04.840] It does all the sounds I need most of times nice base sounds nice plug sounds and so on and
[01:12.520] Yeah, I got one of these
[01:14.520] And I had the problem. How do I integrate this? I have an audio interface with just two line inputs and two line outputs
[01:22.080] It's it's not enough, right?
[01:24.080] so
[01:25.760] Of course, I need to bought something and I bought a mixing desk
[01:30.760] to get everything mixed together and
[01:34.160] Back into my audio interface
[01:38.280] So I played around with this and then I discovered well, it's actually great
[01:43.080] But when I want to record something I have to record one synth at a time because you know the mixing desk mix mixes everything together
[01:52.200] And then you either record everything together or you can or you have to mute one of these synths and to record single
[02:01.440] Yeah, one synth at a time basically
[02:04.400] so this is a bit cumbersome and
[02:06.400] And it got worse because the same patrian gives it me two days later
[02:13.760] Another bunch of synths exactly another bunch of synths
[02:19.000] And his explanation is basically does does that he needs to move to a different place to a different space
[02:26.600] Which is much much smaller and instead of giving these synths some random guy he wants to give it to me
[02:33.480] He's he thinks that I put it to good use and got them his right
[02:39.720] I'm using these synths now for two weeks and it's much much fun and it's a
[02:46.280] learning process and
[02:48.280] Yeah, it makes maybe also good content
[02:51.560] So so I have now all these synths here, which is now an Arturia micro freak
[02:57.520] I have an bearinger K2 and mother 32 from milk then I have a vulgar beads and bearing our crave and cork monologue
[03:08.240] So I plucked all these synths into my
[03:11.920] Mixing desk and had the same problem again, but much much worse because now I have a lot of more synths and when I want to record all of these synths
[03:20.160] I have to solo or record one synth at a time
[03:23.560] So I thought maybe there should be a way and there is a way and I bought another device
[03:33.960] Gas in full swing. I bought the bearing our extension. I don't know. It's a
[03:40.560] ADA
[03:41.560] 8200
[03:43.960] Which is an extension for a sound card, which you can connect with an A-dat on optical cable
[03:49.320] The problem was I just recently or two months ago. I bought this
[03:56.720] Audio interface by Audi and EVO 8
[04:00.040] Which is pretty great. I bought this mainly because of the loop pack or internal loop pack
[04:07.040] functionality where I can record my DAW without latency
[04:11.160] so it's basically virtual recording port and
[04:14.880] This worked pretty great. But I discovered there is no A-dat or optical input and I was used to my old
[04:25.920] ID14 audio interface which has an audio which has an optical input and
[04:33.240] But I gave this away to my girlfriend basically and
[04:36.200] And yeah, the old ID14 had no loop pack functionality. It was also it wasn't possible to record my DAW basically latency free
[04:46.400] So I bought this but this one now has no audio input. So
[04:50.760] Luckily, luckily
[04:54.640] The same patring gifted me also is old sound card, which is an ID14 again, but this time MK2 and this one
[05:02.440] Has an optical input and it also has a
[05:07.800] loop pack functionality. So problem solved. So now I can record with this extension port all these sins at the same time
[05:16.760] without having to mute any of these sins. So
[05:21.320] Fantastic. So now I can play all these sins can mix everything inside Bitwig and
[05:27.640] and
[05:30.240] Yeah, it worked great
[05:32.520] Another another thing is that I can use the hardware instrument
[05:37.600] device of Bitwig Studio, which is just a normal device and on this device you can select an media output and
[05:45.280] an audio input and
[05:48.040] I made this device
[05:50.760] Or made the set up for all my devices. So I select for all sins the output the correct media output and the correct audio input and saved me
[06:00.480] A preset for each sin and now when I want to play a sin inside Bitwig Studio one of my hardware sins
[06:06.440] I just recall this hardware instrument device or this preset and
[06:10.240] The media output is right and the audio input is right. So it works basically just
[06:15.080] Exactly like I want to recall the police into our phase 4. There's no difference there
[06:21.800] So I'm using this now for one week or so and it works pretty great
[06:26.760] And you saw it in my recent videos. I made also some music with it and it works pretty nice
[06:32.840] And I also discovered then the shortcomings of hardware sins because I was so used to attaching modulators to all my
[06:40.920] Stoppersons to make sounds nice and that's not possible in the hardware broad for instance here
[06:48.800] The mother 32 just has a media input and that's it. You can send over notes
[06:54.560] And there's no
[06:56.400] No way of mutilating all parameters. Maybe I can use another output of my audio interface and use this as a voltage
[07:05.160] Control to change the cutoff or you know, what basically allow what's allowed on the patch bay?
[07:13.360] but this is clearly not
[07:16.880] works exactly like
[07:19.360] Add adding modulators to police and it's just you know
[07:24.760] It's not that versatile and also
[07:27.960] Yeah, it's it's just basically a shortcoming so I have to when I record these
[07:36.440] synthesizers I have to play or perform these synthesizers and record basically every movement of every knob
[07:45.560] And then bounce it down to audio so you can't change it afterwards, which is great because I love this workflow
[07:51.920] I love to make a decision make a performance think about what I want to do and then
[07:58.840] Burn it or make it persistent as a wave file inside my project. I really love this and
[08:08.520] Yeah, this is what I did for all my tracks. I can show you this yarn. This is a recent project. I did off filmed on Twitter and
[08:15.760] And yeah, it works great so far and
[08:22.800] When you recall certain projects in two two weeks later or three weeks later
[08:29.160] You can't re-record it easily because you change probably the patch in the meantime
[08:34.840] You change the patching and yeah, it sounds
[08:38.080] Completely different and also you have to re-record of course all your movements you made with the cutoff or maybe the resonance or
[08:44.400] Some of these parameters. So it's always different. So it's not like then you that you can just recall it
[08:51.480] Recall a preset and re-record it. It's not possible
[08:54.600] So that was my hardware journey for the recent weeks
[08:57.760] And I want to give you a small rundown what happened and how it looks like at the moment how I integrated everything
[09:03.880] Because some people were curious and I think it's also nice to document this on this channel
[09:08.600] What what happens from time to time and when I change certain workflows and ideas and I
[09:16.400] Yeah, I always like to
[09:18.760] Change up things here and there and also it's nice to explore this new world and also see what's yeah to shortcomings
[09:28.040] the benefits and
[09:30.200] What kind of problems you have to solve in the meantime. So it's interesting nonetheless
[09:35.280] I think that's it for this video. Basically if you have some questions, of course, then let me know
[09:42.520] Maybe I can help you also with some additional videos. So when you need to know something
[09:47.520] Let me know in the comments. I make an additional video go maybe more in depth in the
[09:53.560] In the details in the creations or what kind of cables I use or how I especially play these sins or I don't know
[10:01.520] So if you have questions in these regards and let me know there's also more content planned of course for the next days and weeks
[10:08.960] Because I need to catch up. I was sick as you know
[10:12.560] For the last two weeks and I feel much much better now
[10:15.600] But I need to catch up. I made some presets presets before I got sick and they are nearly finished
[10:22.520] So I need to finish them make a video about it and boss them on Patreon of course
[10:27.640] There's also now additional content for certain tiers. I
[10:33.320] So for instance today I
[10:35.840] Upload the first video or special video for the gold tier members and
[10:41.240] That's new and I want to plan or plan to do this now every month or multiple times in the month where I upload
[10:49.480] Yeah, special videos in depth videos or maybe V locks. I don't know
[10:54.200] So additional content. I needed to have some special content for my gold tier members
[10:59.320] This was my main intention to give more out to them and
[11:04.960] Yeah, another idea is to make a special tier where you can subscribe maybe for one buck or two bucks or two euros
[11:14.400] To get German videos, German tutorials a lot of people ask me about this and maybe I can do it this way because
[11:23.040] Locked behind the paywall. It's maybe
[11:26.680] More interesting for certain people in a way that they can
[11:32.040] Yeah, have more in length or in depth videos in German
[11:37.520] It's also that this way it's away from my usual content from the search engine or from the
[11:45.120] From the YouTube search engine
[11:47.120] Where people maybe get confused with searching for polarity videos and then they find
[11:53.560] German content and English content mixed together on one channel or maybe I push out a video
[12:00.960] publicly and then
[12:02.720] All of the people get notified and then they click the video and it's obviously in German and then they you know
[12:09.440] Have to back out so it's not not nice
[12:11.960] But when I locked them basically behind the paywall on YouTube behind the special tier only these people
[12:21.880] Being member of this tier get notified about this video
[12:26.400] So maybe it's an interesting way of separating these language
[12:32.920] Specific videos. I don't know. It's just an idea in my head. So maybe I just dried out in the next few days or weeks
[12:40.320] So pre-prepared be prepared
[12:45.760] So yeah, that's it for this video. Thanks for watching and leave me a thumbs up if you liked the video of course and I see you in the next video
[12:52.080] Bye