5. Software Sound Modules
Software sound modules are akin to the workhorse keyboards and rack modules that have long found a home in the studio, providing a wide range of quality bread and butter sounds to go. The hardware kings have been Roland, Yamaha, Korg and Emu, but they each resisted releasing software versions of their hardware technology. For a while it seemed to some spectators that the big four would be casualties of the rise of the software instrument, but Emu have switched horses, and the rest have fought back and refreshed the hardware market, which is to everyones benefit. Korg have now also got with the software program (no pun intended!) by releasing some of their back catalogue in modelled form - the MS-20, Polysix, Wavestation and legendary M1 are now available as software instruments. Meanwhile in the purely software world, Italian company IK Multimedia have filled the gaps with their long running SampleTank and more recent Sonik Synth software sound modules, which between them provide a huge number of preset instruments. Steinberg and Native Instruments have also produced sound module style synths to meet the demand for quick and easy high-quality sounds.