Im a little surprised about the ‘tone’ of this topic…
if you don’t find the SSP useful - why buy it? if you have it already - just sell it?
no eurorack module suits everybody, we all have different requirements…
if it’s not for you just ‘move on’ to something more in line with your needs/expectations.
taking the question in a more positive light…
I do think its a legitimate question we ask ourselves when buying something like the SSP. (or many other modules)
what is the benefit of the SSP over a laptop plus something like ES-8 (and expanders)
(a setup I used a lot before I got the SSP)
well, if you always have the laptop turned on, and your daw/vcvrack running - then hell this is a powerful setup - of course your laptop can do ‘anything’… you don’t even need a eurorack system
(e.g. why buy rainmaker?,magento? X? I can do all this in vcvrack/daw/max)
but I agree its really enjoyable to have a hybrid system… (thats why I had the ES8), e.g. bitwig is really fun.
one issue I had with the ES-8, is it didn’t have enough IO… also when I wanted to run my rack ‘standalone’ , I’d have to repatch everything, since there was no mixer functionality.
to ‘fix’ this Id have need to replace with the ES-9 + expanders… instead i decided to put this money towards an SSP - as still the ES-9 would be very limited for standalone mixing compared to the SSP.
(talking of the SSP modules replacing modules, also my Clouds and Mordax Data were sold to help fund the SSP)
and this mixed standalone/hybrid operation of the SSP is fundamental to why I love the SSP.
it allows me to choose what functionality is ‘today’ in my rack , but this afternoon in my daw!
another thing to not be underestimate on hybrid setups using things like the ES-8, is round trip latency… its workable, BUT if you start sending cv and audio back n’ forth it will become an issue. ( * )
so when we run things on the SSP the latency is considerably lower.
( * ) check out Omni Cohen’s youtube video where he measures RT latency on the ES-9 with Vcvrack !
I agree a little with the notion that the SSP only has 4 encoders… so hands on control can be limited.
of course, you can offset this with other midi controllers (which is what I do) , but the same can be said of running on a laptop. (so i dont see it as an SSP pro or con - its kind of the same)
standalone - so most of the time, I run my rack ‘standalone’ without the laptop.
my SSP runs a ‘template’ patch with PMIX taking inputs from eurorack, and cue to the octatrack, taking midi from the rest of my ‘studio’)
a simple starting point… what I love, is in a few minutes, I might have added reverb modules as aux outputs, or added a few rings to be played from my keyboard - this hands-on re-patching is incredible.
as I mentioned above, my setup is also geared around having hands-on control for the SSP.
so I have a pyramid sequencer that can drive the SSP, and controllers to given hands on controls to SSP parameters - mainly im using the SSP UI for patch creation, and then it stays on PMIX to control mixer levels.
sorry, I realise this is a bit all over the place…
and it doesn’t even touch on how I use the SSP really
(since the the main Q, was compared to a laptop… which as I said, functionally can of course do the same … there are people saying … why buy eurorack… because vcvrack is free )
reality is… the way I use the SSP with or without the laptop/ipad, is nothing like how I used to use my rack with the ES8… its much better.
so for me its a fantastic module, does exactly what I need - and will only get better the more time I spend with it.
but for others, perhaps its not the right fit…
I’ve bought hardware and modules that didn’t really work out for me, or weren’t what I expected - I found its just better to ‘let go’, and find something that works better for me.
music making is personal, use whatever makes you happy and joyful