Shit yeah, let’s do this! I know there are a few people here who work with electronic music. Hard to say how many will respond (the keyboard thread got unsticked due to lack of activity) but I for one am always up to talk at great length on the subject haha.
I went the softsynth route just because I could record without a preamp (I didn't have one at the time, though I now use a Focusrite Scarlett 8i6) and I really enjoy how software gives you options that hardware synthesizers don't have in terms of sound design (that is, software can let you program things in ways that the hardware of analog synths wouldn't allow - check out the DCAM Synth Squad by fxpansion for a good example of this.) I still play/record most of my music live via my keyboard; I don't think I could ever be one of those "exclusively enters notes via the DAW's MIDI editor" types.
By the same token, I totally understand how it can be a lot more physically satisfying to play a hardware instrument (staring at a computer screen for hours gets fatiguing) and some of the arguments about how analog synths sound better than softsynths.
There is a misconception here, but it might have just been a lack of clarity. Hardware does not equal analog. In fact, the majority of hardware synthesizers produced these days are digital. Software synthesizers don’t really offer any distinct benefit over hardware, with the exception that the price is generally lower and they don’t take up studio space. For instance, the Strobe synth you mentioned is a virtual analog modeler which is the same exact concept driving say, my Roland SH201. Whether or not one sounds better than the other will be a matter of preference, but they are a similar type of synthesis.
That being said- on the actual issue of analog vs. digital it really all just depends on what you are doing, so it’s nice to have a few different synths at your disposal. For example, for a sharp, cutting bass lead I’d usually turn to my Moog (analog) but for a delicate, textured pad, I’d use my Roland (digital). It’s just about knowing how to use your gear and what its best application is.
Anyway back to OP. Since you’re familiar with production and recording I’m guessing you’ve already got a DAW of choice so I’m not really gonna speak to that except to say that I’m a big fan of FLStudio- it’s great for both electronic production and recording. But then again I might be biased since I’ve been using it since it was called Fruityloops (which was over a decade ago haha).
In general terms, I think one of the most important parts of making electronic music is the ability to work with and understand how sounds are being generated. The line between artist and producer is gone, so what sounds you are using is just as important as how they are arranged and played. Honestly it’s pretty easy to just load up a bunch of presets and fire away, but if you want to make anything interesting or unique that just doesn’t cut it. There are a few basics that apply to both sampling and synthesis which you’ll want to be good at to make decent electronic music. Forgive me if you know any of this or I sound patronizing at all (I hope not haha) but I’m gonna start assuming no knowledge of making electronic music. Filters-
These are absolutely key. Everything from psy trance to downtemp to dubstep is dependent on good usage of filters. There are many types, but at their most basic you set a filter at a certain frequency and it removes every above that frequency (lowpass) or below that frequency (highpass). You also have a control called resonance, which applies a boost at whatever frequency the filter is set to.
Doesn’t sound all that exciting, but where filters become interesting is in movement
of the frequency they are set at. For example, say we took a nice pad and applied a highpass filter and we set the frequency right at the top so nothing is getting through. If we then slowly turned the knob down (letting more and more frequencies to pass through the filter) to the middle and slowly worked our way back up, it would create a sweeping sound, like something you might hear in a trance tune. Or let's say we started with a low, growly bass noise and applied a low pass filter somewhere in the middle. If you then started wildly tweaking the frequency of that filter up and down, you’d get something like that BEEooBEEooOOWWWW bass sound that dubstep is known for.
That’s just a couple of examples, but filters are everywhere in electronic music. The best way to understand it is probably to just start messing around with one and see how it sounds. It is pretty basic and anyone who is good at working with synths and electronic music probably skipped or groaned their way through that, but this concept is absolutely fundamental to producing electronic music and it’s worth spending the time to develop your skills at applying filters.
Anyway, I was gonna talk about envelopes next but this post is getting loooong. If that was helpful at all I can get into it more, but if not I’ll just shut up and maybe post some drum and bass later.