What makes physical knobs so good?
The core attributes of a physical knob are resistance and inertia.
Inertia smoothes the "user input", supressing smaller shaking, allows fine-tuning at low speeds and easy turning at high speeds.
Resistance adjusts the force required to something comfortable to humans, avoiding accidental changes, providing tactile feedback of "something happening". "A little bit stronger" also seems easier than "a little bit less strong" (I'm not sure how to put that better).
Low-resistance, low-inertia knobs are flimsy, which in modern lightweight, small and mobile devices can be countered by at least giving low tolerance in the rotation axis.
Low-resistance, high-inertia knobs allow a wide range of values with high precision. If the knob allows "spinning" over multiple revolutions, you can easily span multiple orders of magnitude without losing precision.
High resistance knows are a kind of safety feature: "Do you really want to turn this up to 11?", they make sure you are aware you are doing somethign important. High inertia makes them even more like confirmation dialogs, but you lose precision.
(for completeness: aspects to avoid are hysteresis and a significant difference between static and dynamic friction).
All these things transfer poorly to a digital user interface - at least I can't imagine a way. Touch interfaces make rotation at least physically bearable, resistance might be simulated by a vibrating surface, and inertia can be simulated in both the visual feedback and the effect.
Still, you are losing the tactile feedback of a high-inertia knob, which in my personal opinion is the most satisfying thing about those vintage devices.