Analogue Vs Digital recordings

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Alex_SG, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. Alex_SG

    Alex_SG Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys

    I was playing some of my old cassettes which I bought in the 70's and 80's, and I personally quite like the old analogue recordings. I feel it gives more "warmth" than the more current digital recordings.
    Anyone else have an opinion, either for or against??? I'd be interested to know...:dunno:
     
  2. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on the mastering of the CD. Some stuff has had to be re-issued because the initial mastering to CD was lacking in depth, warmth, etc.

    Think of the Beatles stuff - they remastered a lot of it and the later mixes are better.

    Most of the reissues recently have had a much better sound than the earlier CD mixes, and are even richer in detail than the album or tape versions of the past.

    Funny, a lot of mastering engineers like the old 8 track mixes as a partial source as they had a better overall frequency balance.
     
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  3. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    I don't do any recording so I really don't have an opinion on the subject.

    However, read Neil Young's book "Waging Heavy Peace." He laments the current state of recording albums.... and yes.... his preference is old school analog vs current digital. Also, in the book he talks about an "invention" of his called Puretone that is supposed to be the next step in recording and playback of music. It's supposed to be launched sometime this year. We shall see.
     
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  4. happy_tom

    happy_tom Active Member

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    I prefer analog sound, but use digital becouse of price/availability.

    Also, when we record with bands, I have lately seen that a lot of engineers get lost in 'plugins, compressors, 32 bit this, soundcard that' talk, but nobody just plain old listens to the darn tracks anymore.
    If it sounds good, don't freakin' change it just becouse you can (or to show your newest computer gear off)...

    We'll record an album digitally next month with the psychobilly band where I play drums... But this is the last chance: if this time it doesn't turn out ok, I'm done; I'll be doing stuff on tape only.
     
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  5. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    This is my recording philosophy in any medium - the band's job is to sound good. The engineer's job is to record the way the band sounds.
    Then if he (or she) can subtly enhance the performance with editing and "sweetening", great - as long as it helps the basic performance and does not become an end in itself.

    I do not believe in "fix it in the mix" - get the basic track to sound good, then record it cleanly. That means going back to basics - mike selection and placement, recording levels, etc. The same stuff as forever in the recording world.

    All the plug-ins are great, it's better than a roomful of gear, but even back in the analog days engineers and producers lost the band in the production, since the late 70's. Now they have even better tools, but these tools are often misused.

    I might have Pro Tools but I still think like I have a 4 track tape machine. well, maybe 16 track now;).
     
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  6. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    Kind of like fine wine. Good wine starts with good grapes. If you grapes are junk, no amount of science by the winemaker can turn it into good wine.
     
  7. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    You can put a pig in a fancy dress...but it's still a pig in a fancy dress; you can make a fancy arrangement for a bad song ...and it's only fancy arrangement of a bad song!
     
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  8. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

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    I jumped the reservation!
    Knew an officer in our department years ago that had a stuffed pig in a fancy dress he kept on his dashboard of his patrol unit. He said it was his good luck charm, but we all figured it was a miniature of his girlfriend so he wouldn't get lonely on patrol.:hmm:

    I know this has nothing to do with recording, but it just hit me as funny remembering it...

    Wade
     
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  9. stdio

    stdio Member

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    There was an amp and guitar tech in the NJ area that used to use the phrase polished turd for the same sort of analogies, which was funny to remember.
     
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  10. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    I've heard that one too! Same-same.
     
  11. flatrockmobile

    flatrockmobile Well-Known Member

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    Done both...When done right, digital has more punch, more in your face kind of sound.
    Analog tape with wide track width running at 30 ips is more forgiving. It can be hit pretty hard and will get a saturated or compressed sound. I think this is what most hear and call warmth.
    That being said, I'm digital all the way. You just can't beat the convenience of editing, mixing, track count, etc.
    What I've always done is try to apply analog techniques in the digital world. Good mics, good preamps, and good micing practices are paramount, whatever the medium, but digital WILL reveal any flaw in the signal chain
    The OP mentioned cassettes. This was probably the worst medium invented for quality. Narrow track width running at 1 7/8 ips.
     

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