The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Analog vs Digital, shoot out, tests, comparison
Old 15th December 2013
Lives for gear
Analog vs Digital, shoot out, tests, comparison


That's not a thread Analog vs Digital despite the name, so lets go over it... it is just a reflection about why sometimes is hard to rationally grasp the differences between the two or in shoot outs, tests and so on (and I'm not only talking about Analog and Digital, but also just shoot outs and tests, being them analog to analog or digital to digital too)

I wrote this in some other threads, but I'm writing this because I think it is important and I think, for the ones who actually want to understand more about that to "find the truth" instead of what we prefer to believe.. could be something we haven't all thought about

Actually I know many pros who did think about that and agree with me, but that's not the point, I'm talking to the ones who haven't thought about that :P

Again because I think it is important and I think analytical observation of what we hear can be misleading (even more than being victim of placebo effects sometimes), so, doing this, I hope less people will be mislead

We know we operate in closed mode, open mode, left brain, right brain (if so it is easier to grasp). Here is a long video, but I don't know a shorter way to communicate you the concept John Cleese talks about what is creativity and how to stimulate it. ET FOREDRAG OVER NAKKEN - YouTube

We perceive things in a totally different way in closed mode compared to open mode.. I would say, in an opposite way (but complimentary).

Both are important.

But if misinterpreted, well.. they can cause a hell of confusion

Lets just say when we are in open mode we are invested by sound and our perception is total, complete, each of our senses helps the other to understand (not rationally) what's happening and react to it

That's what CLA means when he says "behind those big consoles I feel in power, in contact, behind PT I feel.. telephone operator"

In closed mode we try to rationally understand what is happening (what we are hearing, feeling) so we can intervene on it to understand what needs to be changed to achieve the goal we have in our head

While we are mixing, producing, when we are inspired.. we are in open mode, we just react

While we are evaluating, comparing, testing.. we are mostly in closed mode (during shoot outs I'd say we are totally in closed mode, our intuition, instinct, doesn't work.. it is not called in the game)

I think that's the main reason why we cannot rationally hear the differences in some cases, or just little and rated as "not important"..

When we are in closed mode our ears notice more the things two tracks have in common instead what differs and what differs is not that clear.. so it is hard to prefer one against the other

In some way, when in closed mode, we have no clue because there isn't a song, a goal, a result we want to achieve.. that guide us.
When in closed mode it is like we have "no taste" because there's no context and because we are not evaluating the two things based on music, feelings..

... Now, if you have to find out which channel has problems, you just check out everything until you find them (closed mode is great for that otherwise we would think.. that's brighter I'm liking it.. while there's just some hiss going on and you won't like it on every channels :P).. but if you have to find out which tool gives you the right result from a musical, emotional, point of view.. well closed mode is like going fishing using an helicopter

After having spent a lot of time, many years ago, finding out what was the best gear, tools, for me, using rational, scientific, tests... without getting the results I was looking for... and after much more experiences that lead me to the results I was looking for.. I noticed that there was a constant

The things that gave me the results I was looking for were the ones not evaluated in closed mode with tests and comparisons (I really preferred the opposite tools while working on them instead listening in tests, shoot out... I even sold gear I loved because of some shoot outs, and I mad at me for that)

So, after even more years of experiences.. I've learned how to listen to shoot out in perspective.. which is a very personal thing I'm not able to teach that consists, partially, in switching very fast from one to the other track, comparing two tracks at time, choose, go on, choose, go back, adding another one, choose go on..keeping track of the choices, adding some words to recall in my memory the feeling.. but all that very fast.. and then listening "very slowly" meaning trying to get into the music, fly in it.. well I alternate those things in a way quite hard to explain, depends on "when I'm ready for the next step" but I move very fast from one to the other step... and partially thanks to experience, something that tells you "I know now I'm hearing a small difference, but that will make a big difference in the context while actually mixing, producing" and every time, that was it.. while in closed mode, on paper I had the perfect tools, but they didn't deliver

I think it is not teachable, but it is "learnable"

So, considering the biggest shoot out is when you are finally getting the result in your mind and considering I'm probably even too honest to myself (and self-critic)... what I think I can today say I've found out is "go with your guts"

That isn't has silly as it sounds because yeah, one could say "but if you just go with your guts you can misinterpret everything" or not evaluate properly in an absolute manner

And I agree with that, in fact I haven't said just "go with your guts", I wouldn't be able to go with my guts only.. I need to check stuff, measuring, testing, but just AFTER I heard it while I'm in open mode (working, mixing, producing), after I know it is there, after I know what I'm looking for, after I know what I don't want and what I do - exactly - which isn't as simple as it seems (because I always know what I'm looking for, but one thing is knowing, another is "yeah it is there.. if I do that, that's what I'm looking for, if I do that other thing..well that's not what I'm looking for") well.. only then I reach measurement tools and they usually confirm what I was hearing and if they don't.. before telling myself "it is just a placebo" (which I often do too) I try to find resources, talk with people more expert than me, techs and so on.. and so often happen I was still right in what I was hearing and I was doing the wrong test, that was why it didn't show up in the measurements

Well, purpose of this thread - nothing - just sharing there thoughts thinking they could lead in a positive direction

Your call

p.s. I both use digital and analog
p.p.s. all the things written above are totally personal, subjective, and nothing I wrote is against science, actually the opposite, it is just seeing the "two parts" of it.. the one that leads to the other and the other that correct the first one (where the first one is open mode, instinct, intuition, and the second one is tests, determination, rationally understanding what it is happening)
p.p.p.s. As much as the placebo effect can lead you in a totally wrong direction, I believe, blind trust on measurement, tests, can lead to the same one because - very often - it is not that clear what causes a determinate perception and only when it is clear you can actually measure it (that doesn't apply to everything, but probably applies to all the things are still a bit obscure to us)
p.p.p.p.p.s Being this Subjective and not absolute, it is a very personal thing and it is really possible many people perform better in closed mode than open mode or, more probable, many people can get in open mode even using the computer, which, by its nature, puts rational thoughts between each of your actions (just grabbing the mouse and find the knob to turn has a rational thought in it to figure out where's the knob) and maybe 1000 years from now we will develop the ability to use the computer in open mode (probably there will be much different interfaces though, because the today ones are full of menu and very few direct control)
Old 15th December 2013
Lives for gear

thanks for posting, that clip was great! i agree with the premise of this thread.

i usually take about one hour to get my groove on while messing around in the studio. get some creativity happening.

the most closed minded point of view regarding various pieces of audio equipment and their sonic properties, is the constant bickering about double blind tests and whatnot. i mean who cares? do these guys get someone else to record a vocal take listen to it fifty times before choosing what to use? take a has a sixty percentage approval rate in the committee, let's go with that? same thing choosing processors?

we can't build our dreams on suspicious minds, elvis said it, it must be true.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump