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Why Does Modern Digital Not Sound Better Than 80s Digital? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 6th February 2019
  #841
Quote:
Originally Posted by geob View Post
I'm listening to a mix tape on my yellow Sony Walkman as I type this with the volume cranked as high as my ears can stand. At 46 years old, still cranking the volume to the max that I can stand, just like I did 20 years ago in college with my tapes which also sounded fantastic. It makes my day literally and I've gone running for hours with music recorded to CD, on SD card, and tape but I personally now chose tape hiss and all. And for my car also.
Wow, you are a true music fan. Love it.
Old 6th February 2019
  #842
Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
Wow, you are a true music fan. Love it.
Yeah, I found most of my music by listening to internet streaming radio and wrote down the names of songs and artists. Listen long enough and you'll find a lot of good stuff. I really like - I've decided actually need music with vocals/lyrics, as I find that even the most sonically impressive music quickly becomes boring without lyrics. So it's not about the 'sounding better' which everyone wants. Probably because I design all kinds of sounds so its not impressive, for me its the whole package which includes the lyrics. Without the lyrics it's like a cake without the frosting it's incomplete and therefore ultimately not so interesting. I finally found 1 station of dance music with lyrics, and all the stuff they never played on the radio but most of it should have been a #1 hit at some point over the last... years... and years... Anyways 'sounding better' is what gets me moving!
Old 6th February 2019
  #843
Lives for gear
I had a thought today. Seems to me in the discussions about high end stuff there's always someone chiming in about how no one really cares nowadays about the difference between a decent mic and a really good mic, for example. And if that's true, perhaps digital's getting a bad name because of it. Back in the days of tape, most(or at least a lot) of what we heard was professional engineers using professional equipment recording professional musicians. Now with a "nobody's going to give a f**k" attitude, it shows up in the music.

Sure, there's still some quality stuff being recorded nowadays. But the percentage is less I think.
Old 6th February 2019
  #844
Gear Guru
Figure all the great Motown and mainstream pop music was being played mono out of crappy AM radio car systems....... Quality translates no matter what it's played back on.....
Old 6th February 2019
  #845
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Figure all the great Motown and mainstream pop music was being played mono out of crappy AM radio car systems....... Quality translates no matter what it's played back on.....
That, and Motown knew how to not have to depend on the low end for groove.
Old 6th February 2019
  #846
Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
I had a thought today. Seems to me in the discussions about high end stuff there's always someone chiming in about how no one really cares nowadays about the difference between a decent mic and a really good mic, for example. And if that's true, perhaps digital's getting a bad name because of it. Back in the days of tape, most(or at least a lot) of what we heard was professional engineers using professional equipment recording professional musicians. Now with a "nobody's going to give a f**k" attitude, it shows up in the music.

Sure, there's still some quality stuff being recorded nowadays. But the percentage is less I think.
Oh if someone sings their arse off (and their good) then believe me it's gonna show no matter what low end player you listen through. The same thing with whatever else you got going in the song. What I'm interested in are the dynamics, how it all plays together and I'm relentless. Sure, I'm dying to capture the perfect sound on the computer which (on my cheaper audio interface devices) tended to be shrilly and one dimensional, and I believe on tape there is less margin for error (your ear doesnt hear all the high resolution and more easily notice the imperfection) and my idea of beautiful is warm and fuzzy (with just a slight hint of industrial harshness to jar the ear back to reality har-har!) but to each his (or her) own
Old 7th February 2019
  #847
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by geob View Post
Oh if someone sings their arse off (and their good) then believe me it's gonna show no matter what low end player you listen through.
Yes, good players come through no matter what the equipment. But I believe we are arguing equipment here, how tape sounds compared to digital. That's equipment. And I was arguing that perhaps all the stuff that comes before the recording medium(mic placement, mixing chops, top quality equipment, good sounding room) may make a difference.

A cheap recording chain can certainly add "grain" to the sound and make it more fatiguing to listen to. Transients can be softened by proper selection of mic-pre, eq, comp, etc. It's not purely a frequency response thing IMO. A recording chain or playback chain can have extended high end and still not be fatiguing. Close micing stuff due to trying to minimize the sound of a bad room can make instruments sound more harsh, etc. All stuff that tends to be done more nowadays due to limited budgets and expertise.
Old 7th February 2019
  #848
Gear Guru
I’ve never recorded someone and regretted not having used a cheaper mic....
The only justification for cheap and cheerful is not passing on the moment to set something up......
Old 7th February 2019
  #849
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Figure all the great Motown and mainstream pop music was being played mono out of crappy AM radio car systems....... Quality translates no matter what it's played back on.....
Most popular music at that time was being mixed mono. If stereo mixes were made they sometimes spent much less time and effort on them. AM radio sold records.
Old 7th February 2019
  #850
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tymish View Post
Most popular music at that time was being mixed mono. If stereo mixes were made they sometimes spent much less time and effort on them. AM radio sold records.
Absolutely.

And most of the mono mixes sounded better.

Pete Townsend said the stereo mix of "I Can See For Miles" sounds like The Carpenters lol
Old 7th February 2019
  #851
Gear Guru
Stereo was a gimmick, and not taken seriously, early on. Hey listen to great "dual mono". (Somewhere Phil Spector is getting a chubby)..... Stereo to no purpose is just washy. To me mono is punch, stereo is atmosphere......
Old 7th February 2019
  #852
Lives for gear
One of the biggest problems with stereo is that one only gets good frequency response in a relatively small "sweet spot". Generally, for applications other than headphones or single-person, purposeful living-room listening, I prefer mono, or at least a multi-channel mix where sounds aren't shared between speakers.

There's some benefit to panning things hard right or hard left.
Old 8th February 2019
  #853
Quote:
Originally Posted by u87allen View Post
Yes, good players come through no matter what the equipment. But I believe we are arguing equipment here, how tape sounds compared to digital. That's equipment. And I was arguing that perhaps all the stuff that comes before the recording medium(mic placement, mixing chops, top quality equipment, good sounding room) may make a difference.

A cheap recording chain can certainly add "grain" to the sound and make it more fatiguing to listen to. Transients can be softened by proper selection of mic-pre, eq, comp, etc. It's not purely a frequency response thing IMO. A recording chain or playback chain can have extended high end and still not be fatiguing. Close micing stuff due to trying to minimize the sound of a bad room can make instruments sound more harsh, etc. All stuff that tends to be done more nowadays due to limited budgets and expertise.
For vocals I have only these before the recorder
1) Mic
2) Effects processor
3) Mixer
The weak link arguably is the mic. I bought a cheap mic, a capacitor upgrade kit for maybe $15 (I forgot how much) to make it sound like a the classic Neumann U87 circuit. I loved the clarity and of course now I'll enjoy designing effects in my VS-890 (all I use it for) and my 80s rack mixer only adds goodness (warmth with no noise) to it all. The VS890 has a coaxial digital output that I will feed into my DR16 so hopefully that will be good for things.

But I've learned, make no mistake that it all begins with the source. If you have a crappy synth or crappy voice it's reeally hard to make it sound good!!!! Lesson learned from my CS1x. But over the year I've coaxed pleasantness, amongst the cheap compressed sample sounds if you can find the 1 nugget of gold everything else can be crap and thats ok.

I'm really picky about what I hear recorded to the computer. In fact, my Audient ID22 was so so close to the real live sound but I could still hear a slight digitalness even so. There is a more expensive interface which costs 2x more but I'm not spending even more $ on an interface (and it's my 3rd one). Instead as a workaround I use the DR16 recorder to convert the audio signal to digital so I can send it digitally to the ID22. My ears are ok with that. Just sayin. What you hear is everything.
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