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Recording to tape vs digital - direct audio comparison Saturation Plugins
Old 6th January 2017
  #1
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Recording to tape vs digital - direct audio comparison

Hey good people,

stumbled upon an interesting direct comparison between recording to tape vs recording digital. We all know that it can be topic of countless heated debates, which I hope we can avoid here. Instead, I found it very interesting to have a real direct comparison sound example. A very instructive listen for me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2quieLxCE0
(uncompressed audio files download link provided in the description)

I am young enough to have missed the days of tape recording, and I have never before heard a direct comparison between the two. Now, lets not take the fruitless route of discussing which is better. None is absolutely better, but both are different. At least a bit. The audio comparison above gave me a good idea about how the sound differs.



Don't read below if you haven't listened to the audio files for yourself first.
***********************************************************
Here are my impressions:

There are definitely audible differences between the two. They are not night and day - a casual listener probably wouldn't notice a difference at all. But if you do listen, you do hear them.

I now get what people mean when they say tape sounds 'warm'. There is less high end content in the tape recording. Interesting, given the frequent use of smiley eq curves, which are in fact the opposite of what tape seems to do.

The most interesting and surprising difference I found is in stereo width. The digital recording sounds precise and focused. The tape recording sounds warmer and wider. Very interesting. I've never heard that tape can have more stereo width than analog.
That seems to be a very useable difference to me. If you want a well blended sound, recording to tape may be a good choice. If you want precise localization of the instruments, digital might be the medium of choice.

Both sound very good and useable. I see why Spitfire, for example, chose to record to tape. At the same time I dig the focused and clear sound of digital recording. Different flavors, both tasty.

Recording digitally and then bouncing to tape does induce the warmth of the tape, but doesn't give the same stereo spread as the tape recording. At 7.5ips wow and flutter are more clearly audible. Probably more useable as an effect than as a clean recording. The Kramer tape emu doesn't do much in my opinion. I'll certainly test what my Nebula r2r does to the digital recording. I would also love to hear how the UAD Studer compares.

For this guitar recording, my favored sound would probably be somewhere between the tape and the digital. The wider stereo image of the tape sounds very nice to my ears, and maybe a tiny bit less high frequency content than digital would be nice (but not quite as much less as on the tape). That's personal preference of course, but the comparison is very instructive in this regard, as I can try to shape my 'ideal' version with the mixing tools I have. That should prove valuable for my future mixes.

What's your impression of the sound examples?
Old 6th January 2017
  #2
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The tape hiss was a pretty big give away. He said you'd have to listen carefully but it was glaring. I guess I do hear the roundness of the low end he mentions but also it seems like the tape recording is "louder" which, i assume, is easily measurable, i mean decibels yes i guess that is a quantifiable measure but it seems like there is a lot i don't understand about loudness so i assume this could just be some subjective interpretation.

edit: i really liked this video and the author's presentation.
Old 6th January 2017
  #3
Gear Addict
This is a good test for laymen, but a more faithful test would be a tape signal that only ever entered the digital domain as the very last step. There are some out there, though I've not seen any on youtube.
Old 6th January 2017
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inestima View Post
This is a good test for laymen, but a more faithful test would be a tape signal that only ever entered the digital domain as the very last step. There are some out there, though I've not seen any on youtube.
laymen here. that's how his test worked as i understand it. someone on the comments even stated that:

Quote:
The signal path from the Focusrite interface to the tape deck (during the initial recording) is all analog. There is NO digital conversion when direct monitoring. I contacted Focusrite tech support and they confirmed this.
what am i misunderstanding?
Old 6th January 2017
  #5
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It's not a test in my opinion. As written it's pretty easy to tell the two apart. The interesting part for me is to hear how exactly the sound between the two differs. I haven't heard any direct comparisons before this video, so it was certainly educative for me. The other cool thing the digital and the tape audiofiles make for pretty interesting material to experiment with my mix plugins. I'll certainly try to achieve the ideal sound I envisage, which would be kind of a mix between the two. Plus it lets me experiment with the Nebula r2r library - with a real tape recording audio file to compare against. Neat.
Old 6th January 2017
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pskept View Post
laymen here. that's how his test worked as i understand it. someone on the comments even stated that:



what am i misunderstanding?
My mistake, I never read comments on youtube :/
Old 6th January 2017
  #7
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mbvoxx's Avatar
from personal experience of recording to tape for 25 years it was a noticeable difference when I switched to digital in the late 90's. Along with the loss of hiss & noise there was a bit of missing low end response. But the loss of tape noise made it worth the switch.
Digital recording has improved about a thousand percent since the Gen 1 DAWs hit the market....but even though I
haven't used tape in 20 years, I doubt tape recording has improved much at all.

Ironically, I sold my tape machines years ago but still have boxes upon boxes of tape reels. I keep telling my wife
those are my 'retirement plan' - along with the 1500 or so vinyl LPs I still have boxed! Lol.
Old 6th January 2017
  #8
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Dolby was used to suppress tape hiss and when done right it came pretty close to digital.

The biggest differences between the two formats is headroom, harmonics and saturation.

Digital has a huge dynamic range and a glass ceiling. push the signal above 0db and the nastiest distortion ever occurs. Of course there's no reason to push it that high. The other key element is the frequency response doesn't change with amplitude, at leat not enough to worry about. if you record at -24dB it will have the same frequency response and details as recording at -10 or -3dB.

Analog that's all different because of the tape and how it stores a magnetic waveform. In tape the signal has to be string enough to align the dipoles, the iron oxide on the tape. If the signals too low, the head magnetism isn't string enough to accurately align all the iron particles. On playback the unaligned particles produce hiss.

On the other extreme, if you over magnetize the particles, the peaks flatten leaving the smaller harmonic waves that rid on the larger waves to remain intact.
The lower frequencies being the strongest tend to dominate what's being written on the tape as well. I'll also add the waves that get flattened have soft edges, They don't have hard sharp cuts like you get in digital.

What this all adds up to is tape has a limited dynamic range and loud sounds are compressed smoothly. I recorded with tape for about 30 years and the biggest thing I had to get used to working in digital for the past 10 years is not having the ability to push my signal gains into that soft saturation and smooth out harsh sounding signals. Tape was like having built in compression and saturation that let you know how hot a signal is by the way the sound changes as you cranked the recording gains.

You don't have that is digital. The sound is pure from the mic and there's nothing there to limit the transients. There are techniques of doing that when mixing. It took me a long time to learn how to do it but I can honestly say I do not miss recording to tape. Tape is very expensive now because only one company still makes it. Noone is making new recorders or spare parts so tape in in a death spiral to being obsolete. People are cannibalizing old gear to keep their recorders running and because so much of it is mechanical, those components wear out. maintaining the equipment is an ongoing battle and then you have the actual use. Tracking is unforgiving to mistakes in levels, rewind times and editing is not friendly building Frankenstein recordings from bits and pieces, and they aren't much better then digital any more. Costs are through the ceiling for anything still in good shape or dirt cheap because they are worn out and cant be repaired.
Old 6th January 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inestima View Post
My mistake, I never read comments on youtube :/
you're better off not really. typical internet cesspool down there lol
Old 6th January 2017
  #10
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I suppose it depends on how you define "pure". Speaking JUST on "audio quality", and removing rewind speed, editing, etc, etc,. . My opinion is there is NO argument, but I'm an old school guy who left recording in the mid 90's and am just now getting back into it. All the "new" stuff IS amazing!!! BUT,.. and this is a big BUT, from a purest standpoint there is no argument. The following picture ends that argument for me,.. http://www.positive-feedback.com/Iss...es/Image_1.jpg

Last edited by Flyndad; 6th January 2017 at 07:32 PM.. Reason: wrong pic
Old 6th January 2017
  #11
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edva's Avatar
IMHO, having started on tape and then eventually being dragged kicking and screaming into digital, it was far easier to hear a difference making comparisons when going from digital to tape, than from tape to digital.
Now of course like 99.9% of us, I work exclusively on digital, albeit with a very nice rack of analogue for capture, and I've gotten very comfortable with it, and with all the operational and economic advantages of digital.
But, as with many things, there is always something lost when something else is gained. I do miss the old days, and the old ways, as impossible as it is to recapture the first, and as impractical as it is to try to recreate the second.
Tape was "musical" in nature, and the process was fun in its own way.
Digital can be used to record music, but does not assist the music. IMHO. Very powerful tool though, I can't deny that. Just my 2c. YMMV. Good luck.
Old 6th January 2017
  #12
Yes good comments here, I started in the mid 90s so never get too used to tape and embraced digital from the start. For me, tape isn't better, its just more forgiving, like film is, it rounds off the edges, its more finished from the get go, therefore its more musical. I now track everything through McDSP Analog Channel set very subtly, just to give that tiny compression to transients that is missed with Digital. I predict that if ProSonus add a nonlinear wow/flutter tape fx on each channel like their Mix FX plugin, then we will be in very close territory to the real deal. Tape across many tracks gives a defused glued effect that has more character and vibe. This is why is why we prefer the sound of old albums.

Last edited by aaronsmith; 9th January 2017 at 06:09 PM..
Old 6th January 2017
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndad View Post
I suppose it depends on how you define "pure". Speaking JUST on "audio quality", and removing rewind speed, editing, etc, etc,. . My opinion is there is NO argument, but I'm an old school guy who left recording in the mid 90's and am just now getting back into it. All the "new" stuff IS amazing!!! BUT,.. and this is a big BUT, from a purest standpoint there is no argument. The following picture ends that argument for me,.. http://www.positive-feedback.com/Iss...es/Image_1.jpg
you gotta realize that the picture is wrong, right? That's NOT the output waveform you'd see, even with a low bit depth.
Old 6th January 2017
  #14
I started in the mid 80s. I worked with the best analog of the day - MCI 2" 16 tracks, Studer A80s and A800s, Otari MTRs, and SSL and Neve consoles. The Sony PCM-F1 came along, followed by the PCM-1610, and 1630, all converters that took analog audio and wrote it to a video signal to be recorded on VHS or UMatic. We got one of the early PCM-3324s at school for an extended demo period, and by the time I graduated a year later the 3348 was out.

I firmly believe this:
With digital, especially now with 24 bits and sampling rates at 48 KHz or higher, what you put in is what you get back. Exactly. Every time.
With analog tape, what you get back is different than what you put in. Sometimes (especially early on), it's BETTER. The changes that happen to the signal when it magnetically changes the orientation of little bits of rust embedded in plastic can be quite pleasing to the ear. But then it changes, subtly. Every time. If you bring it back and play it again in a month, or a year, it'll sound different, even on the same machine. If you move it to a new machine, or even have maintenance done on the old machine, it will sound different.

So I have no quarrels with folks who want to use tape as an FX, any more than I'd object to them using a compressor or EQ or anything else that will alter the signal. But don't try and tell me that it's of higher fidelity.

Good digital sounds like the source sounds. Tape can sometimes sound like you WISHED the source sounded.
Old 6th January 2017
  #15
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^^^^ Good points. If you have a deck reamping tracks through a deck is an easy way to add the analog tape sound. It doesn't even have to be a multitrack. I've done it using my stereo Teac I used to use for mixing down multitracks.

For me the biggest difference is cost and storage. Tape is very expensive and Ampex is the only company making reeled tape now. Anything else is used or NOS and you don't want to be using old stock because it tends to shed.

The other thing is tape storage. I have two rooms packed with tape, thousands of recordings and organizing it is a nightmare.
On a computer you simply do a search function to find music in your archives and its right there. Worst you might have to do is connect some older drives with the projects stored. you open the project, every plugin an setting are there the same way as you left it.

For me to dig out old tape recordings is a friggin nightmare. You have to get the recorders up and running which usually means doing a tune up and make sure they are running up to speed. Then you have to scroll through the tape to get to the right counter marking (if you properly documented it in the first place) Half the time I wind up having to go through several reels to find the exact take I wanted. Overall many hours wasted to find what you want and then you have to remix it from scratch.

I have maybe 2000 reels of tape I still need to digitize. It spans about 20 years work of work. I figured it will be my project when I retire and have the time to spend on it full time. Till then I keep my tape gear in functional condition and I should be able to use it long enough to convert everything. Till then I have no desire to go back to using it. Anything I lost switching to digital I've found ways of getting what I need and given the experience I've gained since then it makes recording digital a no brainer.

I can surely say I do have nostalgia for the old analog gear but because I also repaired studio gear full time for a living as a filed tech, I have no blinders on when it comes to using it. There were just as many bad memories as good. So quickly we forget when we're in the middle of a great recording and something goes wrong or we need to rewind and punch in.

I will say this, analog gear is not for amateur musicians. You have to be a good performer capable of playing his part flawlessly from beginning to end to be productive recording to tape. You can punch in but hard edits or bounding tracks is a pita.

That's one thing I did benefit from recording to tape for so long. I still play my parts beginning to end and a good 99% of my recordings have no edits.
Its makes for a better recording too because the emotions of the recoding are all live and continuous. When you create a chopped up Frankenstein recording built from bits and pieces it looses the most important elements music is all about. One, you cant fool yourself into thinking it was played it live, second it doesn't feel the same. I'll take a little human error over a homogenized spliced up recording any day because I know I can play that same part live.
Old 6th January 2017
  #16
I just finished a book called "Never say no to a rock star" by Glen Berger. In it he tells the tale of making Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years" album, and splicing together bits of 2-track from various mixes. Only problem was, at some point in the mixing section the recorder used hadn't had the azimuth aligned properly, so the tracks sounded ok in stereo but had horrible phase issues in mono. And because the master was made up of different takes, with differing errors, it wasn't a simple matter of "change the azimuth once" to fix it. Phil Ramone apparently spent hours learning the necessary corrections, and they made a safety from the assembled master, with Phil adjusting azimuth in real time, to create the reel sent out for mastering.

And THAT is one really good reason to be glad those days are gone. I don't miss the joy of aligning tape machines at all.

I almost bid on one of Frank Zappa's PCM-33xx recorders, just because it would be a cool conversation piece, and would be neat to get it working. But the reality is I have better audio fidelity with my X32 and a laptop running Reaper than that $60,000 recorder delivered at it's best.

I will say that the Burl ADC/DACs are the "nicest" sounding things I've heard. If I were designing a top-end studio for me, I'd go all digital with Burl conversion and some limited vintage outboard gear and preamps. Others might go with something like the new API console.

I just don't want to have stuff I need to tweak to get it to be "in spec", and an analog console has lots of things to tweak on it.
Old 6th January 2017
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndad View Post
The following picture ends that argument for me,.. http://www.positive-feedback.com/Iss...es/Image_1.jpg
Except for the fact, that in digital there are no staircases. Its a myth, used by the unknowings. Sorry, but , that staircase BS has been cleared a million times and yet you come again with this. Do some reading...
Old 6th January 2017
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndad View Post
The following picture ends that argument for me,.. http://www.positive-feedback.com/Iss...es/Image_1.jpg

Quote:
Last edited by Flyndad; 3 hours ago at 01:32 PM.. Reason: wrong pic
still the "wrong" picture - it's BS

if you are going to "get back into it" in the modern world, you might want to learn the facts about the technology you are getting into, instead of some lame mythology left over from the dark ages.
Old 6th January 2017
  #19
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
I will say this, analog gear is not for amateur musicians. You have to be a good performer capable of playing his part flawlessly from beginning to end to be productive recording to tape. You can punch in but hard edits or bounding tracks is a pita.

That's one thing I did benefit from recording to tape for so long. I still play my parts beginning to end and a good 99% of my recordings have no edits.
Its makes for a better recording too because the emotions of the recoding are all live and continuous. When you create a chopped up Frankenstein recording built from bits and pieces it looses the most important elements music is all about. One, you cant fool yourself into thinking it was played it live, second it doesn't feel the same. I'll take a little human error over a homogenized spliced up recording any day because I know I can play that same part live.
Yeah, I miss this, especially since I am engineering now a lot more often than playing. No offense to amateurs, every pro started out as an amateur, but geez, what some of these younger cats, and a few older ones too, expect is for the engineer to "create something from nothing" these days. Although I'm sure there are probably _more great musicians alive today, if you just counted heads. But, the percentage of great ones vis a vis the ones who expect miracles is much lower. Just IMHO. YMMV.
Old 6th January 2017
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
Yeah, I miss this, especially since I am engineering now a lot more often than playing. No offense to amateurs, every pro started out as an amateur, but geez, what some of these younger cats, and a few older ones too, expect is for the engineer to "create something from nothing" these days. Although I'm sure there are probably _more great musicians alive today, if you just counted heads. But, the percentage of great ones vis a vis the ones who expect miracles is much lower. Just IMHO. YMMV.
This is why I only do live work. I record performances, I don't create them.
Old 7th January 2017
  #21
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Owen L T's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndad View Post
I suppose it depends on how you define "pure". Speaking JUST on "audio quality", and removing rewind speed, editing, etc, etc,. . My opinion is there is NO argument, but I'm an old school guy who left recording in the mid 90's and am just now getting back into it. All the "new" stuff IS amazing!!! BUT,.. and this is a big BUT, from a purest standpoint there is no argument. The following picture ends that argument for me,.. http://www.positive-feedback.com/Iss...es/Image_1.jpg
As others have pointed out, this image totally misrepresents digital audio - not just as it is to day, which is leaps ahead of where it started, but even in its 16 bit days.

It's also pretty ironic that you should post digital images, which most people view on a screen that displays approximately 104 dpi, when denigrating a medium that samples 48 thousand times a second!
Old 8th January 2017
  #22
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So, I played around with the files today with some interesting results. R2R is definitely very subtle, even in combination with Tapebooster+ and VTM free. Here is what that chain does to the Digital bounce:

https://app.box.com/s/9b4dedgohocv6bkamm8ihtebfdndf14b

It does a little something with the transients, and adds a faint bit of warmth. But it's still much closer to the original Digital bounce than to the real Tape bounce. No discernible change to the stereo width at all to my ears.
Then, instead of simply loading up a tape emulation plugin, I used my ears and tried to come as close to the Tape bounce I could. Here is what I got:

https://app.box.com/s/9tdtdamcilm3wvycekv9474iu1s2pv70

It's not exactly the same, but pretty close I would say. Close enough to cure me from the itch to buy a tape machine, with all the hassles that would bring

With the experience of getting as close as I could to the real tape recording under my belt, I used my mix tools to shape my personal ideal tone I had in mind. It should have the width of the tape, and the clarity and precision of digital. The tone should be somewhere between the two, warmer than digital, but not as 'woolly' as the tape:

https://app.box.com/s/idl9571sc30w14ckhlfs5b4vmlckr794

I'm pretty happy with that outcome, and with the experience of getting there. It certainly gave me a few presets for future reference.
Old 8th January 2017
  #23
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edva's Avatar
FWIW, I use the Slate tape emulation, it's not the real thing, but I like it on most mixes. YMMV.
Old 9th January 2017
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
...
With digital, especially now with 24 bits and sampling rates at 48 KHz or higher, what you put in is what you get back. Exactly. Every time....

they've been saying some version of that since the very first 8 bit digital recorders.

and it's still BS

what digital recording gets you is CONVENIENCE
Old 9th January 2017
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman View Post
they've been saying some version of that since the very first 8 bit digital recorders.

and it's still BS

what digital recording gets you is CONVENIENCE
The good thing about the direct audio comparison is that we don't have to cling to a general personal bias, wouldn't you say? Instead we have a concrete example about the differences of the two which we can talk about. You strictly prefer analog, which is absolutely fine. You also seem to think that digital is completely inferior to analog, which I find a somewhat strange believe, but still to each their own. However, I have a hard time believing that so many recording engineers who had the means to record to tape record to digital simply out of convenience, if they thought tape sounded objectively better.

Given the two audio examples above, would you say that the tape recording sounded objectively better, and the digital objectively inferior? They are certainly different, but I find specific advantages in both of them. Additionally, I found that I can model the analog recording pretty closely from the digital one. The other way around wouldn't be possible, I think. Anyway, having both methods at your disposal, and knowing how the results will actually differ, would be the ideal solution in my opinion. Failing that - tape is expensive and difficult to maintain - knowing how you can shape a digital recording towards the positive attributes of tape sound with your mix tools is a pretty good substitute to my ears.
Old 9th January 2017
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndad View Post
I suppose it depends on how you define "pure". Speaking JUST on "audio quality", and removing rewind speed, editing, etc, etc,. . My opinion is there is NO argument, but I'm an old school guy who left recording in the mid 90's and am just now getting back into it. All the "new" stuff IS amazing!!! BUT,.. and this is a big BUT, from a purest standpoint there is no argument. The following picture ends that argument for me,.. http://www.positive-feedback.com/Iss...es/Image_1.jpg
I never saw a signal like the one in the picture. It is an artist rendition of a DAC without a reconstruction filter. I have spent hours on end with a scope and distortion analyzer trying to prove that the filters do not do their job but now I am convinced they do work and they leave an unmeasurable amount of distortion in the process.

http://www.nutaq.com/sites/default/f...0ADC-DAC_0.png
Attached Thumbnails
Recording to tape vs digital - direct audio comparison-process-20of-20digitizing-20and-20converting-20a-20signal-20with-20an-20infinite-20precision-20a.png  
Old 9th January 2017
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodkeys View Post
The good thing about the direct audio comparison is that we don't have to cling to a general personal bias, wouldn't you say? Instead we have a concrete example about the differences of the two which we can talk about.
Bias absolutely plays a part. Even if it wasn't obvious for different reasons, and even people didn't reason their way to the conclusion, people could have read the thread or seen it in the video and understood which was digital and which was analog. Once you have that knowledge that is when your bias plays a part. It's just super-hard for the brain to ignore it.

So, anyone who listens to those example will bring their bias with them when evaluating the examples. No way around it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodkeys View Post
I have a hard time believing that so many recording engineers who had the means to record to tape record to digital simply out of convenience, if they thought tape sounded objectively better.
Time and money. (Time is money). Convenience = spend less time.

I think the shift to digital occurred roughly at the same time as people ceasing to pay for music and started taking it illegally instead. Less money in the industry = less revenue for studios = cut costs = bye-bye tape. After all, is it really worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodkeys View Post
I found that I can model the analog recording pretty closely from the digital one. The other way around wouldn't be possible, I think.
I think there's something to be said for that, and that's one of the bigger benefits of digital recording. You get all of the positives from it and these days you can still emulate tape sufficiently well to get that general flavor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodkeys View Post
We all know that it can be topic of countless heated debates, which I hope we can avoid here.
Best of luck to us all ;-)
Old 9th January 2017
  #28
I still cut to tape whenever I can.

I just did a session last week to my Tascam 688 (not the highest end machine, not the cheapest, either. IMO, best cassette machine ever)

I did a safety capture to digital if anyone wants to compare. There's a difference and yes, you can get reasonably close by using tape emulation (PSP vintage warmer is my emulator of choice. I don't like added wow/flutter.)

But, think of this for a minute:

I recorded the session in 4 hours, got an LP's worth of material. It's already half-mixed by the time I touch the 8-track because everything's glued together and mildly compressed since we record to tape kinda hot.

I completed mixing the LP's worth of material in one evening. I did mix live through my M2516 (the mixer sounds considerably better than the built-in mixer on the 688).

I'm not sure digital is actually more convenient. It's definitely more flexible, but once you start adding a bunch of plugins, which degrade the audio to get that sound, you're going to spend more time in the digital realm than you would have in the analog realm to make it happen.

Also, here's a lesson learned the hard way: Wow is a thing. If you're bouncing to tape from digital and going back into digital from the result, be prepared to have some time alignment issues. Tapes don't playback perfectly sped. They speed up and slow down slightly during playback, which is what causes wow. I find I wind up with as much as a 1% difference in sync over about 7 minutes.

Because I'm syncing to video, I can time-stretch my way into a passable result. I make sure it's in sync at the start and the end. it might drift slightly throughout the middle, though. This drives me bonkers, but nothing quite sounds like the real deal.

So, digital = convenience is a thing, but I don't find it any more reliable, and I don't find it to be faster at all in terms of post-production workflow. What you can do is somewhat limited since you're not going to splice little 1/8" tape strips together and throw them back in a cassette housing unless you're a maniac, but if you're doing complete takes of stuff, it's pretty stellar.

Also, Type II is WAY better than Type I. Don't cheap out.
Old 9th January 2017
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodkeys View Post
The good thing about the direct audio comparison is that we don't have to cling to a general personal bias, wouldn't you say? Instead we have a concrete example about the differences of the two which we can talk about. You strictly prefer analog, which is absolutely fine. You also seem to think that digital is completely inferior to analog, which I find a somewhat strange believe, but still to each their own. However, I have a hard time believing that so many recording engineers who had the means to record to tape record to digital simply out of convenience, if they thought tape sounded objectively better.

Given the two audio examples above, would you say that the tape recording sounded objectively better, and the digital objectively inferior? They are certainly different, but I find specific advantages in both of them. Additionally, I found that I can model the analog recording pretty closely from the digital one. The other way around wouldn't be possible, I think. Anyway, having both methods at your disposal, and knowing how the results will actually differ, would be the ideal solution in my opinion. Failing that - tape is expensive and difficult to maintain - knowing how you can shape a digital recording towards the positive attributes of tape sound with your mix tools is a pretty good substitute to my ears.

I'm not saying I "strictly prefer" analogue recording.

I'm saying the REASONS I don;t always record in analogue have to do with convenience and features and editing and manipulation capabilities, and yes, budgets, and not because of audio quality.


we agree in as much as good digital recording is "a pretty good substitute"; which isn't the same thing as a "superior choice" or even "identical" or indistinguishable in sound.

we all work in digital these days, although I work in both... so arguing about it becomes pointless.
which is why I can't figure out what it remains important to some people to defend the "it's just as good!!!" position.
the defensiveness of that requirement says a lot, i think.
Old 9th January 2017
  #30
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
...

So, anyone who listens to those example will bring their bias with them when evaluating the examples. No way around it.


people "listening" from this thread can ONLY listen to digital; in the form of posted files
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