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Old 8th February 2019
Gear Addict
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.