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Old 28th October 2002
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"vintage" converters

Here's a strange thing I've been wondering about recently.

Do you all think there may end up being a similar desire for earlier converters as there is for vintage pre's, mics and whatnot? Here are some things that spurred this thought for me...

1. I've heard of many people liking the sound of some of the earlier Apogees (I have no first hand experience with this)

2. Personally, I like many of the early digital delays and reverbs (MXR Blue rack delay, Alesis XT reverb, to name a couple) because of the grainy, semi-distorted quality they give to the sound. I believe the early version of the MXR was 5-bit A/D conversion, and people generally desire these earlier ones.

3. Another personal example here- I'm working on a second project for an acoustic, folky type thing. The first CD was done on a (don't laugh) VS1680! This new one is being done in Pro Tools, Lucid/HEDD converters, blah, blah blah, and to be honest sometimes I miss the grainier, hazier in the lower mids quality that the converters on the 1680 seemed to give! Everyone that heard the first CD thought it was done on tape, bar none, and I'm wondering if we'll get the same response this time?

Of course this is totally subjective and on most other types of projects I wouldn't even think of it... but, might we want to think of exploiting some of the "faults" of earlier converters as another color in the pallette? If so, what are some other examples?

I'm curious to hear others thoughts on this.

Cheers,
Ben