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Old 3rd July 2020
Deleted 10089a2
Originally Posted by voodoo4u View Post
I think what a lot of digital cheerleaders on this thread seem to either completely ignore or at least fail to mention is that recorded digital audio by itself may out spec recording to tape in a lab. In practical application, ie a recording studio, we're often having to add processing and plugins which then adds the time element into the mix (bad pun). IMHO it's latency that creates the biggest challenge to getting the best result with digital recordings not digital recording itself. Converters, plug-ins all add latency which creates a time smear that analog (tape or outboard gear) doesn't have to contend with.

The more intensive the processing power required by a plugin, the more it drags the signal back in time. Add five or six plugins per track over 24 or 30 tracks and it really adds up. Summed, it makes a large audible difference.
Most of that is compensated for - so that's not really a disadvantage. I think the true disadvantage of digital is "it's too damn clean" !! Its too perfect. I started off mixing in the early 90s. Back then the enemies of sonic clarity were signal to noise ratio, tape hiss etc etc. As a progressive creative technologist digital seemed like a dream to me, it got rid of all those problems. For years I used to snarl at people like yourself as over romanticising the past and was a big fan of digital sound. But as analog devices have slowly become less common I noticed the sound changing. It was less interesting, everything was too "crystalline" with straight edges. Everything started to sound too "synthetic" and as a I am a fan of techno and drum and bass that might seem like an unusual thing to say - but you have to remember even early techno etc used a lot of analog components sin their midi gear, pure VSTS arent the same - and even the latest stuff often uses found sounds to make it more diverse sonically. It adds a thickness and a texture that is unique to each piece of equipment that makes it more interesting for the ear. Its like the difference between processed cheese and matured cheddar. Now would I recognise any of this in a blind listening test? Good point! I suspect some of it probably not - another thing I have always been scornful of is audiophiles complaining that ABX tests only test short term listening and not long term and that's why they cant identify differences in listening tests. However, now I actually think there is something to that. My impressions of the way sonics have changed over the years IS a long term overview, a gradual, all-permeating change over the years rather than something that can be identified from a short sharp few seconds of listening.So recently I've changed my tune. I like the irregularities, which can be easily seen on a spectogram, introduced by analog equipment. But do I now reject digital altogether? Absolutely not - advances in recording techniques, things like Granular synthesis, and monitoring are still fantastically useful - but so are analog approaches. So I am now in the middle, hybrid analog-digital systems are the way to go - and the dialectic of recording technology is complete.

Last edited by Deleted 10089a2; 3rd July 2020 at 02:49 PM..