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Does analog gear really sound "better", or is it just a learned response?
Old 13th September 2018
  #1861
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by livingloud View Post
I have one, and it is quite an experience to put on a shellack that is double the age I am, and survived WW2, and was taken care of over such a long time.
Sonically, not that much, to be honest. But... putting a new needle into the tonearm, and thinking about in which situations generations before me had listened to exactly this hardware-piece of history ist fascinating.
I understand.

I have a 1927 Brunswick console gramophone I restored, and a collection of 78s my father in law brought back from the Air Force mess in 1949.

You have to use a very thin needle to play electrically recorded 78s on a mechanic gramophone, but there's something fun about the whole process of winding, selecting a needle and setting the thing in motion.
Old 13th September 2018
  #1862
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
There you go again! What musicians? All musicians? Certainly not classical musicians. Not most jazz players that I have worked with. And I have worked with a lot. Not even plenty of folk, ethnic, bluegrass and rock players in the modern era. I have also met a lot of people who don't give a rat's ass one way or the other.
I only record Jazz musicians, occasionally classical musicians. They don't care much as long as the recordings sound true to the instruments and they don't like distortion.
Old 13th September 2018
  #1863
Lives for gear
 
12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
I understand.

I have a 1927 Brunswick console gramophone I restored, and a collection of 78s my father in law brought back from the Air Force mess in 1949.

You have to use a very thin needle to play electrically recorded 78s on a mechanic gramophone, but there's something fun about the whole process of winding, selecting a needle and setting the thing in motion.


...I've never listened to a 78, but, I was influenced and educated by R Crumb's trading cards of Early Jazz and Blues greats to further explore those musics and musicians.
Old 13th September 2018
  #1864
Lives for gear
 
zvukofor's Avatar
Vinyl and tape is awful as a music source, despite some people like all that distortions it does to the sound... so it is up to listener's taste, nothing to discuss here.

As for recording... well, firstly - in analog you can get pretty unique devices, never heard of custom-shop plugins (but there's Reaktor, Pd, Audiomulch, Max...).

IME the only place where analog is still great is at making all those nice musical distortions most of us like. Soft clipping, overdriving mic preamps... there are nice "substitutions" in digital, and they works, but for "something more" we go to analog. And there are some real problems when making nonlinear processing in digital we need to think about when using it.
Yet i think tape modeling plugins are better than real tape just because they refines musical effects we needed from tape to something more controllable.

Guitar amps? Most can live with digital, especially pop and electronic music. Not so much when it comes to blues, for example.

Synths? No thank you, analog no more. We have great working digital synths with much more possibilities and great sound. Again, when you need something really unique - you go modular, and it has both analog and digital modules.
Old 14th September 2018
  #1865
Quote:
Originally Posted by zvukofor View Post
Synths? No thank you, analog no more. We have great working digital synths with much more possibilities and great sound. Again, when you need something really unique - you go modular, and it has both analog and digital modules.
To each there own here, I love my synths. Strictly sonics? OK maybe... No question that a lot songs are using soft synths. But just tactile alone it's worth the small price bump imo.

I'm not hearing fat, juicy bass like what comes out of my Juno 106. Even my digital stuff like Nord lead 2 sounds way more soulful to my ears too...
Old 14th September 2018
  #1866
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bowzin's Avatar
Just came here to say that I haven't read a single post in this thread, but just reading the title every day at the top of the forum imbues me with a sense of existential dread. So thanks for that.
Old 29th December 2018
  #1867
The short answer is:

"It depends on the signal being processed and the behaviors of the processing, as well as the goal for what you want your audio processing to result in."
Old 29th December 2018
  #1868
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by zvukofor View Post
Vinyl and tape is awful as a music source,
theoretically perhaps, but in practice, with a good high quality high speed wide track machine, tape is as realistic as it gets. I'd prefer digital for an orchestra or all acoustic recordings, but for drums, electric and electronic instruments, I'd take tape any day. The difference between recording my '67 hofner bass on a studer vs digital is night and day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zvukofor View Post
Synths? No thank you, analog no more. We have great working digital synths with much more possibilities and great sound. Again, when you need something really unique - you go modular, and it has both analog and digital modules.
If you are looking for unique sounds, yes digital is easier to work with and much more flexible. However, unique does not equal euphonic. The best synth i have ever heard is still the original model D minimoog. I don't need any crazy patches with endless modulations, just a really tight, warm sexy patch to express unique and creative musical vibes, rather than relying on the uniqueness of the patch to cover for robotic soulless performance. But i don't use sequencers, everything by hand, so obviously it's just my taste.

The difference to me is best exemplified by the discrepancy of the original Vangelis blade runner soundtrack vs the new Hans Zimmer 2049 soundtrack. The original is played almost completely by hand(and foot), with Vangelis's beautiful inflections and subtle dynamic swells on the yahama CS-80. The 2049 soundtrack is sequenced, and attempts to use some of the themes and textures of the original, but you can tell there is no "soul" or feeling behind the notes, it's robotic. Still pretty cool, but nothing like the original (which is the best soundtrack/score I have ever head), and way too digitized, even when using the vintage analog synth.
Old 29th December 2018
  #1869
Lives for gear
 
zvukofor's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
theoretically perhaps, but in practice, with a good high quality high speed wide track machine, tape is as realistic as it gets. I'd prefer digital for an orchestra or all acoustic recordings, but for drums, electric and electronic instruments, I'd take tape any day. The difference between recording my '67 hofner bass on a studer vs digital is night and day.



If you are looking for unique sounds, yes digital is easier to work with and much more flexible. However, unique does not equal euphonic. The best synth i have ever heard is still the original model D minimoog. I don't need any crazy patches with endless modulations, just a really tight, warm sexy patch to express unique and creative musical vibes, rather than relying on the uniqueness of the patch to cover for robotic soulless performance. But i don't use sequencers, everything by hand, so obviously it's just my taste.

The difference to me is best exemplified by the discrepancy of the original Vangelis blade runner soundtrack vs the new Hans Zimmer 2049 soundtrack. The original is played almost completely by hand(and foot), with Vangelis's beautiful inflections and subtle dynamic swells on the yahama CS-80. The 2049 soundtrack is sequenced, and attempts to use some of the themes and textures of the original, but you can tell there is no "soul" or feeling behind the notes, it's robotic. Still pretty cool, but nothing like the original (which is the best soundtrack/score I have ever head), and way too digitized, even when using the vintage analog synth.
If using tape not as medium but as an effect - it is true, but even then, we have modern tools which works fine.

Synths: it is a matter of using them, the music itself, not about technologies. I’ve heard digitally produced sounds that sounds even more “organic” and “analogue” than moog D. It’s not a bad source, it is just misused very often.
Old 30th December 2018
  #1870
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
The best synth i have ever heard is still the original model D minimoog. I don't need any crazy patches with endless modulations, just a really tight, warm sexy patch to express unique and creative musical vibes, rather than relying on the uniqueness of the patch to cover for robotic soulless performance. But i don't use sequencers, everything by hand, so obviously it's just my taste.
My Moog sub 37 is the best Moog I've ever owned, you can use it old-school style, just like any simple synth, or explore its modulation matrix, sequencer and arpeggiator just in case your "creative musical vibes" run toward "soulless, robotic performances" ... lol.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1871
Gear Head
 

This thread is hilarious. Analog is not a preference.. I'd love to hear someone say, " Yeah, i was going to to go with the $20,000 worth of analog compressors and EQ's but, instead, i chose the 50$ plugins because they just have that "special sound", "it's not about the fact that i don't have the money to buy quality equipment"... "Actually, i'm lying, i don't use analog processors because i can't afford them", is the real answer.

Iv'e been a recording artist for 12 years, and i can say with great conviction, that the $4,000 u87 mic gave phenomenally better sound pre-mix (raw)than the $200 mic post-mix, the beats i rapped on that were made on hardware were better, etc etc. I NEVER had that professional radio ready sound until i dealved into hardware of any type in one way or another. Software is used in every studio on almost every song these days, by the likes of Lu Diaz, Dave Pensado, etc... BUT, not before it is processed in analog, never ever ever.

Name one song you've heard on the radio recently or ever, that was produced and processed exclusively in digital software without touching analog processors?? Good luck. I'd love an answer but i know i won't get one, because there's not one. He he, haha.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1872
Gear Nut
In my humble opinion it really does sound better yes, it's has a more open sound and also the stereo separation is just nicer when analog summed.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1873
I still use both. I like analog sound better but for functionality, a DAW is way better. Digital editing. Comping. Multiple takes are easier (especially when using 8x analog). Some projects I’ll do digital if there will much “piece meal”...but for capturing performances it’s analog all the way. Not that I don’t punch on analog, but it’s just better sounding. Plus with analog, more choices are forced to be made up front and on the spot and there’s great simplicity in that. Like the old addage, take away most of a drummers drums and he will Be forced to be more creative....there’s a little bit of that in the analog world too....digital can be too many options and that is why it takes 10x longer to make an album (plus the countless hours of trying to make it “perfect” in the digital world)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1874
Gear Maniac
 
Bramley's Avatar
 

Main difference is that " digital" is harder to say after a few drinks.

Seriously, a lot of analog curiosity is from people who weren't there first time 'round and that's fine. Have at it.

The difference I hear when listening to old mixes I did 100% large format/ analog is plate reverb tails
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1875
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by court131 View Post

Iv'e been a recording artist for 12 years, and i can say with great conviction, that the $4,000 u87 mic gave phenomenally better sound pre-mix (raw)than the $200 mic post-mix . . .
Three things:

1. You paid too much for your 87.

2. The last post in this thread was 6 months ago.

Quote:
Name one song you've heard on the radio recently or ever, that was produced and processed exclusively in digital software without touching analog processors?? Good luck. I'd love an answer but i know i won't get one, because there's not one.
3. Kind of obvious. If you use a mic, it has to go through an analog preamp.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1876
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post

2. The last post in this thread was 6 months ago.
Satan is stoking up the fires in that special circle of Hell reserved for people who start (and people who revive) Analog vs Digital threads!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1877
Lives for gear
 

Why they might be torn to bytes, unless they get converted properly!
Chris
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1878
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by court131 View Post
Name one song you've heard on the radio recently or ever, that was produced and processed exclusively in digital software without touching analog processors?? Good luck. I'd love an answer but i know i won't get one, because there's not one. He he, haha.
Many, outside the vocal and mastering, are entirely ITB.

The #1 song for 11 weeks running right now, for example, "Old Town Road."
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1879
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Three things:

1. You paid too much for your 87.

2. The last post in this thread was 6 months ago.



3. Kind of obvious. If you use a mic, it has to go through an analog preamp.

I mean, seriously? The argument is digital vs analog. My point i was making wasn't about microphones, but entire songs that are produced and mixed in digital software have not made it on radio. Songs that are on radio, are all processed through physical preamps one way or another. Prove me wrong, i'm still waiting smart ass. Ok, so the u87 was like $3,200 +tax... Are we really getting so technical and so literal that we evade the bigger picture being made?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1880
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Many, outside the vocal and mastering, are entirely ITB.

The #1 song for 11 weeks running right now, for example, "Old Town Road."

Those drums, i must say, do sound like ****ty new-age trap drums. But, none the less, how do you know that the song as a whole was processed in just software?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1881
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by court131 View Post
Prove me wrong, i'm still waiting smart ass.
Again, welcome to Gearslutz.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1882
Lives for gear
 

Anyone with an open mind understands the fact that "digital processing" now dominates the recording world. The magic of analog tube mics and pristine pre amps end with the a/d conversion into our DAWs and we re enter the analog world after d/a conversion occurs for monitoring.

The 21st century reality is SSL 4000 consoles are relegated to eye-candy status today with the vast majority of processing occurring in the DAW world. Any perceivable sonic difference between the waves SSL collection of plug-ins and the SSL 4000 desk is insignificant when compared to the initial investment required to purchase and maintain the real deal. Jim Williams said it best on another thread, the gist of his statement was : " Today we are in a golden age of recording gear--unfortunately the talent in front of mics has gone in an opposite direction".
Hugh
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1883
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Well hello there new member. Welcome to Gearslutz!

Quote:
Originally Posted by court131 View Post
This thread is hilarious. Analog is not a preference.. I'd love to hear someone say, " Yeah, i was going to to go with the $20,000 worth of analog compressors and EQ's but, instead, i chose the 50$ plugins because they just have that "special sound", "it's not about the fact that i don't have the money to buy quality equipment"... "Actually, i'm lying, i don't use analog processors because i can't afford them", is the real answer.
I switched from the analogue domain to fully digital. I still have quite a bit of the analogue gear but am not interested in using it. How do you explain that?

Quote:
Name one song you've heard on the radio recently or ever, that was produced and processed exclusively in digital software without touching analog processors?? Good luck. I'd love an answer but i know i won't get one, because there's not one. He he, haha.
The top mixer in the world is fully ITB:

https://serbanghenea.com/

How do you explain that?

Alistair
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1884
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
Anyone with an open mind understands the fact that "digital processing" now dominates the recording world. The magic of analog tube mics and pristine pre amps end with the a/d conversion into our DAWs and we re enter the analog world after d/a conversion occurs for monitoring.

The 21st century reality is SSL 4000 consoles are relegated to eye-candy status today with the vast majority of processing occurring in the DAW world. Any perceivable sonic difference between the waves SSL collection of plug-ins and the SSL 4000 desk is insignificant when compared to the initial investment required to purchase and maintain the real deal. Jim Williams said it best on another thread, the gist of his statement was : " Today we are in a golden age of recording gear--unfortunately the talent in front of mics has gone in an opposite direction".
Hugh

I completely agree with basically everything you just said. Also, i said earlier maybe on this post or another, that every producer and engineer uses a DAW. DAW'S are FANTASTIC, they are precise, convenient, and effective, but, any A-list song is still going to be run through a desk or an outboard. Noah 40 said in an interview recently that though most of his mixing is "inside the box" but he still gives his drums, vocals, and synth a quick run through top end outboards to give give it warmth, fullness, and clarity not heard otherwise. And as far as digital is concerned, umm, yes, i think a $150,000 avid s6 set up would be adequate for music making without outboards or analog desks.

So would i use a DAW? would i use plug ins? YOU F*CKIN BET i would. A/D conversion, or a hybrid set up is precisely what i would use for the engineering process, though still expensive, it's cheaper than a desk but just as effective. But my point is, will just using $50 UAD plug ins alone suffice for a mix? For experimental purposes, maybe, but will you be chosen for a high budget film, or a song for lil wayne or Beyonce for example?? Unlikely, but, Look, i really feel like people want to see if they can escape the "money" thing, but, if you want to make real money making career in this industry, unfortunately for many, money is an object, or this case, an obstacle one must overcome. Analog and digital work together these days, for sure, but even if outboards are only 3-4% better than software, it still puts you in the top 40,000 people out of 1,000,000 who claim to be producers and engineers and most people don't look at it like that. Anyone can pay $500 bucks for a UAD bundle but ultimately it's those who go out of there way in terms of equipment and skills combined that will rise to the top, not just one or the other.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1885
Quote:
Originally Posted by court131 View Post
umm, yes, i think a $150,000 avid s6 set up would be adequate for music making without outboards or analog desks.
I am now waiting for Michael Brauer's "Outboard Gear" Reverb Auctions
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1886
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post

The top mixer in the world is fully ITB:

https://serbanghenea.com/

How do you explain that?

Alistair
The guy is very talented, which trumps gear every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1887
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post

The top mixer in the world is fully ITB:

https://serbanghenea.com/

How do you explain that?

Alistair

Simple. Different strokes for different folks.

By the way, there is an SSL dude that goes by a 3 letter acronym that has had just as much success in his mixes as Serban.

Whether you like either of those guys mixes or not is another discussion!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1888
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Well hello there new member. Welcome to Gearslutz!



I switched from the analogue domain to fully digital. I still have quite a bit of the analogue gear but am not interested in using it. How do you explain that?



The top mixer in the world is fully ITB:

https://serbanghenea.com/

How do you explain that?

Alistair
Ok, so what's your digital set up? And.. umm, idk... I don't how to explain why you do the things you do or how to explain why you went to digital from analog, or if you suck as a producer or engineer, or if you've ever even made a living or even a dime doing music. The market says, analog still matters, the market says, digital set ups are adequate for radio ready/A-list music making if you have an expensive set up. Look, my point is: You're not going to make money just using fruity loops and uad plug in's , i'm not saying digital isn't adequate, i'm just saying you'll need to spend serious money in order for it to be adequate. There are rare exceptions. Matter of fact i can name one right now. There was a song i help produce, made exclusively in cheap software years ago that i got paid $10,000 for that was used in a movie called "Behaving Badly" with Mary Louise Parker and Selena Gomez and that's not even a HIGH profile film. Had our music quality been higher end at that time, i believe the opportunities wouldve been much greater. MUCH.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1889
Lives for gear
 
Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by court131 View Post
ultimately it's those who go out of there way in terms of <snip> skills that will rise to the top, not just one or the other.

I fixed that last sentence for you.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
The guy is very talented, which trumps gear every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

This guy got it 100% right. ^^^
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1890
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Well hello there new member. Welcome to Gearslutz!



I switched from the analogue domain to fully digital. I still have quite a bit of the analogue gear but am not interested in using it. How do you explain that?



The top mixer in the world is fully ITB:

https://serbanghenea.com/

How do you explain that?

Alistair
Ok so Serban Ghenea is obviously a bass mixer. 7 rings from Ariana Grande is a pretty sweet sounding beat i must. Oh , and how much money does Serban have invested in his digital set up ? $200,000+? A digital set up will work fine if that's the case, but really my point is: You ain't droppin $500 on UAD plug ins and make records of that caliber. Like, HEY, all you need is a laptop with some 3rd party plug-ins and you're good to go.. No, you're not. But i think that's what people want to believe which is what i'm trying to resist.
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