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Help with Digital vs. Analogue Debate
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Help with Digital vs. Analogue Debate

I am performing some research into the analogue vs. digital argument, and I am hoping that some of you may be able to answer my questions about it. Thanks in advance for your time, and the questions are below.

What are the technical benefits of using analogue instruments?

Do you think that the “analogue sound” can be re-created via digital means? If so, are there any plugins that you find are a suitable substitute for analogue instruments?

Do you think that saturation plugins accurately capture the effects of analogue saturation? (e.g. waves j37 tape, waves Kramer master tape)

Do you find that analogue synthesizers have more or less top end than your digital equivalents?

When recording a plugin that attempts to emulate the “analogue sound”, are there any specific settings that aid in achieving a perfect recreation? (for example, tape saturation plugins.)

Do you think that the analogue sound should be recreated still?

Do you think that the “analogue sound” is compensatory for the pricey nature of the equipment? Should people seek to buy this equipment in place of recreating the sound via digital means?

Again, thank you for your time answering these questions.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
The answer to all your questions are opinions and can be found throughout this forum if you take the time to look. There are NO right answers to any of your questions.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by 64gtoboy View Post
The answer to all your questions are opinions and can be found throughout this forum if you take the time to look. There are NO right answers to any of your questions.
+1000000000000000000000

Its all been discussed a zillion times and argued over for years in this forum.

To all your questions that you listed, there is a 50%chance someone will say yes and a 50% chance someone will say no.
Its all about personnel preferences to everything you asked.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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pan60's Avatar
 

LOL
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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Quote:
I am performing some research...
I would love to stick around and answer your questions, but I have to go start a Mac vs PC thread over in the computer section. I am trying to do some "research" as to which system people think is better.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
What are the technical benefits of using analogue instruments?
natural timbre and harmonics

Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
Do you think that the “analogue sound” can be re-created via digital means?
well digital is very effective at capturing analog signals, DSP is not very good at modeling analogue sounds


Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
If so, are there any plugins that you find are a suitable substitute for analogue instruments?
There really are none unless they are VI and use samples. Samples however are still quite limited with velocities and natural articulations. Analog modeling plugins are generally harsh sounding.


Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
Do you think that saturation plugins accurately capture the effects of analogue saturation? (e.g. waves , waves Kramer master tape)
IMO these sound terrible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
Do you find that analogue synthesizers have more or less top end than your digital equivalents?
They have less top end, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
When recording a plugin that attempts to emulate the “analogue sound”, are there any specific settings that aid in achieving a perfect recreation? (for example, tape saturation plugins.)
These plugins are all different, its not once size fits all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
Do you think that the analogue sound should be recreated still?
IMO, No

Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
Do you think that the “analogue sound” is compensatory for the pricey nature of the equipment? Should people seek to buy this equipment in place of recreating the sound via digital means?
It depends, but in general the analogue sound is going to sound better.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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kennybro's Avatar
Who knows?
Yes or No depending on who you ask.
Yes or No depending on who you ask.
What patch?
See question #2
Yes or No depending on who you ask.
Mmmm... Maybe yes, Maybe no.
Most certainly... wait, this is answer 8, and there are only 7 questions. Disregard.

hope this clears things up a bit.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 64gtoboy View Post
The answer to all your questions are opinions and can be found throughout this forum if you take the time to look. There are NO right answers to any of your questions.
I'll challenge that!

.....and that's why they call me "The Mad Scientist"
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiospecific View Post
I'll challenge that!
And that would be your opinion that there are right answers
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
I am performing some research into the analogue vs. digital argument, and I am hoping that some of you may be able to answer my questions about it. Thanks in advance for your time, and the questions are below.
.
When it comes to recording, both methods have their good and bad points.


Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
What are the technical benefits of using analogue instruments?
Analog, like plugged into an amp, then the amp is miced with one or more microphones. We can define what frequency and correlation in a 3 dimentional space with the electrical bandwidth of audio (dc-150Khz).

Into a tape machine that tries to capture all of it, but the tape rolls off naturally without killing harmonics in band.
or
Into a digital recording device that is bandwith limited, and harmonic sensitivity is limited to sampling rate.


signal to noise is relative to both the same way, the difference is ADC does not have any recording headroom.


Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
Do you think that the “analogue sound” can be re-created via digital means? If so, are there any plugins that you find are a suitable substitute for analogue instruments?

Do you think that saturation plugins accurately capture the effects of analogue saturation? (e.g. waves j37 tape, waves Kramer master tape)
.
Not really, because the analog sound difference can not be calculated, only guesstimated.

so it would just add some sort of harmonic noise that may or not may work or somewhat represent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
Do you find that analogue synthesizers have more or less top end than your digital equivalents?
.
I think its more of harmonic response differences that only some can tell in the finished product because they have better stereo than most.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
When recording a plugin that attempts to emulate the “analogue sound”, are there any specific settings that aid in achieving a perfect recreation? (for example, tape saturation plugins.)
.
not really, because capturing the analog sound correctly would never need a DSP band-aid. Even recording it digitally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
Do you think that the analogue sound should be recreated still?

Do you think that the “analogue sound” is compensatory for the pricey nature of the equipment? Should people seek to buy this equipment in place of recreating the sound via digital means?

Again, thank you for your time answering these questions.
I think "the analogue sound" was spawned from guys trying to put a band-aid on things because either they were recording at too low of a sampling rate for the application, or not using the correct equipment and operating it correctly when capturing it in the first place.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
And that would be your opinion that there are right answers

I tried not to give a biased answer.

Plus everything I said can be measured.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
I am performing some research into the analogue vs. digital argument.
the best research is to answer this one for yourself, by using your ears.

the technical arguements go on forever, and achieve very little.

Some people Hear things that others Miss.


Buddha
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
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zvukofor's Avatar
Each has its own strenghts and weaknesses in every area, but it does not matter really. What matters is that with all technical progress we cant see the same scale musical progress at all. And the only one to blame is us, debating over intruments instead of using them to make great music.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I would love to stick around and answer your questions, but I have to go start a Mac vs PC thread over in the computer section. I am trying to do some "research" as to which system people think is better.
Awe Come On @#@$% $%#%#% @#[email protected]#$$%
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiospecific View Post
I tried not to give a biased answer.

Plus everything I said can be measured.
I measured it at precisely 4.253 inches long.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
I am performing some research into the analogue vs. digital argument, and I am hoping that some of you may be able to answer my questions about it. Thanks in advance for your time, and the questions are below.

What are the technical benefits of using analogue instruments?

Do you think that the “analogue sound” can be re-created via digital means? If so, are there any plugins that you find are a suitable substitute for analogue instruments?

Do you think that saturation plugins accurately capture the effects of analogue saturation? (e.g. waves j37 tape, waves Kramer master tape)

Do you find that analogue synthesizers have more or less top end than your digital equivalents?

When recording a plugin that attempts to emulate the “analogue sound”, are there any specific settings that aid in achieving a perfect recreation? (for example, tape saturation plugins.)

Do you think that the analogue sound should be recreated still?

Do you think that the “analogue sound” is compensatory for the pricey nature of the equipment? Should people seek to buy this equipment in place of recreating the sound via digital means?

Again, thank you for your time answering these questions.
I'll sum it up for you.

Digital = mass appeal.

Reason - Cheap - convenient and .... oh yeah .... cheap.

Analogue = boutique niche.

Reason - Expensive - space and time consuming.

And for definitive evidence.

Digital always requires an internal and external narrative about "how it really is so close to being real" any "how ordinary people and even some professionals cannot tell the difference" and "how ..... blah blah blah" .... the all needed narrative.

Analogue has no reverse narrative to this, nobody buys a CL1B, LA2A, Retro STA Level, U47, ELAM 251, Moog, Fender Princeton etc etc etc and starts a narrative about "how close the hardware is to the emulations" or "how the hardware is 90% there" .... there is no narrative needed to convince any internal or external voice of doubt.

I buy as much analogue as my wallet will allow and have learnt not to compare digital to analogue where digital is used out of convenience and financial necessity - it's a narrative I have come to find to be pointless.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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IanBSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
Do you find that analogue synthesizers have more or less top end than your digital equivalents?
These are a lot of questions, but this one has an easy answer. Analog synths tend to have less top end.

The answer to the other questions is basically that digital emulations can do a pretty accurate approximation these days, but they don't sound like they really are an analogue instrument or hardware, and don't have quite the same sound quality.

The reason to pursue analogue equipment is because you have a passion for how it sounds and for the experience of working on it. If you just want to accomplish something specific in a recording, (synth track, add harmonics/saturation) you can do it well enough with the right plugins and few people will really notice. I think hardware does sound better, but it's only worthwhile if you really care.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by diiigital View Post
I am performing some research into the analogue vs. digital argument, and I am hoping that some of you may be able to answer my questions about it. Thanks in advance for your time, and the questions are below.

What are the technical benefits of using analogue instruments?
The sound of instruments playing in a room is pleasing to people.

Quote:
Do you think that the “analogue sound” can be re-created via digital means? If so, are there any plugins that you find are a suitable substitute for analogue instruments?
In many cases yes.

Quote:
Do you think that saturation plugins accurately capture the effects of analogue saturation? (e.g. waves j37 tape, waves Kramer master tape)
I can't speak to those specific plug-ins. But generally speaking I think many plug-ins pull this type of thing off convincingly enough to not be a problem.

Quote:
Do you find that analogue synthesizers have more or less top end than your digital equivalents?
It depends on how you dial them in. There is no absolute answer.

Quote:
When recording a plugin that attempts to emulate the “analogue sound”, are there any specific settings that aid in achieving a perfect recreation? (for example, tape saturation plugins.)
There is no recipe. Every user must use their ears to tweak the software to sound how they wish it to sound.

Quote:
Do you think that the analogue sound should be recreated still?
Recreated in software? Yes.

Quote:
Do you think that the “analogue sound” is compensatory for the pricey nature of the equipment? Should people seek to buy this equipment in place of recreating the sound via digital means?
It depends on the person, their preferences, and their budget. If you can't afford it then don't worry about it. If you can then do as you please.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
I'll sum it up for you.

Digital = mass appeal.

Reason - Cheap - convenient and .... oh yeah .... cheap.

Analogue = boutique niche.

Reason - Expensive - space and time consuming.

And for definitive evidence.

Digital always requires an internal and external narrative about "how it really is so close to being real" any "how ordinary people and even some professionals cannot tell the difference" and "how ..... blah blah blah" .... the all needed narrative.

Analogue has no reverse narrative to this, nobody buys a CL1B, LA2A, Retro STA Level, U47, ELAM 251, Moog, Fender Princeton etc etc etc and starts a narrative about "how close the hardware is to the emulations" or "how the hardware is 90% there" .... there is no narrative needed to convince any internal or external voice of doubt.

I buy as much analogue as my wallet will allow and have learnt not to compare digital to analogue where digital is used out of convenience and financial necessity - it's a narrative I have come to find to be pointless.
So studios spent all the money in the 1980s on Digital because it was so expensive? (and it was MUCH more expensive than Analog then).
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
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Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
So studios spent all the money in the 1980s on Digital because it was so expensive? (and it was MUCH more expensive than Analog then).
Then in the 80s Digital was for a whole list of other reasons but sure as heck not sound!

I'm talking about now.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Then in the 80s Digital was for a whole list of other reasons but sure as heck not sound!

I'm talking about now.
Why do people still pay a hefty sum for AMS and Lexicon reverbs? Roland and Linn drums? In reality 80s digital technology was not bad at all. Lots of 70s and 80s digital recording were very good as well
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
People pay good money for old stuff because they mistakenly think that the gear has more to do with the products than it actually did. And because it makes them feel good to own it.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
Why do people still pay a hefty sum for AMS and Lexicon reverbs? Roland and Linn drums? In reality 80s digital technology was not bad at all. Lots of 70s and 80s digital recording were very good as well

The Eighties ushered in the era of very clear recordings. Digital recording is, at least in some ways, a step up from the blurry and muddy era of pre-digital tape recording. Some stuff from the eighties has excellent definition, low noise floor, and an in-your-face immediacy that is beautiful and musical.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
Why do people still pay a hefty sum for AMS and Lexicon reverbs? Roland and Linn drums? In reality 80s digital technology was not bad at all. Lots of 70s and 80s digital recording were very good as well
Yes but that was still essentially esoteric outboard,
The essence of the OP is about software - plugins, VI's.

Convenience and restricted budgets have dictated to today's studios, in general, but of course there are exceptions.

I used to track to 16 and 24 track tape and I've never heard drums and bass coming back off digital sounding anywhere as glorious to the sound coming off saturated tape.

But I accept we a have different estetics and some may find the sound of 80's Digital to be fantastic.

I was there recording in the 80's and looking back the seduction towards digital was mostly not sound, allowing for example a Lex 224 being something that did sound very good, although it still had it's own digital narrative "wow this thing is so close to a real plate, chamber, tiled room"

That's digital for you, it's Mr 90%.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tridelica View Post
The Eighties ushered in the era of very clear recordings. Digital recording is, at least in some ways, a step up from the blurry and muddy era of pre-digital tape recording. Some stuff from the eighties has excellent definition, low noise floor, and an in-your-face immediacy that is beautiful and musical.
Digital recording has been around since the 70s. With your only analog experiences being "blurry and muddy" can I assume you only used 4track porta- studios back then?

There is nothing blurry and muddy about Ampex ATR or Studer A800. It's ludicrous to suggest otherwise and displays a total lack of real world analog experience. Stephens 821 is one of the cleanest/widest sounding recording medium ever analog or digital.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
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TS-12's Avatar
Pros:

Digital = precise.
Analog = unique and adds flavor.

Cons:

Digital = pops, clicks, jitter etc.
Analog = hiss
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
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I have many plugins, they all suck
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
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Sweet Jesus, do we really need another one of these threads?
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface View Post
Sweet Jesus, do we really need another one of these threads?
Obviously there is still confusion. There are two whole generations of engineers that have no idea what Analog gear actually sounds like. They have never used tape or mixed on a LFC. There are a whole generation of home recordists who think J37 Tape sim and Slate Saturation plugin are like analog. Which is of course, is idiotic.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
Digital recording has been around since the 70s. With your only analog experiences being "blurry and muddy" can I assume you only used 4track porta- studios back then?

There is nothing blurry and muddy about Ampex ATR or Studer A800. It's ludicrous to suggest otherwise and displays a total lack of real world analog experience. Stephens 821 is one of the cleanest/widest sounding recording medium ever analog or digital.
Running 456 at 30 IPS on an A800 was great... but the sound changed over time with multiple playbacks. And of course you had to realign the deck frequently, and if you playback on another deck you got to align IT to get the closest playback you can.

I've got no argument with people who like what tape does to the signals you record on it. But don't pretend it's "higher fidelity" or "more accurate" than digital. It's not.

I for one am thankful I don't have to spend time tweaking analog tape decks any more. And it's nice to have the tracks on the mix sound the same on pass 514 as they did on pass 1.
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