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Analog tape vs Digital
Old 4th October 2004
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Analog tape vs Digital

I just finished listening to a compilation album of Michael Franks material from the 70s to recently and it's almost depressing how much better, deeper, bigger the analog tape recordings sound compared to what I hear these days. Just had to vent a little. I want a Studer!
Steve
Old 4th October 2004
  #2
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Ruudman's Avatar
 

I hear you.
Very frustrating for me that all
I want is analog,
but all I can afford
is digital................




ruudman
Old 4th October 2004
  #3
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Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

jiji Analog vs. Digital heh Not a studer, but the AC2 from McDsp does the job pretty well. Try it.
Old 4th October 2004
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Hammer v2's Avatar
analogue vs digital?

here we go again.......


Old 4th October 2004
  #5
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max cooper's Avatar
 

I lament the fact that my home rig was an Otari 5050 MKIII back in tha day, and now it's PT on a G5.


Know what?


I have lots more finished songs...


I also have more spare $$$ to spend on sessions in real studios with real engineers.
Old 5th October 2004
  #6
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Ruudman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jose Mrochek
jiji Analog vs. Digital heh Not a studer, but the AC2 from McDsp does the job pretty well. Try it.
I have AC2 and a Studer A80 2-track.
Still, all I want is analog................

max, I know digital makes most of us productive.
But my experience is that when I aim for the sound
that makes me want to listen, not just to get my job done,
I spend a ridiculous amount of
time getting it right- in digital.......



ruudman
Old 5th October 2004
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Why do people want to make it analog vs digital? Utilize the best of both. Make good sounding recordings on analog than use digital programs and editors to mix. Somehow you have to use digital.
There is only one studio I know of that does everything solely analog and that is in London where the White Strips made there last album.
Old 5th October 2004
  #8
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Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

I love the Analog vs. Digital threads.. and Yes, nightschild I agree with you.. some very good stuff comes out using the best of both worlds. but anyways, it's cool to talk about analog vs. digital, it's always fun heh
Old 5th October 2004
  #9
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rainsinvelvet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by NIGHT'SCHILD
Why do people want to make it analog vs digital? Utilize the best of both. Make good sounding recordings on analog than use digital programs and editors to mix. Somehow you have to use digital.
There is only one studio I know of that does everything solely analog and that is in London where the White Strips made there last album.
www.electricalaudio.com

Though, they did have a CD burner for refs.....

ERic
Old 5th October 2004
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

and here :

easleymccainrecording.com

tubes and tape all day long.
the whites stripes cut their teeth here
Old 5th October 2004
  #11
Gear Addict
 

One of the great things about recording to tape is the tendency to listen more and look less.

Tracking to a Studer A827 and mixing to an Ampex ATR102 is a beautiful experience.

One of the many things I dislike about using digital is perfecting and editing something to within an inch of death. Tape seems to lessen the obsession for perfection which gives the record some sustainable character for years to come.
Old 6th October 2004
  #12
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I've had this frustration many times when mastering compilations.

I'm not sure the difference is as much a matter of analog vs. digital as it is of attitude and time pressure. Studios used to be far too expensive for most of us to own. Recording was all about preparation, rising to the occasion and going with the flow because there was never enough money to get things precisely the way we wanted. Often what we wanted wasn't as good as what we wound up getting.

Exceeding our expectations left us in awe of our own recordings because they pretty much always took on a life of their own.
Old 6th October 2004
  #13
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ToddF's Avatar
.
Quote:
I'm not sure the difference is as much a matter of analog vs. digital as it is of attitude and time pressure. Studios used to be far too expensive for most of us to own. Recording was all about preparation, rising to the occasion and going with the flow because there was never enough money to get things precisely the way we wanted. Often what we wanted wasn't as good as what we wound up getting.
Bob, that was beautiful. Todd F.
Old 6th October 2004
  #14
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
Exceeding our expectations left us in awe of our own recordings because they pretty much always took on a life of their own.
Bob this has to be your quote of the year.
Old 5th November 2004
  #15
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson

Exceeding our expectations left us in awe of our own recordings because they pretty much always took on a life of their own.
So true.

Whereas today the attitude is often "i want this done for this much $" resulting in a demo disguised as a record.

There is no discovery in the rush and the perfectionism and the flat tone of most digital multitrack.

There is no letting go of our ego to music, no being played by the muse ... no magic.
Old 5th November 2004
  #16
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What about the fact that studios with tape machines on average have more experienced engineers? I remember some of the stuff from the 90's when digital was REALLY unhip (and worse) and there were a lot of indie bands going to low end analogue studios that sounded really ****ty. Don't mess with tape unless you want to clean your heads daily and keep it calibrated. Low end digital studios usually sound better than ghetto analogue studios and it doesn't require as much work or skill.

I heard that a studio here in town tracked a band on a test tone tape. That's funny.
Old 5th November 2004
  #17
Quote:
Originally posted by jbuntz
What about the fact that studios with tape machines on average have more experienced engineers? I remember some of the stuff from the 90's when digital was REALLY unhip (and worse) and there were a lot of indie bands going to low end analogue studios that sounded really ****ty. Don't mess with tape unless you want to clean your heads daily and keep it calibrated. Low end digital studios usually sound better than ghetto analogue studios and it doesn't require as much work or skill.
you're right ... digital is for lazy people heh

it only takes an hour to explain and demonstrate the basics of tape machine set up and general maintenance

it takes 20 minutes or less to calibrate a machine for tip top sound before a tracking session

and 5 minutes before every mixing session
Old 6th December 2015
  #18
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzgitter View Post
I just finished listening to a compilation album of Michael Franks material from the 70s to recently and it's almost depressing how much better, deeper, bigger the analog tape recordings sound compared to what I hear these days. Just had to vent a little. I want a Studer!
Steve
That ain't got nothing to do with the tape, it's got EVERYTHING to do with the 70's...
Old 6th December 2015
  #19
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Well, at least it doesn't have anything to do with 2004!
Old 7th December 2015
  #20
Lives for gear
If you're talking about recordings from the 70s, it might not really be about the analog recording format. It might be actually better composing, better performing, and better engineering.
Assuming that it's the recording format isn't very logical, especially considering all of the technical advantages that digital recording/storing/editing provides. And of course, sounding "good" is subjective.
Somebody else might have the opposite subjective response.
Old 7th December 2015
  #21
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Me_Likey's Avatar
 

11 year old thread, and the issue STILL isn't settled!
Old 7th December 2015
  #22
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djshire's Avatar
 

This isn't even thread necromancy, this is just molesting a corpse.
Old 7th December 2015
  #23
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Me_Likey View Post
11 year old thread, and the issue STILL isn't settled!
Sure it is. Digital sucks.
Old 8th December 2015
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djshire View Post
This isn't even thread necromancy, this is just molesting a corpse.
Thanks for the heads up. I didn't realise this was from 2004. So lame lame lame.
Old 8th December 2015
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redwing View Post
That ain't got nothing to do with the tape, it's got EVERYTHING to do with the 70's...
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovessuperstrats View Post
Well, at least it doesn't have anything to do with 2004!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me_Likey View Post
11 year old thread, and the issue STILL isn't settled!
Quote:
Originally Posted by djshire View Post
This isn't even thread necromancy, this is just molesting a corpse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
Sure it is. Digital sucks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nystagmus View Post
Thanks for the heads up. I didn't realise this was from 2004. So lame lame lame.
I've only been here since May. Probably posted too much, some controversy, mostly a good experience.

But, in my nearly two decades of internet interaction (I guess about 97 is when I started?????) this forum has BY FAR the most neckros ever. Neckros like this, frequently. I fall for it too. Really strange.

Wonder if the term slutz has anything to do with it.
Old 9th December 2015
  #26
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
Sure it is. Digital sucks.
You are doing it wrong! Digital is great...it's the engineers abusing digital that make it sound bad!
Old 9th December 2015
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
You are doing it wrong! Digital is great...it's the engineers abusing digital that make it sound bad!
As a generalization: This.

The thing a lot of people prefer about tape I think is the natural compression when you drive it a little hard. You can make great recordings with both analog and digital. But, analog tends to limit your ability to change things, as others have mentioned, which has more to do with approach than format.

If you record your band live in a room and it doesn't sound tight, the solution with analog is to keep practicing until you can perform it correctly. The solution with digital is far too often micro-editing to give the effect of tightness, at the cost of the actual performance. When you take a drum track and grid-align every hit and then sample replace, how is that different than programming a sampler with MIDI? I argue that the only difference is your inherent bias towards the former as it takes much longer to achieve the same result.

Tony Bennett still tracks live to 2 in the studio. I think most people that grapple with this analog vs digital debate just need better players so they can treat the digital recording like analog and just leave it the heck alone!

Of course, it takes a LOT more time to become a competent musician than it does to grid-edit everything to where there's no life left in the performance.
Old 10th December 2015
  #28
Lives for gear
 

There are no music stores, there are no bookstores, and there is no more sound city.
Old 11th December 2015
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me_Likey View Post
11 year old thread, and the issue STILL isn't settled!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I've had this frustration many times when mastering compilations.

I'm not sure the difference is as much a matter of analog vs. digital as it is of attitude and time pressure. Studios used to be far too expensive for most of us to own. Recording was all about preparation, rising to the occasion and going with the flow because there was never enough money to get things precisely the way we wanted. Often what we wanted wasn't as good as what we wound up getting.

Exceeding our expectations left us in awe of our own recordings because they pretty much always took on a life of their own.
Olhsson settled it way back in 2004 with this post.

It's easy to swallow tech-blame. "As soon as I get that R2R..."

Lack of skill, effort, dedication, musicianship, teamwork and material is a hard pill with far more complex and nebulous solutions.
Old 12th December 2015
  #30
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Me_Likey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Olhsson settled it way back in 2004 with this post.

It's easy to swallow tech-blame. "As soon as I get that R2R..."

Lack of skill, effort, dedication, musicianship, teamwork and material is a hard pill with far more complex and nebulous solutions.
Thats because the R2R is analog. A digital solution would solve everything.

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