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Thread: Good lord analog wins!

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    Good lord analog wins!

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    So I've been doing some A/Bing digital against my ATR60, here are the results.

    Bass:

    Digital; muddy and really un focused. The sound doesn't seem to come from a point but rather flow from the speakers. I could never get a rolling bass sound in digital.

    Analog; Oh my god. It sounds super defined and focused. The sound definitely has an origin and never seems to flub out in the room. Bass seems tons cleaner and even has that sought after 'room' around it. Half the problems I thought I had in my room are suddenly fixed, amazing.

    Electric guitars:

    Digital; I've been fighting with getting a heavy sound from digital recording for the longest time, it seems like when I get the sound crunchy enough it just sounds harsh and crispy on the recording.

    Analog; The sound is way smoother and rounded if that makes sense. Now I can dial in a sound and get a pleasing result instead of a hashy mess.

    ....to be continued...

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    That's exactly why I spend $30 for a vinyl version of everything I buy. CDs do not sound as good as good vinyl if you have good playback gear. ( I have about $1500 in my turntable and would happily pay 5 times that to upgrade if I could afford it)

    I have set many people down in front of my reference rig and let them A/B CDs versus the same recording on vinyl and have never had a single person prefer the CD.....it's always the vinyl. Now granted, you have to baby the stuff....I have an expensive cleaning machine, static cancelling guns....cleaning fluids..etc.
    For most it's just not worth it but when I get that special sound....even though it's sometimes subtle.....MAN!!!! It's all worth it.

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    Bob,

    I agree with you to a degree... I have some vinyl pressings that really outshine the CD -- especially any of the older CDs....

    Case in point - I've got the vinyl and 24-bit mastered CD version of David Bowie's Modern Love album.... it sounds much better on CD than on vinyl. Sharper imaging, more focused low-end, cleaner highs.

    A lot of it comes down to the way the analog masters were converted to digital... on those older CDs, digital was new, and "best practices" hadn't even been conceived yet! Compare Led Zep's 4th album on vinyl and CD -- the early CD release (haven't heard the newest ones myself) are REALLY bad.... vinyl's got it beat!


    Jake,

    Sorry --- if you can't get digital to work for you, you've either got bad converters, or you're doing something horribly wrong.

    Given good converters at 24/96 (24/88.2 or even 24/48 - which is what I use for tracking) there's no excuse for not getting the sound you want from digital..... period.

    When I'm tracking, I have absolutely no trouble getting out what I put in... and if the sound coming out isn't what the client wants, 99.9% of the time it's because of the source, not the recording medium.... that's when we change amps, guitars, cabs, mics, mic pres, etc...

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    GO ANALOGUE GO !!


    da MUTT
    da MUTT


    LIFE IS GOOD!

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    I thought I was getting out what I was putting in until I a/Bed the two.

    Have you ever compared analog in your studio Bruce?

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    No -- my analog experience was limited to 4-track years ago.... and even budget digital has that beat by yards!!!

    And unless you're talking professional 2" mulitrack, IMO, you can't seriously start to compare the 2 formats anyways....

    But I would be interested in a serious comparison --- I may just try to rent a good analog unit and check it out sometime....

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    Thumbs down "Wins"?

    Since when is it a competition? If analog works for you, USE IT! Whatever it takes to get the sound you're after. Use a wax cylinder if it floats your boat. This is art.

    If you compared analog to digital in various price ranges (and don't forget to factor in maintenance costs), I think you'd find that digital "wins" at least in some of those price ranges. Digital definitely wins in the low end where most HomeReccers are. You simply can't get anything approaching reasonably good ("good" meaning clean, quiet) sound from cheap analog gear. At least I can't.

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    Ok, so like I thought you really don't know what you're talking about.

    Have you ever even used a 2" machine? Not to be a dick bear but when I first came to this site you didn''t even know what a Sony 3348 was. I don't think you are totally qualified to say what is "pro" or not. I'm not sure if the opinion of a guy who loves ADATs and never uses analog matters much in this comparison...you don't have the B to go with the A/B here. If I ever need to know how to get the most out of an ADAT you are the first guy I will come to but as far as I know ADAT is a prosumer format anyhow.
    The 1" 16 track format is very nice sounding format (there are very pro versions of the machine) and while I may not have the best digital setup, for my money I get much, much more out of analog. Don't even try to tell me that you can't compare analog to digital until you get into the 2" range because I just did and I like analog far better.

    Try it sometime, who knows you may be the next convert.

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    Re: "Wins"?

    Originally posted by DonF
    Since when is it a competition? If analog works for you, USE IT! Whatever it takes to get the sound you're after. Use a wax cylinder if it floats your boat. This is art.

    If you compared analog to digital in various price ranges (and don't forget to factor in maintenance costs), I think you'd find that digital "wins" at least in some of those price ranges. Digital definitely wins in the low end where most HomeReccers are. You simply can't get anything approaching reasonably good ("good" meaning clean, quiet) sound from cheap analog gear. At least I can't.
    I'm not putting anyone down man, relax. I say analog wins in my A/B test so far. It is a competition as soon as I started to A/B the two formats in my studio. I haven't finished so who knows what tomorrow will bring?

    Analog is the sound I was after...that's all.

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    I am completely relaxed. Sorry if I sounded uptight.

    It's just that I hate religious wars, and the way I read your original post it sounded like you were trying to start one.

    Just curious: What happens if you take the output of the ATR60 and feed it into your digital system? Does the mud appear then, or do you retain (at least some of) the analog sound? (In this scenario, you'd essentially be using the analog machine as an effects processor.)

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