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Thread: Words From the Analog Faithful

  1. #1
    Beck Guest

    Words From the Analog Faithful

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    Here are a few quotable quotes I've run across over the years in magazines and online. Enjoy!


    "DAT machines. They sound like shit and every crappy studio has one now because they're so cheap. Because the crappy engineers that inhabit crappy studios are too thick to learn how to align and maintain analog mastering decks, they're all using DAT machines exclusively.

    DAT tapes deteriorate over time, and when they do, the information on them is lost forever. I have personally seen tapes go irretrievably bad in less then a month. Using them for final masters is almost fraudulently irresponsible. Tape machines ought to be big and cumbersome and difficult to use, if only to keep the riff-raff out. DAT machines make it possible for morons to make a living, and damage to the music we all have to listen to."


    --Steve Albini "The Problem With Music"
    MaximumRocknRoll #133 June 1994



    "I simply prefer analog to digital. The only way I can explain it is with an analogy of rubbing your fingers over velvet or silk. You can feel a textural difference between the two fabrics. Well, I hear a textural difference between analog and digital recordings. There's a certain amount of tape compression and harmonic distortion that occurs in the analog realm that is very pleasing to my ear."

    -- Gary Wright, Electronic Musician Magazine, October 1995



    "If you want my advice, with all the available digital technology you still can't beat the sound of a good analog mixdown.... The effect on your sound can be dramatic. With an analog mixdown, you have a much wider, deeper sound with greater stereo imaging. An analog mixdown has a texture that digital cannot produce. And, simply put, to my ears it sounds better ... that's it. No more explanation needed."

    --George Graves, Chief Engineer - Lacquer Channel Mastering, Toronto
    Professional Sound Magazine, April 1998



    "As the new equipment got cheaper, lighter and easier to operate, the general quality of the recorded sound deteriorated. True to Gresham's law in economics, bad product pushed out good product and unfortunately, the new, bad sound became established as the norm.

    As the professional studios switched to digital recording, the sound got so bad that anyone could do it as badly at home using the same equipment or the newer, cheaper home digital multi-tracks. They got the same terrible, unmusical results."


    --Walter E. Sear 1999



    "I will never leave analog. I won't. I will never leave it and it blew my mind when I heard that there are no more tape machines being produced. Studer ran their last production of analog tape machines. Otari does not make them anymore. There are no analog tape machines being produced right now. Then you go and you open up Mix and it's like one page after another it's digital, digital, digital. And I'm like, "What the hell is happening?" But with the whole Pro Tools thing, I would never use this as a stand-alone recorder. It's never going to be - Okay turn on the Pro Tools and let's rock!"

    --Roger Moutenot
    TapeOp Magazine #20 Nov/Dec 2000



    "The instant you digitize a signal, you destroy the phase-angle relationship between the high frequencies and the lows. Thatís why you canít make a decent chorus with a digital delay unit. Phase-angle distortion has been with us since the day 3M introduced their incredibly expensive, 15kHz digital-recording deck. I still remember the famous quote from their marketing department: ďThere is an introduction of phase-angle distortion, but the human ear canít hear it.Ē

    I find that so hysterical because the human ear can hear things we canít measure yet. And the ear does use phase-angle information to determine the location sounds originate from, and the space within which youíre standing when you hear those sounds. Simply put, thatís what tells you, ďOh, that sound came from over there.Ē The end result is that digitized music destroys the spatial characteristics of the music....

    ... The two advantages of digital are that itís cheap, and it gives you lots of features. As far as sound quality goes, digital is always worse."


    --Tom Scholz, - Guitar Player Magazine, May 2003



    "The quality of analogue tape has become better, but I don't think it makes that much of a difference... We had quality tape back then as well. In the early days I used Scotch 3M 250, switched to 3M 226 at some point, and on the last record we used BASF 900. I grew up and learned analogue and I'm an analogue geek. It's not that I'm kicking digital, but analogue has a much better sound. When you are able to A/B analogue and digital, which we could do in this case, there's simply no comparison. The top end is so sweet and beautiful. I've never heard anyone say about digital, even at 24-bit/96kHz or 192kHz: 'Isn't the top end as sweet and beautiful as you've ever heard?' You don't because digital just doesn't sound that way."

    --Elliot Scheiner - Sound on Sound Magazine, Aug 2003

    Last edited by Beck; 03-24-2005 at 22:46.

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    No need to preach to the converted here. Oh, and yes I'm going to look at that Studer tomorrow. Just a look for now. I promise. Really. Just a look.
    Quite frankly, I'd rather just go sailing.

    http://www.myspace.com/harripalm

  3. #3
    Beck Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by snipeguy
    No need to preach to the converted here. Oh, and yes I'm going to look at that Studer tomorrow. Just a look for now. I promise. Really. Just a look.
    Yeah I know, I'm preaching to the choir. Well... sometimes the choir needs a little encouragement.

    I would love to have an old Studer just from a collector's perspective, even if it wasn't in perfect shape. I don't have the room though. We wear too many hats, don't we? Musician, singer, composer, engineer, producer, collector, etc. It's fun though.

    -Tim

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    Interesting quotes-powerful stuff.

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    I just switched back to analog today and I love it. After pooring money into alot of digital equipment I found along the way that I was trying to emulate the sound I was getting with tape. Not only that, but I lost alot of creativity along the way with digital, instead of concentrated on my riffs and style, I ended up just sitting for hours in front of a moniter playing around with delays and crap.I feel like I've been more creative in the past 8 hours than I have been in 3 years. I missed the sound of tape and I'm glad I went back to analog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beck
    Here are a few quotable quotes I've run across over the years in magazines and online. Enjoy!

    The above is especially important reading to "Analog Newbies" who keep on popping in, at an alarmingly increasing rate, to this forum BUT it is also good info for us "regulars" here to know that whatever we think of Analog, Digital etc ... is backed, supported, whatever you wanna call it, by some of the greats in the music industry.

    Thanks Tim!

    Daniel

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    Quote Originally Posted by billyshuler
    I just switched back to analog today and I love it. After pooring money into alot of digital equipment I found along the way that I was trying to emulate the sound I was getting with tape. Not only that, but I lost alot of creativity along the way with digital, instead of concentrated on my riffs and style, I ended up just sitting for hours in front of a moniter playing around with delays and crap.I feel like I've been more creative in the past 8 hours than I have been in 3 years. I missed the sound of tape and I'm glad I went back to analog.
    Great summing up of my thoughts exactly. Been there, done that!

    ~Daniel

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    Arrow Here, here!

    That's awesome!

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    Talking indeed

    Just got a nice Fostex B-16, along w/ a plethora of other gear. Can't wait to get started!!!!!!!!!!! (I know, B = belt driven. But the price was right, and the things works, so there )

    -callie-

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    How can you expect to reduce something to ones and zeros, and not lose everything that falls in between?

    .....and in my (albeit very limited) experience, that's where the good stuff is........

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