Digital VS Analog


New member
This might be academic for alot of folks out there, but I need to know before I spend any more money on gear:

What exactly is the difference between analog and digital? I thought I knew - 0's and 1' entered into "pits" in the CD blah blah. But I just finished a very good article that elaborated on how analog records the actual signal, and digital only reproduces - but does it so well it sounds better than the original. Huh?
Hummm... Interesting. So if you mic a guitar to an analog recorder, you're going from analog to electrical signal, back to analog (playback)with inherent signal degradation. But if you're going to a CD (or computer), you're going from analog to digital, and back to analog at the playback with almost pure fidelity.

So really, the most pure system would be MIDI directly to digital (no fuzz or hiss, and no drop-outs)?

This begs the question: does anybody know how to MIDI interface to an electric guitar? I saw that Fender had a MIDI pickup that installed at the guitar, but is it any good?
Well, I would like to help and hope not be too much technical:

In the analog sound, the electric signals that are handled in the recording equipment are similar in shape to the original sound source. For example, if somebody sings into a mic connected to an analog recorder, the mic converts this acoustic signal into a electric signal similar in shape (the shape will depend mostly upon the nature of the source: vocal, guitar, flute, etc. and the tone or frecuency that is being played)that then goes into the input jack, then the potentiometer, fader, eq or whatever, and finally is being recorded into tape or reel. Equalization can alter this shape a little in order to get a desired sound, but let´s not get into too much technical stuff. The problem in analog is that, in every electronic stage (input jack, level fader, level potentiometer, eq potentiometer ) that the signal goes through, each of these elements will add some of its own characteristic, sometimes it is nothing but noise, to the original signal; and if you give more level to a signal with noise, you will get not only a louder signal, but more noise as well. So, the signal that is recorded into tape is a little different from the original acoustic signal. In the other hand, the tape will not neccesarily make a very clean recording as one could desire, basically because of the hiss inherent to it; and after a log time the sound quality in the tape will degrade because it is a analog magnetic media that can change with time. It doesn´t happen with a CD, because bits recorded into it don´t "get wasted" with time.

In the digital recorder, the signals that go into the equipment are converted into digital signals (a lot of 0´s and 1´s). To talk about 1's and 0's is to talk about signals that are "yes", "on", etc. or "no", "off", etc., but there are no intermediate states (so, there is no signal with a value "more or less"; its value is "1" or "0", not other). Because of this, it is much easier to a digital equipment to take a digital signal to CD without undesired noise or modifications to the original signal that may come in between, because if the original sound has, let´s say, a code “10010101” in digital (just an example, don´t worry about this number) that code should stay the same when being recorded if no other modifications are intentionally done to the sound.

Anyway, people like to talk about this “warm” feel that you get with analog and you don´t with digital, sometimes because of the unnatural clean sound that can give digital equipment compared to analog.

I hope not have being too much technical with my explanation and also it is much clear to you the difference between analog and digital .
The Axon Neural Net is the guitar to MIDI solution. Best tracking accuracy, best controls, fastest signal conversion and even does a few other tricks like at-the-pickup patch control, pick-splits and fretboard splits. They sell a model with an onboard synth or one with just the converter. The pickup is extra; it's interchangeable with the Roland GK-2A. Nothing else comes close!
The Fender deal is a Lyrrus, a real cheapo
guitar to MIDI converter.

[This message has been edited by drstawl (edited 10-04-1999).]