#1
I wanna record some stuff but I don't know what gear to use.
I'd like to have a four track and I've heard that analog recordings have got a much better sound but I can't find a simple 4-track analog recorder.
It would be easier for me to buy a digital four track but maybe it's gonna f*ck up my sound.
So:
What would be better: analog or digital?
If analog is better, where the hell could I buy a good 4-track?
If digital is better, can you do reverse recording? (Like playing a solo and then reverse it while the rest of the song plays normal, a really cool sound )
Originally Posted by sticksause
I just sit around all day, get high and play guitar
#2
Well, analogue has a more organic sound to it, but they are rare and expensive and very very hard to understand as a beginner

And anything is possible digital recording and its cheaper. Lots of people can not tell the difference between Analogue and Digital

So rock on to some Digital equipment
#3
Ok thanks man

But do you know if I can reverse my recordings??
Originally Posted by sticksause
I just sit around all day, get high and play guitar
#5
In order for analog to sound good you need a really nice tape machine and they are expensive and need a lot of maintenance. You'll get better sounding recordings for the money if you go digital.
#6
Aw, crap... not *this* topic again...

A 4-track, just because it is analog, will not sound better than digital. In fact, due to the width of the tape and the tape speed, it will really not sound much better than your average cassette deck, not taking into account that you'll probably be using a better mic than your average cassette deck provides.

That said, I haven't met anyone yet who can convince me that analog sounds better. Listen to the radio for as long as you want.... 20 minutes.... 3 hours.... go ahead and tell me that you can tell which songs were recorded to which media, with the rationale that the "better" sounding tracks were analog and the "worse" sounding tracks were digital.

In fact, don't. Because you can't. I've not met anyone who can do that with any reliability that is better than pure chance.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
Orginally Posted by axemanchris
A 4-track, just because it is analog, will not sound better than digital.


Things like that are based on opinion, that's why I ask it here.
There are lots of people saying that analog is better and lots of people saying that digital is better so I'm a bit confused.

Originally Posted by axemanchris
I haven't met anyone yet who can convince me that analog sounds better. Listen to the radio


I personally think that radio doesn't really play good music, just pre-fab music that doesn't mean anything and that is always recorded on digital recording gear. I'd like to get some good recording gear that gives my music a cool sound.

If I look at the 'glory days' of rock music (the sixties being that of course ) everything was recorded on analog recording in those days. Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Stooges etc. and it still sounds cool. You don't hear anyone complaining about Electric Ladyland, which was recorded on only eight tracks.

I think I'd rather get analog, but I'm gonna go with digital for now, considering I don't have a lot of money and I don't really understand all that technical stuff
Originally Posted by sticksause
I just sit around all day, get high and play guitar
#8
Quote by pearljammer_1
Things like that are based on opinion, that's why I ask it here.


As far as what you quoted, no, it is not based on opinion. It is physics that says that the wider the tape and the faster it passes over the tape heads, the better the sound gets captured. Any analog fan will tell you that.

Quote by pearljammer_1

There are lots of people saying that analog is better and lots of people saying that digital is better so I'm a bit confused.


How can it be said that it sounds better when nobody can reliably tell the difference? I mean, if it was better, then we would be able to tell because it sounds... well... "better," no?

Quote by pearljammer_1

I personally think that radio doesn't really play good music, just pre-fab music that doesn't mean anything


Regardless of the quality of music, we're talking about the quality of recording. The recording quality of top-40 radio is fantastic.

Quote by pearljammer_1

and that is always recorded on digital recording gear.


Lots of stuff is still recorded on analog gear.

Quote by pearljammer_1

I'd like to get some good recording gear that gives my music a cool sound.


Fine, but that's not going to be determined by whether it is analog or digital. Not these days, anyways. The only thing is that there is lots of cheap digital gear that can sound cheap. Analog gear is expensive. If you pay, idunno, say $5000 on an analog setup, and $5000 on a digital setup, you're not going to get a noticeable difference in quality. If you spend $5000 on an analog setup and $200 on a digital setup, you'll walk away with the impression that analog sounds better. Well, yeah, except the variable isn't as much analog vs digital as much as it is $5000 vs $200.

Quote by pearljammer_1

If I look at the 'glory days' of rock music (the sixties being that of course ) everything was recorded on analog recording in those days. Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Stooges etc. and it still sounds cool. You don't hear anyone complaining about Electric Ladyland, which was recorded on only eight tracks.


... and you don't hear anyone complaining about the sound quality on Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms" album, which was recorded on *very* early digital gear. Or Nine Inch Nails "Downward Spiral" which was also digital.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#9
I started playing in the 60's - we recorded in the 70's on analog equipment - I now use digital and can assure you that we've come a long way - I love the new stuff - so much easier to work with!
Now running an Eleven Rack with Pro Tools 10.3.3 - it's amazing and I'm having ball with it - worth every penny. PT 10 is tops IMO and the Eleven Rack is a work of art!
#10
Jesus, this place has changed quite a bit, and for the worse

He's obviously a young lad who hasn't been playing that long and trying to work out the minefield of info about guitars and or recording.....

Setting him straight politely is all that is required, no need for the butthurt and attitude from a mod of all people.....

You used to be such a nice laid-back chap Chris....
EPILPSTDYamahaRBX100BassTanglewoodTW28/STRFenderchamp600CubaseStudio5Saffirepro40AlesisM1ActiveMKIIMAudioKeystation88RodeNT1AShureSM57KeeleyModTS9MackieMCUwww.myspace.com/cuthbertgriswald
#11
^ Okay, my very first comment was a little unnecessary. Sorry.

This topic is just one of those "hot buttons" for me because there are so many people who buy into the rhetoric based purely on the other rhetoric they have heard, and then THEY continue to spew forth more rhetoric. It's really pretty numbing, and frustrating because we can all answer the analog vs digital question with our own ears.... based on the fact that we cannot reliably tell what songs were recorded to what media with a success rate better than mere chance.

Sure, lots of people say analog sounds better than digital, but lots of people also used to say the earth was flat.

Rhetoric, being what it is, is weak in the face of something easily proven.



CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#12
Quote by axemanchris
^ Okay, my very first comment was a little unnecessary. Sorry.

This topic is just one of those "hot buttons" for me because there are so many people who buy into the rhetoric based purely on the other rhetoric they have heard, and then THEY continue to spew forth more rhetoric. It's really pretty numbing, and frustrating because we can all answer the analog vs digital question with our own ears.... based on the fact that we cannot reliably tell what songs were recorded to what media with a success rate better than mere chance.

Sure, lots of people say analog sounds better than digital, but lots of people also used to say the earth was flat.

Rhetoric, being what it is, is weak in the face of something easily proven.



CT


Still a true gent at heart
EPILPSTDYamahaRBX100BassTanglewoodTW28/STRFenderchamp600CubaseStudio5Saffirepro40AlesisM1ActiveMKIIMAudioKeystation88RodeNT1AShureSM57KeeleyModTS9MackieMCUwww.myspace.com/cuthbertgriswald
#13
Quote by cuthbertg
Still a true gent at heart


Thx!
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#14
Quote by axemanchris
Aw, crap... not *this* topic again...

A 4-track, just because it is analog, will not sound better than digital. In fact, due to the width of the tape and the tape speed, it will really not sound much better than your average cassette deck, not taking into account that you'll probably be using a better mic than your average cassette deck provides.

That said, I haven't met anyone yet who can convince me that analog sounds better. Listen to the radio for as long as you want.... 20 minutes.... 3 hours.... go ahead and tell me that you can tell which songs were recorded to which media, with the rationale that the "better" sounding tracks were analog and the "worse" sounding tracks were digital.

In fact, don't. Because you can't. I've not met anyone who can do that with any reliability that is better than pure chance.

CT


Every time someone brings up analog vs. digital I wait for this post to be made by chris. Aside from the fact if there was one person I would listen to on recording in this forum it is him, but all the horrible arguments people come up with usually against him. When what he is saying is undeniable true in analog vs. digital

---

Quote by pearljammer_1

If I look at the 'glory days' of rock music (the sixties being that of course ) everything was recorded on analog recording in those days. Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Stooges etc. and it still sounds cool. You don't hear anyone complaining about Electric Ladyland, which was recorded on only eight tracks.


Here is something to think about though. You never usually hear anyone complain about anything except brickwall limiting and production choices (like sound of snare). Those have nothing to do with analog vs. digital. Brickwalling just the standard today and poor production choices were also made back in the day.
#15
Quote by axemanchris
Aw, crap... not *this* topic again...

A 4-track, just because it is analog, will not sound better than digital. In fact, due to the width of the tape and the tape speed, it will really not sound much better than your average cassette deck, not taking into account that you'll probably be using a better mic than your average cassette deck provides.

That said, I haven't met anyone yet who can convince me that analog sounds better. Listen to the radio for as long as you want.... 20 minutes.... 3 hours.... go ahead and tell me that you can tell which songs were recorded to which media, with the rationale that the "better" sounding tracks were analog and the "worse" sounding tracks were digital.

In fact, don't. Because you can't. I've not met anyone who can do that with any reliability that is better than pure chance.

CT


Way off my friend. The quality of tape and the quality of machine are huge factors to take into consideration before bashing 4track tape. Sgt. Peppers was recorded on 4 TRACK TAPE. of course you will need rackmount or any external compressions and limiters to make a "nice mix". These were all state-of-the-art coutesty of abbey road studios.

And the radio? The radio gets compressed almost as much as youtube. no matter what trhe fidelity its still gonna sound like shit. and there ARE significant differences in the original medium that a trained ear would realize. But its hard to tell via radio. check out 100.3 on thursdays at 8pm. ALBUM SIDE THURSDAY they play an entire A side and even tho you can tell, it still blows. its the radio compression.

Better and worse are not correct terms to use. Whoever posted this thread should go digital. if you have no concept of the realistic and logistical differences, start with digital and work backwards. its cheaper and takes less maitenence. Tape decks are expensive and require servicing and TAPE is very very expensive. (my band just cut an EP on 2" analog it runs 30ips and you get roughly 16min per real. theyre 300bucks a pop). get a small multitrack (cant reverse the solos) or spring for a DAW software with interface. its perfect for you
#16
Doesn't everything get converted to digital anyways once it's put on a CD or into MP3 form? So what would it matter?

I'd record digital just cause you can do more with digital, and it's not so much as a pain in the ass to work with. It's only when it comes to amplifier processing where you would prefer a analog signal over a digital one, all in personal taste of course.
#17
Ethan:
Yes its all digital once on CD. if you look at the waveforms of an analong signal v digitized version of the same signal you mihgt be disturbed how much is actually stripped from the recording. Yes its hard to tell the difference, but essentially only bits and pieces of the original wavelength are being digitized, hence why there is less depth and has more tendency to have stray overtones and tinniness
#18
Quote by theguitarplayin
and there ARE significant differences in the original medium that a trained ear would realize.


So your saying waste a ton of extra money for no logical benefit...
#20
Quote by theguitarplayin
and there are also quality forms of digital. listen to a wav format of your favorite digital V an MP3 or AAC......its scary


I do agree with you there especially below 256kbps....
#21
Quote by FireHawk
So your saying waste a ton of extra money for no logical benefit...



you pulled those words from a sentence dealing with sound quality through the radio. please dont mis quote me. And yes. I suppose i am essentially spend a lot more money... no logiccal benefit? now that is a different story. Now your idea of logical may be different than mine. I am very into depth. I love great sound and am willing to pay for the benefits you get from tape. the logical benefit? I like it better. ... You may not agree but to say its ILLOGICAL to spend money for tape and decks... i mean.. go for it. digital is ok. theres nothing wrong with it. its not illogical to compromise fidelity to pinch a penny........(....)
#22
Quote by theguitarplayin
you pulled those words from a sentence dealing with sound quality through the radio. please dont mis quote me. And yes. I suppose i am essentially spend a lot more money... no logiccal benefit? now that is a different story. Now your idea of logical may be different than mine. I am very into depth. I love great sound and am willing to pay for the benefits you get from tape. the logical benefit? I like it better. ... You may not agree but to say its ILLOGICAL to spend money for tape and decks... i mean.. go for it. digital is ok. theres nothing wrong with it. its not illogical to compromise fidelity to pinch a penny........(....)


Sorry I didn't mean to misquote you I didn't reply correctly in my last post. I mean from a recording for radio perspective for mass distribution. As you were referring to normal people can't tell a difference.

For personal recording, by all means its not illogical to do what you want.
#23
Quote by theguitarplayin
Way off my friend. The quality of tape and the quality of machine are huge factors to take into consideration before bashing 4track tape. Sgt. Peppers was recorded on 4 TRACK TAPE. of course you will need rackmount or any external compressions and limiters to make a "nice mix". These were all state-of-the-art coutesty of abbey road studios.

And the radio? The radio gets compressed almost as much as youtube. no matter what trhe fidelity its still gonna sound like shit. and there ARE significant differences in the original medium that a trained ear would realize. But its hard to tell via radio. check out 100.3 on thursdays at 8pm. ALBUM SIDE THURSDAY they play an entire A side and even tho you can tell, it still blows. its the radio compression.

Better and worse are not correct terms to use. Whoever posted this thread should go digital. if you have no concept of the realistic and logistical differences, start with digital and work backwards. its cheaper and takes less maitenence. Tape decks are expensive and require servicing and TAPE is very very expensive. (my band just cut an EP on 2" analog it runs 30ips and you get roughly 16min per real. theyre 300bucks a pop). get a small multitrack (cant reverse the solos) or spring for a DAW software with interface. its perfect for you

And so another brainwashed disciple of 'analogue' enters...

Let's get a few things cleared up - what analogue tape does to recorded sound is actually quite simple to explain, and the reason many people like the sound is purely that it predates digital recording so people are more fond of it.

If you want to argue about 'fidelity' you can sod right off because recording at 24-Bit 96kHz far outstrips any tape-tracked vinyl release (yep, I'm bringing vinyl intp the fray), even basing it on accuracy to the recorded sound. Why do you prefer analogue? Because it colours the sound a lot more, in a way you like - and yet I bet you still buy monitors based on their flat frequency spectrum and time-domain accuracy!

Why not just EQ your speaker system to colour any CDs you own to sound more vitage?

All the arguments for analogue recording are slowly falling as computers develop the processing power to simulate the colouration of vacuum tubes, tape compression/sag/fluctuations, and even basic electronic components at the structural level.

This isn't meant as an attack on you or your opinion, but please don't try to knock what other people say when you're spouting out-dated opinions yourself.


Edit: Oh, and while we're at it - Sgt. Pepper's... is renowned more for the melodic content (the music) on it than the technical aspects of the recording. By all means, the Abbey Road engineers did some ground-breaking stuff but it was ground-breaking for the time only - by today's standards it would sound relatively amateur for most forms of music to be released at a similar 'quality', and it would hardly represent what we now consider an accurate picture of the music.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Apr 17, 2011,
#24
Quote by theguitarplayin
Way off my friend. The quality of tape and the quality of machine are huge factors to take into consideration before bashing 4track tape. Sgt. Peppers was recorded on 4 TRACK TAPE. of course you will need rackmount or any external compressions and limiters to make a "nice mix". These were all state-of-the-art coutesty of abbey road studios.


Well, okay, but you ARE being a bit funny here. Sure, Sgt. Peppers was "four tracks", but there's a massive difference between a Studer machine found at Abbey Road and a little fostex "four-track" that someone just getting into recording would buy. I can't even *imagine* anyone coming on this forum asking *us* about analog or digital when they have access to a Studer machine that runs 2" tape at 30ips.

Quote by theguitarplayin

And the radio? The radio gets compressed almost as much as youtube. no matter what trhe fidelity its still gonna sound like shit. But its hard to tell via radio. check out 100.3 on thursdays at 8pm. ALBUM SIDE THURSDAY they play an entire A side and even tho you can tell, it still blows. its the radio compression.


Two things here, then...

1. It was the easiest format that most of us have available where we can enjoy a diverse range of recordings that we might not otherwise have purchased. I could have suggested that he go out and buy 50 random CD's, but that would have been a little ridiculous.

2. It brings to light the truth that most of the music we wind up listening to most of the time has already been compromised in some way. Which begs the question... isn't that just more proof that analog vs digital doesn't matter?

Quote by theguitarplayin

and there ARE significant differences in the original medium that a trained ear would realize.


There are two ways to approach this statement:

Premise #1 - "I disagree, and you are wrong." People will say they can tell, but I'd like to see them listen to a random sampling of, say, 20 CD's and tell me - purely by listening - which ones were recorded to which media with an accuracy of at least 75%. I'll eat my hat if someone could do that.

Premise #2 - "I disagree, but that's only because I'm narrow-minded. You're actually correct." - Okay, so some golden ear genius in a meticulously treated room filled with esoteric gear actually *can* tell. According to "Mr. Bat Ears Savant", the declaration is made that, yes, analog sounds better. Great. But now give that same challenge to a million other people listening on their favourite sound system at home, or in the car, or their ipod or whatever... Out of those million people doing my test, 999 999 of them achieve an accuracy rating ranging between 40-60% - all within the chance range. If one person in a million can actually tell, then is there really enough difference between the two to make this debate more than moot?

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#25
i dont remember if this has been mentioned yet...

these days its almost (note... i said almost) not even important how it was recorded, but what it is being played on. the number of people who listen to music on a CD is dropping fast. most are using MP3s or similar. even if it is on a CD, CDs aren't analog. to get a tape recording on a CD you have to convert it to digital which puts it right next to all those originally digital recordings and it's a fact after that that they are the same "quality".
now with most people using MP3s and the like, that takes the "quality" of both tape and digital recordings down ever further. it is ridiculous to talk about how people can or cant notice the difference when so few people actually listen to the un-compressed version of the recording.

now CDs are not at all the best quality digital medium, but who's using the others on a regular basis? and even then, we can record at that high of quality from the get go, but tape will still have to be compressed to fit it.

the only advantage that tape has in present day recording is the noise and natural compression it adds. if you like that and the very impressive and highly tweakable simulators we have these days just dont make it worth the huge amount of money saved, by all means go out and record on your tapes. to say it's a noticeable difference though may (or may not) be true, but think about who will actually have the opportunity to try and guess. if your audience does, go with tape. if you're like most people (especially beginning home recordists...) go with digital.
#26
Quote by ethan_hanus
Doesn't everything get converted to digital anyways once it's put on a CD or into MP3 form? So what would it matter?

Way to go completely missing the point.