Page 1 of 2
#1
So I was sorting through some old cds earlier and found some old songs I'd recorded about 15 years ago. I listened to them expecting them to be junk but they are actually a million times better than anything I've done recently. Yes the production was questionable but at the same time, it was so refreshing to hear something so raw.

As an ex DJ, I remember a time when people would laugh at you if you played cds instead of vinyl in a club! Sadly the digital age won that war and now it's the status quo to see a guy playing mp3s from a laptop.

As musicians I think most would agree that experiencing live music is one of the ultimate pleasures but it seems to me that low quality, highly compressed formats are no longer just a quick convenient way to access music. They are now how most people (including myself) listen to music.

Am I the only person who feels sad that sound quality and sonic range has been trumped in pursuit of instant access? And that most kids these days experience music only as digital sound bites rather than listening to an album in it's full analogue glory.

Is it a good thing that I can watch my favourite band play a full concert on my phone whenever I want? Maybe...

But is it a tragedy that when I go to see my favourite band; most of the audience is trying to film it on their phones rather than just listening to the music and enjoying it?
GUITAR COMPANIES - Contact me if you'd like to sponsor my signature!
#2
I still buy music on vinyl. So there's that.

The last 5 gigs I've gone to have had a great live sound and only a few people here and there trying to record it. So there's that.

Modern technology makes wider dynamic range and better sound quality not only possible, but easier to achieve. So there's that.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#3
Quote by Kevätuhri
I still buy music on vinyl.


[Metaphorical high five!]

Do you not find it sad though that for most people, listening to music is a spotify stream through a phone rather than the sonic delight of a decent hi-fi stack?
GUITAR COMPANIES - Contact me if you'd like to sponsor my signature!
#4
First of all, high quality, uncompressed digital audio (ie not mp3) is just as good in terms of quality as analog formats and anyone has that they can hear that the music sounds digital is 100% full of shit. In fact, the only notable difference between high quality digital and analog is that analog doesn't have the sonic range of digital due to limitations of physical material such as vinyl or tape. So when you listen to a vinyl record, you're hearing colored (and therefore impure) sound.

Second, the average person probably can't hear the difference between mp3 and higher quality audio anyway, and the vast majority of audiophiles that claim they personally can are also dead wrong.

Otherwise, digital technology has made music better almost entirely across the board.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#5
Quote by Matriani
[Metaphorical high five!]

Do you not find it sad though that for most people, listening to music is a spotify stream through a phone rather than the sonic delight of a decent hi-fi stack?


Not really, no. I couldn't live without listening to music when I'm on the move, walking outside, riding the bus, stuff like that, so if anything I think it's great that I can listen to music whenever I want with just my phone. I don't buy vinyl because I think it's superior sound quality and the "right" way to listen to music, I buy vinyl because vinyl records are cool. I just like collecting, it has little to do with the quality.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#6
1. Mp3's sound fine, even better than vinyl in many cases ( depending on the mix!). They are barely distinguishable to 24 bit wav files. I don't think the compressed format has anything to do with it - but the amp and speakers do! Listen to an mp3 on a great stereo and it will sound great - listen to it on iPhone or laptop speakers and it will sound terrible. The real problem is the listening environment - not the coded format. Unfortunately, our phones and laptops have atrocious speakers and that it was is corrupting everyone's listening experience more than anything.

2. The album is dead and good riddance. Most bands can barely slap 2 good songs together, let alone 10. I grew up listening to albums and really enjoyed that period, but the album as a format just doesn't make sense anymore given our attention spans. I'd rather see a band release a new song every month than sit through a whole album.
#7
Quote by reverb66
2. The album is dead and good riddance. Most bands can barely slap 2 good songs together, let alone 10. I grew up listening to albums and really enjoyed that period, but the album as a format just doesn't make sense anymore given our attention spans. I'd rather see a band release a new song every month than sit through a whole album.


Here I have to disagree with you. Pretty much every artist I listen to still makes music in album format, and does so very well. I'd also much rather listen to an album than a new song every month. But to each their own I guess.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#8
In certain genres and decades, singles have been far more important than albums anyway. Like in country and bluegrass it's generally been about the singles. Back in the 40s, 50s, and 60s a lot of artists put out like dozens of singles and maybe one or two full albums. Albums haven't always universally been a "thing."
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#9
I like full albums. There are many songs on albums that I don't think are that special on the first couple of listens, but after a while I really start liking them (and I usually start preferring them to the "hit songs" on the album that are easier to listen to). There are many great songs that I would never have heard if I didn't listen to full albums.


Vinyls may appear to sound better (to some people) because the sound is colored. And pure and clean is not always what sounds "best". But digital formats have a lot more potential for better audio quality. Digital is noise-free and it doesn't age over time like vinyls and cassettes and tapes do. I have heard that when CD came out, most people only wanted to buy CDs after that because of the improvement in sound quality. I mean, if you had asked from people in the 90s whether they preferred CD or vinyl, I'm sure most people would have preferred CD. But maybe for nostalgic reasons or something vinyls have come back (and maybe also because of loudness war that doesn't have an effect on vinyl releases). Or maybe they are just cool like Kevätuhri said.


Now, of course some kids download some crappy 240p music videos from Youtube and listen to them on their crappy iPhone speakers. But you can't really blame digital formats for that.

There are bad quality mp3 files but there are also great quality mp3 files. It all depends on the bitrate (and I guess there may also be something else to it besides that). I can't hear a difference between CD and 192 kbps mp3 file. I tried it and I just couldn't hear a difference. Maybe it was because of my sound card or something on my computer. It wasn't the headphones that I used because they are good quality. Or maybe it's just the fact that there is so little difference between them. I have heard that you can learn to hear the "mp3 sound". And maybe some people can do that. But for me, 192 kbps is enough. But I can definitely hear the difference between CD and 128 kbps mp3 file. (According to some study, 192 kbps should be enough IIRC.)
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#10
i think its ok. Honestly when I record it's through my computers audio jack plugged straight from my guitar and I will use 1 to 2 compressors to clean it up while playing.

I can add distortions sometimes one called celestial fuzz or something which sounds amazing but with out the compressors the feedback is unbearable.

The top thing for me is the ease of use. You can also play multiple instruments and layer them with ease or cut samples in. I've never have DJ'd or anything so can't comment on that. Saw wu-tang in Canada with DJ Mathmatics and it was pretty amazing but he's old school.
song stuck in my head today


#11
Quote by lbc_sublime
i think its ok. Honestly when I record it's through my computers audio jack plugged straight from my guitar and I will use 1 to 2 compressors to clean it up while playing.

I can add distortions sometimes one called celestial fuzz or something which sounds amazing but with out the compressors the feedback is unbearable.
I think you're talking about a different kind of compression. You're compressing dynamic range and that happens in analogue and digital music production. Doing this you're changing the "audio picture" but still using the same amount of digital information to describe the picture.

What the op is complaining about is file compression. File compression is basically trying to use less data to try to describe the same "audio picture". The complaint is that in doing so a lot of audio information is lost and the resulting product sounds worse.

Or maybe I missed your point?

=======================

Digital is easier, more affordable, more flexible, and takes up less physical space.

Digital recording has removed barriers and put not only world class production gear but entire studios and theatres in a box in your bedroom - even, quite literally, in the palm of your hand.

The digital age has made it possible for a 14 year old kid with an ipad that has never played an instrument to create a musical masterpiece with comparable audio quality to anything found in the top 40, and release that piece of music to the world -all while he is sitting on the bus on his way to school.

While it is unlikely that will actually happen digital technology makes it possible and that is an amazing thing.

Most anti-digital sentiment is not much more than nostalgia.

"analogue is a better quality high fidelity sound'
-No it's not. Digital can do a better job of capturing a sound source more accurately and cleanly without colouring the sound.

"Digital is too perfect and clean and it lacks the warmth and soul of analogue"
-With digital you can capture the performance as it was (warts and all so to speak).
You then have the option of cleaning it up in a non destructive way - but you don't have to and once you do you can always revert to the original (provided you save early and often!!).
If you like the warmth of analogue tape saturation to colour your sound - you can add that in. With analogue you don't have that artistic choice it's made for you by the recording medium.
Si
#12
I agree 100% that nostalgia may cloud my view and I also agree that the listening device plays more of a role than the audio format.

I just remember a time when people who were passionate about music were also just as passionate about listening to it at the optimum sound quality. Nowadays it seems like sound quality has all but gone out the window in favour of accessibility.

Listening to Dark side of the moon through an iphone (in my opinion) robs you of the full sonic experience.
Granted not everyone would choose to listen to it like that but at the same time there are kids that have never even heard a stereo! My worry is that eventually music will be reduced to the harsh tinny 'novelty ringtone' format; simply because people don't know any better
GUITAR COMPANIES - Contact me if you'd like to sponsor my signature!
#13
Quote by Matriani
I agree 100% that nostalgia may cloud my view and I also agree that the listening device plays more of a role than the audio format.

I just remember a time when people who were passionate about music were also just as passionate about listening to it at the optimum sound quality. Nowadays it seems like sound quality has all but gone out the window in favour of accessibility.

Listening to Dark side of the moon through an iphone (in my opinion) robs you of the full sonic experience.
Granted not everyone would choose to listen to it like that but at the same time there are kids that have never even heard a stereo! My worry is that eventually music will be reduced to the harsh tinny 'novelty ringtone' format; simply because people don't know any better


I agree with all of this!
#14
Quote by Matriani
My worry is that eventually music will be reduced to the harsh tinny 'novelty ringtone' format; simply because people don't know any better


That would the fault of dumb people, not the digital age.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#15
Quote by Matriani
I just remember a time when people who were passionate about music were also just as passionate about listening to it at the optimum sound quality. Nowadays it seems like sound quality has all but gone out the window in favour of accessibility.


There have always been people that are passionate and people that are casual listeners. People that are passionate still listen to music on good quality sound systems and people that are casual listeners didn't really care what they were listening on back then.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#16
Quote by Kevätuhri
That would the fault of dumb people, not the digital age.


Don't know if I'd say dumb. Ignorant people perhaps, and ignorance is what is bred when accessibility trumps an otherwise "fuller" experience which is becoming less and less common when discussing people's music listening habits.
#17
Quote by wafflesyrup
Don't know if I'd say dumb. Ignorant people perhaps, and ignorance is what is bred when accessibility trumps an otherwise "fuller" experience which is becoming less and less common when discussing people's music listening habits.


There have always been those people that don't care about audio quality and probably can't tell the difference anyway. Those people listened to on better speakers those days, at least compared to phone speakers and $10 earbuds. It wasn't because they actually cared about audio quality back then but rather that there just weren't smartphone speakers back then. If they did have them, that's what average people would have been listening to. Not fancy stereo systems.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#18
Quote by theogonia777
There have always been those people that don't care about audio quality and probably can't tell the difference anyway. Those people listened to on better speakers those days, at least compared to phone speakers and $10 earbuds. It wasn't because they actually cared about audio quality back then but rather that there just weren't smartphone speakers back then. If they did have them, that's what average people would have been listening to. Not fancy stereo systems.


Yeah, I don't disagree. People who are mindful of the quality of their sound will seek the tools they require, those who aren't, won't. But I still think the modern accessibility of our listening devices may play a role, if minor, in decreasing the overall awareness of the glory that is loud, immersive sound. It's spiritual, yo.
#19
For me, I think the economy of music will make music worse, in the sense that it won't be able to sustain as many people I don't think, and I think instrumentalism will take a hit. The music industry will be even more heavily weighted towards a label hiring a front guy or girl, and then buying songs for them to perform, and paying for production and marketing etcetera.

But the end product of music I think is of a very high quality. The producers are good, the songwriters are good, the singers are good, and I find the audio quality is amazing.

The technology available in this day and age to get high quality audio playback is far superior to any previous era. Most people don't care, but if you want to spend the money on it you can go nuts. And a lot of people bought Beats headphones at a huge markup for sound quality, so I don't think it's actually perceived as less important today, than it once was. And actually, back in the day people would have spent a lot of money on a ghetto blaster, or walkman, which didn't have great audio quality, especially on tape cassettes, just to have portability. So, I'd say that in that era they elected accessibility over sound quality, even more than today.

I also don't even mind the loudness wars so much, but I really think they should fix that via playback hardware/software, because although I don't mind the compressed sound for some stuff, and think it can be cool, it does take away from the less loud songs, and it does suck that producers are kind of coerced into making loud productions.

But there is something amazing to me about real musicians playing off each other and just jamming out, and there is something great about songwriters writing their own songs, and just expressing themselves through the art form, rather than the division of labour that kind of just looks at music as a business. So, for me, something is lost there, and I think that will become worse.

But, like I said, the people that are making music today are all very talented at what they do, and in that sense, I think the quality of music is actually very high in this day and age. Same for playback. The playback quality that I get now, is far superior to what I've ever had access to before, and modern productions are produced at much higher quality than any previous era also.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Mar 4, 2016,
#20
Quote by Matriani

But is it a tragedy that when I go to see my favourite band; most of the audience is trying to film it on their phones rather than just listening to the music and enjoying it?

lol no. you're there to listen with your own ears, not through everyone else's mobile. if you think it's a tragedy then it's a tragedy for them, not for you. and if that's how they want to enjoy their music, then you have no right nor reason to tell them otherwise.

the digital age of music has done more for the progression of music than literally any other moment in human history
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#21
Quote by 20Tigers
I think you're talking about a different kind of compression. You're compressing dynamic range and that happens in analogue and digital music production. Doing this you're changing the "audio picture" but still using the same amount of digital information to describe the picture.

What the op is complaining about is file compression. File compression is basically trying to use less data to try to describe the same "audio picture". The complaint is that in doing so a lot of audio information is lost and the resulting product sounds worse.

Or maybe I missed your point?

=======================

Digital is easier, more affordable, more flexible, and takes up less physical space.

Digital recording has removed barriers and put not only world class production gear but entire studios and theatres in a box in your bedroom - even, quite literally, in the palm of your hand.

The digital age has made it possible for a 14 year old kid with an ipad that has never played an instrument to create a musical masterpiece with comparable audio quality to anything found in the top 40, and release that piece of music to the world -all while he is sitting on the bus on his way to school.

While it is unlikely that will actually happen digital technology makes it possible and that is an amazing thing.

Most anti-digital sentiment is not much more than nostalgia.

"analogue is a better quality high fidelity sound'
-No it's not. Digital can do a better job of capturing a sound source more accurately and cleanly without colouring the sound.

"Digital is too perfect and clean and it lacks the warmth and soul of analogue"
-With digital you can capture the performance as it was (warts and all so to speak).
You then have the option of cleaning it up in a non destructive way - but you don't have to and once you do you can always revert to the original (provided you save early and often!!).
If you like the warmth of analogue tape saturation to colour your sound - you can add that in. With analogue you don't have that artistic choice it's made for you by the recording medium.


I just meant the digital era allows me to use synthetic equipment for free or next to nothing and I can record decent tracks with out tons of physical equipment.

As for sound quality I can pick between many different file sizes to use that effect the end result. I think part of the problem is data size for quality vs how much data an album can hold at this point in time.
song stuck in my head today


#22
A 14 year old kid can't produce songs of professional quality on his iPad on his way to school.

There is a reason top producers are paid top dollar, and people build multi-million dollar facilities.

They could make something decent with no noise floor, or other sorts of analog artifacts, all in the box sampled or digitized stuff, but that's about it.

In the recent past a lot of analog gear that provided a lot of great character in studios has been simulated at high accuracy, and that gives the advantage that it won't break every time you try to use it. But analog gear gets its flavour from its physical condition, and not every unit is physically the same, so they all have their own character. So, there is still something to be said for using real analog gear, but I don't think it is fair to say that analog gear is objectively superior in any way, really. Not anymore. But still there might be some cool analog units kicking around that haven't been simulated, and there's something poetic and more beautiful about using the real thing, imo.

I mean, I could run ivory pianos 2, and have high quality samples mapped at multiple velocities with sympathetic resonance and pedal noise and all that jazz, and you might not be able to tell that it's a "fake" piano, but I'd much prefer record the real thing in a studio if I could. Even though that removes some of the flexibility of midi to alter it.

Depending on the music I'm making of course.

You're supposed to pay for tools to make music, and for music. That's what is killing music in this day and age, imo. The economics of it. The quality is great.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Mar 4, 2016,
#23
Quote by theogonia777
First of all, high quality, uncompressed digital audio (ie not mp3) is just as good in terms of quality as analog formats and anyone has that they can hear that the music sounds digital is 100% full of shit. In fact, the only notable difference between high quality digital and analog is that analog doesn't have the sonic range of digital due to limitations of physical material such as vinyl or tape. So when you listen to a vinyl record, you're hearing colored (and therefore impure) sound.
Er, so hold on, that means you can tell the difference?

Digital = more sonic range, "pure", more "accurate" - yes?
Analogue = "coloured" in various ways by the physical medium, "impure" - yes?

Surely that's a perceptible difference in sound? Which means someone could quite easily claim they can hear which is digital.

Of course, to test it, one would have to set up a direct comparison between the same performance recorded both ways. Not easily (or often) done.
Sometimes the comparison between an analogue version of a recording and a digital one is not valid, because the digital one might have been taken from the analogue tape (so could hardly be pure in that case, although in theory it would accurately represent the coloration of the tape); or a digital studio recording might have been issued on vinyl.
E.g. in one case where I have a vinyl and CD version of the same album, on the CD version I can hear what sounds like tape hiss from the analogue source! I don't get that on the vinyl, even though doubtless the vinyl itself adds its own impurity. But the vinyl sounds better to these (non-audiophile)ears. Obviously I guess that's a poorly produced CD - nothing to do with the quality of pure digital.

I mean, I think by and large you're right. A lot of people say they can spot a digital recording, but it may be their imagination, or some other aspect of the recording they're hearing that they misidentify as a digital effect.
Quote by theogonia777

Second, the average person probably can't hear the difference between mp3 and higher quality audio anyway, and the vast majority of audiophiles that claim they personally can are also dead wrong.
My own experience of the difference might be my imagination, but I'd be interested in an educated opinion.
Some years ago I bought a digital multiFX (Korg AX1000), fully believing digital was at least as good, and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference even if it wasn't. (I'm no audiophile).
I hated it, but not only because I couldn't find any sounds I liked on it (well very few - the distortions were all shit at least), but even on bypass it seemed to colour the sound in some indefinable way - some kind of "hardness" is the only word I can think of. It really surprised me that I could tell. If I plugged the guitar straight into the amp, it was fine. (I was using a 60s Casino into an early 80s Fender Concert.)
I reverted to my old plastic Boss BE-5, which had a risible 4 FX choices, but didn't colour the sound in any noticeable way. (I've no idea how analogue/digital that is.)

I suspect you'll say I was imagining it, which is quite possible. But I wasn't biased against the Korg. It took me a while to work out why I felt uneasy, why the sound was somehow unpleasant with it plugged between guitar and amp. I was somewhat pissed off of course, having shelled out for it. But I just felt happier playing without it in the chain.

I'd still be using that BE-5 now if it hadn't started to deteriorate, becoming noisy.
Quote by theogonia777

Otherwise, digital technology has made music better almost entirely across the board.
In terms of choice and price that's undoubtedly true. I don't feel qualified to judge on sound quality, other than the two odd experiences above - the problem with the Korg might well be nothing to do with its digital nature.

So I'd agree totally with "almost entirely". There are other issues with modern recorded music that I think are more relevant, such as audio compression in pop and rock recording (as opposed to digital compression in MP3s), the reduction in dynamic level.
Last edited by jongtr at Mar 4, 2016,
#24
Quote by Matriani
I agree 100% that nostalgia may cloud my view and I also agree that the listening device plays more of a role than the audio format.

I just remember a time when people who were passionate about music were also just as passionate about listening to it at the optimum sound quality. Nowadays it seems like sound quality has all but gone out the window in favour of accessibility.

Listening to Dark side of the moon through an iphone (in my opinion) robs you of the full sonic experience.
Granted not everyone would choose to listen to it like that but at the same time there are kids that have never even heard a stereo! My worry is that eventually music will be reduced to the harsh tinny 'novelty ringtone' format; simply because people don't know any better

Remember that bands/artists also want their albums to sound great. If I recorded an album, I wouldn't want it to sound like crap. I'm sure many people don't care about the sound quality that much, but albums are made to sound good not only for the listeners but also for the bands/artists themselves. I would want to be satisfied with how my own album sounds like. "Passable" is not good enough, and I think most musicians would agree. It's like playing on stage and making small mistakes all the time. Yes, most people wouldn't care about them, but I would. I wouldn't be satisfied with a performance that was full of mistakes, even if nobody really noticed them.

I mean, you could basically sell anything to people - people will buy anything that is marketed properly. But as an artist I would want my songs to sound good. As long as there are artists who want to make good sounding music and good sounding albums, good sounding music will exist.


Also, as said earlier in this thread, there have always been people who don't care about audio quality. It's not like the people who care about audio quality will suddenly stop caring about it in the future. Also, to my understanding people used to record songs from the radio and their favorite albums on cassettes and listened to them on Sony Walkman and some crappy headphones. The quality must have been way worse than today. It's not like crappy quality is a new thing.


Also, it's more likely that technology will improve and good quality speakers and good quality music players will become cheaper than that people will stop caring about quality.


^ Guys, we aren't talking about guitar gear or digital pianos/synths. Digital modeling vs analog is really not comparable to digital vs analog recording.

And jongtr, I have an RP355 and it does color the guitar sound even when bypassed. The difference is easily noticeable. I don't think it's about digital vs analog. It's more about the quality of the bypass. Some analog pedals also color the sound when bypassed. If it's not true bypass, it colors the sound in some way, no matter whether it's digital or analog.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 4, 2016,
#26
I know this will start a firestorm of hate but this is my personal opinion. The mileage you get may vary.

The technology end of going from analog to digital is great. The technology advancement has been amazing and truly wonderful but these advancements have come at a cost. As the high quality technology becomes more and more assessable I feel strongly that the level of musicianship and artistic merit has been greatly diminished.

In the past, recording was the end of an artist musical chain. First you learned to play, sing, write songs and arrange. You put together bands and that went out and performed to audiences who judged your material by their applause and whether your audience increased or decreased at the next gig (if they didn't like it, they didn't go to your next gig). After the band/artist had it all worked out, they recorded. It was a difficult and labor intensive and required skill and knowledge.

The good thing about todays digital formats and recording software is that anyone with a computer can record in fairly high quality but it also means fewer people want to put in the hard work. They skip over the practice, performance and building an audience and start with recording so the high quality easy to acquire digital format capable of giving us great musical projects too often gives us high quality recordings of low quality music. It's not the fault of the format that's to blame, it's the talent (or lack of it).
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 4, 2016,
#27
Quote by lbc_sublime
I just meant the digital era allows me to use synthetic equipment for free or next to nothing and I can record decent tracks with out tons of physical equipment.
Word.


===============
Quote by jongtr
Er, so hold on, that means you can tell the difference?

Digital = more sonic range, "pure", more "accurate" - yes?
Analogue = "coloured" in various ways by the physical medium, "impure" - yes?

Surely that's a perceptible difference in sound? Which means someone could quite easily claim they can hear which is digital.
Not if tape saturation or similar is added to the digital recording.

Quote by jongtr

Some years ago I bought a digital multiFX (Korg AX1000), fully believing digital was at least as good, and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference even if it wasn't. (I'm no audiophile).
"Some years ago" could be the key to that...how many years is "some years ago". The first digital amp modelling I tried were pretty harsh and flat.

In the last couple of years though amp and stomp fx modelling is pretty good. I'm not saying analogue gear isn't great. But I do think digital is definitely not inferior nor has it changed music for the worse.

Quote by fingrpickingood
A 14 year old kid can't produce songs of professional quality on his iPad on his way to school.
Alright on a laptop then
Don't get hung up on the details though, I'm saying that technology has made a professional standard possible for anyone. I'm not saying that it has made talent irrelevant.

Whether you like to play a real piano or not doesn't change anything.

If the end listener can't tell the difference then either method is equally valid in recording and producing a record. Further just because a listener can tell by listening that someone isn't actually playing an instrument and that it was programmed doesn't reduce it's musical validity. If it sounds good...

The fact is that it is possible to write and produce a song entirely "in the box" and upload it to the world. And further that it is technologically possible for that song to be of a professional standard.

We can debate all day long about whether it is possible some 14yo could possibly posses the skills and talent to achieve that on the bus ride to school...but that wouldn't be a limit of the technology but of the user.

So yeah a talented musician on great instruments in a great room with top of the line mics that were selected and placed by a professional engineer running into some high end analogue compressors mixed by someone with a golden ear and years of experience recording a song written by a proven songwriting genius is definitely more likely to produce better results than a 14yo on a laptop...there's no denying it...but guess what?? ...it is also more than likely that even they will be recording digitally.
Si
#28
Quote by jongtr
Er, so hold on, that means you can tell the difference?

Digital = more sonic range, "pure", more "accurate" - yes?
Analogue = "coloured" in various ways by the physical medium, "impure" - yes?

Surely that's a perceptible difference in sound? Which means someone could quite easily claim they can hear which is digital.


No. I mean like when people say that like 44100 192kb or whatever digital audio sounds "too digital" to them, like they can hear that it's all 1s and 0s or something. "Oh, I can hear how bad the quality is and the digital nature ruins the sound quality." That kind of thing.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#29
Quote by Rickholly74
I know this will start a firestorm of hate but this is my personal opinion. The mileage you get may vary.

The technology end of going from analog to digital is great. The technology advancement has been amazing and truly wonderful but these advancements have come at a cost. As the high quality technology becomes more and more assessable I feel strongly that the level of musicianship and artistic merit has been greatly diminished.

In the past, recording was the end of an artist musical chain. First you learned to play, sing, write songs and arrange. You put together bands and that went out and performed to audiences who judged your material by their applause and whether your audience increased or decreased at the next gig (if they didn't like it, they didn't go to your next gig). After the band/artist had it all worked out, they recorded. It was a difficult and labor intensive and required skill and knowledge.

The good thing about todays digital formats and recording software is that anyone with a computer can record in fairly high quality but it also means fewer people want to put in the hard work. They skip over the practice, performance and building an audience and start with recording so the high quality easy to acquire digital format capable of giving us great musical projects too often gives us high quality recordings of low quality music. It's not the fault of the format that's to blame, it's the talent (or lack of it).


Ya, I think that there will still be really talented people making great music, but the days of Jimi hendrix, or John Mayer typed artists, that can really play an instrument at a high level, and songwrite and everything like that, might be basically over.

There have always been bands that played relatively simple music, and that's cool, simple is good, but instrumentalism, I find is really cool. The improvisation aspect, I find is really cool, and I think that's going to be harder to come by going forward.

You can do a lot of cool stuff on a computer, and orchestrate amazing pieces, and create awesome harmonies and kick ass melodies, and incredible sounds of all kinds. there is tremendous power with software like Serum and Massive and stuff like that.

But you can't directly convert your thoughts into sound with a computer. not whimsical, instantaneous thought to sound. And that's something that I find is really special about music. The jams and spontaneity. It's so much more special to me, to be a group listening to a band that can really jam and plays music they like, and that band played those songs that way, once. And you were there to witness it, and only those people in that room, saw that performance, that night.

Whereas production is a cool artform and you can make awesome music with it, it is frozen in time, and is perfectly copied for everyone. it doesn't have that "special moment" sort of magic. It's like whose line is it anyway vs scripted comedy, and everybody must follow the script perfectly without adlibbing. And performances are just reproductions of the production. Trying to essentially copy it, perform the script live.

So, I think playing real instruments is awesome. Real skilled players jamming together is amazing. But I think that's going to die, and sort of already has. It has kind of separated I guess from great popular music and great songwriting, and then sort of less I guess easy listening, or popular music but instruments. Whereas popular music used to be instruments. That's a shame to me. I'd like to listen to skilled musicians jam on more sort of popular music, even if it is more simple theoretically, I don't care, I find it sounds great. And the kind of things that great players think of when they play an instrument, or write basslines, or what have you with an instrument in their hands, is not the same sort of thing people would come up with while they're programming. So, sure, for me, something special is going extinct in music. But some other cool things are appearing also.
#30
Quote by 20Tigers
Word.


===============
Not if tape saturation or similar is added to the digital recording.

"Some years ago" could be the key to that...how many years is "some years ago". The first digital amp modelling I tried were pretty harsh and flat.

In the last couple of years though amp and stomp fx modelling is pretty good. I'm not saying analogue gear isn't great. But I do think digital is definitely not inferior nor has it changed music for the worse.

Alright on a laptop then
Don't get hung up on the details though, I'm saying that technology has made a professional standard possible for anyone. I'm not saying that it has made talent irrelevant.

Whether you like to play a real piano or not doesn't change anything.

If the end listener can't tell the difference then either method is equally valid in recording and producing a record. Further just because a listener can tell by listening that someone isn't actually playing an instrument and that it was programmed doesn't reduce it's musical validity. If it sounds good...

The fact is that it is possible to write and produce a song entirely "in the box" and upload it to the world. And further that it is technologically possible for that song to be of a professional standard.

We can debate all day long about whether it is possible some 14yo could possibly posses the skills and talent to achieve that on the bus ride to school...but that wouldn't be a limit of the technology but of the user.

So yeah a talented musician on great instruments in a great room with top of the line mics that were selected and placed by a professional engineer running into some high end analogue compressors mixed by someone with a golden ear and years of experience recording a song written by a proven songwriting genius is definitely more likely to produce better results than a 14yo on a laptop...there's no denying it...but guess what?? ...it is also more than likely that even they will be recording digitally.


It depends on the kind of music. Some electronic type of music completely produced in the box can achieve a really professional quality. But once you bring microphones into it and stuff like that, then it really gets tough. Making strings sound real is real tough also. You could maybe get it close if you really know what you're doing, but for a lot of stuff, you need to record it, and you'll need a good room for that. It could be argued that you need good monitors, and a good room for making a good mix as well, or at least a really sweet pair of headphones, and lots of testing out different speakers and taking notes.

For a piano, programming it would be really tough to make it sounding natural and real. So, if its a piano player typed piece, even if you use a plugin, you'd need someone to play it on a keyboard, and that requires a lot of skill, and years of practice.

So, for me, sure, if you're going to make electronic music and pirate all the professional grade software, you could make professional sounding digital music in your laptop. But for music with instruments, or even for vocals, not so much.
#31
Jimi Hendrix was around in a time where rock was huge. the Beatles rolling stones eric Clapton the who pink Floyd the doors etc were all major acts.

Today we have a different musical style dominating the airwaves so it's unlikely that you'll get someone playing the same style of music. But people will still dedicate their lives to learning and mastering their instruments.

Ed Sheeran is not exactly Jimi Hendrix but he is not a slacker either. He can keep a packed out Wembley stadium captivated for an entire show just with his voice, his guitar, and a few loop pedals. That takes talent and skill that was developed through hard work and dedication.

There have always been major artists that can't play an instrument but can sing. Others that can play multiple instruments. The same is true today and will always be true.

Instruments, are not going away.

When it comes to programming virtual instruments most of the programming is done by recording a performance on a midi instrument. They usually have a real instrument in their hands - and its usually for exactly the reasons you outlined.

===
EDIT:
You're too fast. That was a response to the earlier post.

In regard to the second post I just want to reiterate...

I'm not arguing that great rooms, mics, monitors, instruments and people do not have value. They are all desirable. If you can afford them then you should use them!! But if you use your ingenuity and find solutions - be artistic!!!

What I AM saying is that technology has levelled the playing field a great deal and if you can't afford those things yourself and haven't been signed by a major recording label that can afford it for you then you and your friends can still find ways to make high quality recordings of your music. And that is a good thing.

I can't help thinking that if it had gone the other way...(50 years ago virtually anyone could make high quality recordings but for some reason today that opportunity was limited only to people with money or that had been signed by major recording artists) ...then we would all be pretty upset about it - and quite rightly. Complaining about it going the other way seems a little like people just want to find something to complain about to be perfectly frank.
Si
#32
I certainly think so; it's definitely taken a lot of the human element out of music. For me, at least, pressing some buttons tremendously pales in comparison to physically interacting with a real instrument. The documentary Sound City offers a good discussion of this, especially with concern to Pro Tools. Definitely worth a look!
#33
Quote by 20Tigers
Jimi Hendrix was around in a time where rock was huge. the Beatles rolling stones eric Clapton the who pink Floyd the doors etc were all major acts.

Today we have a different musical style dominating the airwaves so it's unlikely that you'll get someone playing the same style of music. But people will still dedicate their lives to learning and mastering their instruments.

Ed Sheeran is not exactly Jimi Hendrix but he is not a slacker either. He can keep a packed out Wembley stadium captivated for an entire show just with his voice, his guitar, and a few loop pedals. That takes talent and skill that was developed through hard work and dedication.

There have always been major artists that can't play an instrument but can sing. Others that can play multiple instruments. The same is true today and will always be true.

Instruments, are not going away.

When it comes to programming virtual instruments most of the programming is done by recording a performance on a midi instrument. They usually have a real instrument in their hands - and its usually for exactly the reasons you outlined.

===
EDIT:
You're too fast. That was a response to the earlier post.

In regard to the second post I just want to reiterate...

I'm not arguing that great rooms, mics, monitors, instruments and people do not have value. They are all desirable. If you can afford them then you should use them!! But if you use your ingenuity and find solutions - be artistic!!!

What I AM saying is that technology has levelled the playing field a great deal and if you can't afford those things yourself and haven't been signed by a major recording label that can afford it for you then you and your friends can still find ways to make high quality recordings of your music. And that is a good thing.

I can't help thinking that if it had gone the other way...(50 years ago virtually anyone could make high quality recordings but for some reason today that opportunity was limited only to people with money or that had been signed by major recording artists) ...then we would all be pretty upset about it - and quite rightly. Complaining about it going the other way seems a little like people just want to find something to complain about to be perfectly frank.


I don't think instruments will go away, but I think highly skilled instrumentalists will, basically, in popular music, anyway. There is a big difference in how much time and dedication you need to put into guitar to be able to do the sorts of things someone like john Mayer does, as compared to a player like Ed sheeran.

I wasn't referring to style of music, but instrumentalism.

Of course there have always been artists that only sing. I'm not saying it's a new thing. I'm saying that I believe instrumentalists will be more rare, and highly skilled instrumentalists even rarer, and highly skilled instrumentalists playing pop music, even more rare still. And that due to the economics of music now, there will be a larger bias to acts that have a separate performer, and producer, and songwriter, and instrumentalists, and fewer artists that write and perform honest stuff themselves.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Mar 4, 2016,
#34
I saw that documentary. It was a steeped in nostalgia. IIRC the heart of the studio was it's legend and the mixing board.

Dave Grohl and others reminisced about the old days when they started out and did their first recordings there. Dave saw it as a rock'n'roll mecca and the trip there was like a pilgrimage to visit and record at this legendary studio.

In the end the studio failed on account of them not making the switch to digital and Dave Grohl (rather than invest in upgrading the studio and making it somewhere new young bands could go to) decided to rip this board out of the studio and put it in his house where he can invite elite musician's like Paul McCartney and friends to jam and record on his new toy.

I was kind of disappointed in Dave Grohl to be honest...but whatever.

Ultimate the documentary was about the pros and cons or digital vs analogue recording. It was a purely nostalgic piece about a rock n roll heritage site. It was a good documentary though and well worth watching. But I'm not swayed by nostalgia.

"Get out of the new road if you can't lend a hand for the times they are a changing" - and that's exactly what happened to "soundcity".

======
Quote by fingrpikingood
I don't think instruments will go away, but I think highly skilled instrumentalists will, basically, in popular music, anyway. There is a big difference in how much time and dedication you need to put into guitar to be able to do the sorts of things someone like john Mayer does, as compared to a player like Ed sheeran.

I wasn't referring to style of music, but instrumentalism.

Of course there have always been artists that only sing. I'm not saying it's a new thing. I'm saying that I believe instrumentalists will be more rare, and highly skilled instrumentalists even rarer, and highly skilled instrumentalists playing pop music, even more rare still. And that due to the economics of music now, there will be a larger bias to acts that have a separate performer, and producer, and songwriter, and instrumentalists, and fewer artists that write and perform honest stuff themselves.
Ok.
Maybe, I'm not sure. I think it will come back around to be honest. I have faith in humanity.
Si
#35
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Remember that bands/artists also want their albums to sound great.


Tell that to Metallica! LOL
GUITAR COMPANIES - Contact me if you'd like to sponsor my signature!
#36
It's less ritualistic and sacred, but a lot more accessible and convenient for both creators and consumers. If you still want to buy vinyl you can, I do, but overall I think it's a fair trade off.
#37
Quote by Matriani
Tell that to Metallica! LOL

Well, by that I mean something the band/artist is satisfied with, ie, getting the sound they are after. Metallica did that on AJFA, St. Anger and Death Magnetic. They may not be great sounding records, but that was the sound Metallica was after. The sound on those records wasn't an accident.

Metallica always has some kind of a vision on the albums. That vision may not always be that great, but they have a clear vision and know what they are doing.

Actually, Metallica is a great example of what I'm talking about. They don't make albums just for the fans, they make albums for themselves. And as long as that happens, sound quality won't change just because the listeners don't care much about it.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#38
I just think musicians have moved away from the idea of working together. The digital format has given us great opportunity for perfect sound quality but what seems to be disappearing is the great stuff that comes from the spontaneity of a real band playing together in the studio or creating an environment where the prospect of something magic between musicians can happen. In a sense the digital format has allowed musicians (myself included) to achieve perfect sound quality, perfect pitch (Autotune) and note perfect playing (punch in, overdub, cut and paste) but it has also allowed us to often ignore what made the music great to begin with and that's the interaction between musicians.

What got missed watching the "Sound City" movie was the fact that you saw bands set up and playing live in the studio. Bands like Nirvana, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Fleetwood Mac, Metallica and all those hundreds of others were in there recording live with their live gear and capturing a performance. The Neve console was just a very high quality piece of gear that captured the performance and was state of the art at the time. It wasn't about the equipment, it was about the studio itself and the vibe and the way bands came in and played live. Yes they tweaked various parts afterward but they had the bed of a real performance. I guess what I'm getting at is I believe digital recording has allowed musicians to take too many shortcuts and moved us away from getting a bunch of players in a room together creating the magic that only comes during a live performance. The digital format that is capable of perfect quality didn't let us down.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 5, 2016,
#39
Quote by Rickholly74
I just think musicians have moved away from the idea of working together. The digital format has given us great opportunity for perfect sound quality but what seems to be disappearing is the great stuff that comes from the spontaneity of a real band playing together in the studio or creating an environment where the prospect of something magic between musicians can happen. In a sense the digital format has allowed musicians (myself included) to achieve perfect sound quality, perfect pitch (Autotune) and note perfect playing (punch in, overdub, cut and paste) but it has also allowed us to often ignore what made the music great to begin with and that's the interaction between musicians.

What got missed watching the "Sound City" movie was the fact that you saw bands set up and playing live in the studio. Bands like Nirvana, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Fleetwood Mac, Metallica and all those hundreds of others were in there recording live with their live gear and capturing a performance. The Neve console was just a very high quality piece of gear that captured the performance and was state of the art at the time. It wasn't about the equipment, it was about the studio itself and the vibe and the way bands came in and played live. Yes they tweaked various parts afterward but they had the bed of a real performance. I guess what I'm getting at is I believe digital recording has allowed musicians to take too many shortcuts and moved us away from getting a bunch of players in a room together creating the magic that only comes during a live performance. The digital format that is capable of perfect quality didn't let us down.

"Sound City" is still in business with a newer Neve 8068 board. Dave bought the old board that had been used during the studios glory days.

http://studiocitysound.com/



Ya, there are still lots of collaborations in songwriting, but it's not quite the same thing as having a great bassist, guitarist, drummer etcetera, and all of a certain style and creativity, and just mixing together and feeding off each other in a very organic instantaneous way. I agree there is definitely something cool about that, which is lost in the sort of manufacturing process of programming.

But I think in pop music, if you hear a guitarist play guitar, or a singer sing or whatever, they are usually very highly skilled at that thing, I find. Sure there are punch ins and outs, and there is autotune, but I think for the most part the artists can perform well enough without all of that. But the technology does allow for a higher level of perfection than was previously possible. Whether you like that or not, is another story. I think it's cool also. Autotune gets overdone imo, but I think its cool that music was able to evolve thatway also.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Mar 5, 2016,
#40
I think there a lot great talents out there. By the way I like your recording (Miles In Your Shoes). Nice song and performance. I especially like the harmony inserts.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Page 1 of 2