#1
i would like to be lightened up on the difference between analog and digital effects. plus the ups, and downs of both... thanks
Last edited by Ag0ny at Feb 15, 2007,
#2
Analog:
Doesn't suck tone (http://happybob.com/marc/digital_sucks/index.htm)
Certain effects sound better (Distortion for one), others sound different (eg. delay)

Digital:
More possibilities (ie. compare a digital delay to an analog)
"A wise man once said, never discuss philosophy or politics in a disco environment." - Frank Zappa
Quote by Jinskee
Don't question the X.
<Frenchy> I'm such a failure
#3
Analogue usually sounds warmer, while digital sounds cleaner.

This is provided they are done right, of course.

I'd personally like to have clean, pristine delays, and a warm, round distortion.
#4
Quote by MastaBassist10
Analogue usually sounds warmer, while digital sounds cleaner.

That's a really bad generalisation to make. A digital chorus doesn't necessarily sound cleaner than an analog chorus.
"A wise man once said, never discuss philosophy or politics in a disco environment." - Frank Zappa
Quote by Jinskee
Don't question the X.
<Frenchy> I'm such a failure
#6
Quote by xifr
Analog:
Doesn't suck tone (http://happybob.com/marc/digital_sucks/index.htm)
Certain effects sound better (Distortion for one), others sound different (eg. delay)

Digital:
More possibilities (ie. compare a digital delay to an analog)


Depends on what kind of "analog" and what kind of "tone" you're talking about. I use both, but it all comes down to the individual unit. For example, the Boss DD-6 is an example of an increadible digital delay. A tape echo, however, can be many things...warm, clean, but it can also be problematic and sound very horrible depending on environmental factors and quality of the tape.

If you want to understand the differences, start by reading the article in the link that xifr provided, but don't get caught up in the "XXXX is better than YYYY" crap until you have used the equipment yourself.
#7
the true difference between analog and digital: analog is continuous and digital is discreet. now before you start going, wtf does that mean, let me explain. analog takes your signal and runs it through a bunch of components to give the propper effect. things like capacitors, resistors, transistors, and diodes are all used to control the voltage and current of the signal coming from the guitar.

digital instead converts your guitar signal into digital information, then runs it through digital filters to manipulate the sound. then this new data is converted back into an analog signal and sent to your amp.

again, you are probably wondering wtf that means for your pedal. it means that analog is going to what it does to the whole signal, but is limited in what it can do. you cant do more than space allows (such as having a very long delay time). also it will not be perfect because the components are not perfect, but fall within a tolerance. now this is actually what gives analog a warm sound, so this imperfection is actually good. now with digital it breaks the signal into pieces, so you lose everything between those pieces. now usually you wont lose much because a good sampling rate is used, but the loss is still there (even if not always apparent). then the signal is going to be affected the same way each time (not counting signal errors) because you are simply manipulating 0's and 1's. this is why some people feel digital sounds a bit sterile. the up side is you can do so much in such a small space that the possibilities are almost endless. you can also have very fine control over many different variables, which isnt always possible in analog.

conclusion: both have their places and uses. one cannot always be said to be better than the other because they are different. instead of worrying about analog versus digital, see what pedals sound good to your ear and what pedals do what you want, then buy those.
#8
Quote by jof1029
the true difference between analog and digital: analog is continuous and digital is discreet. now before you start going, wtf does that mean, let me explain. analog takes your signal and runs it through a bunch of components to give the propper effect. things like capacitors, resistors, transistors, and diodes are all used to control the voltage and current of the signal coming from the guitar.

digital instead converts your guitar signal into digital information, then runs it through digital filters to manipulate the sound. then this new data is converted back into an analog signal and sent to your amp.

again, you are probably wondering wtf that means for your pedal. it means that analog is going to what it does to the whole signal, but is limited in what it can do. you cant do more than space allows (such as having a very long delay time). also it will not be perfect because the components are not perfect, but fall within a tolerance. now this is actually what gives analog a warm sound, so this imperfection is actually good. now with digital it breaks the signal into pieces, so you lose everything between those pieces. now usually you wont lose much because a good sampling rate is used, but the loss is still there (even if not always apparent). then the signal is going to be affected the same way each time (not counting signal errors) because you are simply manipulating 0's and 1's. this is why some people feel digital sounds a bit sterile. the up side is you can do so much in such a small space that the possibilities are almost endless. you can also have very fine control over many different variables, which isnt always possible in analog.

conclusion: both have their places and uses. one cannot always be said to be better than the other because they are different. instead of worrying about analog versus digital, see what pedals sound good to your ear and what pedals do what you want, then buy those.


The only thing that comes to mind is "GOOD LORD WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!!!". This is the best short answer I've heard on the subject. Very well said.
#9
Terrific post, but I come to a different conclusion.

Quote by jof1029
digital instead converts your guitar signal into digital information, then runs it through digital filters to manipulate the sound. then this new data is converted back into an analog signal and sent to your amp.


Analog's just better.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#10
Is ther any way to get that definition stickied? For all the future noobs that will come in and eventually have the same question, because I haven't heard a more accurate concise definition of the topic than jof1029's post. Pink.....?
PM Me for any help you need with recording systems/tips
Quote by BrianApocalypse
Good call

Man, you should be a mod, you know everything.

#11
Quote by slatsmania
Terrific post, but I come to a different conclusion.


Analog's just better.


No it's not. It's preference. I personally wont touch analog modulation effects with a ten foot pole, digital just sounds plain better to me.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.