Poll: Analog or Digital?
Poll Options
View poll results: Analog or Digital?
Analog
10 32%
Digital
18 58%
Other-please specify
3 10%
Voters: 31.
#1
I've got 4 new tunes written. How should I record them, on my yamaha mt4x 4 track tape recorder, or fostex MR8 digital recorder? Keyboard, drum machine, bass, guitar, vocals, harmonica are what I will be using.
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
#3
Have a dabble with both - do you already own them? Either could work well for you.

*waits for Muphin*
Last edited by sam i am at Apr 20, 2008,
#4
Quote by sam i am


*waits for Muphin*


I think he was banned some time ago...it may be a temporary thing though.


As for the recorders...it really depends on what's easiest for you. Still, it's pretty cool your Fostex can double as a USB mixer, sending the stereo track to your comp so you can master it, so I'd go for that one.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!


True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101
#5
Analog, i think digital sounds kind of fake. Especially since I listened to thrash metal all my life, digital just sounds odd and its hard for me to listen to.
#6
I own them both already. I might for a hybrid thing.
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
#7
I challenge you to turn on the radio and tell me which songs were recorded digitally and which were done to tape. Really.

I think digital gets its bad rep for two reasons:
1. Legacy rhetoric. Used to be not as refined as it is now. A lot of people still hang onto the sentiments from the mid-80's.
2. Digital, being a more affordable and flexible medium, appeals to the home user who will record with budget gear. Record a vocal through an SM58 through an Audigy card, and record another with a U87 through an SSL console. The reason the latter sounds better has nothing to do with analog or digital, but it is the digital that gets blamed for the shortcomings of bad technique and less than ideal gear.

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.
Last edited by axemanchris at Apr 20, 2008,
#8
Go take a listen to a nice cassette on your cassette deck. Good quality? Or you can you not listen to it on account that you have neither? Perhaps that's because it was phased out in favor of digital medium? Or perhaps it's because cassettes just never sounded too great?

I dont know, you'll have to speculate that for yourself.


Unless you are recording to high quality, master tape (i.e 2") on high quality, high speed, well maintained, well built tape trackers, there is NO reason to assume or imply that analogue has better sound qualities than digital formats.

Stick with the Fostex.
#10
Some people like the saturation in analog sound. However, it's actually not too difficult to do if you have high end equipment (like the Universal Audio LA2 or 3, or Crane Song's offerings) you're willing to use as an insert. Supposedly, the plug ins both companies offer for saturation are not bad either.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!


True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101
#11
Quote by MrPillow
Go take a listen to a nice cassette on your cassette deck. Good quality? Or you can you not listen to it on account that you have neither? Perhaps that's because it was phased out in favor of digital medium? Or perhaps it's because cassettes just never sounded too great?

I dont know, you'll have to speculate that for yourself.


Unless you are recording to high quality, master tape (i.e 2") on high quality, high speed, well maintained, well built tape trackers, there is NO reason to assume or imply that analogue has better sound qualities than digital formats.

Stick with the Fostex.

You are correct. Thank you.
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
#12
Quote by moody07747
Digital is easier to work with and more forgiving but some will say analog sounds better.

there was a video out on the net comparing the two and I could not hear a difference.



Do you have a link to that video, because I am curious to check that out for myself?

Personally, as with most home studio users, I use digital because of the low cost setup and ease of use and editing. The look and feel of an analogue setup is indeed tempting IMO, but on the whole I definitely agree with what MrPillow has to say on the subject.
There is poetry in despair.
#13
The poll results puzzle me. Do people truly believe analog cassettes are favorable to digital medium in todays world, or do they believe cassettes are favoravle simply because of the inexperienced nostalgic love they seem to possess for the unproven superiority of analog recording?

Ignorance is never a good thing =(
#14
I do have a certain nostalgia for those crappy, easily ruined cassettes.

Maybe people are voting for analogue over digital in general, rather than in the TS circumstances. Or, maybe they know nothing about it. Or maybe they really do like cassettes ?
There is poetry in despair.
#15
The last cassette I ever bought was Jim Croce's Greatist Hits.

No idea where that ended up...
#16
I would only do to tape if it was very high quality reel-to-reel master tapes. In your case digital will be worlds better than a 4-track cassette recorder.
Quote by allislost
I would say that aetherspear speaks nothing but the truth.
UG Blues Group
UG Reggae & Dub Group
Need Professional Mixing for cheap? Need Vinyl to Digital Transfers? PM Me.
#17
I'm gonna go with digital. I use a TonePort and if you know what you're doing you can get some pretty legit sounds out of that thing. I've managed to get some pretty great metal distortion, a nice warm jazzy clean sound, and an Opeth-esque clean. This is without any of the packs or anything, just a 90 dollar TonePort UX1 with all the standard plugins and **** it comes with. My buddy went ahead and bought all this expensive analog gear to record his band, and it just sounds awful, because he knows as much about recording analog as I do, and that's not a lot. Basically, if you want an easy way to get a pretty decent recording I'd go with digital. However, if you know what you're doing, have the knowledge, and have the right equipment, then analog.

Or hell, ignore all that, try both, see which one you like. It's all about personal preference anyways.
#18
Analog = Best Sound
Digital for usability.

Overall i say digital
Professional Mixing available at request.

Everton FC
#19
This is a stupid debate.

Both have their benefits and downfalls.

I would say both. Analogue signal path, effects and processing, and digital storage medium.
#20
So if analog sounds better, why can't you turn on the radio and tell which were recorded to analog and which were recorded digitally? If analog sounded better, wouldn't it be easy to tell?

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.
#21
Well, the radio sound is already badly compressed in order to broadcast it over the airwaves. A better idea is to A/B with good equipment...I've done it to Deltron 3030, the vinyl and cd, with Stanton STR8s and Denon DN500 over Genelec speakers and couldn't tell the difference. Based on a recent article, there are actually eq differences as a vinyl record goes onward (though mastering can offset that somewhat), so accuracy wise, digital IS better. Analog only truly makes sense with massive Reel to Reel players.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!


True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101
#22
Digital is harsh, IMHO. Classical, although more natural, lacks life that tape gave it.
#23
In your honest opinion based on what. If I presented you an identical clip, 1 recorded with analog gear, and 1 with digital, could you honestly and bluntly tell me the difference? Or perhaps you're overlooking the fact that everything on CD, the internet, or radio these days, has undergone ad/da conversion so upsets the whole theory that digital sounds worse etc? Perhaps you're overlooking the fundamental fact that 99% of the sound of any given recording lies within the equipment used, the environment it is used in, the musicians using it, the engineer working the desk, and the mastering engineer putting out master presses, not the medium it is recorded on?

Sounds like more nostalgia fueled speculation to me.


Can any of you saying you prefer analog to digital for recording even tell me what the difference is? Aside from the obvious 1 being analog and 1 digital, can you tell me what digital recording does to the audio wave itself that results in it not sounding as good as an analog machine of comparable quality?


Bah....
#24
I could comment on that, but I'm not one of the ones saying that I could tell the difference between analogue and digital. Because I almost certainly wouldn't be able to, to be honest.
There is poetry in despair.
#25
Quote by MrPillow
In your honest opinion based on what. If I presented you an identical clip, 1 recorded with analog gear, and 1 with digital, could you honestly and bluntly tell me the difference? Or perhaps you're overlooking the fact that everything on CD, the internet, or radio these days, has undergone ad/da conversion so upsets the whole theory that digital sounds worse etc? Perhaps you're overlooking the fundamental fact that 99% of the sound of any given recording lies within the equipment used, the environment it is used in, the musicians using it, the engineer working the desk, and the mastering engineer putting out master presses, not the medium it is recorded on?

Sounds like more nostalgia fueled speculation to me.


Can any of you saying you prefer analog to digital for recording even tell me what the difference is? Aside from the obvious 1 being analog and 1 digital, can you tell me what digital recording does to the audio wave itself that results in it not sounding as good as an analog machine of comparable quality?


Bah....
If you are using a high quality reel to reel it is tough to tell the difference. If you are using a 4 track it's easy. The sound is much granier, lo fi. But sometimes that sound works nice, rather than it sounding "slick".
Quote by ottoavist

i suppose there's a chance
i'm just a litte too shallow to consider
that maybe i've been a little more eager
each day to wake up and take a shower
brush my teeth and smile for the mirror
#26
Quote by MrPillow
In your honest opinion based on what. If I presented you an identical clip, 1 recorded with analog gear, and 1 with digital, could you honestly and bluntly tell me the difference? Or perhaps you're overlooking the fact that everything on CD, the internet, or radio these days, has undergone ad/da conversion so upsets the whole theory that digital sounds worse etc? Perhaps you're overlooking the fundamental fact that 99% of the sound of any given recording lies within the equipment used, the environment it is used in, the musicians using it, the engineer working the desk, and the mastering engineer putting out master presses, not the medium it is recorded on?

Sounds like more nostalgia fueled speculation to me.


Can any of you saying you prefer analog to digital for recording even tell me what the difference is? Aside from the obvious 1 being analog and 1 digital, can you tell me what digital recording does to the audio wave itself that results in it not sounding as good as an analog machine of comparable quality?


Bah....


Yes, I could.

I spend about 9 hours a day recording on both a PT HD-3 and an Otari MX-80, I should be able to tell Digital from Tape.

Digital, though you may find it hard to believe, isn't accurate. It is a BINARY APPROXIMATION of what is put into the A/D and D/A stages of the chain. I use RME ADI-4s. Not Prisms by any length, but still impressive. So there will always be some level of break-up in the digital signal.

Also, don't forget about Nyquist and brick-walling. This is still a big problem, even after all the really good A/D D/A out there (Prism, RME, Crane Song, DCS).

Also, tape has this little thing called Headbump which no A/D or plug-in can simulate. Factor in the sound of Analog processing, multiple tapes being used on one session, plus the fact that tape machines NEVER run at the same speed...

I can spot the difference between Analogue and Digital about 96% of the time, the other 4%: MP3s, crap speakers, faulty equipment.
#27
I'm aware of the fundamental inaccuracy of digital recording, but actually, most analog equipment is quite colorful, sound-wise. Look at this article, which mentions your MX80, and shows a wide range of sonic differences amongst analog recorders.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!


True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101
#28
Quote by Fast_Fingers
I'm aware of the fundamental inaccuracy of digital recording, but actually, most analog equipment is quite colorful, sound-wise. Look at this article, which mentions your MX80, and shows a wide range of sonic differences amongst analog recorders.


...a bit underbiased, judging from the +2...


There's your answer for that. The machine wasn't set properly. Judging it, the Zenith was messed too.
#29
Interesting.... check the digital example at the bottom of the page.

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.
#30
The machine was set properly, it was innate in the machine itself:

Notice how this machine has been aligned according to "standard procedure" to return "zero" (flat) at 100 Hz, 1kHz and 10kHz... but the rest of the frequency spectrum is anything but "flat!"


In any case, what's we can agree on is the huge degree of variability within analog equipment (that's not quite at the same level in digital equipment, due to their precise nature and lack of moving parts) that blanket statements about analog and digital are quite futile and hugely subjective.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!


True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101
#31
Quote by fridge_raider
Do you have a link to that video, because I am curious to check that out for myself?

Personally, as with most home studio users, I use digital because of the low cost setup and ease of use and editing. The look and feel of an analogue setup is indeed tempting IMO, but on the whole I definitely agree with what MrPillow has to say on the subject.


Ill see if I can look it up
I used to have the paged linked but cant seem to find it anymore

The video was a studio setting and it was a recorded TV show. It may not even be on youtube...
Last edited by moody07747 at Apr 24, 2008,
#32
Quote by the chemist

Digital, though you may find it hard to believe, isn't accurate. It is a BINARY APPROXIMATION of what is put into the A/D and D/A stages of the chain. I use RME ADI-4s. Not Prisms by any length, but still impressive. So there will always be some level of break-up in the digital signal.
....
Also, tape has this little thing called Headbump which no A/D or plug-in can simulate. Factor in the sound of Analog processing, multiple tapes being used on one session, plus the fact that tape machines NEVER run at the same speed...

I can spot the difference between Analogue and Digital about 96% of the time, the other 4%: MP3s, crap speakers, faulty equipment.


First you can't pan digital media as being an "APPROXIMATION" when in the next paragraph you acknowledge that analogue colors the sound as well. That color, that headbump, is an "APPROXIMATION" thats recorded to tape because of the inadequacies of the medium.

Also 86% of all statistics are made up on the spot...

DS
Irrelevant quote from obscure person
Obnoxious statement regarding size of e-ween
Italicized text indicating bandwagoning masquerading as deep thought
ASCII graphic that will take over the world if you put one in your signature
Made up statistic
#33
i think that if you look at records that were recorded in the 60's on analogue
4-tracks e.g. beatles, against the digital recordings of today you would find that they are of the same standard sound-wise (maybe not the same standard of writing but that is a different argument). i think the problem with the digital recordings on the radio is that they are too slick, too overproduced and not very natural sounding and people don't want that. cassettes are not going to be as good sound quality as digital but there is certainly an argument that there is more warmth with tape.
i'd say if you want a lo-fi sound go with the cassette. for the record the band i'm in will record on a cassette 4-track for the lo-fi charm.