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Analogue v.s Digital

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by mayday, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. mayday

    mayday Guest

    What's the differences between the analog and digital recording chains?? advantages and disadvantages of both??
  2. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    I think you stopped everyone in their tracks with this LOL!

    It is a deep subject but I will generalize the high points.

    Advantages of Dig.

    Lack of generation loss.
    Transportable media via the web.
    Flawless editing and fast too!
    Universal formats.
    User friendly, does not require as deep a learning curve.
    Back-up of analog.

    Disadvantages of digital.

    Copyright protection can be cracked.
    Latency problems in real time.
    Errors on media.
    Destruction possible with a simple mouse click. (mistake)
    Lossy formats are being used widespread including CD "redbook" format.
    Dynamics are misunderstood.

    Advantages of Analog.

    Use of desirable tape saturation for compression.
    Pure transfer of the sine wave.
    Back-up of digital.
    More organic sound overall.


    Hard to edit properly (takes experience and skill)
    High maintenance mechanisims.
    Format non conformanty (one machine that records may be out of alignment for another machine across Country/World, to play)
    Noise generated by the media.
    Media is expensive.
    Generation loss
    Storage losses.
    WOW and Flutter (failure to keep exact speed on many of the lesser quality units)
    Wear of media.

    Others want to expand on this???

    That is a generalization list.
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I think you pretty much nailed the answer on this Bill. Ohhh it could get sooo ugly.;D I didn't want to be drawn into this on. he heh Really I think you touched on all of it.... Fats
  4. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    Mar 31, 2002
    How about.....

    One is old and the other is new???


    One sounds like this and the other like that (i.e. different).

    Gotta avoid the temptation here....

  5. sign

    sign Guest

    Mmmmm.....new huh? There have been so many analog vs digital debates in the past.

    All I want to say about the subject is that I have a powerful computer with Nuendo, Logic, Cubase SX, Sonar, Wavelab, Cool Edit Pro, and a couple of others. I almost never use it.

    I record every day with a big analog board and a two inch machine. The studio is very busy, bands like the sound, editing is almost unnecessary with good bands. Screw ups are fixed in a minute on another track by playing a couple of bars over.

    Recording like this can be done really fast and the sound of tape is still uh......different :D

    I just bought 50 reels of 2" tape and I love it! :p

    Anyway mayday, welcome!
  6. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    They are both old.

    First, the first true digital recording that was mainstream was Bop till you drop by Ry Cooder. Recorded in 75 and 76. Released on LP in 1976.

    I personally did digital recordings in 1978 using a 14bit A/D and using the video heads of a 5600 Sony betamax. Still have the tapes and it was not too shabby.

    All digital has to go to analog at some point and all of it starts analog via air motion. Ends up air motion.

    The first practical analog to digital converters were made in 1959. They were used for code in frequency modulation for spying.

    Digital actually goes back far..


    MC. Dot dot dash dash dot dot dot.
  7. GT40sc

    GT40sc Active Member

    Jan 14, 2001
    Seattle WA, USA
    Forgive me for being so damn uncool...

    But somebody out there has a midterm...

    How about it, "Mayday?"

    I bet it's tomorrow, right?

    Do your own damn homework...
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Mr. Roberts says,
    A great example of how defense spending and technology "trickles down" to the consumer. That's why I never complain anymore about defense spending. The whole economic boom in the 90's was because of investments in defense in the 70's and 80's. I'm sure the technology sector more than recouped the investment. On the topic :D , I love analog but I can’t afford it anymore. Big Console, big tape, big maintenance bill. It does sound better though … Fats
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
  9. mayday

    mayday Guest

    What do u mean GT40sc??
    what's ur problem??
  10. GT40sc

    GT40sc Active Member

    Jan 14, 2001
    Seattle WA, USA
    Your question looks like it's straight off the mid-term exam for "Intro to Audio Engineering 101." And because it was your first post, I figured you were fishing for easy answers, rather than bothering to read the book for yourself.

    If I am mistaken, then "please forgive me for being so damn uncool," as I said.

    But if I am not mistaken, I hope you got an "A." (Thanks to Bill Roberts.) :D
  11. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    When I tought professionally, 30% of the score (GPA) was the understanding of basic and complex circuits, interaction of them and therory. Building circuits to learn the signal path and how it works.

    25% was Acoustics, speakers, microphones, cables, busing, grouping, outboard maintenence, editing, formatting, interaction skills, people skills.

    45% of the GPA was your actual mix.

    (for the colleges out there, I am avalible to teach again...phone number at bottom of post)

    I hope to open a small school for the recording arts one day. 2 students, for 4 weeks at a time. My intern learns more here in a month than he learned at *another* well know recording college. All they tought him was how to stay up all night and act cool. HE even was told not to touch any of the equipment until told too. The BS of it all. All for 47,000 US plus room and board. I could (and will) do it for 10% of that for serious learners.
  12. mayday

    mayday Guest

    Thx Bill...and everyone!!

    GT..i'm not doin audio engineering course at the moment. well..hopefully in the future! So plz introduce me a good recordin school bro~~~
    i've heard that "FULL SAIL" is the best...@@
  13. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    get a degree at a four year for fallback if you really think you want to do this for a living....then go get a runner job at the biggest and best studio you can get into....be 150% more motivated/talented and politically savey than ALL of the other people starting where you're starting.....and be ready to sieze the moment when it happens.

    ...OH...and Analog vs. Digital?
    it's the people and the material that really matter...format 's have the pluses and minuses as mentioned so eloquently by Bill.
    I for one have, for multiple reasons ,been doing very good work on PT Mix+ with good analog front ends, little or no plugins/processing, and ,mixing in a very good room on analog boards to both 1/2 (for finals & voc ups&downs) and back into PT (for accapella's, track & tv mixes, ect).
  14. Agree with most of that mr Recorder Man...but;

    No college/institution can really make you a good anything unless you, as the individual, have the drive and the motivation. I did the engineering program at Berklee in Boston, and do not consider that a waste of time or money (not that it was cheap!). This mainly due to the fact that I met several great engineers that had good brains to pick, and wanted to be picked! Naturally, the unmotivated can spend a lifetime there and not learn a thing, same as with any college. But good teachers are everywhere (this forum features many).

    On A v. D...

    Notice that lots of engineers are willing to spend extra time and money on doing things analog- and there's a whole bunch of people next door at tech talk spending long evenings trying to build recreations of their favourite piece of analog gear. I doubt very much that twenty years from now, anyone will be trying to recreate that legendary Protools sound!

    (cheap shot there...sorry!)

  15. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Mayday, where do you think I was a professor at :)

    Bjorn Zetterlund

    You are most accurate in that.

    I knew a kid that dropped 100K USD$ to become a dupe operator for 12 hrs a day at a tape plant running machines for 8 dollars an hr.

    His parents were happy he was in the field.

    Cat could mix his ass off. For the same dough, he was already 3/4 there before school. The money would have bought him a nice room and a great sounding studio and advertising for a year.

    Too bad..

    Hope he makes it. Been 12 years since I spoke to him and I heard he was still duping 2 years ago for about 11/hr/. Stuck/

    Talent wasted.
  16. aloomens

    aloomens Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Wheaton, IL.
    Bill, If you do open a recording arts school, I would be very interested! I get 5 weeks vacation/yr. and could probably schedule 4 weeks at once.
    A v. D - Has anyone done, or seen published, any blind tests of analog vs. digital (or tube vs. SS for that matter)? I KNOW there's a differance but would be very interested in results of controlled tests? Can you point me to any studies done?
  17. maak

    maak Guest

    I did an SAE audio engineering diploma [1yr] plus music production course [6 mnth part time].
    I think it depends on your outlook to weather its worthwhile.
    I thought the theory was too easy...92% [i had been reading everything i could get my hands on since i was 16].
    I really joined up to learn the practical..big desk...2" tape, nice mic's, editing by hand,... and tutors who were 'industy professionals'[joke].
    At SAE we had plenty of studio time. 12 hour sesions ALONE [yep i learned to stay up all night]and if you acted as assistant to classmates, it was virtually unlimited [i bribed tutors with whisky for extra sessions].

    In the end of it all though, the qual means nothing here, it seems better to start out at the bottom, being a gofor for free.

    ...and the local industry lifestyle never appealled to me...so it's just a serious hobby to me...

    Maak Bow
  18. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    Only a modest, possibly ignorant observation from a "musician lifer":

    * Fender versus Gibson
    * Mac versus peecee
    * Analog versus digital

    They're all tools to get a job done, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. It's the human spirit to want to debate the issues, but in the end it really just comes down to your personal preference, or sometimes, what you can get your hands on.
    IMO, when it comes to music, and recording it, the major issue is the song itself, and the capability of the musical artist(s) to be able to fully express and convey it. The next important issue is the ability of the person attempting to capture (record) the artists' stellar performance in a way that will show the song in it's best light. In order to accomplish this, that person's best possibilty of optimally capturing that event is directly related to his (or her) comfort and familiarity with the equipment which he uses to accomplish this. Or in other words...

    Use whatever works best for you.
  19. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Amen, Bro.
  20. mayday

    mayday Guest

    wow...were u a professor of FULLSAIL Bill????

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