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Author Topic: Links to info for analog-mimicing digital recording techniques?  (Read 725 times)


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As the local techy guy in the crowds I run in, I often am pulled into this debate of "recordings these days just don't sound as good as analog".  And it's true in a lot of ways, but also difficult to really understand the details of why that is.  First, there's way too much BS in the recording industry with their gold plated plugs and stuff, so that doesn't help, it turns any kind of inquiry into a needle in the haystack thing.  But there is something to it.  Check out this article:

And I've read several like that.  If anyone can post informative articles that can shed light on this debate, I'd really appreciate it.  The goal for me is, how close can a home studio get for mimicking this analog sound that is often preferred by the people in the know?  Part of it (but which part?) is not even the equipment or analog vs digital, but just people want it to sound bassier or louder, etc...so that's something that can be fixed.  but if there is truly some quality that can't be replicated going on in a tape vs. digital, then i'd like to figure out those specific points.

i have a book by bob katz or something dealing with mastering, but i'm not sure if it talks about this particular issue.

my assumption is that i should be able to get pretty close to the "right" analog sound with digital equipment, at least close enough where people wouldn't complain too much.  but i could be way off.


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Re: Links to info for analog-mimicing digital recording techniques?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 03:37:37 AM »
First of all, go to TapeOp and start reading.  It's a free subscription if you like paper as well.  Oodles of information on the nitty-gritty of recording, especially in the analog domain, from some of the biggest and not-so-big names in the biz. (and read up on Steve Albini for another die-hard analog evangelist, though he can be a bit abrasive at times)

Second, tape is a physical medium with inherent flaws that we have come to associate with analog sound and actually be beneficial to the overall listening experience, probably (in my humble opinion) due much to how tape saturation deals with transients and affects dynamic range in a non-linear, not-very-static fashion.  I could be wrong, but that's what my ears tell me.

Digital is (for all intents and purposes) a virtual medium which has the goal of eliminating as many flaws as possible.  As good as digital recording is now, it still apparently loses some 'character' in the attempt, and it's flaws can be quite detrimental rather than beneficial.  I've used tape saturation and tube emulation plugins, with varying degrees of benefit.  Give it a shot, you might find some magic in them 1's and 0's yet...