Is the Industry Favoring Analog Again? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2003, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Is the Industry Favoring Analog Again?

In many of the recent articles I've read it appears that the industry is again favoring analog consoles and outboard effects over the current PC based recording platforms.

I'm curious how the younger crowd who has never known anything other than computer recording is reacting. I'm 45 and cut my teeth on ALL analog gear and reel to reel tape multi-track machines in the '70's.

I'm not saying one is better than another, but does anyone else see the shift towards analog and will we see this going full circle?

I still want a Neve.......
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2003, 02:45 PM
 
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I know that The Tea Party has been using analog since the start (at least, I'm pretty sure). Gives it a unique sound in today's digital world. Then again, I've been fooled by a few albums that I thought were analog, but were fully Pro Tools. So I think it won't make a huge difference, as long as it's done right. A good album is a good album, simple as that.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2003, 02:48 PM
 
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well, protools allows you to record like tape, it records everything you play, unlike a regular sound card that can only handle a sample rate of 44khz. Plus the bitrate is higher too...thus the quality it better. Tape does colour the sound a certain way, though I've never used it
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2003, 03:35 PM
 
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I think the general feeling among most pros is use both if the budget for the project allows it. They often track in pro tools and mix in 2" to add the analog warmth.

Some guys even track to tape, import the tape to pro tools for editing, and then print it back to tape for the final mix.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2003, 06:30 PM
 
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I think once you go to editing in digital, you'll never go back, regardless of whether you're using only tape, you should always edit and mix in digital then master to tape...it makes it so much easier and you don't have to worry about sound quality loss from continues playback from tape.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-29-2003, 07:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vai the god of Sound
well, protools allows you to record like tape, it records everything you play, unlike a regular sound card that can only handle a sample rate of 44khz. Plus the bitrate is higher too...thus the quality it better. Tape does colour the sound a certain way, though I've never used it
It doesn't record "everything" you play, because it still has SOME sample rate, even if it's as high as 196k/s. So the question REALLY is, what do you NEED to record? IMO, the 20k bandwidth allowed by 44.1k sampling is just FINE. I do like the 24 bit stuff, but that's another issue.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I agree Protools is the best offering for that platform, and a great example of importing an analog source and mastering would be the new Zeppelin live CD.

I guess there is merit to being able to "tune" bad notes or fix misques, but somehow it feels like the sport of capturing a great recording has been removed from the equation. It used to be quite a challenge and you actually had to have a combination of good players and engineers. Now pre-teens are churning out magnificent recordings that I highly doubt are really them at all.

Although I promote the idea that everyone should get into some aspect of music ( I was a piano major in college), It just seems like technology has lowered the bar and true artists won't experience the thrill/satisfaction of chasing and creating that elusive masterpiece- " ...hey, great cut! Don't worry about that out-of-tune part or that place where you lost the time signature - we'll just fix it in the mix...."
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 10:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jemaholic
... but somehow it feels like the sport of capturing a great recording has been removed from the equation.
That's not decided by the fact that you are going digital or analogue. It's a question of who is behind the console.

There are some Huge records out there that have some horrible edit mistakes and lousy production. If you guys only knew how bad audio for television is delivered to us before broadcast...

Ricki Martin's 'Living La Vida Loca' was recorded, overdubbed and mixed using a DAW. It sounds pretty warm & clean to me. Your hottest film soundtrack certainly doesn't lack punch or warmth...rest assured that they weren't mixed using analog tape...

Thank economics for the eventual disapearance of tape. One reel of 2 inch 24 track tape can cost between two and five hundred dollars. That same reel of tape can hold how much music? Well roughly 15 minutes of music running at 30 IPS (inches per second) or 30 minutes at 15 IPS. Don't forget that there is about 2 minutes of Dolby SR tones on there... then you have to purchase and maintain 2 inch tape recorder(s) (can you say re-mortage your home), the long porcess of aligning the ATR's playback & record heads is also factored in the studio hourly rate.

Converters are getting better & better, hard drives & electronics cheaper and the overall audio quality is better and completed and a quicker time delay. Why would the industry want to return to tape?

To quote my hero Roger Nichols

Quote:
Digital Audio Workstations have changed the face of recording and mixing forever, but the underlying principals of recording and mixing remain the same. By just listening to a finished product, you cannot tell where it was recorded or how it was mixed. It ultimately boils down to the song and the production. If modern tools can help you -- fine, but the new tools can also increase the magnitude of the disasters.
The real problem stems on behalf of the producers who want to "save" money. They'll hire anybody who owns a DAW and offers the lowest rates but has no recording booths other than the washroom, no time code capabilities, no video sync, a lousy listening environment, no real metering capabilities and worst of all no experience. It happens all too often.

Technology is not at fault. It's the people who don't know what they are doing. - we'll just fix it in the mix -
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Th quality of the recordings are not in question - it's the way you get there now. Ricky Martin's dance music is so processed of course it'll sound great. I wonder how it would have sounded if it had been recorded in 1967 when Sgt. Pepper was created? (on 4 track ) Might be a poor example but I hope it gets the message across.
Look, I record with Cubase VST and Mackie currently and I don't have a 2" Studer or Ampex machine. I love this stuff and I recognize the value of the technology- and it's exciting and fun because anything can sound great. It just seems sad that you need NO talent to ascend to that rare-air place reserved for the most talented among us.
Maybe it's just me who can't accept the minimization of how important it used to be to "get it right". At 45 years old maybe I'm just turning into a crotchity old guy, but I still consider my studio hallowed ground where you try your damned best to create something to be proud of.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 03:53 PM
 
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If it takes no talent to get to the top, why do these guys have huge budgets, the best session players, the best song writers, the best engineers, and the best producers doing there record? Livin' La Vida Loca was not done on a dell and a digi001, I promise you that.

You're looking at a different market with Ricky Martin and the Beatles. Maybe compare the Backstreet Boys to The Monkey's and you'll have a closer comparison.

By the way, when did over processed things start to sound good?
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 03:53 PM
 
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But how does "getting it right" or having Rikki Martin record on 4 tracks relate to wether the Industry is favouring analogue again?

Besides...last time I checked the "Talent" plugin wasn't invented yet...
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 03:55 PM
 
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From my perspective, the only question that matters at all is the quality of the recordings. I don't give a damn how you get there.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 03:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Swift
From my perspective, the only question that matters at all is the quality of the recordings. I don't give a damn how you get there.
Amen

Long live digital
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 03:59 PM
 
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BTW, lemme go on record saying that just because you have a sound card, sonar and a mic doesn't mean that you're a recording engineer.

It takes years of hard work and practice...and yes evryone's studio should be Hallowed groung...not just show pieces.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-30-2003, 09:05 PM
 
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very true...you can have the best gear, but if you don't know how to use it...it doesn't matter.
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