Tag Archive for 'digital'

Analog and Digital Audio

PBS WIRED SCIENCE sat down with the members of the band Great Northern and two top recording industry engineers to see if they could tell the difference between analog and digital recordings. I had never heard of the two “top recording industry engineers” and simply was surprised they didn’t just use Ken Andrews and Steve Albini who were also interviewed for the debate. Anyone else know these veterans? I am not sure how much I believe the results. Not to mention the set up was flawed in many ways.If I was setting this test up. I’d let the listeners A/B the signals and give the option to use headphones. Sure this was meant to be more casual. But if you are doing something casual why not use regular people. You know the people who actually buy this music. But then again I am not a scientist. And that’s not what it’s about. I still find it very hard to believe that a top tier engineer couldn’t tell the difference between analog and digital in the same recording. To me, it’s so clear in the way the drums often sound. But hey, maybe it’s why I am not a “top recording industry engineer.” I also felt they were equating digital recordings to MP3s. It’s not like when a band goes in to a digital recording studio they are recording on iTunes at 128kbps. That would be like saying an analog studio is recording on a dictaphone.

And when does Steve Albini say anything that isn’t just asinine? When will he get it through his thick analog head that digital is not a replacement for analog recording systems and it has it’s own merit? It’s simply another means to capture audio. Albini is the king of audist behavior. It’s like diesel and unleaded. Is either better? Red and Blue. Film and Digital cameras. Classrooms and Online Classes. Christianity and Buddhism. It’s not better it’s not worse. It’s not “vs.” – it’s “and”. It’s not a contest. It’s not a game. It’s what works for you. And doesn’t make the other one less. Each has it’s benefits and it’s limitations. And newsflash Albini, even analog has it’s weaknesses. It’s true.

And I still can’t stand the way Albini’s drums sound so goddam chalky. It will be the day when Albini includes some high-end frequencies in his drums.

Thanks Brock for the link.