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Thread: Digital vs Analogue recording shootout

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    Digital vs Analogue recording shootout


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    Very interesting, many of the old guys liked the analogue. The monitors at British Grove Studios are ATC (SCM300's I think). I'm not a fan of the ATC sound and still think they do strange things in the upper midrange. They should have done the tests in a studio with better monitors like Meyer X10's

    Going slightly off on a tangent with regards digital and live sound...

    I was talking to a (very good) sound system installer last week about the trend in concert sound for digital desks, digital x-overs, line arrays. He is a d&b Audiotechnik agent and I was intrigued to learn that their gear employs passive analogue x-overs in the mid-high boxes. and d&b gear is VERY well regarded by end users...

    We basically agreed that alot of the current digital trend is more to do with reducing the lorry count for gigs than sound quality. When I go to gigs now, I am initially impressed by the clarity but there is often a "bite" to the sound that is wearing. Latency in digital desks is another issue.

    I was also talking to a very good FOH engineer (he has worked for the Cure, etc.) and he said that if he had the money, he would buy a couple of Midas XL4 analogue desks and store them away as their value will go up in the future when the rebellion against digital live sound happens. He has been forced into using the latest digital desks but recently did a tour with a band that had a "reduced" budget and used an analogue XL4 desk. He said that during soundchecks, everyone would comment about the sound quality (this included members of the entourage not into sound at all). Basically, they had gotten used to the "digital" sound and forgot what good analogue can do.

    I have a little PA rig here that comprises a nice set of 15" two-way boxes. They can be run either passive or bi-amped. Over the last year, I've used them with a BSS digital crossover and PEQ set to the manufacturers recommended config. The other day, I was forced to drop back to using the passive internal x-over and a KT 330 analogue EQ. The sound was actually more pleasing to my ears. Power handling was down but the "bite" in the sound had gone. By the way, that KT DN330 was bought off eBay for £40 and they retailed for $1,000 (it's a good time to stock up on analogue!!)

    I'm a bit worried about where the long-term sound quality for gigs is heading. Bear in mind that live gigs are now the music industries cash cow so they will be looking to further reduce costs by minimizing the travelling "footprint" of the sound systems. The latest trend for amps to have on board digital processors is a clear statement that the industry is going to push everything digital.

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    Hi Andy,
    Interesting post-you're not just getting old are you?
    I suspect when using analogue gear in a pro situation the need to relate to the signal in an organic way-with extra care needed at every stage in the chain rather than the digital 'set the controls for the heart of the sun' auto calibrate approach is what sets it apart and not necessarily any intrinsic 'digital' sound issues. Quick and good don't generally sit well together IMO.
    Saw Toots and the Maytals in Bristol at the weekend-no brass section (wtf?) and a really loud support band f***** it completely-Something very nasty around 3k caused instant threshold shift and the bass bins were seriously over driven -piss poor mix and yup was digital.
    Cooky

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    Senior Member pos's Avatar
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    Hey, what are those little paper sheets on top of the 2405's??
    Are they trying to avoid reflexions from the celling? Or is it to make a smooth transition between the recessed baffle and the soffit, to avoid diffraction?
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    My best guess is they are deflectors to assist vertical dispersion.

    The image is low resolution but I can make out a curved/layered half roll of paper that is looped around to a wide angle with the baffle attached by velcro.

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    I remember seeing Rockfield Studios featured in a show about the recording of one of Queen's classic tracks. It went for an hour and they rounded up the producer (Roy Thomas Baker), Brian May and Rogers Taylor in the original studio. They had the original master tapes and Thomas Baker was playing with the faders and bringing up individual tracks.

    What was the name of that show as there were a few in the series. Cooky...you must have seen it you old rocker??

    EDIT: Bugger me, it's on YouTube. Search for "The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody. Here's Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtrhcECdItk They have changed the monitors, chck out the quick shot at 07:40 in Part 2 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56LZZ...eature=related

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyoz View Post
    I remember seeing Rockfield Studios featured in a show about the recording of one of Queen's classic tracks. It went for an hour and they rounded up the producer (Roy Thomas Baker), Brian May and Rogers Taylor in the original studio. They had the original master tapes and Thomas Baker was playing with the faders and bringing up individual tracks.

    What was the name of that show as there were a few in the series. Cooky...you must have seen it you old rocker??

    EDIT: Bugger me, it's on YouTube. Search for "The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody. Here's Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtrhcECdItk They have changed the monitors, chck out the quick shot at 07:40 in Part 2 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56LZZ...eature=related
    I'd forgotten about those BBC3 progs Andy, Well worth the watch that ta.
    Cooky

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    Senior Member Akira's Avatar
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    I think it depends on the program.

    I grew up on the Studer 80A & 800A 2" machines and the old Neve 8100 series consoles, but today I use only digital formats--Pro Tools and Alesis. (btw: if you follow Gearslutz.com the Alesis comes out over top of the Radar)
    I made the jump to digital for practical reasons, not sound.
    A major part of the sound in the old analog systems was the entire chain, meaning the combination of the console/tape machine in conjuntion with the loading and layering of a complete musical program. A masterly engineered session, such as Stealy Dan, Carly Simon, Pink Floyd etc. played by fabulous players in the old great sounding rooms, WHERE THE TAPE IS PERFECTLY LOADED WITH THE IDEAL AMOUNT OF SATURATION......IMO, can't beat it.

    BUT, here is where this test falls down. If you only record individual tracks, especially drums through a modern console, the digital recording has the advantage-- way better headroom and faster attack; the sound literally jumps out at you. Plus, EQ has a tremendous advantage in the digital realm as you are not 'warping' an electrical signal; you are encoding and creating an entirely different sound.

    In the end, I like'n the experience to "picture." Film makers have an unreasonable love affair with film. There is little doubt that "film' as a medium holds that special magic. Texture and depth of field certainly come through on a romantic piece of art. But, when I see an HD show of the Grand Canyon where you can see even the smallest little rock....HD absolutely rules...and we haven't even introduced special FX into the equation.

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