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Author Topic: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?  (Read 34226 times)

rnicklaus

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #45 on: December 11, 2005, 04:11:31 pm »

Johnny B wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 12:45


Some folks, like Phil Ramone, complain about the lack of a standardised catalogue and retrieval system in the digital realm...it can take some people hours and hours of wasted time searching for that one vocal take (out of the millions done, and often in-artfully Autotuned to death)  at a later stage of the process...and the more people you get into the process...the harder it becomes to know who did what, where, and when...digital can be a total nightmare and an expensive endeavor in terms valuable time wasted.




I have put together a couple of big catalog re issues. Pro Tools or not, it's not easy to find all the slave(s) and master analog reels either.  Or you may find the slave but not the master.

Also there was a time when some were mixing to the X80 2 track or the sony 33 series 2 track. try to find one of those that work.

Hopefully all reissues are just the original mixes and maybe some out takes.  But if multi track masters need to be found, it isn't always that easy no matter what the format and it will now only get worse.


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electrical

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #46 on: December 11, 2005, 04:19:56 pm »

John Sorensen wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 16:10


My next project is on a tight budget, and the artist likes to record lots of material and keeps all takes.

Your artist's method is inappropriate for a small budget. That's not the fault of the tape. Recording a jillion takes, keeping all of them, and combing through them later is much, much more expensive than recording only the good takes in the first place, no matter what they're recorded on. The medium is a tiny portion of the cost of a session like that.
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rnicklaus

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #47 on: December 11, 2005, 04:28:17 pm »

electrical wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 13:19

John Sorensen wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 16:10


My next project is on a tight budget, and the artist likes to record lots of material and keeps all takes.

Your artist's method is inappropriate for a small budget. That's not the fault of the tape. Recording a jillion takes, keeping all of them, and combing through them later is much, much more expensive than recording only the good takes in the first place, no matter what they're recorded on. The medium is a tiny portion of the cost of a session like that.



I was thinking the same thing.  To record hours of material only to need to go back and sort through it all is not efficient on a small budget.  But some artists are more into the process than the results.  Those are the painful ones to work with, I have found.



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CCC

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #48 on: December 11, 2005, 04:33:35 pm »

electrical wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 16:19

John Sorensen wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 16:10


My next project is on a tight budget, and the artist likes to record lots of material and keeps all takes.

Your artist's method is inappropriate for a small budget. That's not the fault of the tape. Recording a jillion takes, keeping all of them, and combing through them later is much, much more expensive than recording only the good takes in the first place, no matter what they're recorded on. The medium is a tiny portion of the cost of a session like that.



Notwithstanding my great respect for you and your opinion I don't accept that we as engineers are in a position to dictate artistic process, firstly.

Secondly, I keep tape rolling as much as possible in case a 'bit of mucking around' turns into something good. And as you know there's nothing worse than missing the top of a good take. Well, there  are worse things...perhaps I overstated the case. Cuing and re-cuing a machine is time-consuming too.

Combing through takes is something the artist does on his own from DAT at home at his leisure - not on studio time.

So, with respect, I disagree.
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minister

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #49 on: December 11, 2005, 04:41:12 pm »

John Sorensen wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 15:33

Notwithstanding my great respect for you and your opinion I don't accept that we as engineers are in a position to dictate artistic process, firstly.
john, notwithstanding my respect for you, i was with you until this point.  it is our job to educate people sometimes as to the best way to record.  of course it is a balance.  how much do we let them "do what they want"? it is, afterall, their dime.  well, i think it is INCUMBENT upon us to politley buttle the job through our shop in a way that makes sense.  most of my "secure" clients totally appreciate my guiding them a bit on better ways to do things.  we are hired becasue we are, supposedly, experts.  and we can save them money and us grief.  i sure want my mechanic to tell me the score rather than saying, or sure, do whatever you want.

but of course there is area where we do agree here.
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rnicklaus

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #50 on: December 11, 2005, 04:57:19 pm »

The "argument" here, if I understand it correctly, is only if using tape eats up too much money on a small budget.

Not how anybody chooses to work.

It started with someone saying they recorded on one reel and then transferred each take to pro tools because the tape would be too expensive to use for all the songs.



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electrical

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #51 on: December 11, 2005, 05:04:38 pm »

John Sorensen wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 16:33


Notwithstanding my great respect for you and your opinion I don't accept that we as engineers are in a position to dictate artistic process, firstly.


Like saying, "let's do this digitally so you can record a bunch of takes we won't use?"

Quote:

Secondly, I keep tape rolling as much as possible in case a 'bit of mucking around' turns into something good. And as you know there's nothing worse than missing the top of a good take. Well, there  are worse things...perhaps I overstated the case. Cuing and re-cuing a machine is time-consuming too.

I solve this problem by recording when the band are playing, so I don't miss the top of a good take. We probably agree that a bit of mucking around is usually just mucking around. I don't want to conduct sessions as a slave to the possibility of a bit of mucking around.

I'm infintely more concerned with the playing. That's usually what goes on the record, the playing. Tuning, talking, mucking around, not so much. After recording, we decide if we want to keep what's been recorded. Then we can re-use the tape immediately.

Quote:

Combing through takes is something the artist does on his own from DAT at home at his leisure - not on studio time.

Well then, this is in the category of "doing the bulk of the work at home for free." It does suggest that this could be done with tape, given that you can record over the reels of outtakes. I understand if you don't want to do it, but it is certainly possible.
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electrical

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #52 on: December 11, 2005, 05:14:22 pm »

rnicklaus wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 16:57

The "argument" here, if I understand it correctly, is only if using tape eats up too much money on a small budget.

Not how anybody chooses to work.

It started with someone saying they recorded on one reel and then transferred each take to pro tools because the tape would be too expensive to use for all the songs.

The budget is the budget. How we spend it is our responsibility. If you spend it on studio time for un-needed outtakes and editorial decisions, then you won't have enough to cover tape for all of them. If you conduct the session efficiently with basic recording, then you'll have more time for execution of brilliant ideas and polishing the end result, not to mention all the tape you'll ever need. Tape cost is a red herring.
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rnicklaus

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #53 on: December 11, 2005, 05:16:38 pm »

electrical wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 14:14

rnicklaus wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 16:57

The "argument" here, if I understand it correctly, is only if using tape eats up too much money on a small budget.

Not how anybody chooses to work.

It started with someone saying they recorded on one reel and then transferred each take to pro tools because the tape would be too expensive to use for all the songs.

The budget is the budget. How we spend it is our responsibility. If you spend it on studio time for un-needed outtakes and editorial decisions, then you won't have enough to cover tape for all of them. If you conduct the session efficiently with basic recording, then you'll have more time for execution of brilliant ideas and polishing the end result, not to mention all the tape you'll ever need. Tape cost is a red herring.


Agreed.  If the original poster feels analog is that much better for his project, then that has to be figured in to the budget and how time is spent.

Would doing a take, stopping the session and then transferring that song to PT and then getting everyone back into recording mode again eat up more time than a tape budget?  It could.
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Jack Schitt

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #54 on: December 11, 2005, 05:34:27 pm »

So to clarify, 20 of the best minds/ears got together in a room a while back to determine if in fact there was or was not bass loss on a transfer to Protools and could not reach consensus. Even with files to compare some chose to keep silent and just few got it right and in all honesty at least a few of those were fortunate guesses most likely. But now a few of you claim the golden ears and declare digital's blatant sonic inferiority? Something is not adding up here. Confused

Honestly, I have the utmost respect for you guys, what you can do and the work you have produced but I really think a step back from the inner circle is in order to honestly look at these arguments from the perspective of someone outside the loop and without a reputation to maintain or live up to.  Are any of you prepared to stand up and say that record X you did sounds bad bacause of the platform? If so why did you use it? Maybe there were compelling reasons. So be it. What are they? Are you really wanting to blame production choices such as keeping alternate takes or not on the platforms ability to do so? I just don't see this as a one or the other argument so what is driving it?

I just still can't get my arms around how so many people can embrace a technology that they find so inferior. Big props to Steve  A. for sticking to his guns on this point.

If digital is so inferior why is it so invasive to the craft? I really don't know the answers to these questions and I really wish I could get a satisfactory answer to even one of them. Albini has demonstrated the business model works so I don't see that angle as a show stopper. Anyone? Please enlighten me. I would love to understand what is driving this digital craze if no one using it can stand it.
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rnicklaus

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #55 on: December 11, 2005, 05:45:43 pm »

I can only speak for myself, but I have NO problems with DAWs.

Again, this was about someone saying they prefer 2" - and YES they should be able to prefer what they work with - but felt for budget reasons had to transfer song by song to PT.

Look, if I were convinced that a project was being compromised by going to a certain format, I would be like Albini and stay on the format I trust and works for me.  I wouldn't say something sucks but I have to use it. I would figure out how to use what I felt didn't suck.

That's the point.  Of course this is very general.

If one is fine with a DAW this is moot.
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electrical

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2005, 05:55:43 pm »

Denny W. wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 17:34

So to clarify, 20 of the best minds/ears got together in a room a while back to determine if in fact there was or was not bass loss on a transfer to Protools and could not reach consensus. Even with files to compare some chose to keep silent and just few got it right and in all honesty at least a few of those were fortunate guesses most likely. But now a few of you claim the golden ears and declare digital's blatant sonic inferiority? Something is not adding up here. Confused

Have to admit I don't know where you got your assertion thet "But now a few of you claim the golden ears and declare digital's blatant sonic inferiority" from. The question is pretty straightforward: Why do musicians prefer analog tape? That doesn't imply anything other than a preference.

I don't want to speculate why people prefer one thing or another, but it is clear that some do, and I can see why somebody might ask.
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Jack Schitt

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2005, 06:44:18 pm »

electrical wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 17:55

Denny W. wrote on Sun, 11 December 2005 17:34

So to clarify, 20 of the best minds/ears got together in a room a while back to determine if in fact there was or was not bass loss on a transfer to Protools and could not reach consensus. Even with files to compare some chose to keep silent and just few got it right and in all honesty at least a few of those were fortunate guesses most likely. But now a few of you claim the golden ears and declare digital's blatant sonic inferiority? Something is not adding up here. Confused

Have to admit I don't know where you got your assertion thet "But now a few of you claim the golden ears and declare digital's blatant sonic inferiority" from. The question is pretty straightforward: Why do musicians prefer analog tape? That doesn't imply anything other than a preference.

I don't want to speculate why people prefer one thing or another, but it is clear that some do, and I can see why somebody might ask.


This discussion has gone a little past the original question though don't you think? In terms of the "golden ears" comment I stand corrected to some extent in so far as most of those statements are attributable to JonnyB. My apologies.

But the question of why musicians prefer analog (if they in fact do) but so many are still recording on protools remains. Do they really? If so why? The financial aspect seems to be surmountable in many cases as you have pointed out. Is it really about the sound or is it because they keep reading about engineer types talking about how great analog is? Nothing wrong with that either way but why isn't analog more popular if thats the case? It should be booming, not disappearing. I seem to recall reading in a guitar publication many years ago about SRV insisting on analog for I believe the "In Step" album until his engineer had him do a blind test and he picked the digital device. A 3m or Sony device if memory serves. I wish I could find the article to confirm it. I will never forget it because I was floored.

Analog is cool and should have a place but seems to be disappearing. I guess I just want to understand how this is happening when most will claim an affinity for analog at least. If the financial argument doesn't hold water, and most believe analog at least has merit for some applications, whats happening thats forcing analog into the background? World class rooms may still have it but that seems like its a very very small percentage of the recording that gets done when one considers the small market rooms, project studios etc.
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vernier

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2005, 06:56:21 pm »

Quote:

Analog is cool and should have a place but seems to be disappearing.

Don't worry, it isn't disappearing.
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rnicklaus

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Re: How Come Many Musicians Prefer The Sound Of Analogue?
« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2005, 06:58:19 pm »

If you were to speak to some of the "big" tracking rooms out there, you may find that their analog machines are not being used very much anymore.

However, these forums tend to attract some staunch analog users so it may seem a bit skewed on the surface.

There is no doubt that there are little, if any, analog multi track machines being manufactured anymore.  There are plenty of used machines however.  And the deals are killer.

Tape?  We'll see.  Will there be enough of a market to support 2"?  Time will tell.

Pretty soon maybe we'll see "Back To Analog" like the old Back To Mono buttons.
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