Analog vs. Digital demo

Analog vs. Digital demo


I thought this was pretty cool. The song at the very end of the video is the tape recording with some effects and cleaned up tape hiss. Is anyone still using tape on here?


Interesting about the Jecklin disk, I hadn’t heard of that before. The idea goes way back to Blumlein in 1931 (1931 patent on binaural sound)! I have seen two guitar amps separated by a gobo doing something similar, recording the same signal through both amps at the same time (used an AB pedal or box IIRC), but isolating the signals to prevent phase problems.


I kind of want to record with this set up now.


It was pretty hard to hear anything past all that noise. I can’t think of any sonic benefits that are so good that I’d be willing to put up with that noise.

Plus the random skewing of the stereo field would be more work than I’d be willing to deal with. I get that it has a certain sound, and it certainly does in this case, but there are easier ways to get that sound. I guess that’s why so few people still use actual tape decks.

I have a few tape plugins. They don’t alter the sound as much as this demo did. Maybe good tape decks don’t have as much of a sound.


That is what I was wondering, I am not familiar with tape recording and I was wondering just how good of a tape recorder that was. I thought that was way too much hiss noise for any kind of recording. If he is using a lower quality tape recorder, he is not really giving a fair comparison. Either way I don’t think it is worth the time and aggravation for tape.


I used to have one of those 4 tracks… very cool for recording drums and other really loud and transient stuff.

Anyway, the point is moot now. The dude is 15 or 20 years too late. Converters, even cheaper ones (like his) sound really good now. Tape sim plugins are equally as excellent 10 or more years on from when they first emerged on the scene…

Subsequently, there is literally no point in doing this sort of shoot-out now (especially with acoustic guitar) as the benefits are negligible, at best.


When I’m mixing acoustic guitar, I often find I want to round off the transients a bit, without taking away too much the guitar’s ability to grab the ear or making it sound dull, or distorted. Tape can do that, so I can see where it’s subjectively useful. Funnily enough through I’ve got Waves J37, I don’t use it very much any more - it usually takes away more than it adds, to my ears.

I’m 33, I’ve never recorded to tape and indeed have only been in the presence of professional tape recorders a few times. But my gut feeling is that tape’s control of transients - its free, subtle instantaneous compression - is what was useful and what was missed when going to digital, more that its distortion characteristics/ saturation curve, which I think is what people focus on more.


I listened to the two recordings on my laptop, so the sound quality wasn’t very great and there wasn’t hardly any low end at all, but it was very easy to identify which recording was digital and which was analog…The tape hiss gave it away. It was loud and clear.

AND NOW…I just listened to both recording through my laptop, with my AKG K77 headphones. The tape hiss is not nearly as obvious as it was through my laptop speakers! Wow, I assumed that the tape hiss would be MUCH more obvious when listening through headphones. These headphones must be lacking in the frequency where the hiss is located…This is very surprising to me. Gives me another reason to check my mixes on multiple playback devices!


Ha. I always have the same experience with reverb. When I’m listening in headphones, I can turn the reverb pretty loud before it gets annoying. Then I listen in monitors and it feels like it’s nothing but reverb. I always feel like it should be the other way around, but it never is.


I was thinking of using 24 track for my band’s last year EP but decided against it as the costs were too high and for what we’re currently doing I can’t warrant it.
We were going to master to tape but had a falling out with that particular studio as he was expecting to make much more money than he did as I took the sessions home for overdubs, we ended up using different engineer at the end.

I still have a reel to reel and a 4 track tape deck but honestly I don’t use them anymore. I think my ear finally adjusted to digital and I learned how to mix out the harshness as to I get similar results as with tape but without the noise.