Here’s a fun experiment. I mixed this song called “Travelling Light” by Chicago blues artist S. Joel Norman. You can hear the original here
I downloaded the tracks after watching this YouTube video by Mixer/Producer Marc Daniel Nelson
The video is all about how they recorded all of the tracks to digital, but some tracks were also recorded in parallel to tape, and illustrates the differences/advantages/disadvantages of the different recording media.
I really loved the song, so I decided to try an experiment. I first mixed the entire track using all digital sources. Then, once I had a mix I liked, I duplicated the project and replaced the digital elements that were also recorded to analogue tape with their analogue counterparts. I tried to keep the processing exactly the same, however, it was necessary for me to adjust gain staging, as the some of the analogue tape sources had a different RMS level.
In any case, here are the results. Can you guess which is purely digital, and which one has the analogue elements? Which mix do you prefer?
(oh, and feel free to bash the mix[es] while you’re at it! )
This is not scientific, just a bit of fun, really… but it does probably reveal a lot about the differences in a “real world” scenario.
BTW, the elements that were recorded both digital and analogue are as follows: Drums, Bass, one of the Electric Guitars, and the Piano…
… and if you want to download and mix the track for yourself, you can find the download link here
Edit - The answers can now be found here