August 17, 2007

In recording circles, you hear a lot about how analog recordings have a warmer and more appealing sound than digital. For the most part, that is true – especially when it comes to listening to some of the older digital mixes of analog recordings from back in the ’60s. Of course, the technology is changing so fast that anything reproduced digitally, say, ten or more years ago sounds nothing like it would today in the hands of savvy producers. Compare, for example, the CDs of all the Beatles’ albums re-produced for CD by their producer George Martin back in the mid ’90s versus, say, The Doors’ new remixes of their “Morrison Hotel” and “L.A. Woman” albums – it’s like listening to two different worlds.

I only mention this because, by and large, digital technology has gotten a bad name in recording circles; recent experiences, however, have got me changing my mind a little bit. First it was those re-releases of the two Doors albums I just mentioned. To listen to their original release on LP or even CD with these new versions is, basically, to listen to two very different recordings – the quality is just that much more obvious. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I sent three 30 year-old, battered cassette tapes of my old band Top Priority to this company called Cassettes2CDs.com. Not only did they process the tapes quickly and efficiently, but one of the tapes I sent them was broken and hadn’t been played for at least a quarter century. Not only did the good folks at Cassettes2CDs repair that tape sufficiently so it could be transferred to CD, but the quality of the digital recordings as compared to how they sounded on those original tapes is an amazing thing to behold. We were never that good a band, but our performances absolutely leap out at you off CD – something that couldn’t have been possible on analog tape.

Not only that, but having Top Priority in digital means I can have at it with my DART CD Recording Studio 2 software, and, with all the tools it provides, the sky’s the limit, baby. De-noise, De-hiss, equalize, stereo – my office has been turned into a production studio. Of course, you can’t turn chicken sh*t into chicken slad, but you can certainly improve the bowl it has been served in. Phil Spector, eat your heart out!

So no more analog snobbery for me – consider me finally ready and willing to embrace the digital age!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:22 | Comments (0)
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