BKDad Posted May 28, 2021 Share Posted May 28, 2021 Just a thought... Most analog recordings and the resulting vinyl discs were the product of using analog processing and recording techniques. Usually that meant the use of tape decks with their well known sonic characteristics. From what I've read from people well educated in the field, the kinds of distortions found in analog processing, including the tape decks, are, shall we say, sympathetic to and aligned with how our own aural processing systems work. In contrast, digital processing has its own imperfections. These aren't as aligned with our aural systems. For better and/or worse. In addition, the engineering and recording techniques used back before digital took over were often quite different from those used now. The great dynamic range wars come to mind as an example of this. You can immediately tell how things have changed when you listen to digital versions of early albums compared to the new re-mixes of today. I have a somewhat hard to find digital recording set of Thick as A Brick from Jethro Tull. Included in the release was what they called the original "flat" version. This was just the original analog master tape digitized at 96/24. There's also a recently re-mixed version. At least to me, the original is soooo much better than the new remix. Maybe it's because I've listened to the album since it first came out and am familiar and comfortable with it. Or, it could be that there's less good musical information in the new version. You tell me. And, that's just one example. So, my opinion is that digital has the potential to sound as good as analog. The problem is that a lot of the digital recordings aren't very good. If you want better archival material, I think vinyl is the best way to go. Master tapes with great machines are certainly better, but that's a whole other dimension. Most vinyl albums made before the digital age were careful efforts to get the sound just right. Many albums made since then have been seasoned to taste through Pro Tools editing to sound attractive through first boom boxes, then mp3 players, and now phones. That may not be what we want to listen to. Try making your own purist recordings of pretty much anything. You can often make more realistic recordings than what you find commercially available today. That's just the nature of the way the music business has gone. They're in it to make money from the current audience and work to that end. In addition, I think there's kind of a threshold of system quality you need to get over before you have a chance to hear good quality digital sound. That's because the defects of digital and the various systemic digitally generated noise get in the way until you deal with them. I don't mean the olde audiophile insult of "Your system isn't resolving enough to hear this! Until you spend twice as much on your audio system as you did on your house, you're just a moronic piker with no opinion worth considering! I blow my nose in your general direction!" Instead, I mean all the painful steps you need to go through to address the problems, regardless of cost. With analog, that's not the case. It already starts off pretty good, and then can be made better as you improve and adjust your gear properly. But, that's just me. Another unknown guy on the internet whose opinion is worth what you paid for it. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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