This is a re-post of a point I made on Creative Ireland earlier today that has been on my mind of late.
I’ve recently had an ongoing argument with some of my friends about the whole analogue tape vs digital thing and so on, and people are so quick to point out that music has never sounded better etc.
Thing is, I’ve spent years and quite a substantial amount of cash trying to improve on a sound that I could get on my dad’s 70’s Hitachi stereo with the supplied stereo mikes.
Also had a 1/4 inch tape machine for a while in the UK, and that sounded awesome.
It wasn’t like digital, you’d record a piano or guitar, and on playback, with your eyes closed, you actually felt like there was someone in the room playing.
With 1s and Zeros, dithering, sample rates (no matter how high) you never get that.
I’m not a neanderthal, and I run an audio post facility based on Pro Tools LE with lots of nice mikes and pre amps etc, but I DO know that no amount of plug-ins can get me that same sound that a little tape compression / wow and flutter provides.
I’m sure there are guys here with more of this kind of kit who’ll back this up.
One final thing about old school production techniques now is that you won’t sound like every other kid on the block.
Its so easy to open a session in your sequencer or DAW app, and start right away using pre-installed samples to make music at 120BPM and in the key of C.
In fact, it is so easy to get a sound now that we are flooded with well produced but very derivative crap.
In short, a fresh look at some legacy recording gear that can be bought up quite cheaply now if you know what you’re looking for might just inject a bit of new life and creativity into your music.
I’m now in that stupid position of not being bothered to even write a song until I get my hands on the latest Waves mastering bundle or whatever, when I was younger a lot of what I did was fuelled by wanting to maximise the limitations of the gear. Now that the gear is maxed out, it seems my imagination has retired.
Just my two cents on why someone might be looking at this stuff.
I know, nostalgia ain’t what it used to be etc.