Does analog really matter in the end

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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Post by Andy_X69 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:51 am

Analog filters sound bigger than digital filters. But I prefer stable oscs to warmth, and I like versatile osc types. So analog has its advantages, and digital has its advantages. I think a mix of both is a neccessity.
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Post by Analogue Crazy » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:47 am

I think analogue synths have more character.
I suppose VA's have character too though.
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Post by meatballfulton » Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:15 pm

My dog has character, too.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Post by Analogue Crazy » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:22 pm

So does my cat. :wink:
Anyway back to the question:
I think analogue does not matter too much to most people. But there are some fussy purists out there (like me) who love that vintage sound.
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Post by OriginalJambo » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:30 pm

Analogue Crazy wrote:So does my cat. :wink:
As do both of mine.

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Post by clueless » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:51 pm

There is a huge difference in sound and it does matter!!! Not to me I might add but to some it does. I liken it to listening to a live gig and then going home and listening to the same gig on CD. It doesn't have that "edge" to it. Others say "Organic" and "Rawness" to discribe analog sound. To be frank..... I am more interested in the functionality more than the tonal qualities of gear when buying. I ain't looking for "The 808 sound" when buying a drum machine. I just want one that goes "Boom tick boing" Then again.... I am possibly just thick as f**k. :wink:

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Post by shaft9000 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:10 pm

Analog will ALWAYS matter in the end, because you can't hear electronic music without (analog) amps. There's no such thing as a true digital amplifier! Yes, I know things exist that people call 'digital amps', but they're more or less just putting the converters into the speakers. It still has to be converted from digital to analog at the speaker stage to be heard.

You can't hear binary information, kids.

Think about it. This has NOTHING to do with the notion of favoring analog more than digital. In fact in most instances they both depend on each other to work. The only synthesizers that do not depend on any digital technology are most of the monosynths without memory.

Digital is for storage and number-crunching I/O. It has nothing to do with sound in itself. The digital information has to be converted to an electrical current in order to become sound. Usually a 'crappy' sounding digital synth sounds that way because it is using sub-par ANALOG components. After all, digital does not introduce 'crappy' artifacts beyond aliasing unless it's a bug or bad hardware/software implimentation afaik.

Your V/A has an analog output section - whether it's built in or you use your soundcard's analog I/O. YOU CAN'T HEAR DIGITAL WITHOUT ANALOG - the output must ALWAYS be converted to analog in order to be heard.
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Post by tallowwaters » Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:51 pm

well, if you think about it, the path between our brain and fingers is an analog path.

granted, some of us need a f**k limiter/compressor in between the two.
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Post by MarkShovel » Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:14 pm

Are Mods allows to use that kind of language?

I propose a beer for everyone!

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Post by prophei » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:34 pm

shaft9000 wrote:Analog will ALWAYS matter in the end, because you can't hear electronic music without (analog) amps. There's no such thing as a true digital amplifier! Yes, I know things exist that people call 'digital amps', but they're more or less just putting the converters into the speakers. It still has to be converted from digital to analog at the speaker stage to be heard.

You can't hear binary information, kids.

Think about it. This has NOTHING to do with the notion of favoring analog more than digital. In fact in most instances they both depend on each other to work. The only synthesizers that do not depend on any digital technology are most of the monosynths without memory.

Digital is for storage and number-crunching I/O. It has nothing to do with sound in itself. The digital information has to be converted to an electrical current in order to become sound. Usually a 'crappy' sounding digital synth sounds that way because it is using sub-par ANALOG components. After all, digital does not introduce 'crappy' artifacts beyond aliasing unless it's a bug or bad hardware/software implimentation afaik.

Your V/A has an analog output section - whether it's built in or you use your soundcard's analog I/O. YOU CAN'T HEAR DIGITAL WITHOUT ANALOG - the output must ALWAYS be converted to analog in order to be heard.

this is not leaving an accurate representation of the situation at all. sure all digital gets converted to analog, but that doesn't at all mean that digital has nothing to do with the sound. the resolution of almost everything in a digital synth is rather poor given the dsp required to do what it is doing. the resolution in analog synths is essentially infinite. go grab a digital oscillator and sweep it from the top to the bottom of the range and back, then try an analog oscillator. do the same with a filter! none of this is truly continuous in the digital domain, and the brain picks up on it. all the little steps. most would find the analog variant to be much thicker with much more pleasing frequency characteristics operating continuously throughout the sweep. it is sonically more powerful and far more harmonically rich. the problem with the digital here is happening long before your conversion process to analog.

a great way to look at it is by compariong an mp3 to dvd audio. the sample/bit rates involved have a massive impact on the quality of the sound. you can easily tell the difference. digital synths exhibit the same quality deficiencies that 16bit audio might to a much higher quality format. if there is infinite dsp available at some point, this may change, allowing digital synths to sound much richer... but they certainly do not at this point.

does this make a dgital synth bad? h**l no! digital synthesis types require this method by theirvery nature, and they can have an awesome sound of their own. the main issue is that digital emulations of analog never sound very good compared to the originals. real analog kills the copy sonically, as it should. i have noticed that digital emulation of analog usually tends to sound great till you put it side by side... then you really can hear the differences. i did this once with rebirth and a real 303. i could hardly believe just how horrible rebirth really was in comparison. the power, richness, dynamic and sonic bite of the original kiled it hands down. i notice the same with others.

who cares if digital ends up analog? the conversion is converting the quality of what that data is... and that is the very part that is the problem. to be fair, most analog goes back to digital at some point, but that doesn't remove the benefit of using real analog synths in the writing prior to that stage... you can still hear it. all of these conversions are different and are happening at different points of the process. the results are not as simple as general terms you seemed to use.
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Post by shaft9000 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:23 pm

prophei wrote:
this is not leaving an accurate representation of the situation at all. sure all digital gets converted to analog, but that doesn't at all mean that digital has nothing to do with the sound. ...............the results are not as simple as general terms you seemed to use.
Well, the terms i "seem to use" is what you misunderstood. Note the words "in itself" in reference to digital components - it seems you missed it before.
That lengthy explanation you just typed is common knowledge around here, in fact it is describing the reason most people come to this site; i.e.: we perceive the value and difference in using analog synthesisers (in addition to the digital at least sometimes). I'm also familiar with every distinction you described 100 times over - you can check my signature for some of what i'm currently working with and you'll get a clue as to where I'm coming from.

Read the thread title again, think about it, or don't. :)
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Post by prophei » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:27 pm

shaft9000 wrote:
prophei wrote:
this is not leaving an accurate representation of the situation at all. sure all digital gets converted to analog, but that doesn't at all mean that digital has nothing to do with the sound. ...............the results are not as simple as general terms you seemed to use.
Well, the terms i "seem to use" is what you misunderstood. Note the words "in itself" in reference to digital components - it seems you missed it before.
That lengthy explanation you just typed is common knowledge around here, in fact it is describing the reason most people come to this site; i.e.: we perceive the value and difference in using analog synthesisers (in addition to the digital at least sometimes). I'm also familiar with every distinction you described 100 times over - you can check my signature for some of what i'm currently working with and you'll get a clue as to where I'm coming from.

Read the thread title again, think about it, or don't. :)
i think your explaination left a lot to be desired, regardless of all these things you feel i can take for granted. if it hadn't, i wouldn't have bothered responding.
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Post by shaft9000 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:42 pm

prophei wrote:
i think your explaination left a lot to be desired, regardless of all these things you feel i can take for granted. if it hadn't, i wouldn't have bothered responding.
What's left to desire? All i pointed out was that there is no sound without analog. I'm not trying to explain the whole process - just the coexistence and necessity of analog. I don't think anyone mentioned it up until then, maybe i missed something.

The thread is titled "Does analog matter in the end". All I said was in effect "yes - it must or there IS no end". 'End' meaning end of the sound computation process resulting in something to be listen to.

If you have something you'd like to add or correct than please do. I'm here to learn, although it may seem otherwise as some around here are obsessed with the size of their synth-weenies above all else and really aren't here to contribute, just boast.
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Post by femmespeaksever » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:42 pm

I'm not asking if analog matters, thats personal preference. I'm asking if you send a digital synth or a soft synth through high end ad/da converters, analog tube compressors/limiters, mic pres, etc (the wholes works), will you still notice that its digital once recorded in a mix.

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Post by GeneralBigbag » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:44 pm

How can it take 5 pages to say

'Digital recordings of analog synths can sound different from digital recordings of digital synths (and analog recordings of analog synths can sound different from analog recordings of digital synths)'

?
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