The End of Analogue - Is analogue multitrack recording dead? (part 2)
I dont think anyone is in serious doubt anymore that digital recording is better than analogue. Some people will say that analogue has its own special sound which is certainly true. These people probably also prefer vinyl records to CD and black and white television to colour.
I dont think anyone is in serious doubt anymore that digital recording
is better than analogue. Some people will say that analogue has its own special
sound which is certainly true. These people probably also prefer vinyl records
to CD and black and white television to colour. I would say that while it would
be nice to have these old sounds available in an effects rack (along with the
gritty distortion of optical sound on film), it is not appropriate - unless
you specialise in the musical styles of a bygone era - to apply them to everything
you record. 16 bit digital audio is a much more transparent information channel,
even if its not perfect yet. By the way, if you want to see how bad some
digital convertors are, record a sine wave tone onto your DAT and slowly reduce
the level to zero. Now play the tape back, and as the tone diminishes, increase
the monitor level to compensate. If the convertors are good then you will hear
a noise building up which is smooth and even in character. On cheaper machines
the noise will be harsh and gritty - not very nice at all. If the sine wave
itself starts to become harsh then the convertors are not as linear as they
ought to be. Youll probably hate digital after you try this!
Even when working at its best, 16 bit recording is not always ideal. One day,
digital recording will be 24 bit and very close to being absolutely linear (free
of distortion within the 24 bit limit). When that day arrives well probably
rediscover analogue and apply all the techniques learnt along the way to create
an even greater argument! For now, 16 bit digital audio is considered perfectly
good enough for domestic stereo listening providing all the bits are used. But
16 bits are not quite good enough for mixing to stereo in the studio because
you have no margin of error - its virtually impossible to get full value
out of that very last bit and drive the signal all the way up to 1111111111111111
without going over the top at all. 16 bit multitrack is definitely not good
enough because each time you double the number of tracks you mix together the
noise goes up by a theoretical 3dB. This means that sixteen tracks of 16 bit
recording will mix together to give the equivalent of 14 bits, in the worst
case situation. The signal to noise ratio of the mix would in theory be 82dB
rather than the 96dB (in theory once again) of each individual track. So to
be compatible with 16 bit stereo standards, a sixteen track digital multitrack
machine should record to 18 bit resolution.
It should be evident that sound quality-wise, digital recording is not perfect.
But even so, I would still confirm my absolute certainty that its a damn
sight better than any current analogue format other than Dolby SR noise reduction
used on machinery of a full professional standard. This last option can give
16 bit digital a fright, but only at a very considerable cost. As I shall be
pointing out shortly, a digital multitrack recorder with A to D and D to A convertors
of reasonable quality such as the Alesis ADAT is easily superior in sound quality
to narrow gauge analogue machines such as the Fostex G and Tascam MSR models.
Its not the fault of the analogue machines or their designers, its
just the way things are.
You write the lyrics, someone else writes the tune. Who owns the copyright?
In the triangle of lyricist-composer-producer, various copyrights are generated on which royalties are payable. But who gets the lion's share? Read more...
How not to run a recording session!
Make your performers comfortable, find the best microphone positions, run the session smoothly and record clean signals. But not in this session... Read more...
Doppler phasing - extreme creativity in the studio
Doppler phasing is an effect that cannot be achieved by any effects unit, stomp box or plug-in. And all you need is the equipment you probably already have. Dare to sound different... Read more...
Finally, Pro Tools gets new pan laws!
Pro Tools users fought the law for years, and now in Pro Tools 9, the law is finally broken! Read more...
Q: How should I set the compressor for vocals in Nuendo?
I would like to know the basics of adjusting the compressor for vocals in Nuendo. I generally do home recording and mixing. The music genre is Indian Contemporary, more or less ballads. Read more...
The possibilities of music never cease to amaze!
Just when you think you've heard everything that music has to offer, along comes something that is amazingly different! Read more...
How to make a Microphone Pop Filter for under $10.00
The video is introduced by explaining what a pop filter is and why a person who records podcasts should build one. At 1:30 the instructor introduces the materials needed to make the filter. At 2:00 he begins instructing viewers on how to make the microphone filter beginning with the treatment of the nylon... Read more...
How can you get excellent vocal quality from a normal mic?
An RP reader wishes to improve the sound he gets from his microphone. Is this possible, or does he need a better mic? Read more...
The Making of a CD - FREE DOWNLOAD
How up-and-coming band SinFiction financed, produced and brought to market their first CD album, 'Led By Verses' Read more...
Upgrading to Pro Tools 9? Should you do it now?
If you run Pro Tools, then you will surely upgrade to the new Version 9. The question is, should you do it right now? Read more...
A rare Telefunken ELA M 251 E - for sale on eBay ('only' $19,999.00)
If you have a classic vintage vacuum tube, chances are you don't want to sell it. But someone does (for a price)... Read more...
Mixing: Where to start? - Set all of your tracks to the same level?
If you don't know where to start mixing a multitrack recording, then often having some plan, even a crazy one, is better than having no plan at all. Read more...
Q: In live sound, what can I do to reduce echo in the room?
A RecordProducer.com reader has a problem with an echoey auditorium. What can he do to improve results? Read more...
Make your recordings richer with double tracking
To achieve a richer sound from vocals, guitars, and even drums, the 'old school' technique of double tracking is extremely effective. And it costs nothing but a little extra dedication to your craft.
Q: Why don't my vocals sound nice?
"I have a Behringer B-2 PRO mic and a Creative E-MU Tracker Pre audio interface, but I still don't get vocals as nice as those I hear from others. What can I do?" Read more...
What is a record producer? Do you really want to become one?
It is probably the most common ambition in music. But many people want to become a record producer without really understanding what it means. Here's the primer... Read more...
Why mono is better than stereo (sometimes)
An Audio Masterclass visitor asks why stereo is better than mono. But is that always the case? Read more...
Your actions don't require reasons, just try stuff out and see.
When you asked your singer to perform the second chorus differently, did you explain why? Oh dear, now you're stuck with it. Read more...
A pair of idiots let loose in the studio - with VIDEO!
A short video showing how not to behave in the studio. This pair of idiots even find what they do funny. Read more...
To eliminate feedback is it good to reduce the gain and raise the fader? (Part 1)
An RP reader has feedback problems. But will clever manipulation of the gain control and fader provide the cure? In Part 1 of a two-part article, we explore the concept of loop gain. Read more...