Monday, June 06, 2005

Analog Retreat

Well they went and did it. Jobs drank the kool-aid. Hell has frozen over...

Intel ass.

I am sick of relying on computers for EVERYTHING....I mean blogs and the internet is one thing but to have to record music with a computer is almost too much. It was bad enough to have to buy new hardware and revamp software because of innovation, but to have to do so because of changes to hardware based on dollar signs and someones pending retirement...that just sucks.

Jobs has sold out. Oh sure I won't have to to change any hardware for a year or two. I was planning on a Dual G5 if this CD is succesful for the next project. Now I don't think so for the same amount I could get a 8 or 16 track recorder and a nice 1/4 mastering deck. then plop any old crap computer and interface to read in the analog for 16 bit/44.1 kh...CD mastering.

the learning curve is almost to much....each new multi track software version is like tearing your entire studio out and replacing it. All the controls are complely different and the behavior changes. Features are buried and and become more and more complex.

got it right the first time

for ages you could walk into a studio in in a few minutes be comfy with the console and controls because the controls have changed little. EQ is EQ. A fader is a fader and pan knob is a pan knob. Compression, pre-amps all work relativly the same. The digital realm has caused and explosion of processing and editing that before was unheard of. And bizzare interfaces are par for the course.

Now musicians can focus less on the content and tone as they can always "fix" in the mix.

retro heaven...that 70's stereo

Digital, what a crutch....I know there will always be the need for digital processing. It does one thing really well....keeps the noise down...that was tape's biggest flaw....and best attribute. That noise and overhead is warm, natural and extremely musical.

I've just been listening to some old cassettes on a JVC deck I picked up a rummage sale, that are frankly a pure joy to listen to...

the big analog meters are bouncing...The natural cassette compression and the natural EQ "scoop" of vintage 70's stereo equipment made my weekend. I listend to Dinosaur Jr. and Firehose, both commercial Cro2 tapes on a JVC deck through a Pioneer SX-980 receiver and vintage kenwood speakers. What a treat.

I dug out my old reel to reel tapes from the early ninties. Mostly me and guitar writing songs. I used a Pioneer RT-707 deck with two mics via small mixer. I could slam the meters into the wall and no clipping or distortion....just saturation and natural compression...I had not heard these tapes I anything other than headphones...I was floored.

connecting the dots

I was relaxed like I've never been for a long time listening to music.

I am sure it is because I was listening to real sine waves...not a digital approximation of tone. The dots just aren't connected....My brain wasn't exhausted at glazing over the 44.1khz steps and it wasn't stressed with coping with the 17th bit being lopped off...Even though it is beyond human hearing the brain must still be registering something...and it is cut off....that is the only way I can describe it. It "feels" different to listen to non-digital music sources.

Maybe that is the key. Our lives are so stressed and we surround ourselves with the cacaphony of fraudulant sound. Stuttering digital shrieking enters our brain and assaults our audio center of the brain. It challenges our complex audio processing centers to convert the broken, stuttering into a seemingly solid and continuous tone.

I would like to see some brain scans of cortex activity when listening to a digital source and a analog source. Just how much more work is the brain doing to smooth over the sound.

What happens when you stop the smoothing...? When suddenly you can hear the digital steps in the sound...?

I think I've found out.

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