Originally Posted by Anon La Ply
My impression has long been that digital slices are small enough to fool the human ear, like fine pixellation fools our eyes into seeing flat colours. So I've tended to wonder if the extra "warmth" that many people attribute to analogue was actually an aural hallucination, or maybe an expectation effect. Nice to know there's something real there too.
That warmth isn't really about the sampling but about the dynamic compression/harmonic distortion, just like valves in a guitar amp. This is another reason why digital can sound a bit more sterile than analogue recording, because once you'd not only have an analogue preamp but a recording medium that also added pleasing harmonics to the sound. With digital you can have neither, so the results are truer/more accurate, but less pleasing to the ear. That's the odd thing, 'analogue' isn't about producing something 'analogous' to what signals go in, it's much more about how it augments the sound in a pleasing way.