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Old 01-31-2013, 07:04 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 859
Default Re: Assume sound quality is equal: Digital or Analog?

The binary system of digital recording is, in a way, identical to analog tape. Instead of ones and zeros, tiny magnetic poles on the tape are turned from "off" negative to "on" positive (or is it the other way around, I can't remember...). So, the OP's superstition is unnecessary (as superstitions tend to be).

It has long been known that tape compression/saturation, and the harmonics imparted by preamps and mixing consoles are responsible for analog's desirability. But every year a new plug-in arrives to emulate these features, and they sound better and better. Initially, crappy AD and DA converters and jittery wordclocks were to blame (and you can still find crappy converters in consumer stereos), but that's been addressed in recording interfaces.

The one failure of digital as a medium is monitor mixing. Sending a signal through a computer, and then back into a pair of headphones takes a few milliseconds, whereas in analog the task is instantaneous. As computer processing power continues to increase, though, this becomes less and less of an issue as well.
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