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Can we stop arguing analog vs. digital and get back to the music? | Electronic Musing
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Can we stop arguing analog vs. digital and get back to the music?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at 1:30 am

Disclaimer: I’m sure there are already a dozen blog posts like this, but it annoys me sufficiently that I must concoct yet another — or I’ll go pop.

I know a lot of people that are fetishists for old analog gear. Some of them are experienced, serious people… and some hide behind analog in order to make up for their laziness and lack of imagination.

I know a lot of people that are fetishsts for max/msp, puredata and the like. Some of them are terrific musicians… and some hide behind “generative sequencing” in order to make up for their laziness and lack of imagination.

Analog, digital — you can suck just as hard with either. In fact, I know people that use both, and still suck hard.

The software you use doesn’t make you clever and innovative. The old synths you bought don’t give you legitimacy or talent. Really, I feel it’s like arguing about what paper is best to draw on — the paper effects the look and feel of the final product, but it’s up to the artist to draw something interesting. Furthermore, you can draw something interesting on just about anything, even a bathroom wall (see MTV music maker). Having fancy paper doesn’t make you a genius. Doodling on napkins doesn’t make you bad at drawing.

No doubt a $500,000 mixing desk with preamps older than Frank Sinatra sounds a lot nicer than a $1,000 soundcard… but not $499,000 nicer. The melodies would not be any better, and the vast majority of people, pirating the tune in 128kbit mp3, would not be able to tell the difference. In most cases, analog or digital is as irrelevant to the listener as whether the synths you used had knobs or sliders.

Some people like plugging real cables into real modules; other people like having patch memory. Why not have both? Why limit yourself to one or the other? Every piece of gear, every scrap of software, has tradeoffs. So, you combine bits and bobs from both camps, using them to fill in each others failings.

Use whatever gets you where you want to be. Buy the best you can afford, and don’t give a shit as to whether it’s analog or digital — all that matters is how fun it is to use, how effective you are with it, and whether its sonic output cuts the mustard.

Categories: gear, studio

3 Comments on “Can we stop arguing analog vs. digital and get back to the music?”

  1. Amen.

  2. bemymnAngep
    Bbbf
    Unlinirek
    ybpf

  3. zlortzmatronky


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