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  • Digital analog ...

    I am finding myself avoiding buying new issues in analog format, as I fear I am buying a digitally recorded or processed recording. Nowadays we can even find tapes that are issued from digital masters. Most of the time, as I do not have the time to carry the proper research before buying, I gave up and and forget about it.

    Do you know of any site that keeps a list of pseudo analog vinyl and tape issues? I have read that for technical convenience most of modern vinyl is issued from digital masters.
    My opinions rely on listening mainly to acoustical, non amplified music. I do not care about electronic music or listening to rock at stadium levels, but I enjoy Mahler and Shostakovitch.

  • #2
    I would say not just made from digital masters but also from analog masters that were ADC and DAC'd post produced too. Then again it goes both ways there are silver discs and files that also went into the analog domain and back to digital during the post process. Personally it might bother me intellectually but not at a very high level. I'm fortunate enough to be able to listen before I buy so if it sounds okay then I buy it, if not then I don't. There were a couple of albums I bought without listening to first that really disappointed especially because they came from artists I really loved and I was stoked. Turned out to be worse than the CDs. Oh well.

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    • #3
      I'm with you on this Francisco, don't see any point to digital recordings on vinyl and you get cartridge wear to boot!
      david

      Originally posted by microstrip View Post
      I am finding myself avoiding buying new issues in analog format, as I fear I am buying a digitally recorded or processed recording. Nowadays we can even find tapes that are issued from digital masters. Most of the time, as I do not have the time to carry the proper research before buying, I gave up and and forget about it.

      Do you know of any site that keeps a list of pseudo analog vinyl and tape issues? I have read that for technical convenience most of modern vinyl is issued from digital masters.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by david k View Post
        I'm with you on this Francisco, don't see any point to digital recordings on vinyl and you get cartridge wear to boot!
        david


        I agree, but so difficult to avoid if you buy pop/rock albums...
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        • #5
          Originally posted by microstrip View Post
          I am finding myself avoiding buying new issues in analog format, as I fear I am buying a digitally recorded or processed recording. Nowadays we can even find tapes that are issued from digital masters. Most of the time, as I do not have the time to carry the proper research before buying, I gave up and and forget about it.

          Do you know of any site that keeps a list of pseudo analog vinyl and tape issues? I have read that for technical convenience most of modern vinyl is issued from digital masters.
          I don't normally go out of my way to buy digital recordings on vinyl but all things being equal, I've certainly heard more than one instance where the vinyl is better than the CD. Or the tape is better than the digital release. No I haven't bought the new RR LPs because they are digital either. But there are some instances, just want the music.

          One example of a pretty good digitized analog master tape is Neil Young's Live at the Cellar Door. I'd be lying though if I didn't admit to wishing that they had cut the LP from the tape. And both the vinyl and 15 ips tape of Patricia Barber are better than the digital CD release. The digital tape of Anne Bisson is better than the digital LP. How can that be? My theory is that what you have to go though to make the CD is worse than what you have to go through to make the LP. Now I haven't compared a high-rez digital file with an LP or tape.

          As we've talked about before, there are only a handful of labels that you can bank on being all analog. And yes, most stuff today is even if from the master, been digitized. Hey, it's easier for the label. Plus labels won't send their precious master tapes out to just any mastering engineer, much less at all. In fact, I'd say that many of the great rock (not the audiophile jazz or classical releases) recordings even if analog are cut from safety tapes. Back then, the labels might make say six, eight, ten, maybe more safety tapes; it was those tapes that were/are still used for releases while THE master tape remains locked in the vault. I seem to remember reading that the master tape of DSOTM has only been taken out of the vault four times (?). Probably under armed guard too! Nor will you find them sending out but a safety of the original Beatles masters for reissue. Or nowadays, since everything is in the digital domain, a digital file.
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          • #6
            I guess we should just consider ourselves lucky that there's lots of good music from the pure analog era, both recorded and good surviving copies distributed. My mental cut-off year is a generous 2000. Beyond 2000 most likely a recording was done on a DAW. IIRC between 1995 and 1999 there was still some multitrack tape studios around and artists with budgets. I used to try and get the current issues of MIX Mag back then and there were still a few showcased. Unfortunately at that time, releases were most likely to have been CD only. In this decade the only mainstream (outside of specialist labels) music that I can think of that was all analog was by the Foo Fighters and Daft Punk. Hmmmm. Gotta google. Maybe there's a list.

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            • #7
              In an era of cost-cutting, limited studio capabilities, and production chain uncertainty, it is certainly an issue. I'm unsure what can be done to shed more light on the situation though.

              However, in some cases, the analog version does end up sounding better than the digital copy that was originally a digital recording. A couple have been mentioned above. I'll Add the MoFi 45RPM reissue of Dire Straits Brothers in Arms. Compared to all other version's I have heard of this album, in any format, it's heads and shoulders above.

              Dre
              Last edited by Dre_J; 03-01-2016, 04:36 PM.
              **************************************************
              Every day is a good day to play analog.
              - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
              - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
              **************************************************
              Every day is a good day for live music.
              **************************************************

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              • #8
                This is why I prefer 60's and 70's originals over reissues. You KNOW they were cut from analog tapes.
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                • #9
                  While I'm certainly in the camp of wanting AAA vinyl for all of my buying I'm not unopposed to Digital vinyl. When done right it sounds excellent and the MOV release of Alice In Chains - MTV Unplugged is a perfect example. You could argue had it been AAA it would sound better, but we don't have that luxury, so a hypothetical comparison is pointless. I say enjoy the record for what it is.
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