Special Interest

GEAR / TECHNOLOGY => gear/tech/etc => Topic started by: tiny_tove on July 05, 2016, 11:30:40 AM



Title: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: tiny_tove on July 05, 2016, 11:30:40 AM
To quote Martin "Gear snobbery is an entire thread of its own. How much contempt there can be over the use of laptops yet people think nothing of someone who just performed a set consisting of entire tracks dumped onto a SP 404."
Digital vs analag
Pro/against laptop
Pro/against software

Let the battle begin.


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: GEWALTMONOPOL on July 05, 2016, 11:59:57 AM
To paraphrase a Cat Rapes Dog album sleeve note, gear is there for us to buy, use and experiment on. All of it!

Except Kaoss Pads. I direct my snobbery against those. Maybe others have a use for them but I saw too many Mongoloid Kaoss Pad Solos (MKPS) at that shit Broken Flag festival a few years ago to ever want to see or hear one again. Yeah, my hatred is for Kaoss Pads.


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: Leatherface on July 05, 2016, 12:14:33 PM
Creativity first.
I prefere a digital "genius" that a analog badass.
I see a first part of a live performance last year, the guy made a really poor and boring noise performance, with 5.000€ analog gear on his table.

Personally digital or analog is not really important when i buy gear, the most important is the sound and the versatility.

Like Rhys Fulber said: "All those new synths still won't make your music better"


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: GEWALTMONOPOL on July 05, 2016, 12:19:46 PM
The saturation one can achieve with a good soundcard is like nothing else. Amazing yet so simple. And I'm not talking about plug ins. Fuck that. The multi layering from a soundcard into a mixer and then throw effects on top of that. Very fucking tasty!


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: tiny_tove on July 05, 2016, 01:06:26 PM
I enjoy passing digitally recorded stuff into analog gear and vice-versa.
Or using both digital and analog version of the same sound on two separate tracks.



Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: GEWALTMONOPOL on July 05, 2016, 01:53:34 PM
A friend of mine told me how on a forum there were a bunch of guys who did little else but wank themselves and each other off over various bits of vintage reel to reel they procured for mega money and how this was the only true method of recording. Maybe in between they actually managed to get some recordings done, but who knows?

I own a truckload of analogue synths. Some fancy, some less so. I think they look and sound beautiful and I can lose myself in them for hours. Nothing could replace them and I intend to stick to them for life. When I die I will come back and live inside them like a ghost in a machine. That's how much I love my analogue synths. I love them a lot.

Still, much of the analogue snobbery I see is just retarded. Like for example the absolute tool who said that if it's a sampler it must be analogue. Or the numerous people I've had come up to me and go "hurr hurr a laptop, I thought you was foh real" and then drool over a SP 404 where the guy behind it presses play and lets the sing back commence. "Yes chief, this huge and complex set up with 3 mixers filled to the brim, pedals, mic's, cables everywhere, gear and gear again is totally fake because there's one or two or three laptops in the system. Never mind that it took 2 months to assemble and rehearse because the guy after me pressing play on his SP 404 is the real deal.".


Yup, retards!


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: tiny_tove on July 05, 2016, 02:53:38 PM
Maybe in between they actually managed to get some recordings done, but who knows?

ahah This is exactly what scares me about the "modular" revival. I know many people wasting thousands euro to buy any module available and spend hours on muffwiggler (excellent forum by the way), post samples with nonsense titles on soundcloud and get fat.

I mean. I got my own modular set-up was in order to attempt to obtain unusual sounds. with the correct modules (trogo!!!) you can turn that mass of iron and cables into a killing machine, but you have to focus, let yourself be amazed by what you can create, and there is no need to hassle other people with that.

Sometime I think this return of modular gear is a conspiracy to neutralize experimental people.


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: Duncan on July 06, 2016, 12:55:58 AM
"Yes chief, this huge and complex set up with 3 mixers filled to the brim, pedals, mic's, cables everywhere, gear and gear again is totally fake because there's one or two or three laptops in the system. Never mind that it took 2 months to assemble and rehearse because the guy after me pressing play on his SP 404 is the real deal.".

Ah, but this can be the other end of the argument that's as lame as the pro 404 line: that complex systems and loads of time spent building them somehow equals something better or more valid in and of itself.  The backstory of how all that gear - laptop or tangled pedal/synth chain - came to be on stage means fuck all to the person who only has the set itself to go on.

Any kind of fetishism over gear - at least to the point where it strongly influences your experience of a live set - is probably pretty stupid.  A strong feel for sound, performance and composition is what I like...real time demonstrations of how bits of gear work? not so much.


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: Andrew McIntosh on July 06, 2016, 02:36:38 AM
I take it this is mostly about gear in a live setting? Because when it comes to recording I couldn't give a rat's, but when it comes to live I could give several.

Basically, fuck your gear and give me entertainment! The one thing I'm sick of is people setting up the same stuff they've got in their room (or studio, if you insist) then trying to get the same sound and vibes they get when they're "in the moment" at home. When I paid my hard earned I want a gig, I want things to happen, I want energy and power, and I don't care if you've just plugged a walkman into the p.a. as long as you are doing something and giving me something.

I've used raw meat, metal buckets, plastic bags, rubbish bins full of broken glass, a portable cd player, faulty synthesizers that never work the way I want them to, crappy microphones, effects pedals on their last legs, whatever was in the drawers in the kitchen - what the fuck ever. And I've sat down to see people with entire shop front window's supplies of the very latest most expensive christmas-lights-lit gear and have been bored shitless. Then you simply say "good set" and mainly chat about the gear, because that's what it all seems to be about with gigs like that.

I still hate laptops live, too. So I'm a bigot, so what.


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: SinkSlopProcessing on July 06, 2016, 03:14:01 AM
I've used raw meat, metal buckets, plastic bags, rubbish bins full of broken glass, a portable cd player, faulty synthesizers that never work the way I want them to, crappy microphones, effects pedals on their last legs, whatever was in the drawers in the kitchen

Here, here. Household detritus is a criminally overlooked source of material. The sounds that can be acheived from ordinary objects interests me more than all the gadgets on earth.

Now there's a gear debate worth having: metal buckets vs. plastic buckets. Broken glass vs. spoons. Etc.

Discuss.  


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: cantle on July 06, 2016, 03:26:06 AM

Basically, fuck your gear and give me entertainment! The one thing I'm sick of is people setting up the same stuff they've got in their room (or studio, if you insist) then trying to get the same sound and vibes they get when they're "in the moment" at home. When I paid my hard earned I want a gig, I want things to happen, I want energy and power, and I don't care if you've just plugged a walkman into the p.a. as long as you are doing something and giving me something.



^This, I couldn't agree more.


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: THE RITA HN on July 07, 2016, 11:48:23 AM
Whatever gear you use, always put more work into your sources rather than your gear.
IMO - I want to hear the artist's ideas, not the gears' ideas.

For this argument:
For me, the same straight forward analog chains used for years help me to challenge what goes through them.


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: GEWALTMONOPOL on July 07, 2016, 02:57:54 PM
"Yes chief, this huge and complex set up with 3 mixers filled to the brim, pedals, mic's, cables everywhere, gear and gear again is totally fake because there's one or two or three laptops in the system. Never mind that it took 2 months to assemble and rehearse because the guy after me pressing play on his SP 404 is the real deal.".

Ah, but this can be the other end of the argument that's as lame as the pro 404 line: that complex systems and loads of time spent building them somehow equals something better or more valid in and of itself.

Maybe but I never said that.

To comment of some other peoples points. A sample from a  laptop or a sample from a SP 404 is still a sample and both are as digital as each other. Of course using a shit sound card on a laptop is going to impact on the quality of the sound but that's like opting for cheap shit mics or shit cheap mixers instead of good ones. I used to have two EPS racks both for live and recording. They weigh a ton and are clunky as hell to work with plus the sound quality is nowhere as good as the laptops with Motu cards I use. Obviously because they are old and technology has taken giant leaps since the EPS's were made in the 90's. Still somehow a laptop is seen as a lesser machine than those two. By some. It's just a fucking sound bank at the end of the day.

Another point to make is that it sometimes seems the ones who talk about analogue vs digital don't even know the difference. Hence theories on "analogue samplers". So we have a laptop with a Motu soundcard. 8 outputs. They go through a mixer. They also go through various pedals, perhaps an amp, there are bit's mic'ed up and so forth. What we have in the end is a hybrid. Various bits of technology in use to test things and eventually achieve a finished result. There also seems to be the misconception that a laptop is all internal, soft synths etc made strictly from what software is available on the computer and nothing else. No in-betweens. The idea that a soundcard takes you through an external and very much analogue mixer or that a hand held digital recorder is transferred from SD straight into an editing programme with no loss what so ever seems too hard to grasp.

Then what about digital synths? They started making them in the 80's. Do they sound shit? Some of them du but far from all. Although a fucking pig to work it, the DX7 is a great sounding digital synth for example. Anyone listening to Front 242 or Severed Heads using one, or Coil for that matter, claiming they sound "digital" and weak need to rinse their ears.

Back on the laptop situation though. Not for making excuses but I stopped using them live a while back because they are a bit too unreliable in live situations. In the studio for editing and recording they are fantastic tools to use.



Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: tiny_tove on July 07, 2016, 04:58:45 PM
agree on everything, especially the bit about digital synths.

some are awful, some just don't fit the kind of sounds we are discussing here (although I have got to learn that any sound source if properly treated can become a killing machine), but some are absolutely fantastic, maybe they do not fit the harsh tag, but we are discussing a wider range of atmospheres.

Bitcrushers, granular synthesis - just to name a couple - all rely on digital engine and are quite useful in many situations.



Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: martialgodmask on July 07, 2016, 10:06:21 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_KYEtspRa0

A digital v analog gear snobbery thread can't be complete without a mention of Behringer! Maybe this is more appropriate for the small synth thread but I'm sure plenty to go at here too ha!


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: Andrew McIntosh on July 08, 2016, 01:53:12 AM
Ever since more recent acquisitions I am all about digital synths. Small, cheap, easy to transport, sound great - that argument, as far as I'm concerned, is long over. As Pax Chetyorka said on the mini synth thread, "(y)ou can really ditch analog purism with no regrets".

I use digital effects units anyway - one time a reviewer thought I was using soft synths on a recording when it was just lead buzz through a Zoom with direct input into the soundcard. We all love filth and violence but I've come to also love cleanliness and violence. Harsh, cold, cutting, non-human sound...

About Sam's point re sound sources - I'm not against it but I'm also a big fan of the gear being the dictator. I know that seems lazy. But I think there's a lot to be said for being merely the operator of the machinery, depending on the concept and situation. I think it leads to the old, old argument re analog/digital over who's actually "playing" their gear and who's just turning it on, which is where a lot of snobbery comes from.


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: horribleflesheater on July 08, 2016, 03:29:49 AM
My thought is, if you care about actually exploring every dimension of sound, why would you discount an entire field of sound sources? On the subject of laptops, I thought they were garbage as well up until I witnessed two absolutely brutal, room dominating, energetic sets from Andrea Pensado and Dreamcrusher that would've been impossible without laptops. The secret is that they were performers, not just operators.


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: Bleak Existence on July 08, 2016, 07:04:41 PM
Analog fx for me raw source or digital i do not care very much and yeah less is more that's my opinion and choice


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: cutter on July 08, 2016, 07:36:34 PM
For me, using all digital devices and proper software is all i can have for now. I simply can't afford analog parts of the sets (which not means i don't want to try them in the future) but honestly: Software gives a lot more of freedom, you have actually all I need to do a proper noise, all the synths, granulizers, reverb/delay plugins, it's all here and the secont thing (somebody mentioned that) easy transport and things. But connecting this with recordings of things you can find at home or with analog recordings is also a great idea.

Basically, fuck your gear and give me entertainment!
I agree... no matter what you use, making a good show is important


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: Euro Trash Bazooka on July 08, 2016, 08:37:47 PM
I made some recordings with laptops only, and now I use them sometimes but I try to use my analog gear as much as possible. Laptops can do plenty of things but I don't like digital cleanliness. Moreover, I actually enjoy PLAYING music. I have fun fiddling with my MS20 during band practice much more than if I only sat behind a computer clicking on stuff.

I can relate to the music (or noise) I create with my analog synths much more "physically" than if I made that music with a laptop. The sound is never identical because I refuse to use presets and tweaking knobs is much funnier than clicking on things. It also feels rougher around the edge because it's all natural and  "brutal" cut-ups when I assemble everything, and I even try to not use effect pedals anymore, unless they're very good analog ones. I like pushing an instrument to its limits and I want to do the same thing to my synths as when I bash a drumkit like a caveman or bleed on the strings of my bass. Have you ever tried bashing or bleeding on a laptop? So there's the whole "physical" performance aspect in it as well as the sound one in the end. I have a meta boner when I hear my 4-track distort because it goes in the red and I then tweak some random knob to alter its distortion and the way it affects the tape the music is being recorded on, and then I push a random knob in my Kawai and the synth goes all freaky, and then I try to recreate that patch my mate and I found awesome last time we practices but it somehow doesn't really sound the same this time, and it gives a new life to this song we're working on and it makes us improvise and experient that cool thing that just happens once in the heat of the moment, etc... And that's a thing I don't know how to do with a laptop. I like wild guitars and sweat, not fucking Santana.

I want to go the furthest possible but with the purest sound possible for MY music. Because otherwise I get bored creating it or playing it. 


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: Euro Trash Bazooka on July 08, 2016, 08:44:06 PM
Also, this is not me being a digital snob (ok, a little bit), but more me wanting to play an instrument and record it in a way that feels "natural" instead of nerding out with 312,4 tracks on Samplitude or Cubase or whatever. I need intuitive shit that gives a result almost right away, I don't want to do maths. I feel like a lot of analog gear, if carefully chosen, can give you nice results and I like using that moment when the sound breaks or goes odd or away from what it's supposed to be like, whereas it can't happen with a machine that works in a binary way. That's why we get into circuit bending  for instance! But that's only my way of seeing it. 


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: GEWALTMONOPOL on July 08, 2016, 11:51:15 PM
About Sam's point re sound sources - I'm not against it but I'm also a big fan of the gear being the dictator. I know that seems lazy. But I think there's a lot to be said for being merely the operator of the machinery, depending on the concept and situation. I think it leads to the old, old argument re analog/digital over who's actually "playing" their gear and who's just turning it on, which is where a lot of snobbery comes from.

I used to own a 24 channel Studiomaster and it was like that. You went where the mixer wanted the sound to go rather than you taking it where you wanted it. Any attempt to take control of a mix would fail by sounding shit so handing the reigns back to the mixer and it eventually took you to something that sounded good. I sold the cunt in the end of being too big and also in need or a proper service I wasn't prepared to give it. Good sounding machine which I managed a few good recordings on.

For those who don't know that particular brand it's very much an acquired taste with a cult following. Studiomaster fanatics swear by it while others avoid it like the plague. I have nothing bad to say about it and it was an interesting experience but one I won't return to again.


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: Cauldhame on July 09, 2016, 08:06:36 PM
Having worked with a digital setup of laptop and handheld recorder for a number of years, changes in my job have allowed me to start investing in items of analogue gear one at a time, and what really strikes me is the sense of tactile involvement in the sound and the physical sense of electricity pulsing in the devices. I know that's not particularly rational, but that sense of liveness in the electronics has definitely made a big difference to how I approach the sound for recording. Previously I'd just be doing field recordings/junk recordings at home with the portable recorder and trying to wring as many different qualities of sound as possible out of an object and then doing a distinctly dissociated postmortem of it in the sequencer afterwards, experimenting with digital effects chains. It's definitely nice to be able to achieve good results in a single process and respond more to sound intuitively in something much more closely resembling its finished form. I still work very heavily with field recordings but that's an aspect of analogue gear I'm particularly relishing.

On a different note, one thing I've worried about since starting to acquire analogue gear is that I used to have to work harder to generate the sounds I wanted, and to think more creatively about sources. For a few years I had a habit of recording any interesting sounding extractor fan I passed just because those could usually be relied upon to provide a viable alternative to synth drones. Now I actually have a synth I'm quite conscious of trying to avoid stock sounds and still pursue an individual spin on what the equipment can do, but I'm still concerned that the limited resources I had before pushed me to use more ingenuity and that I'm potentially missing some of that now. 


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: calaverasgrande on July 15, 2016, 12:21:08 AM
I actually went to audio engineering school. For my master thesis I sincerely tried to write a paper on 'Analog better than Digital'. Or something else as naive and stupid.
I fired up the percolator and spent about 5 days in a row writing before I realized this was a stupid fucking thesis. I freaked out and rode downtown to beg my prof to let me change my thesis!

I have spent most of my life being an avowed analog and tube gear aficionado. But what I realized when writing my paper, and with just about every experience in performing and recording is that there is nothing pure. You glorious tube amp is being miced up and amplified (or recorded) through a solid state mixer, amps and/or recorder.
The modular 'analog' synths that are all the rage these days contain a lot of microprocessors. Some are arduino type multipurpose chips that can serve almost any purpose.

I kind of like to wring the most out of the analogness of my gear. Then when I get it into my computer I deliberately emphasize the strengths of digital recording. Both as a medium and as a platform for manipulation.

I also have to say that when I've been separated from my noisemakers I can do just fine making sounds in my computer.  The analog hardware I own is faster and more immediate to use, since it has knobs and buttons instead of a screen. But there are, for example, endless goddamn synths in Logic Pro. As well as plenty of effects to manipulate those sounds further.
I'd also point out some boxes like the Elektron Machinedrum. A virtual synth in a hardware box that is nominally for making 'beatz'. But it also has all kinds of ways you can uglify the various sounds. And even has pure sine and noise available. Certainly digital as heck, but to ignore that device because of this shortcoming would be snobbery.


 I defy anyone to tell my analog shit from my completely in the box shit.
I can't even tell.


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: tiny_tove on July 15, 2016, 09:40:10 AM
excellent post.
 no more, no less.


Title: Re: Gear snobbery: Digital VS Analog
Post by: Marko-V on July 17, 2016, 11:38:14 AM
enough said