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Re: Stepping on silence, mojo and vintage gear

I remember hearing the difference between digital and analogue being that digital can't really do a sine wave. I might be remembering wrong... but it makes sense that because of the zeros and ones everything is in steps.

I've been using digital since Digidesign came out with Sound Tools - late eighties I think it was. I was an involuntary guinea pig for them. It was awful. But my take is that digital is a necessary evil. I'm so glad I've sold my old 2" machine. What a pain! So I try to do just as much analogue as possible and resort to digital only when really needed - when recording. So I use tube stuff when possible or if I'm using a non tube mic etc I'll run it into a tube pre to sweeten it up. It seems to be working very well. Our latest recordings sound VERY warm and wholesome and very old multi track like -with the beautiful 'air' of digital. And this is all with a humble Mackie D8B and Pro Tools Mix Plus. But very good mics and mic pre's... and a Lexicon 200 reverb. I have a whole rack of stuff I don't use anymore. I've concluded simple is good.

I think it's getting close to Ebay time for me! Time to unload.

If I were recording guitar etc direct I'd consider running it (at the end of the signal chain) through a tube DI box. Avalon makes a good one, and there's one called REDDI that looks like it could be good. And I think Universal Audio has one now and all of their stuff is good.

There are folks who make analogue tape saturation plug ins for Pro Tools I think. Haven't heard or used them, though. You know the guy who created the Paris died recently. He also invented the incredible Marshall TIme Modulator... which I wish I could get my hands on.

As far as amps etc, I just cringe when I put stuff in the path between the amp and guitar. THIS IS JUST MY OPINION AND ONLY APPLIES TO MY STYLE OF PLAYING! I love hearing the stuff you all do (or is that "all o' Y'all"?). And I wore my old Digitech Twin Tube out in the old days. It's great for the big crunch. Before that the Ibanez UE400 - same as used by Dr No of... damn! I forget their name... the punk reggae band of the 80's - oh yeah! Bad Brains. Still have it. Incredible sustain! But nowadays I have my old Echoplex going (inspired by you guys) and my wah pedal and, OF COURSE, the looper. I strongly feel that a good amp and guitar is the name of the game and, when it all matches up well it just doesn't need a lot of stuff to make it sound incredible.

I might take the plunge into a Univibe and maybe a Durham Sex Drive sometime soon. But my legs are wobbling thinking about more tentacles on the octopus.

I actually haven't spent much time with modelers so I can't really say but, for me, it would be like putting a Jimmy Durante (Marilyn Manson?) mask on Marilyn Monroe. Maybe I'm showing my age with these analogies! But I'm so nutty about this stuff I fret from day to day about the changing of humidities, it's impact on the sound... aging of brand new batteries etc.

As far as the dead G string on your guitar... I haven't done some of the wonderful suggestions others have offered, but sometimes just changing strings, kind of strings or string gauges has helped me. With my little Phillips it helped the intonation! Also, you might consider taking your guitar to a very good tech. It could be a funky fret in the path of your string. I've had guitar techs do absolute miracles on mine where they went from dog to divine overnight.


richard sales
glassWing farm and studio
vancouver island, b.c.

On 20-Dec-06, at 11:11 AM, mech wrote:

At 11:15 PM -0500 12/20/06, Douglas Baldwin wrote:
I can't explain it as well as an engineer, but my take is that analog is infinite in detail and forgiving at its limits; digital is finite in detail and unforgiving at its limits. Analog = good mojo, digital = bad mojo.

Ah, but then we have the example of the Ensoniq/E-mu Paris HD recording system -- a digital system which not only allowed you to drive the recording needles "into the red" but actively encouraged you to. They'd figured out a digital algorithm that realistically emulated the same sort of soft clipping or tape saturation you find in an analog system.

Of course, it seems they're about the only ones to have done that, but it shows it can be done.

It takes strong magic to harness the power of digital mojo.

Werd! Or else incorporate enough complexity and variables into the system that it develops a mind of its own, and then simply amuse yourself as you watch it run amok. ;)

"Now Simulcast on Crazy People's Fillings"