Analog vs Digital

A few things.

  1. Analog just sounds different due to the unpredictable nature of analog circuitry. This is especially true with vintage gear, built before modern factory assembling and by hand. There’s like a 10-20% of variance between different instruments from the 70s and 80s. A lot of people like this, it gives the music a feeling of being alive, much like acoustic instruments. Modern analog is often very uniform in sound quality, so you won’t for example find this variance on Elektron devices.

  2. Analog has certain limitations that people like. For example, recording in analog or using analog effects means you have a lot less control afterwards, and kind of have to record in the moment and practise a lot, and accept the fact that you’re not in total control but chance and the unique nature of your gear plays a part in the finished product. This is again something that people like about analog.

  3. Analog is by nature “limitless” meaning it has infinite resolution and varience. By this I mean that in the end, your digital sound is 1’s and 0’s. Your midi is limited by steps. Analog does not have these limitations, when you turn a dial on an analog synth even the tiniest, most miniscule movement affects the circuitry. With midi and digital, you’re always stuck with binary movement, either 1 or 0.

Because there are analog stuff that sounds digital and vice versa the discussion is a little smudged.

I just think: I need it all! A soft overdriven analogue bass that shatters the walls together with piercing digital precision and clarity. Digital samples give another flavour that neither of them has.

I look at that digital, analogue, virtual analog stuff like a cook. My meals need mostly more than one ingredient.

Only analogue feels powerful but dull, only digital to cold and sterile. That is ofc not on all digital or analogue devices. But with all my hardware I tend to seperate like that. Different spices. You know what I mean. I love all types of noises.

and by the way: thats why I hoard elektron stuff. Analogue stuff like AR and A4 completly digitally controlled via overbridge! (and the digis, too ofc). Best of both worlds!

about 1.

not always. Arturias Microbrute for example with its, cant remember the name, inbuilt circuit bending overdrive thing called brute faktor has certain settings right between overdrive and OVERDRIVE that behave completly chaotic because sounds jump completly unpredictable. Can´t describe but it is far from subtle and has much of a puberty vocal change (you know what I mean). And that one thing is the reason I keep it. Sth same with my behringer odyssey with the good old headphone out into filter thing. OK, most modern analogues CAN be stable. But not all are. So I agree to your 1. but have to say: modern analogue synths with stable circuits still do things that still aren´t recreated by vsts or digital hardware.

Naturally modern synths can have features that are built to be chaotic and unpredictable, or if they’re built by hand have the same characteristics of vintage synths. However what I meant was that modern assembly technology is so good that now it’s a choice rather than an inherent characteristic of analog instruments.

For example Elektron synths to me sound almost digital or VA because they’re so clean, uniform and controllable.

I don’t want to add fuel to this debate, but I’m pretty sure digital audio inserts code into our brains for the beings who run the matrix to tap into. A little analog saturation helps put up a firewall.

Hah, well I think these differences mostly affect the creative process, not how much a listener enjoys the music. You can make, with certain specific limitations, the same songs ITB or OTB and the vast majority of listeners can’t tell which is which.

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I agree 100%

Thats why I mentioned microbrute and odyssey. The elektron synths don´t do that. That´s absolutely ok. Not negative.

I got to say that I still make a big difference between VA and A (even elektrons perfection :)). I can only speak of my VirusTI2 (and microfreak when I don´t use the analogue filter), but I really hear (for me) that pure analogue is softer and digital (VA too!) is sort of sharper. But that´s maybe another discoussion.

Elektron synths are very controlled, I totally agree.