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All Wave Recording Process

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Hambone 70, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. Hambone 70

    Hambone 70 Guest

    Sep 21, 2012
    The Breeders – All Wave Recording

    Love this movement!

    IMHO, music (and other forms of art) has suffered immensely at the hands of digital technology. The ease with which we can produce and massage gazillions of gazillabytes of data just makes it more difficult to find the real talent.

    Yes, I know this is a controversial subject, and I'm interested in hearing opinions on both sides of the debate. And I do recognize the irony of my bringing this up on the very digital technology that is my laptop and the internet!

    In fact, I'd like to see which talent can shine through without the use of any electricity at all!
  2. bassie12


    Aug 23, 2008
    Yawn. If the music sucks, analog, digital, or a hamster in a treadmill won't help. Digital isn't evil, the people who use it badly make crap records. Steely Dan and Rudy Van Gelder did fine with digital. Millions of junk records were made "all analog."

    P.S. To be true to their intent, the "All Wave" folk should use analog means of promotion, as this digital computer stuff is so terrible.
    NealBass, RedJag, Atshen and 2 others like this.
  3. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Love the idea, (and Albini / the Breeders) and i understand why they're doing his. I think for the rest of us without a studio full of analogue gear it's all about discipline. The fundamental problem with digital recording and daws is that it's an environment that makes it very difficult to leave things alone and it encourages tampering with every aspect of the recording. So in our quest for perfection we kill any humanity that recording has. For me, i believe in these principles but i also believe digital stuff can be included in your workflow, but you have to limit yourself and use it tastefully and with consideration, which comes down mostly to cultural awareness and education (i.e. knowing what a good recording actually sounds like, learning about the history of music and recording culture) - which should give you enough background to be able to use any tool - digital or analogue - and use it in an appropriate way. Same thing applies to art and design. If your eyes / ears are trained well, it doesn't matter what the tools are, you will make good things.
    Atshen, SpazzTheBassist and bassie12 like this.
  4. i prefer to record all analog to tape to vinyl to stay 100% analog as well. vinyl is back to 1980 levels of sales and production, it will surpass that after this year.
  5. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    1) People in any profession are naturally resistant to change: The electric bass itself was a "bastard instrument" when it first came out and many studios in the 50s simply refused to record with it

    2) This is all esoteric: It really all depends on the project and what the artist, producer, and engineer are trying to capture in the recording. If youre going for a Bruno Mars sound, then the need for the editing flexibility the digital domain offers is recommended, especially if perfection in repetition is required......If youre going for an Industrial approach, the sterility and "coldness" that digital offers adds to the delivery of the project........On the other hand, guys like Jeff Lynne still record all analog: they like the warmth that natural analog tape brings as well as the start-to-finish approach in each track where the slight human inconsistencies give the feel...some Blues bands will often record all analog for the same reason. None of these are set in law as Im sure there are pop bands out there somewhere that record analog and blues bands that record digital, breaking tracks down to reuseable stems and loops........There is no right or wrong and there really are just way too many subjective variables in the wants/needs of any artist ( in a wide range of genres, too) to have any kind of answer
  6. James brown didn't need digital, sh|t was live and funky as hell
  7. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    There's no denying that an all analogue signal chain does impart a certain characteristic that is very difficult (though perhaps not impossible) to replicate digitally.

    However, as someone already mentioned, the luxury of being able to attain that characteristic (or, more accurately, to be able to retain it while avoiding the artifacts, pitfalls, and shortcomings that come with it) is one that belongs exclusively to those with the resources to either purchase or hunt down and restore (and in either case maintain) often bafflingly expensive equipment that--I suspect all but the most absolute of purists would agree--sounds just as good recorded into a DAW.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
    bassie12 likes this.
  8. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    There is also a certain element of snobbery involved in this, which is similar to many other areas where cheap new inventions replace complex and expensive processes which take years to master. The people who invested heavily are going to feel protective about those things.

    If you look at print and typesetting, there are close parallels you can draw. They involved years of training and the use of expensive equipment which was too big to fit into an ordinary home. Digital and desktop publishing have eliminated the need for those things in everyday life and as a result they've become esoteric and niche practices. They haven't died but their roles have changed from everyday life to specialization and exclusivity.

    Does any digital print match the quality of a screen print or a poster printer with wood block type? Not at all. Those things have a tactile feel which digital printing doesn't even come close to. But, does that matter when it comes to printing 8000 leaflets for, say a company that sells windows? Not in the slightest.

    So in the same way the role of analogue recording has changed from something which was an annoying everyday task for most applications, to a specialist area which works well in a certain context that calls for it.
  9. yep same reason i still buy books not ereaders, i own the book and like the feel of the book. much like i like the sound of analog over digital.
  10. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Just record it to DAW and leave it alone. You don't need a physical tape to do an "organic" sounding record.
    SpazzTheBassist likes this.
  11. you do because then your sound will be waveforms and not 1's and 0's.
  12. msiner


    Sep 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Why not throw out electronics altogether and go back to recording with wax cylinders. It is the only way to avoid both digital and magnetic artifacts ;)
  13. RedJag


    Mar 2, 2016
    Huh. I guess I'll just throw out all my Nine Inch Nails music.
  14. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I thought waveforms were produced by speakers.
  15. reproduced
    RedJag likes this.
  16. msiner


    Sep 2, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    In all seriousness, I think they missed a chance to promote a useful philosophy by adopting such extreme stances. Take the following statement as an example.

    "All Wave one must use no computers, no digital recording, no auto-tuning, or any other mainstays of contemporary production."

    While many people agree that auto-tune creates artificial inauthentic recordings, computers and digital recording are cost-efficient and effective tools for audio recording. Lumping those two things together just seems silly. It also fails to acknowledge how much digital recording has contributed to enabling musicians to independently create high quality recordings with very little cost or expertise.

    Digital recording is not a problem, it is a cost-effective tool. One could argue that overproduction is a problem. While digital recording makes it easier, it is not the cause. All Wave just sounds like a fad diet for music recording.
    RedJag, bassie12 and Atshen like this.
  17. people have been recording all wave longer than digital, if anything, digital is the fad that's now coming to an end.
  18. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Sure, analog generally sounds different compared to digital - but then SSL consoles sound different from Neve, Otari tape machines sound different from Ampex, et cetera, et cetera................

    Really, if you're making some kind of claim to "audio purity", even recording live, direct to disc/acetate fails - you've still got preamps on the microphones, etc...... If you want "purity", you'd have to insist on not recording at all. The gear, whether analog or digital, affects the audio. It's unavoidable.

    I can understand the desire to limit the recording process to something that can be reproduced live, by the actual band, without a gang of additional hands on stage............. but I also see where those limits are completely arbitrary, and using the full capabilities of modern audio systems to create without limitations is equally valid.

    It depends on what you want to do - make something that you'll go out and play live, or just make something? Either way can be great, or awful.
    Atshen likes this.
  19. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I think a lot of this kind of thing comes from the human propensity for nostalgia - "things were better back when (insert reference point here)".

    I can imagine that digital data processing and storage will progress to the point that digital audio could have higher resolution than analog. After all, analog basically relies on "reading" molecules as they move past a reader - either magnetically charged tape (ferrous molecules on plastic) or a needle that moves over vinyl molecules that are stacked higher or lower. Those molecules have a size, and they flow by at a rate according to the speed of the medium.

    Even "pure sound", moving through air, is a wave propagated through air molecules at a speed of ~700MPH.

    If you can process 0s and 1s at rates equal to or exceeding the molecule density/speed of analog....... well, then what is more "pure"? What is "better"?
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
    Atshen likes this.
  20. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    One fairly meaningful challenge is going to be in the performers and you getting to the same place to allow that to happen. Yel_wink.

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