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jrmasteringsmall

18 analog digital equipment

I started my career using the old analog stuff, since that was the only option.  I incorporated digital software plugins as soon as they became available, but it took many years before computers were fast enough to run them in realtime.  And also before they started making very high quality plugins. 

 

Now, I use mostly digital software plugins, but I do have analog hardware if a client specifically requests all analog.

 

WHICH IS BETTER?
First off, technically EVERYTHING is digital!  An mp3 and a CD is digital information that's decoded when played by a player.  A rock album recorded in the 70s is all analog.  When this album is converted to a CD, you're hearing a digital copy of the analog sound.  I guess these days when someone says analog, they're referring to that warmer old school sound (not necessarily the gear), because you can achieve that same warmer sound using all digital software plugins that emulates quality analog gear.

I've read a lot of opinions on this.  Older sound engineers in their 60's plus have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of analog equipment they bought in the 70's and 80's.  That being said, that's all they've ever worked with and they're not selling their gear for peanuts and switching over.  Many also refuse to learn the new digital software.  You can't teach an old dog new tricks, and their biased opinion is that analog is by far better than digital software plugins, though many have never really used them.

 

SO, WHAT'S THE UNBIASED TRUTH?
Some of the expensive analog hardware from Manley, SSL, UA does have a unique sound you can't explain.  Also, analog gear can give vocals that lush soft sound that a cheap digital preamp can't.  But now they make software replicas of all the older and newer analog gear, and it sounds great!

 

IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO THE END RESULT!
The fact is, if you used only quality digital hardware and software plugins to mix and master an entire CD project, and knew how to use them very well, the average person would NEVER be able to tell that you didn't use $100,000 worth of analog gear.  Your masters would sound AMAZING and that's all that matters.

Now, maybe an 80's old school audio engineer would notice the difference, but he's not buying your mp3s, so who cares?  And the only thing he'll notice is the songs weren't mastered using all analog gear, but that doesn't mean they don't sound as good (or even better).  This is like saying you know the difference between Classic Coke and Pepsi.  That doesn't make one better than the other.  Also, so much of the music on the radio is digital software recorded with digital effects that consumers are used to it and prefer that sound.

This all being said, save yourself $100,000 and go digital and software.  No one but the old-timers will know the difference and the new generation prefers it!


My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

What Is Audio Mastering?

9 what is audio mastering

What is audio mastering?  I've seen a lot of different answers on the Internet to this simple question.  Some were pretty technical and confusing.

 

Fixing A Bad Mix With Mastering

A lot of mastering engineers are afraid to make drastic changes to a mix they are working on.  That, or they're stuck in the familiarity of always making only small changes. 

In this video I show how you can turn a weak mix (definitely wouldn't call it bad) into a great sounding master, simply by pushing your levels a little more than you might be used to.

 

Can Anyone Become A Great Sound Engineer?

11 become great sound engineer

I would say YES, most people can become a great mastering engineer. I say this because most of the mixes I receive from clients are pretty good and I know the audio engineer (the band member with a computer) has only minimal training.  He could easily be great if he put a little more study and practice time into it.  And if he had this book to teach him what took me over 17 years to learn!  Ha!

 

What's The Difference Between Mixing And Mastering

8 difference between mixing mastering

What's the difference between mixing and mastering?  A lot of people new to music don't know the answer to this.

 

Should Your Mix Sound Close To A Mastered Song?

13 mix sound like master

Note - This section is basically a tip for those of you working with clients or if you plan on submitting your mixes to a mastering engineer.

 

Top 17 Common Music Mixing Mistakes And How To Fix Them!
audio music mixing mistakes
 
These are the Top 17 most common music mixing mistakes I see daily.  Correcting them could will improve your audio mastering results and make your mixes sound more professional.
 
 
A/B Comparison In Mastering
In this video I do a quick A/B comparison of a few songs.  In my audio mastering secrets video series, I get a lot more in-depth into exactly what you are trying to achieve sonically for your genre/style of music.
 
Audio Mastering Software Processors

Here are the series of audio mastering software processors I've used on the over 30,000 songs I've mastered since 1999.  In this video, I use mostly izotope ozone plugins because it's easier to explain using them.  In real-life, I do mix in a few hardware pieces, and a waves plugin.

 

How To Master A Song In Only 5 Minutes!

Would you like to know how to master a song or how to master your own music?  So many people think just making the volumes the same level for every song is "mastering" their CD.  Well, mastering is a lot more than just that!  

 

Best Music Gear For Your DAW Home Recording Studio in 2017

best gear for daw studio

What's the best music gear for your home recording studio in 2017?

 

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