The difference between analog and digital

If we ignore the actual source sounds, a bog part of the sound of analog devices are the inherent differences between repetitions of the same note. In other words, a repeated sound on an analog device will often change somewhat over time, whereas a repeated digital sample will often have a “machine gun” effect.

Here’s a really good, rel-life example of this concept, created by first recording a repeated riff on a Boss DR-100 drum machine, then simply repeating a sample of one of the sounds:

“A short comparison between the always moving analog sound vs a sample of the same source. I used my Boss DR-110, analog drum machine that lacks any sound controls other than main volume, balance and accent level (used in mid position in this example). First you can hear the 16th snare pattern, recorded straight from the DR-110; then I took one of the recorded snare hits and pasted it several times to create the same pattern.”

The same could be done on any number of analog drum boxes, most famously on the TR-808.

3 Responses to The difference between analog and digital
  1. midijunkie

    to the untrained ear they sound the same. even i had to listen to it a couple of times to notice the difference. the first part of the wave if you listen carefully the sound seems to pan i.e. jump from ear to ear but its just change in intensity giving the impression that its panning. the second the “sample” sounds mechanical almost robotic. it has no varience in its tonal structure.

    once again like i said you HAVE to listen CAREFULLY. then you’ll hear the difference.

  2. ultimate Team Player

    Awesome post.

  3. analog vs digital

    I don’t get caught up in the analog vs digital myth. It is a marketing luring tool. The most people that listen to our music are not concerned about minuscules in sound differences. Most of it gets drowned when the rest of the instruments are present and balanced out against these drums. There are very few times when one wants to apply analog sound and does make a difference but for electronic music it is not a concerned. The younger generation that listens to it, never really grew up with it.