Tuesday, November 24, 2009

analog boy trapped in a digital world

i have come face to face with a serious quandary today.

It started a few days ago when I pulled out my four track recorder to lay down some demo-type material. I had remembered a few months before recording a simple Beatles tune (blackbird) literally on a shitty tape recorder via the internal mic. Now, normally this sounds like much-less-than-ideal recording accommodations. However, when I listen back to that recording... I can't help but love it. maybe even more than any of the stuff I did on my fancy computer via fancy logic and m-audio interface... blah blah blah. And it's the same argument and reasoning you always hear people making for recording analog. But as we all know... its a highly endangered approach to recording these days, which is interesting to note, since literally everything recorded around 30 years ago and before HAD to be analog. digital just didn't exist (at least not for those purposes.)

So now I'm in this position where I am actually really excited to record music, far more than ever before. And I know this four track recorder has practically everything to do with it (I've been immensely enjoying the stuff I've been recording with it.) So obviously, I am going to follow my heart and pursue recording this way, because it simply makes sense to me. Granted, it is more time consuming, less "edit-able," and you really have to be on your shit when you push record. But aren't these last two things kind of good? shouldn't we be on our shit?....and should we really have to edit that much? granted, some genres of music are practically made for digital - any kind of heavy mixing and mash-up work would be an absolute nightmare via tape.... but when it comes to raw, "acoustic" and live recordings, it makes so much more sense for me to go analog. I've been studying as much as I can about it lately, discovering what digital sound really is (even THAT makes me cringe.) but I have still have to come to terms that our reality, as it permeates almost every level of our existence, constantly screams: go digital or go home!

but, i think the few of us who read spiralsonic would agree.... digital does feel a little dirty. a little too good to be true. scandalous even, for us to be able to have high-def, 1080 whatever, mega-pixel high resolution out the fuckin yin yang.... because, in my humble opinion... it just doesn't feel real. I honestly can sense the fact that digital is merely a sampling of a signal using 1's and 0's. i mean, what is honestly more pleasing to the senses, a black and white photograph developed in a dark room from actual film, or a snapshot from someone's iphone? abbey road versus anything today. now i'm not even talking about substance or intent or general quality of work (which is a whole other can of worms) I'm just talking about the aesthetic experience..... anyway, i could ramble about this forever, I just feel, once again, alienated. and it kinda sucks,... to feel like I'm fighting against the crash of the tide, only to eventually be left out at sea. And I honestly don't feel this way to be some sort of pretentious audiophile purist, cause fuck that shit. but at the same time, I guess those people do have a point... and they stand by their sense of quality. and I guess I don't have over 400 vinyl cause I'm some sort of collector, cause that shit bores me to tears. I really do love listening to it... and every record I bought is for that very purpose. Anyway, if you made it to the end, thanks for reading. just another rambling. I'm sure I'll come to some sense of enlightenment, or least a sense of peace, soon enough.

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