We all know that analog “sounds” better. That means different things to different people.
We’re not here to argue about whether or not digital “sounds” good or bad – we’re here to talk about what the real problem with digital recording actually is. And it doesn’t have anything to do with how it sounds.
The real problem with digital recording is the mindset that it fosters.
You see, digital recording allows us to say “ah, that’s ok if you didn’t hit the note. We’ll fix it up in post.” It allows us to slack off musically because we know that we can always quantize it later. We don’t even need to place the microphone correctly if we are good with our EQs and compressors!
When this wasn’t the case, singers had to sing it the way it was to be heard. Musicians were either on the beat or not. And mic placement was absolutely critical in getting great recordings. (It still is, but seemingly to a much lesser degree.)
So this is what we propose. If you’re working on a digital system (which you most likely are), the good news is that you don’t have to spend thousands on a fully analog setup to change your recording philosophy.
Instead of allowing yourself to “fix it later,” try recording an entire song without any of the tools that digital presents. And try to make it good.
This doesn’t have to be your next single or even a track on your next release. If anything, it can just be an exercise you do and delete right away.
What it will do is force you to make better decisions in the studio, ultimately resulting in a better recording.
And once you’ve learned how to make better decisions, the advanced editing and digital audio advantages will only make your recordings that much better. So try it out the next time you’re in your home studio and make better recordings faster!