November 19, 2013

Analogue and digital sound explained

The method of converting analog to digital music is still one of the most misunderstood protocols out there.  This is partially because of the many different sound formats that are available to anyone of us.  We commonly use MP3 to store music files because it is small and compressed.  The amount of data that is lost in the translation is unnoticeable by most standards.  Still, there are more and more of us that like to have good quality music, so new formats are being used that slightly bump the quality, at the cost of file size.  How these songs go from waveforms to bits on a computer screen is quite a challenge to understand.

The first step is to understand the accuracy of your converter, and they are not all built the same.  Something as simple as voltage actually makes a huge difference in how sound is converted.  Generally, these …


February 21, 2013

Dave Grohl, Sound City, and The Great Analog Debate

On January 31st 2013, the limited theatrical release of Dave Grohl’s documentary Sound City premiered to an eager public. Those who couldn’t make it to the screening got to digitally download the film on February 1st. For those of you who don’t know, Sound City tells the story of Sound City Studios, the birthplace of seminal records from bands such as Fleetwood Mac, REO Speedwagon, Tom Petty, Rick Springfield, Johnny Cash, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, and many more. The story is as much about Sound City, its staff, and the records made there, as it is a story about the famed Neve recording console, Grohl’s all star compilation record, and a much larger discussion about analog recording techniques, when compared to the introduction and proliferation of digital technology from the 80s into today. 

Despite what some critics are saying, it’s a very well done documentary, especially from someone that …