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Topic: Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper" (Read 8643 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • DonP
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #25
I guess this is all hearsay though. It would be interesting to test. You could record twice (at least) with the same musicians. In one session, use protools, allowing as many takes+edits as they want. In the other, allow them one take. Obvious practical problems with this comparison though e.g. use different music = difficult comparison; use same music = very well practised after 20 takes vs 1!


THere are plenty of examples where the same song by the same musicians is available in multiple versions where you can compare polished/edited studio sessions vs one-take (concert recordings).


  • greynol
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #26
That sounds reasonable, but no more reasonable than the likelihood that people hear differences when they expect to hear differences, even when such differences don't actually exist.
That the workflow enabled (or prevented) by the technology effects the "creative process" seems pretty obvious. Heck, I wrote an essay on it when I was 15! Just like certain tunes and chord progressions are more likely than others to "come to you" if you play a guitar vs keyboard vs whatever.

I hope we've moved on from White's anecdote, though it makes me wonder why you quoted me.  White specifically said the original analog recording sounded different from the digitization of that same recoding as soon as it was played back; not after the edits were performed.

Go back and listen to the interview again, I did.  It might also help us determine whether the correct writing implement made its way into the title of they thread.
  • Last Edit: 03 July, 2012, 10:01:19 AM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • greynol
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #27
Tape saturation effects are still very popular for DAWs so it might just be that White heard something that suited his tastes when listening back to what was bounced to tape. It could likely be distilled down to a function of saturation and subtle EQ.

No, he talked about the comparison between the tape and the tape bounced to protools.

NB: I'm not discounting that analog tape behaves differently when overdriven.  There is no reason that the sound produced by overdriven analog tape can't be captured digitally, however, provided enough care were exercised to make sure the ADC wasn't overdriven, which should be easy enough, one would think.
  • Last Edit: 03 July, 2012, 10:11:10 AM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • 2Bdecided
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #28
I hope we've moved on from White's anecdote
yes
Quote
though it makes me wonder why you quoted me
because you replied to the quote "Another point is that analogue tape imposes an entirely different workflow ... I don't think enough thought is given to how a technology can alter the creative process, and thus artistic output itself." but didn't directly quote it.

Quote
White specifically said the original analog recording sounded different from the digitization of that same recoding as soon as it was played back
I didn't think that deserved comment

Cheers,
David.

  • mzil
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #29
Go back and listen to the interview again, I did.  It might also help us determine whether the correct writing implement made its way into the title of they thread.

I wasn't questioning the use of the word "pencil" in the title of the thread, I questioned the accuracy of Jack White's recollection of the book he attempted to recite during the interview, "Perfect Sound Forever", which the post above mine addressed and asked, "Anyone read it?".

I haven't read it, however in the passage of the book I linked to, author Greg Milner actually wrote: " If you were to draw a sound wave with a pen the way an analog recorder does with a stylus or recording head, the pen would never leave the paper."

It's not a big deal; I'm just pointing out what the author actually wrote, should anyone care.


  • db1989
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #30
in the passage of the book I linked to, author Greg Milner actually wrote: " If you were to draw a sound wave with a pen the way an analog recorder does with a stylus or recording head, the pen would never leave the paper."
And neither it would in digital – but it would go out of its way to draw big ol’, nasty ol’ staircases all over the place! Yuk!

Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #31
I guess this is all hearsay though. It would be interesting to test. You could record twice (at least) with the same musicians. In one session, use protools, allowing as many takes+edits as they want. In the other, allow them one take. Obvious practical problems with this comparison though e.g. use different music = difficult comparison; use same music = very well practised after 20 takes vs 1!


THere are plenty of examples where the same song by the same musicians is available in multiple versions where you can compare polished/edited studio sessions vs one-take (concert recordings).



I think 28decided made a pretty good point with his post - and this isn't really practical because the concert recording is performed in a very different environment where as his point was more along was with the production of studio music.

I think the point applies very well with Sgt Pepper, for example.  There's also numerous examples in hip-hop.

  • uart
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #32
The final result is certainly different. There are "wrong notes" on old recordings because it wasn't practical to fix them. There are no "wrong notes" on modern digital multi-track recordings (unless they were intentionally left in, or no one noticed them). What would Sgt Pepper have sounded like if they had 100 tracks + powerful DSP available? I can't imagine anyone honestly believes it would be the same album.


Interesting that you mention the issue of mistakes or non pristine artifacts David. Have you heard the one about the "print through" issue on Led Zeppelins first (self titled) album, track "Babe I'm gonna Leave you"? The legendary little "I can hear it calling me" pre-echo at about 1.40.

I'm not sure if it's true or just a rumor, but I've heard it was an unintended "print through" on the tape, but in the end they actually liked it. They didn't re-take it and apparently even liked it so much that they used the same effect (but deliberately) in some future recordings. Funny stuff.

  • splice
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #33
... I haven't read it, however in the passage of the book I linked to, author Greg Milner actually wrote: " If you were to draw a sound wave with a pen the way an analog recorder does with a stylus or recording head, the pen would never leave the paper." ...


I recall seeing a discussion that pointed out how "analog" tape recording bias quantises the recorded audio, but I can't find it here. Maybe it was somewhere else. Does anyone remember seeing it?
Regards,
   Don Hills

Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #34
Anybody who has ever aligned an analog tape machine and watched the phase wobbles at the tape wanders in the transport, the tiny dropouts from particles lifting the tape from the heads, the wow and flutter, the lumps and bumps in the frequency response and the ever present noise floor will not declare that to be 'best'. Never once have I ever been fooled by an analog recording being real. Please don't tell me to ABX an analog tape. There are too many 'tells' in analog. I _have_ been fooled by a digital recording a few times - was it playback or E-E? You may _prefer_ analog and while I don't, the whole point is to enjoy and if you do, great.


  • markanini
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #35
I'd have trouble discerning words and sentences in a text if the pen never left the paper

  • prufrock
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #36
That sounds reasonable, but no more reasonable than the likelihood that people hear differences when they expect to hear differences, even when such differences don't actually exist.

Again(!) the anecdote given by White in that interview should suspect of being tainted by expectation bias long before it is given any credibility as being real and merely being a matter of personal preference.


I dont believe it. Here the mods are on my side. My mind feels cleaner already.

  • splice
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #37
I'd have trouble discerning words and sentences in a text if the pen never left the paper


Cursive writing is, sadly, becoming a lost art.
Regards,
   Don Hills

  • splice
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #38
Anybody who has ever aligned an analog tape machine and watched the phase wobbles at the tape wanders in the transport ...


Likewise, play the the 1 KHz test tone track off a test LP. Play the same track off a test CD. Now explain how the LP is superior to the CD. The point is that if it can't sound superior when reproducing arguably the simplest possible signal, how can it magically do a better job with "real world" complex signals? All of the imperfections audible in the test tone reproduction are still present in the "real world" music reproduction.
Regards,
   Don Hills

Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #39
...wow and flutter...


For me personally I'm not especially sensitive to the wow and flutter of my TT (for example.) I'm sensitive to bad digital mastering.

I remember when the CD started taking off in the '80s and thinking "I need a CD player! No more tape hiss or bad vinyl pressings!" What pushed me eventually (and somewhat grudgingly) back to vinyl is the horrible 0 dB clipped/overly compressed masters they're putting to CDs in recent times. It doesn't help that we have these "professionals" perpetuating stupid myths about analogue. Their time and expertise could be applied to making the best of digital but is instead being squandered and stifled by this nostalgic bullshit.

I've no displeasure with the Redbook CD or even good lossy encodes. I just think it's a crying shame that modern "mastering" has many of us looking for "better" versions than on a format that is more than capable of containing music reproduction of more than adequate quality to the human ear.

(But then again chasing vinyl is a crapshoot sometimes too. It's sometimes just lose/lose for me.)
  • Last Edit: 04 July, 2012, 11:17:31 PM by Engelsstaub
The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.

  • greynol
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Jack White: "Analog=pencil never leaves the paper"
Reply #40
There are plenty of other threads on vinyl. Maybe this one can stay on topic?  Maybe we can pick it up where Sanchez and David left off?
  • Last Edit: 05 July, 2012, 01:43:56 AM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.