Analog Studio or Digital Studio?
Is Bad Racket an Analog Studio or a digital studio? We get this question all the time. Some people are die hard analog. Others are all about the digital recording. So whats the deal?
What Really Matters
Firstly, analog recording is very expensive compared to digital. Expect to spend hundreds if not thousands on tape if you’re recording to 2″ analog tape for a full length album. So digital is by far cheaper. But doesn’t digital lack the gooey analog warmth of tape? Don’t digital recordings sound sterile and lifeless? They don’t have to. We have plenty of analog gear that can give a unique sonic signature and flavor to your songs. But what really is going to make a difference in how things sound is the engineer. A good engineer with a lot of studio experience is going to add a professional and creative touch to your recording. After all, even the best tape machine in the world isn’t going to make your record awesome! I mean i can record your cat playing the banjo through a $20,000 tape machine and trust me it wont sell a million records.
A New Era
Making a really organic fuzzy analog warm awesome record with plugins isn’t as hard as it once was. Plugins and emulators are better than they were before, and the old analog gear is still deteriorating and sometimes who knows if if will work. Analog gear is expensive to maintain and inflexible compared to “in the box” effects. The old stuff is reaching the end of its service life, and plugins are getting better and better. There’s no way you could get anyone to differentiate between a digital emulation vs tape machine recordings these days. In fact Daft Punk did their last album on all digital AND all Analog so they had the chance to choose between whatever was best… and guess what… Get Lucky… the hit single… was all digital. Well blah.. That’s boring you might say…I want it recorded in the old way the way they did back in the day when real bands had real talent. Well guess what, it took a lot more money and effort to do what we can do now in an afternoon might have taken a whole week to accomplished using only a tape machine. Try telling someone they only have one shot to do a punch in and theres no undo these days and you’re going to get a few raised eyebrows.
Using the Best Studio Recording Equipment you Can
What it comes down to is what equipment do you have at your disposal and how do you use it. Is a ton of vintage gear and awesome recording equipment going to make your record sound sweet? Not without a knowledgeable person who knows how to use it properly. But you better believe that the guy sitting behind 4 million dollars worth of gear, who’s getting paid $200/hr to twist knobs in some LA studio knows what the hell he’s doing. And I’ll bet any money….. he could probably make a record on an 8 track cassette tape recorder and a few good mics or on a bedroom macbook recording rig and the expertise and attention to detail will make the end result totally awesome.
Working with What You Have
Its not what you have, its how you use it. There’s a lot of star worship and nostalgia for the old way. Music is all about memory and feeling. That song you heard in the diner after a long night, where you met someone you really like, and you talked all night. That song you heard over the radio as you drove away from a bad relationship, or a song that your mom loved, and you haven’t heard it since she died… its all tied into emotion and memory and consciousness, music, art, and the human experience. The past is always a simpler time, before all that stuff happened and things got complicated. But it isn’t about how things were. Its about seizing the day and making it happen with what you have now. A million dollar recording contract and a billion dollar studio isn’t going to stop you from making a hit record these days. The catalyst is you. Your actions are the deciding factor. How you make your songs and how you express your feelings and emotions through your music is going to be the determining factor as to whether people get it or don’t. And whether you are trying to express happy thoughts, or chronicle a darker time, were here to help you make it happen.
Be determined to be the best you can be with the best equipment you can get your hands on is the only way to achieving your highest self. Don’t give up, and never quit on your dreams.