digital and analog pedals

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sub guy
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digital and analog pedals

Post by sub guy » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:08 pm

I dont want to start an argument but would like to hear peoples general opinions on digital vs analog pedals. Especially concerning sound quality vs the two. Would you prefer to send high quality instruments through digital or analog? Does one preserve more of the original tone better than another?

Also for this discussion lets say that price and space are not concerns at all-- we are only discussing sound quality. Thanks.

LivePsy
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Re: digital and analog pedals

Post by LivePsy » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:56 pm

Delays is the area which you could argue in favor of analog, BBD has some place but is easily surpassed by good digital. Real tape delays are out of this world, but quality digital emulations sound excellent. If you want stereo, line levels and fast reproducability of sound, digital wins easily. Do not be ashamed of digital if the sound is good (Strymon and Eventide from my personal experience).
I've stopped talking now.

Acid Mitch
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Re: digital and analog pedals

Post by Acid Mitch » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:01 am

I pick depending on the sounds I can get from the pedal, not if it's analogue or digital.
Some analogue pedals are better than some digital pedals and some digital pedals are better than some analogue pedals.
Best to use both and not limit yourself.

sub guy
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Re: digital and analog pedals

Post by sub guy » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:26 pm

Acid Mitch wrote:I pick depending on the sounds I can get from the pedal, not if it's analogue or digital.
Some analogue pedals are better than some digital pedals and some digital pedals are better than some analogue pedals.
Best to use both and not limit yourself.
This is a new idea to me. When I first got into music everyone was telling me to avoid digital for pedals but I am hearing very different ideas now. I think its that I may not understand how digital vs analog is implemented in pedals. I know in synths that I am no fan of digital in any way and I can hear the difference easily.

kn_s
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Re: digital and analog pedals

Post by kn_s » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:03 pm

having started my pedal collection from a teenage thrash metal obsessed soon to be industrial/ techno obsessed guitarist standpoint in the early 90's with a dunlop crybaby wah and a dod/digitech dfx9 delay with my trusty peavey rage 108 for my distrotion and my ibanez guitar with s/s/h/floyd rose. not fully realizing the power of my pedals until about '96-97 in a smoked filled haze in college....the dfx 9, as the be all end all, shift in my focus of music and sound (seriously the one second delay/infinite loop changed everything!!!!!), the pedal was digital but by no means what digital is now. fast forward to the late 00's - now (and having listened to just about everything "electronic/ experimental" under the sun since the late '90s) when analog wasn't but now is all the rage... i have a good many pedals spanning that time, which to be honest i had no idea or care if it was digital or not, it was about what sound they gave me! honestly i just got most of my pedal collection back up and runnning (never sold one yet), connected and running again, having sacrificed cables for the 'foogers, etc. it's been a most excitingly distortedly adventure as of late!!!

that being said i have caught the analog bug too. i still have a mix of both. they all work well with what i hear and want to happen, to me that is all that matters! i read the reviews of stuff and if one review sounds like something i would say about something or would want to hear from a product then i am pretty sold on stuff ..depending on the budget too!

honestly, demon dan has also been extremely helpful with his video reviews of a lot of pedals with a nice particular slant towards synths. I've only been synthin' it up since 2012 when i bought a korg monotron, and since picked up all the moogerfoogers, a little phatty solar edition before they ended production (actually the day after i purchased it, moog announced the sub 37. don't regret it! even though i still barely know what it can do. i like its sound!), a minitaur, mom 32, werkstatt, all the volcas and i think Santa has a monologue on his sleigh for me??

edit... having missed your last statements originally... I'm sure digital would be your best option for pure sound reproduction. price wise ..ugh..!!!
I've been eyeing up eventide's h9 $600 mombajomba for some time as well as boss' fancysmancy guitar synth sy-300 but don't have the scarole...there are many good pedals to do that but once you get into the "sound" of sounds it gets hairy, then you get in that mixed up world of have both to do jobs and ... bottom line use what you got and use it to its fullest extent. if I've learned anything in the last 25+ of listening to electronic based music is that its not about the gear but the sounds you get from them.


it's a difficult and expansive question to answer. start with the minifooger delay and an expression pedal if you don't all ready have them!!
LP solar, minitaur, m32, werkstatt, 101/102/103/104m/105m/107/108m,cp-251,mf delay v1&2+drivev2, microkorg, monologue, volcas, monotribe & trons, sq-1, too many pedals!, guitars, '07 imac (10.11.6), simmons sds7, & now eurocrack, etc...

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ummagumma
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Re: digital and analog pedals

Post by ummagumma » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:40 pm

I use both

digital has improved a thousandfold; ie: stuff like Strymon is making is fantastic, but I still use a tape delay

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: digital and analog pedals

Post by stiiiiiiive » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:18 pm

sub guy wrote:Especially concerning sound quality vs the two.
If by "sound quality" you mean "exact reproduction of the original", it does not depend only on the technology but also on the architecture.
If you mean "does it sound good", then try and let us know :)
sub guy wrote:Would you prefer to send high quality instruments through digital or analog?
Well, as long as I like the sound, I don't bother with the quality of the instrument with respect to that of the effect. To be honest, I sometimes do but I confess here that it's something pleasing my brain more than my ears.
sub guy wrote:Does one preserve more of the original tone better than another?
Again, architecture is a track to follow, but not only: sometimes, some pedals will behave in a different way with different synths.
An example: I won't get the raw, wild bass sounds I obtain using the couple LP + MFDrive when I replace the LP by a Voyager. Same settings, etc... it just does not sound exactly the same.

Another example: I got myself an EHX Operation Overlord to be able to use a lightweight disortion unit with a drum machine (stereo + can mix dry and processed signals). When stomping the box, even if the mix knob is set to full dry, the pedal alters the sound -removes low end, in this case.

Finally, another point I'd like to raise besides sound is interface. Some synths may make you smile while playing because the feeling you have on them is good, especially how each setting is affected by its dedicated knob. It's all the same with effects units. I've been using a MF104M for years now and wanted to find a smaller unit with the same capabilities and a similar character. I tried the Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall: great pedal, sounds nice, very rich function set... but I don't click with it when it comes to finding my sound with my fingers. I don't exactly know what it comes to... with the MF104, I know how everything reacts, it's like being in slippers. That's a very important aspect of an instrument or FX unit to me. Anyway.


Bottom line: there is no absolute law. Try yourself and make your path!

sub guy
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Re: digital and analog pedals

Post by sub guy » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:19 pm

stiiiiiiive wrote:
sub guy wrote:Especially concerning sound quality vs the two.
If by "sound quality" you mean "exact reproduction of the original", it does not depend only on the technology but on the architecture.
If you mean "does it sound good", then try and tell us :)
sub guy wrote:Would you prefer to send high quality instruments through digital or analog?
Well, as long as I like the sound, I don't bother with the quality of the instrument with respect to that of the effect. To be honest, I sometimes do but I confess here that it's something pleasing my brain more than my ears.
sub guy wrote:Does one preserve more of the original tone better than another?
Again, architecture is a track to follow, but not only: sometimes, some pedals will behave in a different way with different synths.
An example: I won't get the raw, wild bass sounds I obtain using the couple LP + MFDrive when I replace the LP by a Voyager. Same settings, etc... it just does not sound exactly the same.

Another example: I got myself an EHX Operation Overlord to be able to use a lightweight disorstion unit with a drum machine (stereo + can mix dry and processed signals). When stomping the box, even if the mix knob is set to full dry, the pedal alters the sound -removes low end, in this case.

Finally, another point I'd like to raise besides sound is interface. Some synths may make you smile while playing because the feeling you have on them is good, especially how each setting is affected by its dedicated knob. It's all the same with effects unit. I've been using a MF104M for years now and wanted to find a smalled unit with the same capabilities and a similar character. I tried the Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall: great pedal, sounds nice, very rich function set... but I don't click with it when it comes to finding my sound with my fingers. I don't exactly know what it comes to... with the MF104, I know how everything reacts, it's like being in slippers. That's a very important aspect of an instrument or FX unit to me. Anyway.


Bottom line: there is no absolute law. Try yourself and make your path!

Thanks for the thoughtful reply as always man.

I am probably a minority on this board with the concerns I have within my band. I have read articles breaking down what digital does to a sound and it seems there IS a loss or degradation to a sound that goes through a digital processor. My concern was less with my synths as it is with the violin and guitar in my band. It is MY project so I do have a say in what is used in the band. From what I have read digital IS to be avoided if you are trying to produce high quality live sounds. But it is also true that you can find the exact opposite thinking if you look around.

My concern when taking in all the different ideas on this topic is the general trend away from high quality recordings that is happening in the music world. It seems people dont think quality of sound matters as much as they used too. I hear a lot of people saying this is "good enough." I know I agree with the sentiment, but dont know about the details. To top that off our goal is totally oriented towards live playing and I am sure a good percentage of our audience will be audiophiles in the sense that they will be listening while in a meditative state. I dont want to make any compromises at all with sound quality and am just in the process of still forming opinions on what that means.

I know my rompler that I started with sounds like crap compared to my analog synth....

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: digital and analog pedals

Post by stiiiiiiive » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:40 pm

I hear your need :)

Digital certainly does something to the sound. Now, my two points are those:

- Architecture: for effects where the processed signal goes along with the dry signal (like reverb or delay), you can find digital pedals with "full analog dry signal path". That means your dry signal is not (or very few) impacted. Meanwhile, the reverberation or delay or whatever sound is digitally produced. This is often advertised for guitarists who can be as picky as you, for impedances matching sakes or just sound.
For effects where the output only throw the processed signal (like dirty boxes or pitch shifters), what comes out is only the "digital part".
So you basically have two kinds of architectures, allowing you to listen or not the dry, untouched signal. Please note that some modulation effects like chorus, flanger or phaser can be implemented both ways.
Now, I know that Jack White uses a good old Digitech Whammy and while it's digital, he gets a cool, dirty sound because of what's around: old guitar, old amp, other effects etc. The Strymon Sunset kind of sounds quite good too, being digital too (I think).

- About analogue-to-digital-to-analogue conversions: as stated earlier, this process certainly does something to the signal. Now, my question is that: can you hear the difference? I know I sometimes cannot. If you, as a musician, cannot hear any difference, there is a chance that your audience cannot either, even if they are musician too (the worst audience hehe) and provided they're here for the music and not for geeking around :p
Plus it may sound different but some great artists have hijacked instruments or FX away from their first, obvious use case. Why wouldn't one want to make its own sound?
An important point to me: I think you have to learn to trust your ears. Only them can tell you what sounds good and what does not, meaning what serves your project and what does not. If you need guidance, any forum member here, as experimented as they can be, won't help you as much as your bandmates can.


Voilà. Again, it's my point of view only.
Get a stompbox, plug it, play what you would normally play (fortissimos as well as pianissimos), tweak around to check the feeling and let your easrs and fingers tell you the truth :D
Hope this helps!

Acid Mitch
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Re: digital and analog pedals

Post by Acid Mitch » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:40 am

sub guy wrote:

I am probably a minority on this board with the concerns I have within my band. I have read articles breaking down what digital does to a sound and it seems there IS a loss or degradation to a sound that goes through a digital processor. My concern was less with my synths as it is with the violin and guitar in my band. It is MY project so I do have a say in what is used in the band. From what I have read digital IS to be avoided if you are trying to produce high quality live sounds. But it is also true that you can find the exact opposite thinking if you look around.
....
You cant lump all analogue and all digital together. There are good and bad sounding devices made from digital and analogue technology.
If your trying to reproduce high quality live sounds affordable digital gear will get you better results than cheap to mid range analogue gear and it’s debatable weather the high end analogue stuff is going to do a better job on a given project than high end digital gear.

I have friends who record folk music played on mostly traditional instruments. They record to a DAW (computer running Logic) through a digital mixer and mostly vst effects because it colours the sound of the instruments less than anything else they have tried. Their production gets great reviews despite using so much digital gear in the signal path.
With analogue recording gear you cant even copy something without increasing unwanted background noise and decreasing fidelity.

Everytime you put a sound through something digital or analogue it’s a trade off. Your giving something and ganing something. You just hope that what you gain is greater than what you gave. For exmple, if you loose a little fidelity or top end or what ever to get a great sound back, then it's often worth the trade off.

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: digital and analog pedals

Post by stiiiiiiive » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:47 am

Acid Mitch wrote:With analogue recording gear you cant even copy something without increasing unwanted background noise and decreasing fidelity.
Don't copy it, play it twice ;)

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thealien666
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Re: digital and analog pedals

Post by thealien666 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:21 pm

stiiiiiiive wrote:
Acid Mitch wrote:With analogue recording gear you cant even copy something without increasing unwanted background noise and decreasing fidelity.
Don't copy it, play it twice ;)
Absolutely ! 8) :D
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sub guy
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Re: digital and analog pedals

Post by sub guy » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:22 am

Acid Mitch wrote:
sub guy wrote:

I am probably a minority on this board with the concerns I have within my band. I have read articles breaking down what digital does to a sound and it seems there IS a loss or degradation to a sound that goes through a digital processor. My concern was less with my synths as it is with the violin and guitar in my band. It is MY project so I do have a say in what is used in the band. From what I have read digital IS to be avoided if you are trying to produce high quality live sounds. But it is also true that you can find the exact opposite thinking if you look around.
....
You cant lump all analogue and all digital together. There are good and bad sounding devices made from digital and analogue technology.
If your trying to reproduce high quality live sounds affordable digital gear will get you better results than cheap to mid range analogue gear and it’s debatable weather the high end analogue stuff is going to do a better job on a given project than high end digital gear.

I have friends who record folk music played on mostly traditional instruments. They record to a DAW (computer running Logic) through a digital mixer and mostly vst effects because it colours the sound of the instruments less than anything else they have tried. Their production gets great reviews despite using so much digital gear in the signal path.
With analogue recording gear you cant even copy something without increasing unwanted background noise and decreasing fidelity.

Everytime you put a sound through something digital or analogue it’s a trade off. Your giving something and ganing something. You just hope that what you gain is greater than what you gave. For exmple, if you loose a little fidelity or top end or what ever to get a great sound back, then it's often worth the trade off.

Thanks for the reply. At this point we are talking only about live sound and what kinds of pedals to get the best live sound. We have not crossed over into any attempts at recording.

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