I know Weezer used to work exclusively with analog recording, but have recently switched over toward digital. And while recording today, I was really wondering what kind of a drop off, quality wise, there is between the transition of analog and digital. 

What do you really lose? 

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You don't lose anything...only gain in recording possibilities and range. 

The only thing wrong with digital is allows folks to be lazy and cheat. 

Those who sounded great in analog can and will sound even better in digital if they really want to. 
I don't know much about this sort of thing, but it seems that the only reason someone would stick with analog recording is because they are familiar and comfortable with it.  Aren't all the advantages in digital recording?
no offense, but this is hardly weezer musical discussion.
There is no question that digital is far easier to work with, and consequently most studios have moved to it because of that. Most studio engineers will tell you that analog sounds better (which it does), but better sound quality isn't enough of a benefit for most people to mess with it anymore.

In my opinion, the biggest problem with digital is that the consumer never hears the music at the quality it was recorded at. Most songs contain several gigs of memory when recording/mixing/editing, but all of this has to be compressed down to 40 or 50 meg to fit onto a CD. If you ever have the chance to go to a studio, ask to hear a song pre-bounce and post-bounce, you'll be amazed by the difference between the original mix, and the version on the CD. Now imagine what that process does when you bounce a CD track down to an .mp3... don't get me started on my hatred for iTunes...

With analog you don't have this problem, the concept of compressing file sizes doesn't even exist. The reproduction of the music is the same as the original mix.

The thing that amazes me is that back in the 60's and 70's, bands were cranking albums out at least once a year, in some cases (Beatles, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, etc.) there were periods where they were putting out two a year... Yet the recording process was a whole lot more difficult back then. I have to give Weezer props for putting out 3 albums and 1 EP in a two year period!
Was TGA recorded in digital? Or at least part of it?
I don't agree that takes away from anything. What if a guitar player spilled his heart out in the best solo he's ever recorded, but messed up one chord in the chorus?

Not to mention digital recording doesn't mean you have to go track by track, you just do that if you're limited i.e. a member playing multiple instruments.
There's not all that much difference anymore---the real reason many digital albums sound cold/stale/bad compared to their analog counterparts has everything to do with the mix and master, not the format.

This whole modern trend of over-boosting and compressing everything is to blame. Distorted guitars sound so f****** terrible now because everyone wants their single to "jump" out of the stereo. Unfortunately, the more you turn it up, the more you notice the digital distortion and clipping. All the dynamics, everything that makes music human, is squashed.
I don't know the specific technicalities or the science behind it but I do know the difference. With analog you get what was played, nothing less. With digital you can get the same sound with a powerful enough system but with digital things tend to be changed and unlike with analog when they are changed with digital bit and pieces are lost. The ending difference is that analog sounds fuller or as many would put it, 'warmer'.
wrong...and right.

Like BackToSchool said above, it's the people f****** around with the master recording that causes the loss. digital WILL sound better than analog always if it is not hacked to pieces.

The fact that you CAN'T do that with analog doesn't make analog better.

Although...we wouldn't be flooded with all of these half-ass no talent hacks that look good but can't sing and just have auto-tune correct their singing....

But then again...we wouldn't have all these no talent hotties running around shaking their booties....

decisions decisions......
Messing around with the master isn't what causes loss, it's the compression down to a manageable file size.

The idea of multi-tracking, over dubs, cutting tape, etc aren't new or unique to digital, they've been around since the 60's (go listen to any of the later Beatles albums... they were revolutionary for their recording techniques. Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin are two others that used all kinds of complex recording and mixing techniques). Digital has simply made them much much easier. The fact is, most studios still go "outside of the box" while mixing and mastering, and go back to old analog effects (compressors, EQ, reverb, etc.).

The question of whether digital or analog is better in it's pure master form is debatable, it's kind of like apples to oranges (which is better?)... At the top level it's more of a preference. Effects used in many cases are pretty much the same (in high end studios, not small local studios), capabilities in mixing and editing are pretty much the same (Les Paul was using the first Auto-Tune type effects in the '50's). The difference is in the end result, analog doesn't have bitrate, file size, compression codes, they're all irrelevant. What is on your master is on your album (assuming it went to vinyl). With digital they have to take all of the factors in. Now don't get me wrong, I love CD's, but in order to get 10 or 12 songs on a CD, a lot of file size compression has to happen. Compressing the file size starts to reduce the quality. CD's have been found to be an acceptable standard where the compression from the master isn't noticeable enough to matter (at least that is what was decided back in the 80's when CD's came out). Obviously not everyone agrees that CD's are acceptable... now enters SACD and HDCD... But as long as most people are buying mp3's and m4p's off the internet for the same price as a physical CD (so paying the same amount for even more compression and more loss), higher fidelity formats probably won't take off in the general consumer market.

I don't think the format has much to do with whether crappy bands get produced or not... it may make it easier, but look at all the terrible bands that came out in the 70's and 80's, pre-digital...

Oh yeah, and to keep this Weezer related, Weezer is Awesome!
Oh, and I almost forgot... iTunes is the Devil :)
oranges are better....

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