Academy Dashboard Forum Production Digital Recording Can Digital Recording Achieve Analog Warmth... Really?

  • This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 3 years ago by Jasper Maarten.
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      I have a question that has long eluded me about processing chains in analog hardware on the way in, as opposed to just recording the source then doing everything digitally afterwards with VSTs.

      I've noticed quite a few top mixers almost mixing completely ITB, but when I listen to their recordings compared to mine, is there a missing ingredient in the fact that when these top mixers mix ITB their recordings have actually been processed via analog hardware to get a really NICE sonic footprint to their recordings, then mixing ITB is a much easier job.

      Or can this also be done after the recording (with no shaping on the way) with VST's also?

      Can hardware be mimicked 100% via these new apparent "line for line" coded VSTs that companies are claiming they have achieved, yet, many studios still have hardware and analog gear.

      Take for example the 2 vocals I have cut, the first one "18Voc Comp" is a raw track of a song I recorded 10 years back in a top studio Sony studio, just the raw track has a "Warmth" to it that I cannot achieve in a similar song "Main Vox" which I recorded myself digitally with nothing on the way in.

      I was able to get my hands on the sessions of the professional mix sessions, and I've had an mix engineer friend of mine with a studio inspect the Logic Pro X session, of the professional recording and he told me that the session and ALL the tracks had very little processing, which tells him that these were shaped on the way in via a hardware chain... But "HOW" can I get the same warmth on my recorded "Main Vox" I've tried just about everything I can think of and cannot get that same elusive, beautiful sound that the pro track has with my VST's.

      I've tried putting my track through Kush Audio pre-amps, a tube compressor and added a little color with Antare's Mic Emulations (as I think the pro track was recorded on a high end Neumann U47 or something like it, it was a massive 3" wide tube mic)... I've also tried pre-amps and colorings on my track with Slate Digital, Waves, Plugin Alliance DSM V3 taken from the original "18Voc Comp" track and it gets "CLOSE" but never exact!

      So this brings me to the point, can hardware REALLY be mimicked, or is there some "HIDDEN Secret" the pro's do with recording on the way in via hardware, making mixing ITB easier as they have amazing sounds and colorings in the tracks already?

      Would LOVE to know Warren's thoughts on this also.

      Sorry for the long post, it's just I've been trying to mimic this sound for ages and can't ever quite "Nail it"... I've added the actual songs from the vocals above, so you can hear both in context (Faith, Hope & Love was mixed, recorded and produced by a top Sony engineer, and "Hope" was mixed, recorded and mastered by myself which I think is lackluster compared to the pro song).

      The files I'm talking about above are in a Dropbox shared folder here:

      Any help and input on this would be truly appreciated.

      Jasper Maarten

        Hi Adam, too bad no one has responded to your post so far. I'm also really interested in this topic and struggle to get results that I like. I listened to all files in your folder and actually think you're doing a good job in creating a warm sounding vocal. But I agree the pro version sounds "better". At least you're doing better than me. I just posted one of my recordings here and I hope that you're willing to give it a listen and tell me how I can improve.


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