Thursday, February 21, 2013

Analogue Man and Rack Effects

I am continuing to enjoy reading "Analogue Man's Guide to Vintage Effects". There is some really good information in this book but to be honest I don't have all that much interest in old analogue effects. I have some mid to high end effects that I like just fine and a few low end EH boxes because they do something unique.

Analogue Man believes that rack mount effects are all terrible. We will have to agree to disagree here but I do like analogue electronics, I have a full line of foogers in addition to my digital effects.

IMHO analogue be it effects or synths are different animals. I think the mistake some make is to believe that you have to have only one or the other. I like analogue for different reasons. It's like saying you can't like both acoustic and electric guitars. Not true. Again, they are just different animals.

Analogue tends to have a certain mysterious element to it. If I use a digital effect it just rubs a program and you more or less know what you are getting which can be very useful. With analogue, I twist knobs and sometimes strange sounds come out. Anyone who has used FM on a Voyager will know what I mean but also freq box foogers and others. There is a high "What the hell was that" factor. So, analogue lends itself to experimentation.

Another complaint of digital is the interface on rack mounts. Ok, point scored. Yes, it's not all that easy to program these beasties but they are also not on trick ponies. Some, like Eventide, have tried to tame the beast with smaller boxes that do a lot but have smaller parameter spaces. On the flexibility issue the digital beasties win. If your just a wannabe guitar player who thinks he/ she can sound like x by buying a pedal they use, then sure, go buy the pedal. You won't sound anything like your guitar hero but sophistication would be wasted with anything more than a "louder" or "grungier" button.

So, on the which sounds better battle - neither. They both serve a purpose.

Analogue effects are more experimental, digital are more flexible. Again, it depends on what you want and that can even vary from song to song. Music is never black and white which is why I love it.

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