Getting Organic Recordings In The Digital Realm

So much of the debate about digital versus analog has do do with feel and vibe. At the expense of over simplifying the issues, analog supporters say the digital realm is lifeless, sterile, and lacking that “warmth” or punch that is inherent in consoles, tape machines, and outboard compressors. But in recent years many purely “digital” albums have been released that sound just as analog as the old stuff.

Digital Can Sound Analog, If You Do It Right

At the recent NAMM show, lead singer of Fitz and The Tantrums, Michael Fitzpatrick talked about their DIY home studio first album Pickin’ Up The Pieces (2011) and how they got it to sound so analog and vibey even though down all in-the-box:

“When I first was a Pro Tools user I got heavy into the “tweakability” of the system. But the more I work with it, I’ve lessened [how much I tweak] letting the mistakes and imperfections of the performance show through. [I’m also] more sparing in my use of EQs and effects. “– Michael Fitzpatrick, Singer/Songwriter

In his mind, Fitzpatrick has never seen digital recording and mixing as prohibiting him from achieving that warm, classic, “analog” sound. He’s just making it work. But there are two critical points he makes in the above quote that I want to highlight real briefly.

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