The meaning of analog
“That sounds so…analog.” What does that actually mean? And what are we saying when we suggest something sounds “digital”.
I wonder if our terminology isn’t out of date. We offer praise when a digital reproduction sounds analog yet we know analog has limitations that digital does not.
I would never suggest that while listening to a live performance that it sounds either analog or digital. I might say it sounds natural, perhaps full and rich, but analog or digital? Never.
I wonder why then we cling to these antiquated terms. And I am not pointing the finger at anyone but me. I am a big offender and want to work on my language at every opportunity.
Perhaps when I slip up you all can help remind me.
There’s no such thing as the sound of analog and digital. They are antiquated terms and I can do better.
Keeping it personal
Emotions, as well as passions, run deep in high-end audio and that’s one of the reasons I am personally invested in it.
In our discussions on preferences for the various camps of reproduction—like vinyl vs. digital—emotions sometimes run as deep as political differences between Democrats and Republicans. I’ve seen near fist fights erupt at audio shows.
When both our emotions and pocketbooks are heavily invested it’s pretty natural to want to defend our decisions.
What’s perhaps good to remember is not our differences but our sameness. Just like our political divides, I believe we are all after the same things. We just differ in our opinions on how to get there.
I don’t always agree with those calling for the discussions to get less heated—not if the lowering of temperature means a lessening of passion. It’s passion that I love and want to continue.
What would happen if we kept in mind what we have in common? That we share a mutual goal of quality reproduction of music.
Would it be possible to remain as passionate about our differences without thinking less of those that disagree?
We are all interested in the same things.
I hope we never agree on how best to get there.