Analog vs Digital: Which One Sounds Better, and Does Anyone Even Care?

Just something to think about.

In this day and age, it is hard for people to separate themselves from their phone and stay disconnected from the digital world; for some it’s virtually impossible.

Digital technology has invaded every aspect of our lives, including how we communicate, our relationships, entertainment, it has even invaded the world of art. Photography, for instance, used to be film based and there was a whole process involved with developing the film with chemicals in a dark room. This now seems mundane when compared with the ease it takes to process photos with a digital camera.

But the art form that I’m interested in is not photography, its music. Specifically the process it takes to create and produce music and the music that we, as listeners, are listening to.

Back in the day, music was recorded on tape, which is analog. Now, everything is digitalized which means that the sound is recorded in samples and not in analog waves. With digital processing software like pro-tools, there is no need for tape or the extensive production that was popular years ago.  Back then, you also used to buy records by going to a record store, but now you can access all the music you want legally or illegally by buying CDs or MP3s on the internet.

This supports my idea on why music used to be such a huge part of American culture because in decades past you used to go out and actually have a physical piece of art, instead of going online and stealing what is essentially an algorithm of 1’s and 0’s digitally transmitted using technology that the average human being doesn’t understand.

The next time you have nothing to do on a cold New England day, I challenge you to go up into your attic and dust off an old tape deck or record player and try and get it working. One you have this done put on a record and listen to the sound quality from the record compared to the music on your phone.

Try it and see if there’s a difference!

*To a person who is not an audiophile (a person enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction) here is the best way I can visually describe the difference between analog and digital sound.