Recording & Production
At Guerrilla Studios we utilise a vintage mixing console and multi-track reel to reel machine for that truly analog sound. No software or digital audio workstations are used during the recording process, only vintage hardware. Sessions are recorded direct to tape before being mixed down to a stereo master using only vintage outboard hardware. Only at the final stage being converted to a digital stereo master for digital distribution. Giving your production an authentic analog sound with a traditional recording experience and quality superior to that of a modern digital only recording environment.
Why is analog better?
There are two aspects as to why analog recording produces better results. The first is the recording process. In the digital realm its possible to have an unlimited amount of tracks and there’s no limit to what you can do with these tracks. While this seems attractive the lack of limits often results in a never ending recording process where you constantly fiddle, edit and add new tracks. The ease of editing also results in a lack of commitment to an idea as you can always change what you're doing at any point.
With analog recording we don’t have these options. The limitations make the recording process simple and make artists commit to ideas early and see them through. This results in a much quicker and efficient recording process. Recording digitally enables artists to achieve a perfection which is unrealistic. A computer can take a performance and make it perfect, snapping every note to a grid and adjusting its pitch. This results in a sterile and unnatural product. Although technically perfect, it is impossible for a human to achieve and sounds unrealistic. Entirely removing the performance of the recording. In fact you could argue that this isn’t recording at all, as the final product isn’t a reproduction of a recording but an entirely fictitious creation. Whereas an analog production is the actual recording of the artist doing their thing.
The second aspect is the technology itself. Sound travels in waves and is captured and reproduced with diaphragms in microphones and speakers, just like in your ears. A computer converts sound waves into zeros and ones this is called a sample rate. This rate isn’t the entire sound wave, there are bits missing causing a digitally reproduced sound to seem thin and brittle. Analog technology captures the entire sound wave and reproduces it with only minimal degradation. This produces that big wide sound analog recording is known for.
The reel to reel machines also impart natural artifacts onto the sound which are pleasing to the ear. In order to physically squeeze the sound waves onto the tape. The tracks have to be compressed. This natural tape compression causes the production to meld together nicely and helps it sound punchy, in particular with reference to drums. The movement of the machine is also captured, this is called wow and flutter. This natural phenomenon is pleasing to the ear and when coupled with the background hiss of the tape, this gives the production atmosphere and depth.
So while digital recording is accessible and convenient the process itself removes everything that’s good about music. The natural human elements, the depth and atmosphere and the dynamic performance. All these aspects fill a recording with life that cannot be recreated in the digital realm. Not only is analog recording sonically superior. Its faster, more efficient and most importantly, its way more fun.