Why Do Analog Synths Sound Better Than Digital?

Why Do Analog Synths Sound Better Than Digital?

Which analog, digital, virtual analog, and software synths is the most excellent choice? Why do analog synths sound better than digital? Which ones have the best sounds? One of the questions I hear from my listeners, students, and even friends in the music business the most is this one. So I decided to post my highly succinct and non-technical thoughts about this.  Naturally, I won’t compare individual models or address the exceptions in this post; instead, I’ll talk about the merits and disadvantages of the four main types (for professional or advanced amateur studio use). So let’s move from the most basic to the most contemporary principles.

Can digital synthesizers produce music as well as analog ones?

Why do analog synths sound better than digital? What is good? Depending on the sound and character you’re going for, a digital synth can sound awful or more intriguing than an analog one. It simply doesn’t make sense to compare them without bringing up specific personalities because they both have advantages and disadvantages. 

For instance, analog instruments will have a gift for sounds with a genuinely vintage character, for soft-saturation-rich sounds, for naturally uneven tones, or for somewhat uncontrollably fluctuating parameters. In contrast, most acoustic instrument impersonations will sound incredibly pitiful coming from analog electronic instruments.

Natural analogs always sound better than virtual analogs.

Wrong. Define excellent once more. If that’s what you’re after, they may sound bigger, fatter, rougher, or punchier than their analog counterparts. A virtual analog’s unique character will likely derive from distinct elements/attributes of the sound it generates than those of natural analogs. 

Why do analog synths sound better than digital? In many virtual analogs (consider the Virus or the Supernova), built-in effects may be available as part of the sound design process (as opposed to just system effects). These effects can frequently be controlled and routed in unconventional ways and interact with the more traditional sound qualities.

Why are analog effects so unique?

Why do analog synths sound better than digital? Analog circuitry is valued outside of the synthesizer industry as well. What advantages do high-end plugins have over vintage effect technology? Talking about “analog” in the context of the effect is somewhat different from discussing synths. We frequently discuss the “character” that analog equipment has, which is typically always desirable in a synth but not necessarily so in effect. While many artistic products give our music a particular tone, some mixing and mastering tools work best when they are transparent and carry out their tasks without our knowledge.

Although some effects, like live filter tuning, are excellent to operate by hand, the physicality is less of a deal-breaker in many circumstances because the state-saving and automation provided by the software are significantly more desirable. Nevertheless, some effect types continue to function best in the analog world. Let’s look at a few illustrative examples.

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