Every good video production must have good sound quality. Whether it’s a corporate video, a music video, commercial video or any other type of film production nyc, having a good sound engineer is crucial.
When it comes to sound there are two distinct ways of storing and reading this information. Vintage analog sound gear can fetch greater prices. The cost, amazingly enough, is higher than the latest and greatest digital technology. Yet both have distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Analog audio can be defined as recording a continuous electronic signal which can then be carved into a vinyl disc or recorded on a magnetic tape as waveforms. If they could be visually represented they would look like an uninterrupted, continuous wave.
Digital audio can be defined as sound waves that are sampled, digitized and stored as data in a computer. A digital signal is interpreted as data in separate parts using the same binary system which virtually all computer data uses.
Though this information is not continuous it can be counteracted with a higher sample rate or the amount of times the data is collected and recorded within a certain time frame.
In the early days of digital audio, a major gripe was the amount of data an audio signal needed to be recorded in, in order to reproduce sound as faithfully as an analog signal would.
The hard drive capacity and processing was not on par with the cost and effectiveness of capturing a good digital signal. However, as with all technology related the computers, the improvements have been exponential and truly represent the future.
A good analogy to understand the difference between analog and digital can be made with cameras. A camera with film is able to capture the image faithfully, with all its characteristics and color. A digital camera is limited to the amount of pixels and data it can store in its sensor and memory card.
The main difference is that the data from a digital picture can be copied without any loss of quality whatsoever. You can take that digital image and share it a million times and the data will remain exactly the same.
Duplicating analog signal is like taking a picture then taking a picture of that picture. It will degrade every time.
So what are the advantages of analog? Well, in audio, specifically, analog can handle an overload far better than that of its digital counterparts.
The clipping that occurs on a digital system is far worse than when it happens on an analog system. Yet, it often can be avoided by taking advantage of the wider dynamic range on a digital system.
As with cameras, the rise of technology seems to have finally caught up with its analog counterparts. High fidelity digital recordings are finally on par with analog.
The frequencies at which the human ear can actually hear is generally from 20Hz to 20kHz. However, some audiophiles claim that analog sources capture the lower frequencies better, creating a “warmer” “fuller” sound.
This is an argument that is often disputed and since “good sound” is subjective, it is truly a case of the beauty being in the ear of the beholder.
In closing, it seems as though the best approach is not one or the other but rather a hybrid approach akin to the nature vs. nurture arguments in psychology.
If there are advantages to both camps, Why not take advantage of each?
RJ Yenesel is a sound engineer and teleprompter operator at American Movie Company and is very involved in Video Production NYC. You can learn more about our 4K video production services here. If you’re in need of video production crew services, give us a call at 917.414.5489.