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ABOUT DIRECT TO TAPE
To describe the advantages of analog sound recording we would like to compare it to photography first:
Of course, in most cases, a photo cannot transport all details, moods, or feelings of a situation, of an object or of humans. Nevertheless there are pictures which were created in so-called "moments of happiness“. These pictures are often of enormous expressive power and bring details into the focus even stronger. They highlight feelings and the atmosphere over the original.
With music recordings it is quite similar. Rarely, a sound recording is capable of capturing and saving all musical and emotional details of a live recording or a studio recording without limitations. To approximate this ideal as close as possible there are special requirements and demands which analog recording can meet.
First of all, the dynamics are worth mentioning. The dynamic range of a musical instrument is often limited due to (mostly) digital compressors to avoid clipping. Such a recording departs from the original recording situation. The analog recording process provides the possibility of capturing enormous dynamic amplitude and impulses without compression on the storage medium. This kind of recording is significantly closer to the original performed music.
Frequency range is another much discussed point. The most common explanation for the limitation of the range at 20 kHz is the statement that the human ear is not able to hear frequencies over 20 kHz. This is true so far but it does not justify to limit the range at the point of recording or reproduction a priori. The reason is obvious: A great number of musical instruments generate upper partials in the formant range beyond the 20 kHz mark.
Those upper partials complement to summation tones and difference tones through interferences on the way to the ear which results in frequencies in the audible range. If these are missing the instruments do not sound authentic. Even here analog recordings do not any limits. Instruments and voices are being captured in their full range so the recording can come close to the performed music.
The reference is thus set by the analog recording technique which gives the possibility to record music in an authentic way meaning maximum dynamics and a non-limited frequency spectrum for a high-resolution and a true to original reproduction of the music.
How do we accomplish this high standard?
Sound waves are formed analogously and they are perceived by the human ear the same analog way. This is the simple reason why we use analog equipment consistently which is serviced and aligned at the highest standards.
To bring the music directly onto the tape and with that to your hi-fi system we skip lossy intermediate steps; this requires outstanding musicians with the ability to record a studio production under live conditions, just »direct to tape«. In the course of this, the final stereo mix is already done on the way to the two-track tape. The mastering process does not take place after the recording as usual but before. The audio signal passes the mixing console only once, the master tape is made during the recording which is used afterwards for publication on different formats.
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