Since the arrival of the compact disc in the early eighties there has been much discussion as to which format is superior - analogue or digital?
After the original hype it has increasingly been acknowledged by the majority of recording professionals that the original parameters of 16 bit words and 44.1 kHz sampling fall far short of the fidelity of analogue tape recorders being used in major studios.
Over the last ten years software and hardware have evolved to address this gap and also provide programme manipulation techniques that were never possible using multi-track tape as the recording medium. Now the current economic climate of the recording industry has resulted in computer based digital platforms being used for virtually all music recording. Post-production and Mixing can all be completed within the computer.
However, using digital software 'virtual mixes' many artists, producers and engineers miss the breadth, space, perspective and warmth of analogue mixes; this is especially true of programme material featuring acoustic instruments.
A vast majority of leading Mastering engineers, Recording engineers and Producers prefer to convert the multi digital tracks to analogue and mix wherever possible to tape, leaving any digital conversion for the Mastering process where the set up for the final digital version can be optimised.
Converting from high resolution digital to analogue and mixing to tape is often an expensive item in the recording budget but it doesn't have to be.