Originally Posted by ultrabike
The original source is not always analog these days.
However, if we were to record an orchestra using among other things a high quality A/D and into a hard-drive, do you think we would be missing anything compared to using a magnetic head and into tape?
Good question. Of course it might depend on quality of converters vs tape machine and/or tape used. There are even different ways to bias and emphasis eq the same tape formula, but lets not discuss this. You are asking about the very essence or basics of analog vs. digital mediums in the recording and playback format.
I have a hard time saying no, but when you say yes, then you have to beg the question "what would be missing?" I think there would at least be some loss I think, but it is still extremely subtle.
Of course you also have to figure in the coloration that the tape adds. Some say those that don't like digital and cling to analog prefer the imperfect coloration of analog. To me, there are advantages to both.
Don't get me wrong, I don't thing digital is the devil and it is so terrible and analog reigns supreme. I do however find issues with those that claim there is no difference at all. That human perception can't tell. That SACD's and CD's or MP3's sound the same. Or that a $50 audio card can sound as good as a professional A/D converter.
I do know there is much smoke in mirrors in the audio world. More than any other industry. It comes from misunderstanding and placebo perceptions. I am aware. Not all of us have the same taste buds, not all of us have the same exact ears.
The whole reason 24-bit or higher sampling rates were even invented is for scientific reasons of more accurate representation of the input signal vs. output without any fancy tricks with D/A conversion. But I do understand the basis of the article. "Can we actually perceive these differences sonically and without bias?" Hard to say. I am in the it does matter camp. You may not and that is fine. I do however believe it does not matter as much as some say, but a difference is a difference no matter how small.