[LAD] Half-OT: Fader mapping - was - Ardour MIDI tracer

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Sun Aug 24 03:29:15 UTC 2014

On Sat, 2014-08-23 at 22:58 +0000, Fons Adriaensen wrote:
> Some (not all) cheap equipment today is better than what most 
> people could dream of 30 years ago. And a lot of great recording
> was done in those days.

At least the analog IOs of inexpensive digital effects don't cause that
kind of audible noise that even expensive digital effects still caused
25 yeas ago. Some algorithm nowadays are much better, but OTOH handling
and reliability for the >= 25 years older equipment is much better.
Better handling and reliability is more important for a production than
getting rid of a little bit of noise.
You also could say that some external gear isn't needed anymore, because
plugins can do the same. Yes, but it took me more than a hour to find a
Linux delay plugin and the setting to get a clean left/right ping pong
delay and it wasn't the delay that had a switch that claimed "ping
pong". If you own gear from 80s as I do, you get what you want in a few
seconds. Not only because I know that gear and I don't know the Linux
plugins, but also because the handling is much easier. GUIs could be
much better than the not that good knob and display usage of vintage
digital effects, but often GUI aren't better, usually they are less

> Now *that* is true. All that 'vintage preamp' stuff is one great
> hoax. Whatever 'sound' these things have amounts to a bit of EQ.
> The same is true for tube preamps. Tubes may generate some nice
> distortion when used in a power amp, more so if you throw in some
> transformers. But at the millivolt levels you find in a preamp
> they are as linear as it gets.

I stay away from tube gear, because I don't have the money and no will
to maintain it and some indeed is very bad, but it's not completely a
swindle. A friend years ago lent me a Hughes & Kettner guitar tube
preamp. It was a preamp intended as preamp for a guitar amp, it was not
intended as an amp emulation for usage to play guitar connected to the
mixing console, but I used it to play guitar without an amp, connected
to the mixer. The sound was much better than any amp, speaker, whatever
simulation I ever heard. It was a big difference to non-tube gear. No
EQ, no Guitarix & Co. can compare with the Hughes & Kettner tube preamp.
Some, especially really old tube preamps sound very good, even for usage
with microphones. It might be possible that a discrete analog circuit
without tubes could sound that good too, but some preamps are known to
be inexpensive and to provide good audio quality. Around 20 years ago
inexpensive Art tube preamps even were used by people who had the money
for expensive preamps. Some people owned better preamps, but liked the
bias of those amps for some tasks and other needed preamps and had no
money, they perhaps wanted something that is more linear/neutral, but
for the money those Art tube preamps seemingly were better than other

More information about the Linux-audio-dev mailing list