dslreports logo
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery


how-to block ads

Search Topic:
share rss forum feed


Kent, WA

Does DDD sound better than ADD & AAD

Do DDD recordings really sound any better than ADD & AAD recordings??? I've got Analog Stereo Reel-to-reel tape albums that sound no better than than the same album versions from the studio remastered Digital Audio Cassette Tapes.

Belleville, IL
It varies from studio to studio, and album to album. It also varies from person to person.

There isn't a right or wrong answer, only whatever you think is better.
Google is your Friend


Montgomery, IL
·AT&T DSL Service

2 recommendations

reply to floydb1982
Not necessarily.

A CD with DDD indication means that the source sound was recorded into a digital format>then it was also mixed and then finally mastered as a digital transfer (the CD itself).

The only benefit that digital really has over analog is that there is no suffering of the quality as it is reproduced. What that means is that when the sound is recorded into the digital realm and then later played back it will represent the exact same sound that was recorded. And it will for a virtually unlimited replayings of the recording. It does not wear out or become somehow lesser over repeated playings.

An analog recording has inherent limitations and degredation factors that are common to the medium. Because the sound is recorded as an electrical or mechanical response to the wavelenghts from the sound source, there might be limitations to that mechanical device or electrical energy. This is just for the recording process.

Meanwhile the analog recording is then stored on a medium that is subject to wear or degredation. The vinyl record groove wears out over time. The magnetic tape wears and looses it's original integrity.

Each time it is played it becomes less that it was the first time.

So a CD that is AAD was recorded in an analog state then it was mixed in the studio as analog. It was subject to the limitations of the equipment used during this process. Finally it is then encoded to the digtal format to be transfed and produced into a CD.

Modern analog recording equipment is phenomonal at reporducing sounds that are almost indistinguishable from the source sound.

However most material today is recorded digitally and mixed digitally because of the conveniance it offers.

DDD, ADD, and AAD really only applies to music CD's from the 80's and such where the source material was originally from years before CD was around and the record company was making a distinction for the consumer.

Jimi Hendrix was all recorded well before digital came around. So a CD produced in the 80's of his material would indicate AAD since it was recorded analog and studio mixed analog. That final recording was then transfered to digital to produce the CD

Watch Those Blinking Lights
Hamilton, ON

1 recommendation

reply to floydb1982
I'd be more interested in *who* produced and mastered the recording, than be concerned with how it was recorded. Kinda like looking at a photograph, and telling a photographer "wow, you must have a really good camera to get pictures looking that good." There's more to it than just the equipment used.


Montgomery, IL
Arthur is so right here.

Even with the best equipment available, if the person operating the controls is tone deaf or is just a moron then either digital or analog recording will suck.

And they call me nuts?

Los Angeles, CA

1 edit
reply to floydb1982
Not necessarily. In fact if the digital mixing (the middle "D") was performed in the early to late 80s, it's likely to be inferior. The reason is that both digital and analog mixing in the 80s was done on tape and the digital side was limited to 16 bits precision. 16 bits is fine and dandy for sampling (recording) and as an output choice, but for mixing, it's just too imprecise. Each pass in mixing involves making changes and with only 16 bits of precision, sound artifacts will accumulate to the oint it becomes audible. It is better to convert to analog on 2" multitrack tape and do all of the mixing with that, then digitize it back. This necessity ended when higher precision digital audio hardware became available (near the end of the 80s).

I wouldn't worry about it. What's more important is how it was mixed and mastered. Careful mixing and someone who mastered it for high fidelity matters more. Trouble is, most music released since the mid-90s has been sonically crushed thanks to the "Loudness War" or excessive dynamic range compression. It's really bad now, but it seems to have peaked a few years ago - the trend is moving away from ridiculous DRC in music mastering.