Fighting for Perfection
Back in the old days with my Tascam cassette four-track recorder, I dreamed of cleaner recordings, no hiss or line noise, perfectly in-time drums and in tune vocals. My little lunch box sized recorder was a pride and joy, one of the first big purchases I ever made with money I earned myself. However, I couldn't help but feel a little sad that most of my recordings sounded as if the tape endured a journey through the washing machine.
Fighting Against Perfection
Fast forward to today, and recordings are so pristine they sound sterile and lifeless. Drum beats align perfectly to the grid and virtual synths eliminate any line noise whatsoever. Now, I appreciate the "four-track magic" the layered noise and imperfections brought to those lo-fi recordings. I find myself spending a lot of my production energy trying to recreate that charm and warmth, fighting against the perfection of computer recordings. In that continuing battle, I have created two Ableton Live audio effect racks designed to add some analog style noise to my tracks.
I've employed Live's Frequency Shifter in the past to recreate the ever so slight pitch variation on real world instruments. Today I am using it to mimic the sound of wires that buzz a little and electrical interference I used to pull my hair out trying to eliminate. The result is two effect racks: ADM Analog Noise Serial and ADM Analog Noise Parallel. Each rack contains two "noise generators" supplied by the Frequency Shifter device.
Free Download: Analog Noise FX Free Ableton Live Pack 104
Other Fights Against Perfection
Here are a couple of other posts about destroying the cleanliness of the digital world. Enjoy getting messy!