There’s a reverence for analogue gear in the music industry that I can understand but also find slightly self-deceiving.
Firstly, it’s not just the cachet of price. If you want to buy yourself a proper digital legend – the PPG Wave I mentioned yesterday, for example, eBay can currently do you one for just over four and a half grand. It’s beautiful and sounds amazing, but bloody hell.
Even my hybrid synths are starting to get expensive again – the JX10 now goes for more than I paid for it second-hand in 1992, and I might even make a profit on my Poly800 from 1985 soon.
But, after a really lovely evening playing with ProTools – which like so much other software is layer upon layer of glue, tape and string – I think it’s worth noting that the ‘variability’ of analogue is no longer exclusive. Plugins going missing, distortion effects spontaneously coming from nowhere, countless routing options within a soft synth that don’t quite do what the manual says they should.
These days, software is so large, it can give analogue a pretty good run for its money on the serendipity stakes. And I find that quite exciting really.