Digital vs. Analog

Many people think that the digital CD is produced completely digitally, but this is not always the case. Many CDs have an analogue master tape as their source tapes still kept in the library of the record company, used in the past to make records. The quality of a CD made from analogue tape can be surprisingly high. A CD recorded, processed and dubbed digitally does not always sound better than a CD produced with one or two analogue processing stages. To indicate what stages have been treated in what ways, a useful three- letter code is used on recordings. The letters represent: the recording, the editing/mixing process, and dubbing, respectively. They are printed on the CD and/or on the insert label in a rectangular box. There are three possibilities: DDD (completely digital CD); ADD (analogue recording, digital processing and dubbing); and AAD (analogue recording and processing, digital dubbing). Many CDs carry the ADD or AAD indication. This does not mean that they are inferior to the DDD CDs!

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