Do the vinyl recordings have anything similar to the ADD, AAD, DDD that CDs do in the covers? I only have CDs and SACDs so I'm just taking a guess. If the do, you'd be looking for AAA I would think.
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I suspect that almost everything today is recorded digital. My friend works for very large recording studio where they got rid of expensive analog tape recorders more than 10 years ago. Analog tapes require constant maintenance because of layer to layer copying. They had to rewind all tapes at least once a year. With tens of thousands of tapes it required whole department to do it. I cannot tell (other than tape hiss) if recording was originally digital or analog but my ears are perhaps less than perfect.
CD players have provision for de-emphasis of analog recordings - function almost never used since not needed with digital recordings (no tape hiss).
Older recordings pre-dating the early 80's are almost certainly pure analog.
Otherwise, you will find more and more digital in later years. Today I would suspect most everything is digital unless analog processing is clearly identified otherwise.
I the early 80's, digital was novel and recordings advertised that as a selling point.
Today, digital is the norm and analog novel so I would expect those using analog gear would want to make it clearly known to buyers who are looking for that.
Any new releases on major labels today passed through a ProTools and are digital. One exception is original releases from the White Stripes - they record exclusively in analog, often to eight track.
The statement regarding pressings from the early 80's or earlier is correct - all-analog.
Today's reissues of older analog recordings are usually digital, and reissue labels do sometimes lie about provenance.
Mapman , makes an excellent point as usual . Put another way , Its the results that matter to music lovers not the technology . When I study or try to understand a given audio technology I often come away with more questions than answers . I guess thats the down fall of having a pump handle for a brain .
I have one album which was recorded in analog in 1987 both on original Japanese cd and original Japanese LP. Mastering was done in digital. My analog set-up is a bit better than digital. You know what? While the record sounds a little better, its sound is definitely close to cd. Not really worth it. And the recording itself was analog. Though the digital technology improved considerably, I would generally think that it's not worth buying LPs when the recording or/and mastering was done in digital. And as others said most of today's recordings and masterings are digital. And many re-issues will have digital in them too somewhere.
With some exceptions records are really for older music.
I think 1978 or so is about the time i recall first seeing the first digitally recorded lps, on Telarc label I believe, but these were quite novel and very few and far between at that time.
Their most distinctive sonic attributes were the dynamics. The grooves in these records were heavily modulated accordingly and presented a challenge for many turntables around in that day to track well without breaking up.
Then, as digital matured, the vendors realized that most systems out there could not handle these kinds of dynamics without distorting severely (be the source vinyl or CD) so they gradually geared things back over time with recordings in general in order to make digital more digestible for the masses.
Conversely, I assume sonic smearing due to jitter was a common problem with many digital recordings early on as Kijanki points out and digital recordings actually improved over time in this regard.
I love the sound of some of my old LP's so this isn't about starting a food fight, but if current LP's for sale , many for $30 - 50 apiece are digital based, what's the big thing about a vinyl re-surgence ? The Lp's then ARE NOT analog which is what makes vinyl sound better in the first place. I would submit that vinyl made out of digital recordings would not be as good as the original digital recording, so why not buy the cd in hi-rez?
"I would submit that vinyl made out of digital recordings would not be as good as the original digital recording, so why not buy the cd in hi-rez? "
One reason might be if the digital source is higher res than redbook CD and that resolution makes it onto the vinyl.
The thing is I have no idea if this is a common scenario or not. Unless the lp package indicates technical details that went into teh recording, you would have no way to know and could be paying mercedes prices for what's really a volkswagon.