I have to point this one out in case you missed it: none other than George Massenburg chimes in on CDM’s comments on the new Focusrite Liquid Channel (click through to comments on that story for context):
Not sure everyone knows that although digital emulators are quite competent at some chores, others, such as comprehensive dynamics, are a different story; it’s my studied opinion that these devices are less than convincing when emulating analog compressors.
“I’m not worthy” doesn’t even begin to cover it; Mr. Massenburg wrote the original paper on Parametric Equalization and has some engineered and/or produced more albums than you could count. Of course, it is somewhat comforting (though not surprising) that you can’t really spend a few hundred dollars and replace racks of classic equipment. (And interesting that compressors, rather than EQ, are where it shows most.)
If you want more of George Massenburg’s insight, you don’t have to hang around the comments here. In addition to his own line of products, he runs a pro recording forum on MusicPlayer.com, and has dropped onto CDM before, too. He reminded us that it’s not necessarily about expensive gear, noting that Eleanor Rigby was recorded on lowly Shure SM56′s. And he spoke to assembled Berklee students along with Geoff Emerick and Elliot Scheiner. (Google ‘em!)
I hope I don’t discourage any more luminaries from commenting here, but I think it is worth gaining some expertise from people who know as much as people like George do. The tech is nothing without someone with some skill behind it.