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April 27th, 2003


Remember in the early-90s when CDs were gaining popularity in the mainsteam and you could always find one set of three letters on the back of the CD?: AAD/ADD/ or DDD? These indicated “how digital” the CD was… AAD meant “Analog recording, analog mixing, digital transfer” while ADD was “Analog recording, digital mixing, and digital transfer” and DDD meant the entire recording process was digital. But then, by the mid-90s, those designations had all but disappeared. From my understanding, the letters were dropped because they really didn’t provide all that much useful information: people automatically assumed that “all digital” meant better, but that simply isn’t the case.

There’s not a whole lot of information out there, but here’s some stuff I came across:

For some reason I remember that Grand Daddy I.U.’s Smooth Assassin was recorded entirely digitally and that impressed me.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Sunday April 27, 2003 -- 11:14:48 am
Radio stations still use this classification system to catalog artist interviews, live sports games, and other station events on to CD.

Like the one article you linked to above stated, just because something is not labeled DDD does
not mean it's inferior. My best example would be in 2000, I was doing play by play of an ACC Hockey game at the ESA (Home of the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes). This game was being recorded to air the following day. I used a Sony MD Recorder and as a backup, a Marantz tape deck, with Maxell Gold tapes.

The next day, I sat with my engineer in a studio and compared the two, as both were mixed down digitally. The casette recording was on par with MD recording, with the slight exception of the normal tape "hiss", which can be removed digitally.

For music recordings, "DDD" nowaways does mean better, but if the analog equipment is maintained properly, and set up well, it can still do just as good a job.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Sunday April 27, 2003 -- 10:01:13 pm
Grand Daddy sold enough copies of that album to purchase a "Lead Pipe."

FROM: Aaron [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday June 18, 2003 -- 6:34:56 pm
Ha ha, the whole AAD/ADD/DDD thing seems so silly now. I remember
that classical music CDs seemed to make the most emphasis on being
DDD. I think it was a gimmick to make adults replace their beloved
record albums with CD versions. As if the digital recording, mixing
and transfer would suddenly open up a new world of classical music
experience; especially on the same cheap home stereo that the record
player is using.

AFAIK the use of digital recording and mixing equipment is growing
every day. Even though it seems that analog microphones still reign,
digital systems like ProTools are replacing analog systems by the

Its also somewhat ironic that sometimes digital "clarity"
isn't always desirable. I've read interviews with producers that like
to use low sampling rates in order to "dirty-up" a
sample, sometimes going for the same rough sounds that they used to
get on old, analog tape recorders.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday June 18, 2003 -- 6:52:33 pm
Good to see you back 'round these parts, Aaron!

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday June 19, 2003 -- 1:09:55 am
Slightly on-topic here...

Browsing around Circuit City the other day, and I noticed the section
for Super CD's.

Granted, they sounded great, but with the library so small and equipment so expensive, it's like the whole "DDD" (or for you vinyl users, "Quadraphonic Sound") thing all over again.

I'd like to hear more about this, if anyone knows more..

FROM: Dean
DATE: Thursday August 7, 2003 -- 9:13:15 pm
It is important to know this classification for classical recordings. Many of the best recordings of classical pieces are much older, such as Karajan's conduction of Beethoven's symphonies in 63. this of course had to be analog, and that causes the album to have tape static very prominent in the background. If you cannot stand this, it will be important to get a DDD recording. For new recordings it is somewhat irrelevant, but most classical music collectors are very serious, I would assume.

DATE: Wednesday December 3, 2003 -- 9:43:44 pm
I would agree that AAD/ADD/DDD is just pointless. DDD doesn't always mean it's gonna sound better. A lot of analog equipment can sound just as good or even better as digital. If the music sounds good, that's all that matters.

FROM: Arancha
DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2004 -- 9:58:59 am
a mi ver...esta explicacion es una mierda...piensen un poco en las personas jovenes, necesitamos informacion en la que nos aclaren nuestras dudas. Este texto...esta muy mal redactado

FROM: Aranchita
DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2004 -- 9:59:56 am
a mi ver...esta explicacion es una mierda...piensen un poco en las personas jovenes, necesitamos informacion en la que nos aclaren nuestras dudas. Este texto...esta muy mal redactado **S&A 4ever**

DATE: Wednesday November 23, 2005 -- 1:21:49 pm
I just want to say that I have attempted live recording DDD and found that drums tend to distort and sound pingy.

By the way, the best sounding CD in my collection is one recorded by Madona using AAD format.

FROM: Paulo
DATE: Thursday November 24, 2005 -- 5:48:44 am
sao uma vergonha seus gays

Brent October 17, 2010, 1:45 pm

Another letter to add is S, so an ‘SAD’ recording was recorded on shellac, then mixed in analog, then made into digital. Shellac Analog Digital can also refer to video game music recorded from a TV’s internal speaker to a cassette recorder microphone. Analog Analog digital would be the electrical process of recording using a wire from the game console to an analog recorder, Analog Digital Digital would the same thing, but using no analog recording, and Digital Digital Digital would be using a software emulator to emulate the sound chip using math.

What is this then?

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