I'll kick off with an intro, and a bit of info on analog/digital.
Introduction to Recording
So you've got ambition in music, I assume (That would be why you're reading this, right?). You want to record your music, or someone else's, maybe. But there are so many options in front of you, your head is about to explode. Am I right? I figured. When I first began fooling around recording, it was a whirlwind of high price tags, confusion and utter frustration. However, once you figure things out, it is a fun and (for me) relaxing experience. Recording is my passion in life, I love it. I'll spend 4 hours working on one *track* and enjoy every minute of it.
A or D?
Analog recordings and digital recordings are both still used, although digital is slowly taking over (). Still, each has its own advantages and disadvantages that make them very different and cause certain people to lean one way or another.
Analog recordings are old-school. Tape and vinyl are usually analog recordings. The benefit of analog is nothing is changed in the recording. What you hear is what you get. No processing, no numbers, just the original performance captured and placed down on the tape, not colored by any third party. Analog has a few drawbacks though. There's a hiss left on the master tape and it grows on each further reproduction of the master tape. Also, it's linear. You have to go straight through the thing, no "skipping" track 3 to get to the hit single on track 4. There are some other drawbacks, including medium degradation, but those aren't as big, per say, as the linearity and the hiss.
Digital is becoming extremely popular. Digital can actually occur on any medium. Tape, CD and MP3s are all capable of digital recording. Digital is considered better than analog for many reasons. There isn't any hiss or medium degradation like in analog (well that happens with tapes irregardless, but very rarely is digital actually mastered, mixed and released on tape anymore). Also, converting or copying is very easy and there is no quality loss. Finally, digital recording allows random access locating, so you CAN skip that lame 3rd track for the hit single on track 4 with that. However, the drawback of digital is it isn't the natural recording - everything was converted into 0s and 1s. It was changed.
I'll probably end up focusing on digital, as I don't work with analog very much, if at all. I'm just not privy to it, so I'll stick with the digital recording tips. Until next time, I'm outta here!