Analogue v's Digital: Engaging facts & Australia was the first...


Discover some surprising facts about analogue and digital processes. Then, take our quick, short survey to let us know which you think is better or which you prefer to use in your music and classroom.

When did it all begin?

Before taking the survey below, let's discuss the change from analogue technology to digital, which was called the Digital Revolution. It began in the late 1950s and lasted through the late 1970s with the adoption and advancement of computers, digital record keeping and communication technology. The sweeping changes of the Digital Revolution marked the beginning of the Information Age.

The switchover from analogue to digital television began in Australia on 1 January, 2001. This first took place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth using DVB-T standards. Then, in 2010, the phase-out of analogue PAL transmission commenced and was completed in December 2013. Other countries around the world followed Australia in their digital transitions from analogue to digital.

Without analogue, digital music would not exist. Below, read more about each process, their differences, the Cycle of Analogue and Digital, plus how to use MusicEDU to engage your students in both!


The analogue sound recording process converts an audio input into an analogous electrical waveform. Analogue recording methods store signals as a continual wave in or on the media. The wave might be stored as a physical texture on a phonograph record or a fluctuation in the field strength of a magnetic recording. Some analogue devices are:

  • microphones

  • speakers

  • piano

  • guitar

  • drums

  • preamps

  • compressors


Digital sound recording is a method in which an input audio waveform is sampled at regular intervals, usually between 40,000 and 50,000 times per second. Each sample is assigned a numerical value, usually expressed in binary notation. To playback a digital recording, the numbers are retrieved and converted back into their original analogue waveforms. Examples of digital music devices and equipment are:

  • sound cards

  • iOS and Android

  • handheld media card recorders

  • standalone recorders/mixers

  • digital audio workstation (DAW)

  • audio interface

  • studio monitors

The difference

  • In analogue, information is translated into electric pulses of varying amplitudes.

  • In digital, translation of information is into binary format (zero or one) where each bit is representative of two distinct amplitudes.

Take the quick survey below. Analogue v's Digital: Which do you think is better?

In digital audio systems, analogue audio signals are converted to digital (numeric) data that is then transmitted and processed whilst in digital form. For instance, the sampling rate for a CD is around 44,000 samples per second, which means that there are 44,000 numbers stored for every second of music. When the music is played back, the numbers are turned into a voltage wave that is nearly like the original wave. These numbers can be compressed to allow more data to be recorded onto a single device.

After reviewing the analogue and digital cycles, plus how MusicEDU can influence your students in using both. Then take our quick survey.