Yes, they were awesome! I think, once we even programmed the bass track for an entire song on it. It was a very powerful piece of equipment!
So funny. You are both justified and not. There is an element of romance and purity I totally get, and then there is also “studio magic”. There is a balance for everyone, and I don’t think you are “wrong” wherever you fall on it. Where I draw the line personally is instruments should be played by a human. You can put plugins, add layers, punch in, sample over etc etc, as long as the part was played and recorded by a human on the instrument.
That’s a band setting! So exception would be me at home doing a solo project. Can’t drum, don’t want to learn, I’ll use a program.
As far as punch ins and studio magic? You can feel pure about it in the sense that studio recordings are meant to capture the most accurate interpretation of the song being recorded. Everything played in time, each note fretted clearly, no flubs or accidental noises…fact is that is pretty hard to actually do in a single take. Studio also COSTS MONEY! A punch in saves you money.
I’d agree with this for instruments not otherwise triggered by MIDI. MIDI-capable instruments are designed to be sequenced and programmed if so desired. Especially synthesizers and drums.
But for guitars, bass, real drums, tubas, whatever - agree
Oh for sure, it’s a personal hang up for me. I just think of how much work and practice over the years it took my drummer to get where he is (he is pretty good) and I could probably use a machine and in a few minutes have a drum part too complex for him to play. It’s sort of not new, always been part of the argument against automation, not just in music.