This is just an observation on today's DAW production, particularly in regard to track counts and editing capability. I recall reading a post, about a year ago, where Kurt made a very timely observation; that one of the problems that occurs these days in regard to digital recording is in relation to the unlimited track counts available to the user. The more tracks we have at our disposal, the more we tend to use. To be honest, I'm just as guilty of this as anyone. Back in the days of tape machines and limited tracks - 2, 4, 16, 24, etc. - decisions had to be made regarding arrangement and instrumentation, because we only ever had so many tracks to work with. While a limitation, in some ways, I think that songs and recordings were better because of this limitation. We were forced to chop out the deadwood, trim the fat, and make decisions based on which parts/tracks were best. The result, I think, was a much improved product, all the way around - from fundamental tracks to solos and lead vocals... and, the songs were more listenable, because there wasn't 88 tracks of incidentals to listen through when listening to the song. Decisions had to be made; and because only the best performances and tracks were used, the final outcome was better. From a performance aspect, I think that there was more continuity and fluidity to the performances as well. With digital, where you have a lead vocal track that is made up of 20 cut-up sub tracks, and final takes are based on editing and combining all these parts, sometimes one line at a time, I think there is a risk in losing continuity. Those who are good at editing can make a seamless final take from 20 different tracks, but in the end, when we do that, and create the 'perfect take", are we also losing the human end of those performances? Those spontaneous nuances that can happen, those things that aren't "perfect" or "planned"... And when we edit these tracks, are we also editing out the human essence of the performance(s)? This capability has also allowed many "artists" who have very little talent, to enter into a craft that at one time, demanded a certain measure of talent. With current technology, and the ability to pitch correct, time correct, and phrase correct, there are people with zero talent who are made to sound as though they have it... because the engineer can create a take, can become Dr. Frankenstein, and put together a decent performance from people who, on their own and without this technology, couldn't play or sing their way out of a wet sack if their lives depended on it. With 999 tracks available to us, along with all the bells and whistles that allow us to create performances when there really isn't one to begin with.... is talent even part of the criteria anymore? What say you?