You've also said that you don't care for "stacked vocals", and that there are times where you have actually degraded the sound of hi-res samples to match the sound of those live instruments that are more oriented towards an organic and "edgier" sound.
This is because the majority of people who use samples,
have less than comparable tracking gear (especially vocals)
have less than comparable tracking rooms (especially drums),
love the huge sound of analog synths and electronics (vocals meet kick ass DAW world). . Not the other way around.
(just my theory) You can't smoothly expand (for a lack of better term) crap tracked vocals or boxing harsh drums to fit well (glue) with hi fi sample quality that mixes well until...
So in order to match "weak tracking quality" to "excellent tracked samples or synths etc" I suggest to "degrade" the samples until they sonically match low fi tracking (especially vocals tracked through poor preamps and poor converters). This is just my theory but its a dead giveaway something is not matched when it takes a long time to mix something (can't glue per-say).
Again, my theory on degrading samples has nothing to do with organic workflow. It has to do with developing the best chain to match great sounding samples. I avoid this problem because example: I don't track drums. My vocal chain always matches the best drum samples and to be extra able, I suggest a Bricasti to those really wanting to step up "their game" to emulate the best sounding rooms.
Samples and VSTi usually sound a lot better to home tracking. Which is a direct correlation to all the bad converters people are using. Which was where I was going on this (30 + years and counting lol).
The reason we get into hybrid audio in the first place was more about trying to bridge the gaps between lush organic , fat, big, smooth analog sound meets crappy metallic digital over processed zzzz plaguing music today. Including, "that pieced together sound of everything" in modern music today. Is it too much sonic variety? The un-glued sound.
This post and most of my 10,000+ other posts throughout my pursuit to sonic happiness relates to how I have personally been learning how to blend well produces samples, libraries, fat electronic, vs organic. Organic as in: first generation tracking . Vocals meet kick as DAW world.
Its why I use two DAW's, and really good conversion. Its the most important step before anything else. Better AD or DA pass, the less goofing around ITB. Audio blends better. The stereo imaging sits better and so it goes. Less money spent, more fun.
Do others hear the difference between all these preamps, EQ, etc? I'm only as good as the song or the tracking.
If we didn't have to track, it would be 100% ITB and the entire cost to make huge incredible sounding music would be the cost of the software we use. Peanuts.
I totally get what you're saying, Chris. And I wasn't knocking it in any way ( sometimes I think that written words can be taken wrong).
I was only mentioning that this is something you've done in the past. I wasn't disparaging the method at all.
Actually, I think it's pretty insightful. I'd never thought about doing anything like it, until I heard you mention it last year, and I ended up doing it myself on a couple samples for a few songs on Terry's album.
Truth be told, for as much of a reputation as I've earned around here for being a fan of different sonic color and textures, there are certain times that I like a crystal-clear mix, transparent and without any analog vibe at all.
In fact, I'm working on a song like that right now. Some might call it "cold". I refer to it as a "transparent' or "fast" sound.