I come from a family of music lovers. I don't remember there being many musicians in my family. Especially not in my immediate family but, what I do remember is that there was always music playing throughout the house. Even when we'd go visit relatives or my parents friends they'd have music playing all through the house as well.
Back then CD's were the most popular medium for playing music. However, I had a Great Uncle that was very particular about how he preferred to listen to music. He was all about Vinyl. and how much better it was than Tape or CD. I even remember him having a record player in the glove compartment of his '78 Cadillac. He was that real about it.He didn't mind that he had to drive around slow trying not to let his record skip.
Now it seems that the music has become so clean that it lost it's feel to some people.Some of the new digitized music sounds like a bunch of machines got together for a jam session.
The truth of the matter is that I do both. I love each one separately and refuse to choose one over the other. To me a drum machine is just as much an instrument as a guitar is. Creating music on a computer based program is just as much an art as playing the drums... in my opinion. However, there are many that would beg to differ.
One thing that I can say about playing a live instrument is that there is something about holding it in your hands and creating. The feeling of being one with the sound is electric.
I guess I'm somewhat of a music junkie. I love all aspects of it. From drums to keyboards, writing lyrics to just listening to it. I love it on vinyl, cd, tape, mp3 or played live in concert. Doesn't matter as long as it doesn't skip and plays to the end.When I create music, I usually start blank. I try not to envision boundaries. Instead of thinking about what to create. I try to let the music guide me. I just start with what feels good. Nothing forced.
Ofcourse a real guitar will sound better than a keyboard trying to sound like a guitar, and real drums will sound better than a drum machine but, different songs require different kinds of instruments so there are times when real drums or guitar just wouldn't work but, an 808 or a sample would be perfect.
Being a child of the 80's and really getting into music in the mid 90's I think that I come from the generation that was lucky enough to be exposed to both digital and analog sound without bias. I liked Marvin Gaye just as much as Sade & Anita Baker but, also marveled over 2pac and Biggies music just the same.
Eventually, I started to delve deeper into the sound. I wanted to know how the songs I liked were made. What instruments were used and who played them. It was at that point that I started to differentiate between pianos, synthesizers, drum machines etc...
In Hip Hop, I feel that we've had some genius minds showcased on various drum machines and Keyboards. For instance, Pete Rock is a master of the SP12. Organized Noize are masters of the MPC. DJ Jazzy Jeff is a master of the Tecnic 1200.
To me, it wasn't just about the instrument that was used in creating any of the music that I've loved over the years. To me, it was about how the instrument was used in creating the music. To me, it's always been about the soul.