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Playing an instrument vs. building an instrument...

Excerpts from Wired magazine 

Software instruments never stop changing, never stop offering up more of
those infinite possibilities we're always hearing about. Compare the
situation with, say, playing an acoustic guitar. Years of practice are
necessary before you really begin to discover the hidden potential
inside that rounded box with six metal strings and a hole. But right off
the bat, software instruments - especially modular ones like Max/MSP and
Reaktor - provide a dizzying number of powerful effects. 

This makes it easy to endlessly tweak your material rather than to
accept the constraints that partly define the act of composition. And
this is particularly true when you can tinker not only with the sound
but with the virtual machine that makes the sound. 

"There are two approaches you can take with your music software," says
Gerhard Behles, who quit Monolake in order to run Ableton full-time.
"One is to consider your tools as fixed. The other is to control the
tools themselves. That gives you a much bigger lever. But it can keep
you from ever doing music again." 

Joshua Clayton programs for Cycling '74 and remains captivated by the
nitty-gritty processing available in environments like Max/MSP. Clayton
also has concerns about the aesthetic attitude that such programs can
produce. "I find that people who use Max and similar programs often
aspire to be the god behind the universe, to come up with a formal
system that's completely under their control. Some people can't wait to
get everything inside the computer so they can generate some kind of
utopian music that's all contained within the machine."