this is going to sound like a lot of anecdotal rhetoric. don't mistake my rant for nothing more than inspiration. it might also come off as pompous and arrogant... maybe i am naive to the concept of "unfortunate?" uke: obviously! my most common response to most questions; "how do i get my drums to -blank- ?" is: "track real drums!" yes! it's more difficult in every way to do this! it's more expensive, more time consuming, more frusterating etc etc. but as a budding engineer you can only benefit from it. sure, it's nice to drop $300 on the newest, coolest drum sample library to use in every single production you come accross and even moreso... it's really simple to use, i mean an 8 year old child could program drums into a daw if he/she is shown how to do it once, (true story - my little 8 y/o nephew can program drums after i showed him one time). it's not like i am incapable of understanding how difficult it is to gather everything you need then go forth and record drums. i know! but i can assure you, the developmental process of tracking real drums is much easier than it appears to be. -acquire a new client -buy mics & cables, multichannel audio interface (budget) -find a reasonable location (for tracking) -setup (close quarters) -track drums (then have a coke and a smile) without question, there are some benefits to not having to do all these things... but i promise that after doing it a few times, you will have a much better understanding of acoustics, digital audio, signal flow and routing etc etc. the reason i have a lot of great equipment and places to track isn't because i sit around clicking my mouse, complaining about not having a place to record the next session... it's because through the years i have made countless networks with fellow engineers who had spaces to record (or whatever), some of them are not even engineers but instead mechanics, real estate agents, business owners etc. i think one time we tracked percussion in a kitchen store during business hours. none of this is because i am more fortunate than anyone... or because i am special, it's because i didn't care about anything at the time! i just wanted to track the drums! i didn't care if i was breaking sound laws or if i got a complaint ...i just wanted, what i wanted! the greatest thing about all of this is the experience(s). they really shape the type of engineer you will become and when the day comes that a song or album is required to have programmed drums in a production, you will be a ninja at that too. so, don't ever stop learning the digital editing skills because they are also ridiculously important. don't get me twisted i dig the struggle! i have been there tons of times. my biggest complaint (if i'm making one at all) is that the purpose of this forum (and other forums like it) is to share production methods that introduce distinctions in the recording industry. as we praise other popular engineers for their outstanding contributions to music we can enjoy or in whatever it is they do we shouldn't forget that they are there to inspire nuance to a generation or creative ideas and more importantly a significant paradigm in individuallity. or maybe i'm out of my mind? seacrest out!