“The absence of limitations is the enemy of art.” ― Orson Welles
But if I found those same/similar sounds through a computer or via some presets, would I be as satisfied? How could I know different/better sounds can't be made?
If I were a professional carpenter there is no way that i would use my hand-saw to cut wood, i just wouldn't have time. I would probably use a circular power saw and just get the job done. But i love wood and making things with wood. Using my saw, smelling the wood as it cuts, getting into the rhythmic action of the of the cutting motion, seeing where my mind goes while i complete the task and looking at the final cut to see how the experience translated to the object - is all part of the love. I use very few tools, and still use a hand drill, chisels etc.
That might be what he means. It would be very easy to make the things i make very quickly and probably with a more pro finish if i just went to the shop and bought all new wood, power tools, brand news screws and hinges etc. But i don't, i scramble through my boxes of off cuts and tins of odds and sods and just make the thing as best i can with what i have... that's the art. That's what i'm in it for.
You have to ask yourself why you do it, why you make music? Is it about the subject or the object?
To me, the object is just that, just an object. It has nothing except it's functionality. Once you introduce a human emotion to materials which will be shaped and modified for their own sake, for the beauty of the experience and the will to communicate humanity through the materials, you have art. And the more humanity you put into the materials, the more you'll communicate and the more you'll experience in the creation.
I used to do quite a bit of music programming when boxes started to appear on the market back in the 80s and 90s. They seemed to solve a lot of problems that i faced when creating music. But i found that the joy was going out of it. The productions were cleaner and they had stuff on them that i couldn't play, instruments i didn't have.
But the only real pleasure seemed to be coming from the final work and not from the creation, and they were cold. Not on first listen, on first listen they were perfect, just what i wanted. But as "art" they had no staying power, no personality and they aged very quickly, became irrelevant. Whereas the stuff i'd done before had so much warmth and personality that i was geting pleasure form them for years.
The only way i can describe it is that they seemed to be a picture, of a picture, of a loved one. They weren't the "real" picture.
It's easy to spend all morning looking for a Tambo sample when you have three or four real ones on the shelf (been there and it was part of the turning point for me) And of course there's not many things in life better the playing a tambo that you found in some market in africa or haggeld to get thrown in when you bought a guitar or something... It has it's own life and you interact with it... That's music, pure and basic and true.
This isn't all about limitations, but limitations do make us put more of oursleves into the work.