Hello out there. I recently decided to join after discovering this forum while searching Google for reviews of virtual instruments a while back. There's a lot of knowledge and experience here that I know I don't have. So, respectfully, I want to get perspectives from the community and hopefully, not come off as completely clueless. I am not a composer, though I have dabbled in music for many years and have began making the switch from hardware MIDI instruments over to virtual instruments. I was always fascinated by how MIDI gear evolved through the years to become more "life-like" and how so many sounds were becoming available in synths that mimic acoustic instruments. That envelope was always being pushed further, and now with virtual instruments, the sounds are so incredibly realistic, the limits are fading more and more. I've heard orchestral library product demos that I STILL can't believe weren't live musicians! But it seems like a catch-22 in a sense. Developers create elaborate sample libraries that music makers use in order to simulate acoustic instruments. Music makers buy and spend time learning how to use these products to create music that sounds like the real thing. Producers and directors accept the musical work done with the virtual instruments and then have it recorded with live musicians. With the learning curves of complicated products, technical difficulties, hefty expense (I recently saw one library for over $12K), how do you feel about placing all of that time, energy and money into virtual instruments that don't make it to print in the end? Why would developers go so far to create their products to sound so real if in the end, the decision makers don't really want the virtual instruments in their production? They want live musicians. Seems like a lot of effort to capture the sound and feel of real instruments and acoustic spaces that is ultimately only serving as a means to convey an idea. Please pardon me if this sounds pessimistic. I'm learning some of the VIs I've purchased and after reading interviews of professional composers, it "seems" like a lost cause to go through all this (from the developer's standpoint as well as the composer's) if live musicians will finish the job. What are your thoughts?