Tracking clean and adding effects is for some a modern luxury, only afforded by the introduction of plug-ins. It wasn't long ago that you only had one gate, one compressor, reverb, delay et al and so you had to make decisions and get the sound down as your recorded it.
Some of us, even with limitless gear choices via software, still like to track in Pro Tools like this, adding the compression, eq, gate etc. as we track, whilst others still want to save it all until later... just in case. I'm on the get it down as you track camp and be damned with what may happen later.
But I was reminded of taking this a step further when reading about how Daniel Lanois worked on the Peter Gabriel album 'So' some years back.
If they were tracking keyboards or guitars then he would often mix the entire sound onto one mono or stereo track, so piano/strings/synth were often tracked to create a unique sound - printed to tape... no turning back.
In our world of modern virtual instrument plugins we like the idea of keeping it all separate for mixing later in Pro Tools, keeping our options open; but I have to say I'm somehow drawn to this old school way of tracking complex synths and guitars.
Of course like the effects racks we often had one synth, with no memory or limited storage, or a piano, or one guitar amp and effects, so you didn't have the option to keep your options open.
Does this idea sound nuts to you, or are you already merging sounds to tracks rather than keeping the options open?
Modern recording has given us so many options, but of course one of them is that we can choose not to have any and commit as we go.