If you take the time, you can get every note in tune, every part right on the beat. You can do endless takes of each part and drop in a vocal part note-by-note. Then afterwards you can go through and take out every breath as if the singer can magically sing for 3 minutes without taking a single breath inwards.
Then you can go through the drum part quantising each beat to within one inch of its life and then use software to replace the sound of each drum. You can do the same for bass, drums and keyboard parts, ad infinitum.
At the end of this process, you may well have a track that is technically perfect.
But will it have any soul?
I'm not sure.
Surely recording is about capturing a moment? It's about getting the soul and the energy of performance immortalised for eternity.
There's a beautiful phrase that I need to give credit to AEA ribbon mics for and that is 'Fix it in the mics.' The first time I saw it used I thought yes!
If I want to get a great sounding track, then I'm more likely to do so by finding a talented set of well-rehearsed musicians, some great mics, and a great engineer.
Modern technology offers the ability to manipulate audio in unimaginable ways, but if we are not careful the technology becomes the master and not the slave and in my opinion offers something that is far more science than art.