I listened to George's comments and found it interesting however, not having access to the equipment George has at his finger tips, I subscribe to the adage that if it sounds good, it is good. Last August I recorded a band that I was a member of in the late 70s and early 80s using a Tascam neo 2488. I di'd the guitars, lead rhythm and bass, from each individual amp and positioned two Rode NT1A mics over the drums. The vocal mics, three of them, were Shure PG48s run through a Behringer XENYX 2442 mixer which were output through the mixers direct out and from there to the Tascam inputs and the main out from the xenyx was routed to a PA so we could all hear what we were doing with regard to the three part harmonies. I mixed the whole lot some three days later and added compression to the whole mix at the mastering stage and came out with a sound that has met with very favourable comments.
Sometimes I think we can get really bogged down with all of the gadgets and gismos at our finger tips. I subscribe to the old saying, Keep It Simple. What is important is the sound of the band/artist, not of the technology at our finger tips.
Mike, I think your point is well taken that the most important thing is the talent of the band and the artist. The adage "garbage in, garbage out," (and it's corollary, "good quality in, good quality out") is definitely a huge factor in music production. That said, using the best quality gear we can, and using it skillfully, can take a great song and performance to an even higher level. Yes, we don't want to get bogged down in the technology, but we do want to use it to our advantage.