Of course we do! I had a nice long talk with my friend, Paul Bailey, at Twitter about David Toub’s masterwork, This Piece Intentionally Left Blank, I edited for my VSTi (that’s right, no one played a note of it!). Often referred to as realization, but since that is commonly associated with crappy midi and since the quality of samples has improved with VST and the Akoustic Instrument library I use, I prefer just calling it a piano. But I am aware many purists may disagree with that even if the sample weighed as much as a Steinway Grand D.
You can hear it at the link for David Toub. Basically, as I told David, its a sort of jam session in this version. Random velocity and emphasis on beats during the pulsating notes (this is a postminimalist work). Paul feels the beat makes it sound like its been played by a pianist with technique which could be improved, but with soul. I like the soul part.
Paul does have a point. Perhaps if I played the notes myself I wouldn’t have opted for the beats and would instead have played a more even, focused interpretation. But what this comes down to is that we are getting closer and closer to quality samples rivelling the best instruments. Will this replace the performer? Never I say!