Back in what we would probably call the old days now, we used to load the 2 inch tape on the 24 track recorder and sit at the 96 channel mixing console and have a handful of microphones perfectly set with the instrument in the next isolated studio room and then roll tape and hope everyone played their best. If there was a mistake, the answer was to either re-record the track or try and punch in the part that went wrong.
Those days can still be found in some studios but nowadays we have at our fingertips the latest and newest set of software and virtual instruments that makes creating a musical masterpiece so much easier than it used to be.
The virtual instruments are all capable of being housed inside the box as we call it or in other words many of the instruments are now software versions of the real thing and technology has come so far that it is often difficult to tell the virtuals from the real thing and yet often times it is so much easier to work with the virtuals because it is so easy to correct just one incorrect note by changing that one note digitally instead of having to re-record.
There are numerous instruments now available virtually that sound so amazing that there is nothing in the real world that can even come close to such sounds.
The process is relatively simple once set up correctly and many different input devices can be used to trigger these instruments such as Wind instrument controllers, Piano touch Keyboard controllers, Stringed instrument controllers, laser and hand gesture controllers and even ones own voice can be used to trigger other instruments.
All of this technology now makes the creation of musical tracks so much more creative in a wide variety and the final results are often just breathtaking. All, at times can be done on something a simple as a powerful laptop and a well designed MIDI USB Keyboard controller. What make the difference now is the amount of knowledge you posses in order to make such magic come to life.