Back in the 80s, there was no easy way to make music on a computer (aside from single notes on the PC speaker), so everything I/we did was on tape. I had a cheap Casio keyboard with preset rhythms, and once I got bored with the preset sounds, I started experimenting by fiddling with tape speeds, reverb boxes, distortion effects on an amp, putting a mic underwater, etc. It still sounds like crap, but it was fun to create "new" sounds.
In the 90s, it became possible via MIDI and sound cards to make [cheesy-sounding] music on computers. However, I hated the idea of combining music and computers, not because I disliked computers (I was a CS major), but because I'd always regarded music as a "private" sort of fun, and by then was associating computers with work (for school and then later jobs). Who wants to mix passion and work??? So I got a Yamaha workstation, which gave me more control than my old Casio. That was fine for a few years...
By 2000, I realized I was tired of the Yamaha workstation, so to spark my interest in music again, I bought a new work station, a Korg Triton. When I bought it I had no intention of connecting it to a computer except for the final mixdown. It still seemed perverse to involve a computer in the "intimate" music making process.
However, after I brought the Triton home (and I drove 60 miles each way to get it), I realized that it stored everything on a little floppy (which was slow), and wouldn't automatically save. I also felt like the sequencer was even more confusing than the one on the Yamaha. Yikes! I felt a bit stupid at that point (should have done the research), but still liked the way the Triton sounded, and didn't feel like driving another 120 miles to return it, so I very reluctantly decided to see if I could find a way to use the computer to handle the sequencing (via MIDI).
(By the way, this had been inspired by seeing Billy Oertel using Cakewalk back when we were putting together the Cope tribute CDs.)
Once I started using Cakewalk, there was no going back. Bye bye clunky Triton sequencer, hello simplicity. However, I still used the Triton's sounds (for the rest of the decade), and hated the idea of using soft synths. There were just too many options out there, an endless money pit. The Triton sounded fine to me (for several years), and I preferred to focus on one sound library rather than having to learn several.
Then in 2010 I realized I was tired of the Triton, so I started looking at other workstations. But I live in New Zealand now, where hardware is EXPENSIVE. So I decided to at least consider soft synths as an alternative to hardware. I listened to sound demos of Kontakt, etc. and finally decided to take the plunge and got Komplete (and a new computer). The Native Instruments stuff plus all the recent Sonar stuff is more than enough soft synths to keep me happy for 10 years, I hope.
So over all these years, I've been very slow to allow computers into the music making process. I resisted, resisted, and resisted. And indeed, each computerizing change has influenced the style of music I created (for better or worse). What I create now has no resemblance to what I did in the 80s and 90s. Individual instruments and arrangements might sound more realistic now, but there is a certain vitality missing from much of my later music. Maybe that's because I'm old and worn out from work and parenting. Or maybe it's because computers tend to impose a sense of order on things.