I think electronic musicians are both blessed and cursed. They have the freedom of almost infinite choice.
I say this coming from the perspective of a guitarist- I grew up playing guitar, and I have to say the choice of instrument, amp, pedals/effects was a lot simpler than what it seems to be for the electronic musician. Back then, my goal was to get a strat. I eventually got my strat, then I never bought another guitar- I wanted a good amp, and I finally got my fender tweed, and then I felt like I didn't need to expand much beyond that sound pallete- that wonderful limitation was great and felt secure.
Now, having moved in the electronic sound realm ....gosh, that's such a general term
I feel like the choices and the possibilities are staggering, wonderful, and also very daunting. I feel that other electronic artists must also feel this to some extent. The sound pallete is so wide and ranging that it inevitably creates mystery....you find yourself going "what is that person using? is that absynth? is that a moog? is it real? software?" and then, you think "what should I use? Is what I'm using inferior? Can I trust this device? It didn't cost enough to be great! I don't understand how it was put together, and it sounds like a Wurlitzer, but am I kidding myself?"
Maybe you've thought some of these things? I know I have.
It becomes a great lesson in trusting yourself. You make a few mistakes, then you really start to learn how to listen, and then you use an instrument regardlesss of its status, and based purely on its sound. I know that the fender Jazz bass that I use makes a sound like no other instrument- It sits in the mix like a rock. I know that my strat has a sound that no other guitar can replicate, so I don't even try to change it too much, and accept it for what it is.
And electronic instruments, and soft synths are the same: I know that the soft synth Malstrom in Reason 4 makes a sound that rings my bell (I prefer it to Thor actually)- It has this middle (the string sound for example, with just the right amount of oscillation and detuning) that just blows my mind everytime. I don't care anymore that people bag it out sometimes, I'm just following my ear.
Electronic instruments almost mimic their sounds. The sounds of the electronic artists are like magic spells, and so are the instruments, in a way. So, I think we need to be like magicians, and concoct our sounds according to our own recipies, no matter what.
Is there something special about an instrument that you have? (that's to any reader of this post)