Yeah but does one really need 20 compressors and EQ’s and 20 of everything else, I think not. If some peoples plugin lists were to be replicated in hardware you’d need a warehouse to put it all in. Most I bet is a vast collection of junk that never gets used.
Well. Who needs 100 audio tracks? Who needs 100 midi tracks? Who needs 2500 chopped up audio clips in one project? Who needs scoring? Who needs 4000 drum samples? Who needs comping? Who needs anything but a 4 track tape recorder and four microphones?
That is just the thing with software - you can do things you would NEVER do with hardware because it would take so much time and it would be virtually impossible to automate and record in realtime.
All the other DAWs has a search function. It is not a question of only how MANY plugins, but also how easy it is to add them to your project, both to the mixer and directly to audio events in the project window. I don’t see how drag’n’drop support to the mixer Inserts/Sends and to the project window’s audio clips/events would be something negative for anyone.
It is not uncommon to have 8 compressors that one would use frequently (they are all very different - for different purposes), multiband compressors, limiters, multiband limiters, 4 different eq’s (they sound and act very different), different type of phasers, different type of flangers, different frequency modulators, alot of other types of modulating effects, 20 different various multieffects (scratchers, glitchers, timestretchers, tweakers), different vocoders, 6 different reverbs (they are all VERY different in sound and application), two different de-essers, transient designer, multiband limiters, multiband maximizers, alot of different type of delays, tap-delays, different type of chorus plugins, 5 different distortion plugins (extremely different in sound), overdrivers, alot of different filter plugins for different purposes, many enhancers, lovely tape emulators, frequency shifters, spectrum analyzer, stereo analyzer, stereo widening plugins of many different kinds and character, amp simulators, gates, multiband gates, midigaters, panning plugins, surround sound panners, etc etc etc… and don’t get me started on VST Instruments.
When I help out other bands to record and produce more of traditional rock stuff I only use a fraction of plugins and channels. Of course. No problem. Less is often more. But I don’t want to un-install all my software because of one session.
Also many of us share studios with other producers - and we still want our own favorite plugins.
It depends on what kind of music you do and how you create it. If you do complex electronic stuff with 120 layers and with automated plugins on everything… a plugin manager would increase workflow for sure.