I notice that alot of questions have been asked about setups. I've tried my best to readup on the recommendations as well as what the poster is asking. My needs I think are much more basic than those I've read. I just bought a comp. system and want to get the appropriate things that will be useful and effective in what I'd like to achieve. I want to use my system as the basis for recording/sequencing/editing/mastering the music I want to create. I am not looking for a setup whereby It is so polished and highend like a major label release. It's more for being able to convey my ideas and create the music and sounds from that. I am not looking to record live sounds, but want to keep it to sample based music for now and create 'Tracks' (for electronic, urban production) I want to be able to do everything through my PC. -My soundsamples coming from my comp -creating sounds with wave modeling/synthesis (whatever the proper term is described for a program that allows you to make your own drumsounds, synths, etc.) -editing sound samples (creating, chopping, layering, tweaking, etc.) -recording the sounds/tracks as well as sequencing -applying effects -mixing the sounds -mastering the finished product. -burning it to disc Here are the main components of my computer system: - Intel Pentium IV processor 2.66GHZ - 512MB DDR 333 RAM - 80GB 7200 RPM Maxtor HD What I have to use - MIDI Keyboard Controller What I need and what I was thinking: - Soundcard ** I would like to be able to hear what is getting recorded while recording...as well, I want to be able to do overdubs by recording new parts while being able to hear the other tracks that were already recorded simultaneously. Opinion: Starting from the bottom of soundcards, would a soundblaster Audigy 2ZS Platinum Pro suffice?? Or should I stay away from it completely? Any suggestions on soundcards that are modestly priced but effective for what I need to do? I'm not really looking for a multitude of inputs, maybe 1 or 2 to attach a mic if need be. - Recording/mixing/editing software ** Where do I start?? I know there's tonnes of different programs. What should I use or do they all do the same thing? i.e. Logic audio Cubase Nuendo Fruityloops protools (can i operate this software with any soundcard or do you have to have their card to have it work?) - sound samples ** Which sound/software programs do you recommend that have great sounding samples (i.e.drum sounds, synth sounds, pretty much all sounds) What about Giga or Halion?? Any suggestions would be appreciated. - wave synthesis software to make my own sounds ** programs such as Reaktor (I've heard really good things about this) Halion (can u create sounds from scratch as well) Any other suggestions? I do care about the quality of the music, but I don't need to have a major label finished product. My main goal is to create 'Tracks' and be able to shop it around to artists. If/when they are interested, the tracks can be brought into a proper studio and re-eq'ed,remixed, etc...etc.. Thanks for reading this, any opinions & suggestions would be much appreciated.