I will try to keep this short, though I seem to have a problem doing that most of the time. I started recording my own songs back in 1979. I used a Teac A3440. Today I use a Boss 900CD. It's isn't great but it's certainly an improvement in number of tracks (8 opposed to 4) and sound (digital versus analog) My problem is simple. After all these years, I can't get a mix to sound good. I think the problem is in 2 areas. 1. My ears. Ultimately when it comes down to it, you can't hear what you can't hear. And then when the finished product is done and you've missed all the little problems along the way, the finished product has a lot of little problems and sounds like crap. 2. Track limitation. Because I only have 8 tracks and compose these masterpieces using umpteen instruments and overdubs on vocals, I end up doing a lot of bouncing, meaning I have to do several pre mixes before the final mix. Those 2 things combine for some pretty bad sounding music according to the people listening to it. I realize, based on what I have read here, that I am not going to get a professional recording studio sound out of my home, but I still think it is possible to get a recording that sounds good enough to send to a publisher to listen to. I'm a songwriter, not an engineer. I realize that the first thing I have to do is get a recorder with more track capability. You can't get 10 pounds of ham into a 5 pound bag. I also realize that I need some format training in recording and mixing. I've order 2 books from Amazon that come highly recommended. Hopefully, they will help. But my ears...how do you train your ears to hear things correctly? That's the part I haven't figured out yet. Things that sound "good" to me, when I play them for others, they cringe. Anyway, I'm open to any advice that anyone can give in regard to: 1. Gear that will give me the best chance to get a decent sound if not pro studio quality for under $2,000. 2. Tips for recording and mixing or where to go for instruction. 3. How to train my ears, if that's even possible. Music is my life and up until now, I've made a mess of it. The music, not my life. I run my own business (nothing to do with music) and am successful with it. But my dream is simply to make a good enough demo to send to a song publisher so that MAYBE I can land a song contract. Any help that anybody can give me will be greatly appreciated. I have samples of my songs and dreadful mixes on YouTube if anybody wants to hear them. I won't post a link as I don't know if that violates any forum rules. Thank you in advance for any assistance you can give me.