Okay, I'll try to keep it simple. This is sort of a "music business" questions but I wanted to reach a wider audience. If one is NOT looking for a career as a recording engineer, and is NOT looking to open up a studio, but one DOES want to be highly competent in producing one's own music with midi and live recording in a decent home studio (G5, Digi 002, Pro Tools, Logic, sampler, good controller, mics, and $$ to improve it), and one DOES have $10 - $15K to spend on learning, the best way is: 1. Save the money - just start working and teach yourself, read books, study horrible hardware/software manuals, take local community college courses, correspondence courses, talk to others, go to forums like this one, etc. It might be frustrating at times but you'll eventually get it. 2. If you want to be professional (even if only in your own home studio) then get a professional education: spend your money at a "real" school - Full Sail, Musician's Institute, LA Recording Workshop, college programs, etc. 3. Hire a consultant who is already trained in the software and hardware of your studio. Pay the consultant $30, $40, $50 an hour (3 - 6 hours a week?) to train you in your own studio as you work on your own projects. 4. ???????? I'm leaning towards Option #3. My considerations on the others (perhaps based on my own ignorance): #1 - after much frustration you'll eventually be "almost close to professional" and your CDs will sound like you're "almost close to professional"; #2 - expensive training directed at becoming an engineer in a big studio. Less bang for the buck than Option #3. Comments?