hello all, im a recent member of this forum but a reader for long now. my name's diogo and im writing from Portugal. im a singer songwriter just getting started in home recording, wanting to upgrade from a fostex MR8 and akg 880 dynamic to some better stuff. thing is i opted to tell my independent label that i'll save the studio time money to invest in some gear and do, at least the masters at home, but hopefully the whole record. my budget is, however, limited, very.... but to place my sound, its something between red house painters and nick drake...where acoustic guitars and vocals are always the main thing in the mix, upfront, and ocasional layers of guitars (4AD/shoegazing type of thing) behind, along with bass, drums wich are recorded outside (external studio) and some synth, very little, wich is also recorded outside. so basically, im talking about a setup that has to have a 2 channel pre, some decent mics, an interface and a reverb unit. this setup will be used mainly for the all vocal layers, all acoustic guitar layers, all electric guitar layers and bass. my questions are as follow, and i apologize for such a "demanding" topic as a first topic, but i could really use some help here :/ this is what i narrowed my search to so far: - M-audio Delta 1010 LT (this seems a well loved unit, i was considering EMU1212 but i dont really trust that company and there's no need for 192khz, maudio seems much more in tune with musician's needs) - Shure SM57 (everyone has to have one right? or a few..) - pre (looking into a budget one as i can colour the sound with the reverb unit and cant really afford a high end unit yet) - this is one of my main issues and i would apreciate any inpute here...considering my recording needs (as decribed above) i would be looking (but cant make up my mind) into M-audio DMP 3; FMR's RNP; and some other units under 300 bucks that hopefully dont have equalizing or compression on them for i understand its best to have one thing there, not many...the RNP is really the only unit im willin to throw more money into...the rest 300 bucks tops. hopefully 200/250. the DMP 3 seems to get the best out of everyone in this kind of range, but if there's one that goes a little extra mile and considering my needs, please feel free to sugest... this is one big issue for me, i really cant make up my mind. - this issue has another one in it though...i dont mind mixing in the box, ive been doing that with the tracks i get from the fostex into cool edit pro 2.1 , but im also thinking i could get a Soundcraft Spirit M4 and use the pres in there, and while im at it learn the ways of "real" mixing. i guess my question here is, are the pres in a soundcraft more usable than the budget outboard pres? wich road should i take here..i would love to learn how to mingle in a board, but i can also use the spare time and money...its really a matter of is it that different, or whats more worth it, considering my needs... - reverb unit...this is another tricky issue...ive narrowed my search to 4 units...as i rely a lot on that early 4AD bands sound, and i apreciate that tacky 80/90's reverb (sorry) but i also want something that can sound natural (as in abandoned cereal silo reverb), i was looking into "old" alesis and lexicon units: - alesis microverb IV - alesis midiverb 4 - TCM 300 - lexicon MPX 110 - also, besides your opinions, how can i interface this with the pre? im really sorry if this is the dumbest question ever... - decent budget condensers.....ive been looking into oktava's 012's but i dont even understand why the different capsules....anyway, the rest is just a blur...again, considering my needs are basically acoustic guitar and vocals, electric too but i mic my fender hotrod, jazzmaster and pedal setup into the SM57, i think that goes by since the electric guitars aint the main thing in the mix...i dont even know if i need a large condenser or a small one...omni or uni directional....damn....any help would be a miracle... - also, i kind of like cool edit pro 2.1., and ive been using that for a while...can i anticipate any problems in terms of compatibility considering the kind of setup im putting together, and considering that the interface will very likely be the delta 1010 LT? also, i can probably get nuendo or pro tools, but ive grown attached to cool edit, i find the effects there very usable and fancy not having to add plug ins and stuff...are the fx on the other softwares at least as good as in cool edit? is it worth an upgrade? - also, with cool edit fx, will i really need an outboard reverb unit, especially considering the range i can afford? - decent reliable monitors up to 300 bucks tops :/ i think this is it for now...i would immensily apreciate any help you guys can throw my way, as i have to take quick decisions in the next few days...my budget is limited but i want to make good decisions and spend the little money the label gave me correctly, and at the same time on stuff that wont leave me hanging and that wont make me feel i have to upgrade in like 2 weeks after gettin it :/ many many tanx in advance to all of you... desperate man here. tanx!