I'm pretty new to digital recording/mixing and I don't have a long track record recording/mixing with analog gear either (But I'm 61 and been an analog guy...guit player, live sound hack... since I was 11). I tracked a live band for recording/mixing practice a while back. Since then I've tried every thing I could to clean up the tracks using gating and EQ. Results have not been what I had hoped for, especially when I tried applying compression. I've recently been reading a lot of what Remy and others have said about expanders and especially downward expansion. I've researched enough now to get the difference between gating and expansion and I'm convinced I can get what I'm looking for with an expander. I feel that a plugin with the look-ahead feature would be a great place for me to start. I want to get the most control I can with ratios and bandwidth as well. Maybe I'm being lazy but I've tried to weed through the market to find a plugin to suit my needs and work with my G5 and Nuendo and I rapidly get lost and bogged down. If anyone has some suggestions to narrow down my choices or even a quality pluggin recommendation for both upward and downward expasion and the needs I listed, I would be very grateful. Remy, your thoughts and recommendations would be extremely welcomed as would those of others.