Okay, I’m in a bit of a gear acquisition pickle here. I’m looking at upgrading my little project studio. I’m looking at interfaces and actual DAW software here, so I’ll split them up accordingly. Interface: I’m trying to decide between the Presonus Firestudio and the Presonus Firestudio Tube, which is a really tough decision to mull over since the Firestudio Tube isn’t even released yet. Basically, it appears to boil down to a tradeoff of more audio inputs and less outputs versus future expandability. The Firestudio is 8 channels of analog audio, expandable via lightpipe, whereas the Firestudio tube is 16 channels of audio but isn’t expandable at all. Basically, it’ll probably come down to the convenience of not buying a second interface for more channels. DAW Software: Both the Firestudio and Firestudio tube come with Cubase LE. This is completely useless to me because LE only lets you record 8 tracks at a time. Both the Firestudio and Firestudio Tube are capable of recording more than 8 tracks, so why they’re bundled with Cubase LE, I’ll never understand. But then, I’ll never understand why some genius thought 8 was the magic number and that unless you’re prepared to spend several thousands of dollars, there’s no possible way you’ll ever need or use more than 8 tracks at a time. I’d like to set this genius on fire and offer him no more than eight small streams of water to try and douse the flames. “Sorry, it’s going to cost you $1,200 in order to get up to 16.” But, I digress. Now, I’m comfortable with both Pro Tools and Cubase, so that’s the main direction I’m looking. I’ve got a Waves bundle and a handful of other plugins that should work fine with both, but I’m not so up to date on this whole Pro Tools LE vs. Pro Tools M-Powered stuff. Nor am I up to date on how well either works with the Firestudio (and again, the FS Tube isn’t even out yet). I’d rather not have to go buy an Mbox in order to use Pro Tools LE, and I’d rather not have to buy Pro Tools M-Powered to find that the Firestudio doesn’t work, or ASIO drivers don’t work well with it. By the same token, I don’t want to have to buy Cubase Studio 4, just because the all-knowing powers have deemed that I do not need more than 8 simultaneous tracks in my life, but it appears I’ll be forced to. I have absolutely no need for virtual instruments, MIDI sequencing, or -anything- except for the recording and mixing of audio. I plan on doing a lot more research over the next couple months, and hope to be making my purchase in June/July of this year. I’m hoping there will be some useful information about the Firestudio Tube, and not just the usual smattering of propaganda and pamphlet BS spouted as if it’s fact all over the net. Any suggestions?