New to the forum (as a contributor at least - I've been reading the posts for a few months) and new to recording though I'm an expert (classical) musician, know quite a bit about computers, and am familiar with Cakewalk SONAR, and Sony's Vegas and Sound Forge (amongst other programs). We're about to have an off-the-shelf garden office installed and I hope to be able to begin teaching myself something about recording. The room will be similar to those shown in the links below and will be 5.4 by 3.6m. http://www.homelodge.co.uk/EN/product_range/homelodge_range/homelodge_classic.html http://www.homelodge.co.uk/_metacanvas/attach_handler.uhtml?attach_id=281&content_type=image/pjpeg http://www.homelodge.co.uk/_metacanvas/attach_handler.uhtml?attach_id=282&content_type=image/pjpeg http://www.homelodge.co.uk/_metacanvas/attach_handler.uhtml?attach_id=285&content_type=image/pjpeg http://www.homelodge.co.uk/_metacanvas/attach_handler.uhtml?attach_id=354&content_type=image/pjpeg My immediate concerns are as follows: 1. Should I be asking for carpet or laminate flooring? Would the answer be different depending on the emphasis I might put on listening versus recording (voice and piano)? 2. How should I go about choosing monitors? I'm going to have no more than about £200 (c. $350) available and see the purchase as improving on my hi-fi speakers rather than getting something that will do for the longer term. I shall be sitting facing one of the 3.6m walls and was planning to have powered monitors mounted on stands behind an approximately 80cm deep table. What sort of power output should I be looking for please? How much can I rely on recommendations from pop musicians? Would the money earmarked for stands be better spent on more expensive monitors even if they would then have to sit on the table?