So finally all of my research payed off; I now have my basic studio setup, and I'm going to start recording my first 10 songs. Ive got 5 mics: a sterling audio ST55, 3 SM57s, and a beta52. I've also got a 2-input blue tube preamp and a firestudio project to run them into. I want to know the best way to utilize all this gear. I have a basic understanding of all of it, such as how to wire it and such, but placing the mics (and everything else) is where I need some help. For drums, I placed the 52 in the middle of the kick drum, the 57 on top of the snare on the edge, and the other two 57s in an XY position above the cymbals, running in stereo. What I don't understand is which mics I should run into the tube pre, if any, and if so how much to run the tube. Am I even using a good mic placement for this? Next is guitar; I'm following this guide for placement of the mics: http://www.homerecordingconnection.com/news.php?action=view_story&id=140 I know it would be a good idea to run these mics into the tube pre, but again how high should I run the tubes? I also have a couple rooms to record the guitars in. I can use my relatively small live room that I am recording drums in, or I can put the cab in a vocal booth-size bathroom and heavily treat the room to be completely dead. I am going for a perfect cab sound, like this band underneath the gun. Heres a link to their tunes on lastFM http://www.last.fm/music/Underneath+The+Gun I will mostly be recording VERY heavily distorted guitar sounds, and so far everything I've been recording has sounded very muddy and unprofessional. Vocals is probably a lot easier, I'm thinking just running the condenser with a pop screen in front into the tube pre. But how hard would I run the tubes in the preamp? And for bass, just simply run it direct into the firestudio? I know this is a lot, but even a small tip about something regarding this will help. Thanks in advance!