Hello, I'm new to the forum. I'm a singer/songwriter, and in the process of setting up my home recording studio. Here's what I have: PC is a Dell 2400 series, Intel Pentium 4 Processor at 2.20GHz, 256MB, hard drive 40GB. Martin D35 Roland MA-8 Monitors (a gift) Beyer dynamic M88N(C) mic. (old, but rebuilt) Other relevant Information: 1. I would like to be able to record at least four instruments. 2. My strength is as a vocalist (female). 3. I would like to stay under 2k. 4. Yes, I may use MIDI. Questions: Since this is a vocal thread... OK, I read that one of you thinks the Shure Beta 87 is the way to go for female singers. Then someone else said the KSM27 is all around nice (KSM44 better, but $700). Another human said the Rode NT1 is shrill (may rule that one out). Some one mentioned a Studio Project mic, the B1. Someone mentioned I might want to go with a tube mic, why? I hear they are fragile. Cardioid, omni, figure 8. I say a diagram of these, but it didn't go into the pros and cons. I'm guessing it has to do with acoustics? Let me add, that I will be recording my guitar too. I will need a: Sound card: suggestions? Delta 66 or 44, m-audio audiophile. Some have analog I/O's and some have digital I/O's and some have both. Which do you suggest. Mixer or a pre-amp. I need information on pre-amps in that I'm not sure of their function. I also see there are microphone pre-amps and tube microphone pre-amps. I see where there are pre-amps in mixers, but I don' know if it's the same. Then they are "live" mixers, and "recording" mixers, oh my. What should I look for? Which brands, what cost? I'm considering Tracktion 2 as my software, any thoughts, insights? Someone suggested that I will need a compressor...when does it all end? Thanks, V.R.