Hi folks, after "playing" for a while (talking about hours, weeks, months) with my DAW of choice (Qbase SX)I've managed to come up with some good songs, in my opinion. I'm in that composer/producer thing and also forced to do mixing/mastering on my own within my limited possibilities. May main genre is Hip Hop and I'm pursuing to do my own beats and not using samples just because i can always start from zero and let the creativity rule. Therefore my choice on which DAW i wanted to use was an easy because from my point of view as an composer (but not the classic composer, you know that paper thing) I wanted good midi functionality and MULTIPLE UNDO/REDO which is a sake for my creativity (i loooooooooove it). Yes, I admit that I'm not the perfect instrumentalist and I need midi. And why not? If the technical progress makes it available, why not using it? It's the people who makes it a good tool or a crap. After all it's just electronic notation. So, after this long intro now let's get to the actual topic. My basic setup is an Yamaha Motif Workstation, AN1x virtual analog, a pc and Qbase. The audio signal runs as a summ thru my analog Behringer Mixer (the smallest one) and ends up in my DAW thru an 24/96 Marian Marc 4 Midi Audio-Card.Monitors are Alesis MKII active with plugs in the holes for a more accurate bass response. Now after I experimented a lot with mixing I've realised that my mixes where "thin" and found out that reverb do wonders. You can only achieve "depth" in an appropriate "room", the bigger the room, the greater the depth. And It's great to create certain moods. Then I started to move things around (panning) and realized that It really improves the mix for wider stereo and better recognition of the different instruments. Now for my standard I've achieved a quite good mix for an "homestudio enviroment" but as an very finicky perfectionist I'm still not pleased. The whole composition is in midi and for the tracking I'm going into the DAW all at once. The mixing effects are from my workstation, so the summing happens in my Motif. Now my problem is that if I am referring to commercial releases my mix is not that tight. The different tracks/instruments pro's cd's seems to stick together as they where molded. Just one organic thing. Also I've realised that even though I'm noticing a very wide stereo recording and I'm hearing every track/instrument very clearly I can't say whether it's hard panned left or right. It's just in it's place where it belongs. It seems almost that it's just doubled and you hear left and right the same. How do they achieve that? Could you please tell, I can't figure it out. Also the synth sounds they use are always a little bit warmer and "softer" and I'm not talking about the presets they use. It's just the overall sonic difference that makes them sound softer. Is there a good advice for a special frontend/effects for tracking synthesizers to make them sound warmer and softer. My last question for today is about EQing. I know you guys have the luck to do a lot of tracking with live instruments in live enviroments. And therefore sometimes or often you have to use an EQ. But in my enviroment with all my "perfect" ;-) prerecorded patches/instruments with careful composition and right instrumentation, do I need EQing to achieve a perfect mix? Now thank you for reading this long article and I hope I gave you enough information to make you a good picture of my situation and to perceive as much as possible. Thanks in advance. Maybe some of you can give me some good advices and I'm appreciating this forum very much, nowhere to find such profound knowledge. As an example for you guys out there to what I'm referring to. The new Blueprint 2 from Jay Z or The Eminem Show would be good examples and everything done by Timbaland. At the moment I'm in the situation of getting a demo together for an Label to get involved in the game as an upcoming producer/composer. So my goal is to achieve the best possible results and to learn as much as i can. So I'm really appreciating every comment which is about mixing and tracking techniques to develop myself. But I'm sadly limited in my budget so at this stage of my career I can't afford an big frontend SSL mixing console or the other nice gimmicks you have. But I'm really curious about any suggestions about affordable equipment which will really improve "THE SOUND" and yes even that I'm doing "JUST" Hip Hop I really care about audio quality. Thanks and sorry for my bad english. I'm not a native tongue.