Hi all, I am new to this forum, as well as to sound recording - so I am hoping you can help me choose the right stuff. Here is what we are trying to do: 1. I am in process of setting up a recording studio in my home. We would like to record several tracks / channels into the PC, so I came up with two firewire mixers (Alesis and Phonic). The first one (Alesis MultiMix 16 - FIREWIRE 16-Channel Mixer with Firewire) is priced at $600 whereas the other one (Phonic Helix Board 18 FireWire 18-Channel Mixer) is priced at $460. The features of both seem to be same. Has anyone had experience with these two units? Which one is recommendable? Here are the links: http://www.zzounds.com/item--ALEMULTIMIX16FW http://www.zzounds.com/item--PHOHELIX18FW I looked at the Mackey with the same features as well, however it is almost twice as expensive. 2. I understand that while recording, I should connect studio monitors so that we can monitor the sound - while recording. We will also be doing live shows using the same mixer. Can the same monitor speakers be used for live performance, or should these be different? If not, what type of speakers should be used for live performance? 3. How should I go about selecting speakers (monitors and / or others). My total budget - including the mixer is about $2000. 4. While performing live shows, is it recommendable to use home theater speakers? Or should dedicated speakers be used. I will appreciate any advice on these points. Thanks in advance !