The Software: So I'd like to stick to PC if possible because my brother works for Microsoft and I get Microsoft software for 90% off. So, from what I've read. The pc standard mixing software is acid pro. In acid pro can I compose classical music via notation? Does acid pro have the ability to provide me with decent quality synths (strings, brass, winds, piano, ect)? If not acid pro for synths and classical composing, how about finale? then I could import finale files and touch up things in acid right? The Computer: So sound cards are important and intel mother boards proffered from what I can discern. So, what sound card would get me decent results for maybe 200-300 dollars. The Budget: $3000 US for a computer (built by myself to save money), an 88 key midi controller, Computer monitor, sound card, and software like finale and acid pro. What I need: I do not need to record instruments at a very high quality. I play jazz fusion guitar as well as metal. I would love to have a fantastic sound, but it's pricey and not something I need right this moment. What I do need is the ability to create music worthy enough to go onto a professional portfolio. Again, the music will be primarily orchestral or big band sounding. So, I need good synths. So, can anyone help me? It would be greatly appreciated.