hello all! thank you for entering this thread.....i record hip hop vocals, and i have a relatively simple home recording set up, consisting of: a Sterling ST55 Mic($150) a M-Audio Firewire Solo interface(not a preamp, $200) i use adobe audition to mix my vocals, on my PC and of course a mic stand shockmount an pop filter (i showed prices so u can get a quality estimate) Christmas is coming!!!.....over the years ive asked family to donate dough to equipment funds for me, instead of buying me christmas socks and yuletide sausage that makes me vomit blood and stomach acid.....seems a lil selfish, but its always worked out well, and theyre happy that im happy anyways, im not really sure what direction to go this year....ive had the same mic and interface for a while, and im pretty uneducated with hardware.....should i get a preamp/rack thingie that'll clear my vocals up more before going to my PC? or a better mic? or a mbox with mpowered protools? i'm thinking i'll have around 400 to spend.....ideas???