I originally posted this over in Pro Audio Gear. AudioGaff suggested that I might get a better response by posting it over here. The view from the crow's nest is to go one of 4 directions... 1. Mix completely ITB 2. Mix completely OTB and use PT strictly as a multi-track and editor. 3. Mix hybrid... mix the majority ITB and sum OTB 4. Say "screw DAW based" and go Radar and Lg/Med Format console. I'm an old(er) pseudo analog head. Been using an older version of DP and ADAT's. Recently (2 years ago) moved to a couple of HD24's. Always tracking and mixing on an analog console in my mobile setup. We're building a new studio and I'm wanting to kick it up a notch or three, without driving the client costs completely through the roof. I've been up to API and looked at the 1608. Cool desk, but w/o automation, it's a killer tracking console and a summing console with a lot of possibilities. The Toft ATB is a great sounding console, but it's missing automation and a meter bridge... so it's essentially the same thing as the API... a summing console, that cost a hell of a lot less. But they aren't exactly in the same league. I'm headed to Nashville tomorrow to demo the D-Control. There's the AWS, but for the money, the X-Logic boxes look like the better bang for the buck from SSL. There's always snagging a used large format, but the care and feeding can get extremely expensive in a bad year. It honestly makes little difference to me what I track and mix on... I can learn to work in whatever workflow I'm presented. The chief thing I'm after doesn't really exist... I don't think so anyway. That system would be one that is digital storage and analog mixing with fader and mute automation that doesn't take reading a 200 page manual to get started... and fully integrates to ProTools, Logic and most of the other DAW packages. Since this "beast" doesn't exist, I'm going to have to pseudo compromise and build it myself... Unless I go with the Icon. Oh yeah... a budget... well, that's kind of a loopy question. To get in w/little to no debt, I've got between $40-60k. In terms of lease, I'd prefer to keep it in the $100k range. So what's the kind of set-up that would bring in clients and other AE's to work in this new studio?