Hello everyone, I'm helping some friends of mine, two of whom are two members of a classical piano trio, to create a recording setup for them. They want to spread their recording time over a long time -- many months -- and felt it would be more cost effective (and practical, timewise) to buy recording equipment than to hire a sound engineer to constantly come in and work. Their intention is to have me take the raw audio files and edit and process them using my software (DP). I much more experience than they do in this. So I've conceived of a setup for them, based on what they'd like to do and their budget. They're looking to get started pretty soon, so there isn't a huge amount of time for experimenting / shopping around. I'd welcome thoughts on any aspect of this. I'll run through the elements, with a short explanation of why I've selected that element. This is a classical trio -- piano, violin, and cello -- recording in a home studio, basically a garage that's been converted to a studio. The instruments (including the Steinway grand) will all be in one room; no iso booths. The ceiling is that of a normal home, so I'm planning to close mic the instruments and put on some reverb later. Summary: Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 connected to my friend's Macbook. He'll initially record in Garageband. It's likely that he'll upgrade the software to something more sophisticated in the near future. Two Rode NT1-A mics. Two CAD M179 mics. This equipment, plus six mic stands (they come as a package) and four cables comes out to about $1250, through a couple of on-line stores. This is approximately the budget they wanted. Focusrite Saffire Pro 40: They and I felt it would be good to be able to do multi-tracking, although I know there will be some bleed between mics. I chose this interface based on its cost-effectiveness and very positive on-line reviews. Yes, it may be overkill, especially with Garageband, but I've a feeling my friends will upgrade their recording software at some point to Pro Tools or perhaps Logic. Rode NT1-A: For close mic'ing the violin and the cello. I realize this is a low-budget mic, but I happened to have one with me, and my friend really liked the sound of it on violin. My friend says he's more likely to trust a mic that he's actually heard. CAD M179: two of these would be on piano. I've recorded piano a lot with my two AKG C1000 mics (not close-micing, though) and while adequate, I don't think they're great on piano. I really think a large condensor mic (or two of them) would do a better job. The CAD M179, though a budget mic, seems to have pretty solid reviews. Budgetary considerations are another reason I chose this mic. I felt that the Focusrite would be a very worthwhile investment, so it took up quite a bit of the $1200 budget. I'd welcome your thoughts on any of this. Thank you!