I’m still at least 3-4 years from completing my studio build (I have a build thread under Studio Construction) and as I get closer I need to begin making some concrete choices about my recording + mixing setup. I've used Nuendo from the start for more than 4 years now. I’ll try to keep focused and concise but I think my quandaries are closely interrelated between 2 dilemmas. Perhaps I should post each in different threads? 1. I think my primary question is: Does it make sense to try and adapt/replace my present Nuendo setup for a modest Pro Tools setup (whatever that might be) to help me make my final choices? Let me try and explain. My studio is to serve as a lifetime dream career for my “retirement” years, not for sole survival income, but needs to produce some income and serve the community. I live in a remote area with no other studios around for 100-200 miles so I need to be able to work with most styles of music. To increase my market I chose Nuendo 4 some years back to have the addition of post production options. Because of the day job, moonlighting, finishing my home and constructing most of my 1400 sq ft studio myself (gratefully following plans from Rod!), I haven’t done much recording or mixing , and I’m not very experienced recording/mixing to start with. So I’m not so wedded to Nuendo that I couldn’t change platforms relatively easily. Most of my experience over the past 52 years has been as guitar player and live sound reinforcement for moderately sized venues and some modest remote recording. Very little of that experience involved digital equipment. I’m mostly an analog guy, “old and in the way”! I can’t and don’t want to lose the sound I grew up on and I truly love the cleanliness, ease and cost effectiveness of digital. Just to help clarify, I hate mixing with a mouse period! I love sliders and knobs period! By the way, I also just hate switching between multiple layers of digital channels and wading through damn menus! Did I mention I’m old and crusty and only willing to compromise so far? I guess it helps to know what I don’t want and I get this will cost me more bucks in the long run. 2. So, with that said, the second (or is it 2nd and 3rd)thing(s)I’m trying to tease out for myself through this choice process is as follows: 1. ITB vs. OTB vs. Hybrid mixing 2. control surface vs. digital console vs. analog board. My present recording chain is as follows: Mics and lines>Mackie 1604VLZ Pres >inserts out>Lynx Aurora 16>AES16e PCI express interface>Mac Pro 8 core version 10.6.8 (6GB RAM) >Nuendo 4.5 (all clocked with Apogee Big Ben) With: Various UA Pluggins (UAD-2 Quad), Melodyne; Outboard: UA 2-610, 2-LA-2, AEA RPQ 2 channel ribbon pre, Lexcon MX200, Drawmer Dual Gate DS201, Alesis HD24 for remotes and backup tracking, Monitoring is basically: DAW- 2-bus>Lynx Aurora 16>Yamaha HS50M's/headphones/JBL 4411B's driven by Harman Kardon or QSC PLX 2402 2ch amps/Hear Technologies monitor system/Hot Spots/ (Sony CDR-w33 for 2-bus capture) I presently mix ITB with Nuendo and a darn mouse! I have been weighing the pros and cons of Pro Tools verses Nuendo for a long time now as well as the ITB/OTB/Hybrid quandary. Recently I have had the good fortune to talk with a “semi-retired” recording/mixing/lighting engineer who is my age with admirable and envious experience and credentials starting in the late 60’s. He is Pro Tools all the way and was advising me in that direction too. I thought that perhaps I could use what I have now, add the Pro Tools platform and try for myself. This is where I am stuck hard. My cash flow is relatively tight right now (who’s isn’t right?)! I’m leaning towards saving up or sell stuff off to purchase the newest Pro Tools 11 HD. Then, perhaps pick up an older used Pro Tools control surface as well, if it needs to be a Pro Tools surface to work with this idea??? I’m really lost with my research to date trying to figure out if that will work smoothly enough with what I have now without having to sell off too many core items and make major new purchases to make this idea work. It would be great if I could just uninstall Nuendo, install Pro Tools and switch out the Mackie with a 16 channel Pro Tools control surface with good pres, if a reasonable older/used unit like this exists and would work in this way. I greatly value the experience and knowledge base of the folks here and have not been led astray yet! I always read and receive balanced, highly informed, honest and most importantly highly useful responses from members I respect whole heartedly here. I’ve considered trying to contact Avid directly with my questions but I understand they have a reputation for very poor customer relations. Perhaps this is unfair and an outdated perception and I should just go for it. Either way, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I’m not really sure if my questions and purpose make sense. Maybe I just need to do more research before asking these questions? Please do what you can to help me get clearer on what to do next. I prefer straight talk and I know I’ve come to the right place to get it, so no need to waste efforts being too diplomatic with me! Thanks ahead for checking this out!