I love how these old threads always return to the top 18 months after I completely forgot about 'em...
Anyway, about a year ago I went through a major home studio upgrade. Only recently have I had a lot of time to really "kick the tires" on the new gear with the full band.
Here's what my new setup looks like... changes have been highlighted in italics
Custom built P4 3.0 Ghz HT, 800 Mhz FSB system w/ 1Gb PC3200 DDR RAM
2 WD 7200RPM ATA100 8Mb cache drives (60Gb & 120Gb)
Sony 52x24x52 CDRW & Sony 16x DVD-ROM
Sony DVD+/-RW (external firewire/USB)
ATI Radeon 9500 Pro 128Mb DDR DVI 8x AGP video
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2
M-Audio Delta 1010-LT
Antec tower case w/ 380w power supply
Cakewalk/Peavey StudioMix console
Windows XP Professional
Sonar XL 2.2
Sonic Foundry SoundForge XP 4.5
Sonic Foundry Acid 2.0
Magic Audio Cleaning Lab 1.04
Adaptec Easy CD Creator 3.0
Casio MG-510 MIDI guitar
(2) ART Tube Channel preamp/compressor/EQ
(2) ART TPS preamps
Behringer Multicom 4-channel compressor
Alesis SR16 drum machine
BBE 362NR Sonic Maximizer
Behringer Eurorack 8-channel mixer
Carvin StudioMate SM162 16-channel mixer
Carvin H40M headphones
Carvin HT150 power amp & PM5 monitors
Korg PXR4 portable recorder
Optimus SSM-50 DJ mixer
Sony minidisc recorder
Shure SM57 mics
Shure SM58 mics
Nady DMK7 drum mics
Nady SCM900 condenser mic
Audio Technica midnight blues mic
EV ND267AS mic
Overall, we've been getting much better tone out of this setup than the previous setup. The biggest differences:
1) Things sound more "in sync" now... we used to record some instruments through the SoundBlaster and some through the Core 2 out of necessity (not enough inputs). Now that everything is recorded through the 1010LT the mix is "tighter" and requires less adjustment after the fact.
2) The additional tube preamps (ART TPS's) are worth it. They're very simple to operate, are voiced for a variety of instuments, and really do warm the tone up just enough to take the digital edge off.
3) The 4-channel compressor is equally key... gotta keep those drums & bass under control, especially since the 1010LT doesn't have a built-in compressor/limiter like the Core2 used to have. Mixdown is much quicker when all the individual tracks are more consistent in volume.
4) Of course, the newer computer does a better job of keeping up with multiple audio tracks. Plus, the 1010LT is far more transparent than the Core2 is.
Hopefully we'll be able to get a couple songs recorded this week--whenever it happens, I'll share some MP3's.