Quote of the day: "Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition." --Isaac Asimov
One year later... First of all, I'm still playing every day! I believe this is the first time in 20+ years that I've played consistently for a whole year. As far as the DAW goes, I waited for a year to buy any new equipment because I wanted to make sure I was going to keep playing. For Christmas 2001 I bought myself a Zoom PS02 Palmtop Studio. This little gem incorporates a drum/bass rhythm section, a guitar effects box, and a 3-track audio recorder in a unit that fits in the palm of your hand (3.58" H x 3.26 W x 1.32 D)! The recording format is 16-bit @ 31.25kHz, which is below the CD-quality format of 16-bit 44.1kHz, but the quality is actually quite good. Although it is possible to produce complete songs with the PS02, I decided to use the PS02 mainly as a capture device--doing the mixing on my PC. So my next step was to get a decent sound card. I had been looking at pro-quality recording cards for several months but there always seemed to be a problem--my PC wasn't supported, I couldn't find out if it was PCI bus mastering, etc. Also, most recording cards are used for recording only--they can't be used with PC games and most of them don't have MIDI sound generation capability. So because I already have the PS02 as my recording device, I decided to get a "jack of all trades" sound card since all it had to do was mix prerecorded audio and play MIDI files. I eventually chose the Soundblaster Audigy Platinum because it has a lot of features (including the Audigy Drive with loads of connection possibilities including a headphone jack with volume control) and a great software bundle (including a version of Steinberg Cubase VST designed especially for the Audigy--so you know it will work!). The Audigy card also has ASIO drivers which permit low-latency recording--giving me ability to record using the Audigy if I want to (at 16-bit 48kHz). So for about $500 I have a decent setup that will let me record some songs. Here is my first attempt at recording--it's really just a test of the functionality of my setup:
Hopefully I'll be able to put some more original compositions online in the near future!