I've been recording for a few years...nothing too involved...and as time goes by, I'll buy a new piece of equipment whenever I get the money. So far I'm using.... Fender Strat and Gibsol Les Paul guitars Monster cables Line 6 POD XT Live - or - miced Fender amp with a 57 Samson CO3 condenser Mic for vocals an M-Audio Fast-Track Pro Interface and Acid Pro on my PC I'll be working on something and I'll get it to sound pretty good. And then I start playing something on iTunes (RHCP, jimmies chicken shack.....), and It'll blow my freakin brain out of my head with how much better it sounds. The crisp highs, strong mids, and ballsy lows just blow my music away. I want that....or to get closer to that. Don't worry about drums. I know why they sound like crap (bad mics and didn't spend much time on it). I'm just talking about guitars, bass, and vocals. What am I missing?.....and don't say everything. Do I need a mic preamp? Should I get better mics? Or should I record on something external? if so what? sorry about how general that was. I'm new to this.