Scroll down for example questions we need answers to... Terms and definitions that you may not know are at the bottom of the post... I thought I'd give a little perspective to the newbies in the hopes that this will help them get their questions answered quickly and specifically. Note: this post is for those who are new to home recording. We see this type of thread constantly here: On the surface, this seems like a reasonable question. To experienced recording engineers (even hobbyists) though, it reads more like this: That sort of question makes the reader ask too many questions - "How far do you have to travel? How often? At night? Is safety an issue? How much can you spend? Do you have anything wrong with you that would exclude a bicycle? What's the weather like where you are?" etc, etc, etc. For someone to tell me that they have a computer and that they want help finding an interface is like being given a single puzzle piece out of a 50-piece puzzle and then being asked to make a drawing of what the puzzle would have looked like if I had all the pieces put together. Could I do it? Sure - I could take a stab at it. I could make educated guesses and probably get at least 5-10% of the picture correct. But if I had, say, 20 more puzzle pieces, I could've probably gotten 90% or higher. And that's really what I'm trying to get you to understand here: the more data points we have, the more helpful we can be (and the less guesswork there will be on both sides). ----------------------- Interface - if you're needing help finding an interface, the least we need to know is: Computer specs of your current (or future) system Computer OS and version What DAW you will use (Pro Tools, Reaper, Cubase, etc) How many simultaneous microphones you will record (a.k.a. "tracks", the "i" in I/O) Do you need a DI? What current gear you have Do you have any outboard gear you need to integrate? How much latency is tolerable (none, minimal, and "doesn't matter" are the kinds of answers here) What's the purpose (make CDs, gear demos, record band rehearsals, etc) Budget Studio monitors - the least we need to know is: What you are listening on now (studio monitors, studio-quality headphones, home speakers, computer speakers, or 'other') The dimensions of your room (include ceiling height) Any anomalies your room has (heater duct on left wall, ceiling fan, etc) Whether your room is treated (acoustically treated) What types of music will these be used for? Intended use of monitors (mixing, playing an amp modeler through, mastering, etc) Budget Microphones - the least we need to know is: What mics you have now What you will be recording (what sources guitar amp, acoustic guitar, vocals, etc) What type of music How loud are the sources (electric guitar w/ 100W amp, drums, etc) Do you have any noise problems in the recording environment (noisy HVAC, planes overhead, etc)? Do you have any particular recordings that highlight what you want yours to sound like? What's the purpose (make CDs, gear demos, record band rehearsals, etc) Budget DAW - the least we need to know is: Intended use of DAW (recording, mixing, mastering, mashups, beats, etc) What type(s) of music? Computer specs Computer OS How much time are you willing to invest in learning it? Are you "good with computers"? Budget Basic writing tips to help us: If you ask us generic questions, we can't provide specific answers (and by "specific answers", I mean "answers that would help you specifically"). Leave the ambiguous terms out - there's a big difference between "I just want it to sound good" and "I want it to be clear highs, the bass to be tight and punchy, and the cymbals to have a ring that just shimmers." Be specific in your terms and descriptions Share products that you have experience with Terms and definitions: DAW - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_audio_workstation#Software_DAW DI - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DI_unit Treated room - http://music.tutsplus.com/tutorials/a-basic-guide-to-acoustic-treatment--audio-1274 I/O - inputs and outputs. Inputs are "things you want to record". Outputs are often "things you want to hear" Interface - http://www.sweetwater.com/insync/audio-interface-buying-guide/ Studio monitors - http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun06/articles/qa0606_7.htm Outboard gear - hardware like reverbs, compressors that you patch in during recording, mixing, or mastering. These have been largely replaced for the home recording newbie by the popularity of software emulators (aka "plugins") Latency - http://www.recordingreview.com/blog...-audio-interface-designed-for-home-recording/ I hope this helps. Please let me know if there are other considerations I should list here!