First I updated my workstation. Nothing extravagant - I priced out a good cheap desktop that fit my needs.
Second, I got a nice audio interface. Since my music workstation is Linux all the way, I researched my best option. Based on this research, I wanted to get an RME PCI card and external interface... but that was _way_ out of my budget. So, I decided firewire was my second best choice - especially given how well some of the devices were supported via the ffado project. The device I finally chose was a Focusrite Saffire.
OK, so that has the computation and the interface covered... now what about the inputs and outputs? First the outputs, since you can't do anything if you can't hear what the hell you are doing - and while I was running my audio through my old Onkyo stereo system with Axiom speakers, it was difficult to know how the amp/speakers were affecting the sound. I needed some near field studio monitors to hear exactly what was being produced. Enter the KRK Rokit 6's
|KRK Rokit 6
Finally, the inputs. I already have a Shure 57 for most recording needs, but I wanted a good mic for vocals etc. I haven't ordered it yet, but I got my eye on the Rode NT1-A.
As I mentioned, I'm going Linux all the way. I've installed Ubuntu Studio - a great distro that comes prebuilt with much of the software required. But again, I'll delve into the software stack and setup in an upcoming post.