So, currently i'm using a firepod for recording tracks. what are you guys using? I'm thinking about upgrading my AD/DA unit once i dig myself out of debt/get a job again. I'm very much considering getting the RME - Fireface 800. I've heard it's one of the best available. I'm also considering possibly going to school to learn how to engineer sound correctly and how to mix/master etc.
really i'm just wondering what some of you guys use because i know lots of you are doing very nice home recordings(Looking at Bulb here)
What plugins/outboard units are you using. etc etc. lets get this party started,
I'm using a Firepod too. I'm sure that if I spent more money on gear I could get better results, but honestly, even just using the FP's stock pres, it's a good enough unit that if you're not getting results you're happy with, the problem isn't the AD/DA conversion. If you want to spend your money anywhere, preamps are probably the better way to go, the Firepod's are decent, but not spectacular. If I had a grand or two to blow on recording gear, a really nice 2-channel pre would be my next investment, running an out from that into the line in on my FP.
School? Don't waste your time. With all due respect to everyone who's gone to school for recording here, there's a TON of great information on the internet, and unless you've really completely exhausted everything you can find, a couple weekends spent googling and reading ought to do just as much for you as a few intro courses. And, from the people "in the industry" I have talked to, when you consider these recording schools are churning out thousands of grads with degrees in recording every year, simply having a degree in audio engineering from such-and-such a school doesn't really set you apart from the field. Studios will be more interested in your experience than your degree.
You also might want to look into treating your recording space. Even just centering my desk in the room made an appreciative difference - I can't wait to hear what a few bass traps will do.
I'm using Reaper - honestly, it's the best program I've personally ever used (great workflow), and it's cheap. I'm running a Presonus BlueTube DP pre between my mics and the Firepod, which does make a bit of a difference (for me, the easiest way to get a feel for a pre is to plug a guitar directly into it, and listen to how things change - there's an audible difference between the Firepod's pres and the Bluetubes, which you wouldn't expect, but...I bought it back when I had an M-audio interface, if it makes more sense, haha), but the "tube" section strikes me as only useful for intentionally adding grit to a part. Other than that, it's just all software.
Really, there's a ton of information out there. If you want to get better, then your current rig sounds capable of getting excellent quality results. Just spend some time tuning your listening environment so you can really "hear" what's going on in your mixes, read up a lot on how to capture sounds using mics (this is very lengthy, but is just amazing), and then experiment a lot. Listen to what works, what doesn't, and keep reading to see how others have handled the problems you're seeing. Think a lot about the "whys" of recording. Past a point, it's not about the gear, it's about how you use it, and if you've got some time on your hands you could probably learn a hell of a lot.
EDIT - by the way, what IS your current rig?