Well, I finally decided what Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) I am going to use. It's called Reaper. It does all the usual things a DAW does, but it doesn't cost like most DAWs. The high end of DAWs is Avid's Pro Tools, and the other end is Ardour, which is free. Reaper, which is actually an acronym, is free to try for a long time...and if you like it, you can purchase a license, which gets you free updates and support for essentially two versions, for $60 USD (~$80 CDN)....if you are not making money off of it. If you are making money they ask you to purchase a $225 (~$300 CDN). But it's the honour system!
I had originally thought that I could just get by with Ardour, and Audacity, but I found it hard to get things working with Ardour. Abandoning it, means abandoning Linux for audio use...but, I just want something that works. Reaper is that product. I was able to get up and running really quickly, and use VST instruments with virutally no latency. I got a whole bunch of "emulations" of classic synths, plus one that was a commercial product, but I bought on a a huge discount that made it virutally free.
I have a couple of USB music keyboards now, and with a hub, I get lots of access to these instruments, and once I fiddle with them more, I can configure the USB keyboard to send the proper commands, and use all of the knobs, faders and switches on the keyboard. I also picked up a Berhinger control surface, so I need to configure Reaper to use that as well.
The descreet componants that I have are a Roland SH-201 which I bought about 10 years ago, two Korg Electribes (EA-1 and ER-1, also bought about 10 years ago), a Korg MicroX, an Arturia Beatstep and a MicroBrute, and a Korg Volca Keys. I don't want to rely upon VST instruments, I want to be able to "play out" without needing a computer constantly squencing things. I would just want to use it for downloading patches and such, and provinding a central sync source.
I have two MAudio Delta 1010s, which gives me a total of 16 in and outs, two in and out MIDI ports, and two Digital in and outs. Each as a PCI card with a 36 bit processor feeding a breakout box, so there is virtually no latency. These things are a huge deal if you can find them. Both came out of studios that were upgrading to newer tools....but I picked up the first one a few years back for $75...and the most recent one for...the same price. Acutally, I picked up two in the newest transaction, but one was for pheloniusfriar so that he can collabourate by having the same hardware. We won't have the same DAWs, but...Native Instruments have come out with a standardized format for STEMs, which will allow us to exchange tracks, and add or remix them.
In addition to this I have some guitars, some effects pedals...and a harp.
So, I hope to start doing some recording soon!