I use the GINNA soundcard by Event Electronics ($450) and the Cool Pro Software ($400) to record 48Hz 32 Bit tracks. I edit through my Mackie Mixingboard ($900) and save Master mixes on my Sony PCM 2300 Dat Recorder($1300). I make cassettes direct from Dat on the Tascam MKIII ($1250) cassette recorder. The Maxell Tapes are excellent: MXLII 60 Min ($2.50).
My mike is a Beyer Dynamic Mike ($350) and you get excellent Vocals/ Bass/ Acoustic Guitar recordings by using the ancient studio trick of pointing the mike just off center up close on the amp/ guitar hole. My drum machine is a Roland 626 ($400) which has seperate EQ' able outputs: Snare/ Bass/ High-Hat.
I record drums connecting midi cables from the Roland 626 to a JLC Cooper PPS-2 Synchronizer ($120) and then connect this to my PC via GINNA 1/4" RECORD INs. The GINNA has an exterior control box that connects directly with the GINNA internal soundcard. This allows you to record a "Smart FSK" wav file on your PC that drives the drum machine on playback to midi frame accuracy. GINNA does not have Midi In/Out. Doing this allows you to have First Generation Drums on your mixdown.
I use the Lexicon Alex Reverb ($400) and the Alesis Microverb ($250). Compress tracks with DBX 163X($150) and Noise Gate with DBX 463X($150).
The Mixing Board I use is a Mackie1604. Very clean sound. I also have a Tascam 106 which creates a great classic warm sound due to its 10/20+ year old circuits.
On the analog side are two 3340s 15 ISP 15" 4Track reel-to-reel that use external DBX 150X units to lay CD quality tracks. Tape gets everything vs Digital sampling. Tape is not as clear as Digital. I have recorded guitars/bass/ drums on Tape and transfered the tracks to PC to add the rest: Vocals / Instrumentals/ Leads.
IMPORTANT: when using Tape use the BEST conditions possible. You never know when your "rough take" will suddenly be your winning track!! Ex: 15 ips is more CD quality (w/DBX) than 7ips. It's you you are recording after all.
Cables are important. Keep the cable distance short and use the best cables and connectors you can afford!! Clean your wires and keep your studio in shape. Be good to your electrons - your music will respond!!
Acoustics are important. Aim mike direct. Use reflections of your room walls/space to add natural depth of sound. Keep it simple. Stay in the now.