I've been working with this recording rig recently, and I'm very happy with the results. I also find it a pleasure to work with this equipment. I'm very happy that after much experimentation, and misguided purchases, I've finally arrived at a high quality set up that is dependable, versatile and meets all my recording needs. I use this rig for recording samples from various acoustic sources.
I tend to become somewhat attached to my gear, and this set up will probably serve me well without upgrade for a number of years.
CAD E100S Microphone
This microphone has very low self noise, and makes very detailed recordings. Has a low cut filter and a pad. A definite upgrade over my previous cheapo condenser.
FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor RNC 1773
I am a big supporter of the idea that it's best to compress a little before the digital conversion stage. This little effect is the best option out there in its price range (and one of the only options). It's solid state. The compression is a bit rough, unless "Super Nice" mode is engaged. Then it's transparent, though I have pushed it too hard with low attack settings and a fairly high ratio. It does a fine job, and after working with it for a while I'm even more convinced that it's a really good idea to do a little compression while recording, and before the digital conversion.
E-MU Tracker Pre Audio Interface
One of E-MU's ever expanding line of USB interfaces. It has the same high quality converters as the rest, and supports 192khz sample rates. The twist with this unit is that it has inserts after the preamps, which are perfect for connecting a RNC, for example.
Line Audio Design DMP Microphone Preamp
I got lucky and acquired this pre in excellent condition from an ebay auction (at 1/6th of its retail price). It's a no frills handmade solid state pre. It works very well - it supplies plenty of clean gain (though it seems to take a few minutes to warm up, and doesn't have a low cut filter). It has been exceptionally reliable for me for a few years now, and I doubt I'll ever find a better deal on a pre.
Dell Mini 1010 Netbook
This is one of the very few netbooks that is both fanless and has a high resolution screen (optional). I replaced the hard drive with a solid state disk and now it's completely silent. It's perfect for recording just one or two 192khz tracks at a time (without effects). I'm running XP as my OS.
Reaper v4 alpha
Reaper 4 is currently in alpha. Just the new docking scheme makes it worth using over v3. It's very light and efficient, and is the perfect DAW for my rig.
Audio Technica ATH M50 Headphones
These closed cans are well suited for recording. They have really good isolation and a very wide frequency response. I can pick out the details in the high end, and also I can hear any low frequency rumble that made it through the low cut filter. They are very similar in design to high end Sonys (they fold up in the same way). I really like these headphones, I use them for editing too. They're very versatile.
Korg TM-40 Tuner/Metronome
A tuner/metronome from Korg. I don't have much to say about this - it does the job, has a line in and a built in mic.
My Recording Space
I don't have access to a proper recording studio. The sound proofing in my apartment is non existent, and I live next to a busy road (by Cape Cod standards). The only time I can find to record under these conditions is between midnight and 6am, and only during the winter. During the summer and fall the crickets are absolutely incessant.
For the last few weeks I have been waking up at about 2 or 3 am to get in a few hours of recording before work. So far I have gathered around 500 usable samples that I will need to prepare, then arrange into sample maps and sequence in Reaktor. I still have some work to do in making a sample map of my guitar, but I should be finished in plenty of time before the onset of spring (and constantly chirping crickets).