Hi there guys. Some time ago i did my first recording tests wiht Reaper and my HD500. They were done with an acoustic (plugged it 'cause it had a preamp) and some vocals. I used my FRFR Mackie SRM (that i use with the HD500) as a "monitor" as it was just a rough test. I have some general questions for you: 1. General recording levels I recorded everything with the Pod's master at noon to avoid any potential clipping, but the final tracks output dbs were greatly below the 0 db line, making them barely audible in a final rendered track (unmixed-unmastered). Regarding vocals: similarly, i kept the mic's input gain at noon to avoid issues. Is that a "right" situation to start off? Do i have to boost the Pod's master? Or do i have to leave it like that and adjust the tracks dbs manually afterwards (boosting\cutting dbs)? Or, again, do i have to just keep eveything like that and wait for the mixing-mastering process to take care of all that? I just have no idea. Additional question: how do i get the best headroom-dynamics in recording, given the reaching of decent audible levels? I'm not a "loudness" guy. 2. Volume issues between tracks At the end of the test (did 5-6 different tracks) everything was, naturally, scrambled up. Vocals were buried far below guitars, guitars themselves were inconsistent etc. Again, how do i treat this? Doi have to adjust dbs accordingly, or do i have to wait for the mixing-mastering process to balance things out? Just give me a general sight. 3. Headphones VS Monitors I have a really s*itty place to make my music. The room is an architectural abortion and has really awful design to complement music production (asymmetrical, one open side: 3 walls basically, tiles on the floor, full of furniture, recessed windows etc etc and lots of anti-acoustic stuff). So i'm thinking buying monitors wouldn't be a really smart choice and i was straight headed for a pair of decent headphones (i'm not willing to spend a dime on acoustic treatment for that room). Is that a reasonable choice, or are monitors nonetheless needed in the mixing process, disregarding room acoustics? Also, is there something like a general recording\mixing\mastering guide to read that you could address me to? Thanks, i'm just beginning with home recording.