In the past, the equipment required to create commercial quality recordings at home or in the small project studio was prohibitively expensive for most home and hobby musicians.
Recently, with the launch of desktop multi-track recording packages such as Emagic's Logic Audio, Steinberg's Cubase VST and Propellerhead's Reason has brought the subtlety and power of expensive, hard to find hardware into your home PC.
Many of these packages are based on the same sequencer based system as used by the classical musician for printing scores, however the added multi-track feature means that musicians can now record direct into their PC and manipulate the sound within the package itself.
The new desktop music systems mean you can do away with much of your expensive equipment as you can add effects such as reverb, delay and EQ within the program itself. Better still, many of the vintage and now hugely expensive 1970s' and 80s' tape delays, compressors and microphones have been 'remodelled' and emulated by the wide range of plug-in software available. This has two benefits, firstly it means that you are able to create a unique sound using far rarer and more interesting effects, but better still it puts a range of sounds at your fingertips that would only have been available to the top end expensively kitted out studios.