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Complete Recording Newb questions

Sidivan

Fractal Fanatic
As most of you know, I don't know my head from my @$$ when it comes to recording, which is why I don't have more clips posted. I've been kicking around picking up a recording interface and I want to know if I've got all the equipment I need. My plan is to purchase an M-Audio Profire 2626 (fairly cheap and seems good). I'm sure my computer is up to the challenge, so I'm not worried there. I have a Phenom II 965 Black Edition running with 4gb (3.12 because of XP) and a couple Firewire ports on the board. Now for the questions:

I have a crappy X-Fi sound card that's a few years old. I've heard that a good interface will also serve as a soundcard, so that is my intent. How and what do I need to accomplish this? Does Firewire work like an external USB soundcard would?

How do I hook up speakers to this thing if I don't use a soundcard? It looks like everything is 1/4" Line outputs or Headphone out. I'd like to be able to use my normal computer speakers for most things and then go out to my Atomic Wedges for recording/mixing. Would I simply just run Output 1 and 2 to my wedges and then run output 3 with a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter to my speakers?

Where do I plug the Axe into this? Should I got 1/4" into the front instrument panel or in the back into a Mic input? I'm assuming in the back as a line input, but I figured since I'm asking questions I might as well be 100% on everything. :D

The reason I'm going with the 2626 is because I'm indecisive and it's compatible with everything. Whatever software I decide to go with, it'll work. Also, I've been kicking around going Mac for awhile and this would work if I ever make that decision as well. It should be said that I'm not trying to run a studio here either... this would be strictly recording for myself.

Edit: I suppose I should add a link to the device. http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/ProFire2626.html
 
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