Since: Apr 08, 2004
Welcome aboard, Atari.
PC based gives flexibility, and most on here work that way. But quite a few use hardware DAWs too, so it's certainly a valid option as well.
Are you planning to record everything onto it's own tracks? so each part is separate inside the PC? If so, then the 1010 is a good choice. PCI solutions offer speed, and stableness, but suffer in mobility, as you won't want to take it out of your PC to put into another. Firewire offers that flexibility, to move to another PC, but may not match up to PCI's speed and stableness. Though anymore, the difference is very small.
I used a delta 1010lt in the past, and liked it pretty much. I'm using a ESI ESP1010 now, which is similar to the Delta 1010. I like it very much.
A mixer in your case would be useful, as you would get a bank of preamps in one fell swoop. A microphone has to plug into a preamp, to boost it's signal. So every mic will need it's own preamp. This is where mixers are handy, as they have a bunch of them (preamps), depending on what you buy. I'm using a yamaha mg16/4 with great success.
Connecting from mixer to 1010 inputs, is done via the mixer's channel inserts. Plug a 1/4" plug into the insert, up to the first click, will tap signal out of that channel, and you plug the cable into your 1010 input. Slick as an oiled doorknob.
I'll let you research the mic options, as they're plentiful (the options). If you're doing drums, you may want a drum pack. You can see my equipment listing, i've built up some mics that work for drums, but also for other things. This can be a rather spendy area.
Software, I don't think Reason or FL studio would be the way to go, as you're planning to mostly record audio, not creating beats, or synthized music or midi. If you're just doing audio, M-powered would be good, though I don't know much about it.
Reaper's my choice, though there's many other cheap alternatives: Sonar home studio, cubase (can't remember the low end one), traction, ntrack, kristal (free multitracker), multitrack studio, etc.
there's other higher priced ones, but I don't think you're really looking for high-functionality, just easy recording, and good production.
Take a gander at reaper though, shareware, but very capable. The winamp guy programmed it. It rocks.
As far as other things, mics are mentioned, but you'd want headphones. Maybe not a bunch now, but a few will be handy to hear pre-recorded tracks if you're overdubbing.
Studio type monitor speakers are a good idea too, but not necessary. You'll want to hear the project when you're mixing it, so the better you hear, the better you mix. Cheap speakers can work, but they will skew the mix, and you may mis-mix to compensate. Learning your speakers will come into play, and expect to spend some time to do this (learning). Har-Bal is a good tool for this, harmonically balancing the sound spectrum, in a visual way.
Try and play to a click. You'll be thankful later, and it'll keep your recordings tight. My last project didn't, (time constraints) and it suffers for it.