I have this fantasy of actually empowering myself with the knowledge to use my home studio in this 'easily do what I know can be done' quickly, so I can actually focus on learning and making music using and playing my instrument.
Somehow, my instrument always takes a back seat to the computer/technology tinkering.
Right. I have had that fantasy for the last 10 years or so but the problem most of us have is work and life keeps getting in the way. This stuff is college level. Just check out your local colleges and you'll see. Whatever your skills are in the real working world, remember how long and how much study it took for you to get to where you are now. It takes that same level of dedication and study to fulfill your musical fantasy.
I'm all the time putting my keyboards aside and having to concentrate on how to make this software do what I want and like I just said, life keeps happening and what I just discovered or learned is forgotten by the time I have a chance to get back to it. Very frustrating. I keep telling myself I should just bite the bullet and sign up for two semesters of digital music production at one of the local schools. I would get hands on instruction, textbooks, use of the best and latest stuff available plus make good connections. I don't know how serious you are or if you really intend to make something of this. If you are serious then consider taking a semester and see what happens.
A little soapbox talk now. We all have enough musical experience to be dangerous. We think we know some things, read all the great things computers and good software can do, read about famous composers working from their home studios and doing all this great stuff. All that is true but we're not going to do it in a couple of hours on a weekend with no prior schooling and experience.
Btw, the quotes thing, look at the bottom of your 'reply' window and see the links labeled 'quote', 'italics' etc. Click on those and then see what is written on your reply before you post it. You'll see this: [quote.... The open bracket with the word quote or the letter i and then close bracket. At the end it's open bracket with the forward slash /. I can't finish it here or it will activate. I've stopped clicking on those links and just write those codes in myself. Easy. This is an example of what I'm talking about. The kids know all about this already. Why? They're in school and it's all they talk about besides the opposite sex of course. Old fogeys have to work hard to even have a conversation with them about these things.
Win 7 64 bit, AMD Phenom 6 core, 1TB HD, 4 Gigs Ram, Roland Sonic Cell, Garritan JABB, Hypercanvas, Sampletank