By sound, in this post, I mean the sound of your home studio. What is the part of the puzzle that has the greatest effect on your sound? Your microphone? Your pre-amp? Your audio interface or A/D converter?
Having a good microphone is important. The same is true for your pre-amp and your audio interface. No question, having good quality gear in your signal chain is very important. But, as my friend Lance Blair reminds us in his recent post Voice Over Signal Chain, the single most important ingredient is your room.
Cut down on the early reflections in your room with sound absorbing panels and/or diffusion. Tame the boominess of your room with bass traps in the corners. Don’t forget about the ceiling and floor. Reflections come from those surfaces too. There’s a ton of useful information on the Internet and a lot of, shall we say, “hot air” too. Spending your equipment dollars on room treatment will give you much more bang for your buck in improving your sound than buying a new microphone or pre-amp will.