Help getting started with 'pro audio' for an old timer

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Feb 26, 2017
Southern New Jersey
I have been brainstorming about how to get a budget 'pro audio' setup going in the shack.
I have looked at a few decent condenser microphones and mic tube preamps..they seem pretty straightforward; Hook up the mic to the preamp, wire the output to the mic jack, and rig up a PTT. I priced out a system like this for under $200, which should get me more of a natural studio sound than the old stock mic, but adding effects like an eq and noise gate, etc, becomes cost prohibitive for me.

I then stumbled across the AT2020 USB cartioid condenser...and knowing very little about this (but willing to learn!) I reasoned that it may be possible to hook up a decent mic such as this to the PC, utilize a software mixer, and then capture the audio stream to be wired back into the rig.

I am starting to realize that the tutorials I am seeing for utilizing these nice USB mics are aimed toward podcasting and mixing music and not for exactly what I want to do.

I am thinking that mixing software would have the advantage of adding effects like compression, equalization, etc, at a much lower price than discrete outboard components through an effects loop on a mic tube preamp.

So I guess I am asking if this would be possible and if so, practical and not too difficult..? (Forgive my ignorance if this sort of thing is commonplace, or, outlandish..I am old and feeble-minded!)
Any advice would be appreciated,
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