Looking to mic my amp, not sure how to go about it *yes I looked in the FAQ*

#1
I'm planning on buying a Shure SM57 microphone so that I can mic my Peavey XXX head w/ a marshall MF-280 cabinet. Right now, my soundcard in my computer is a Soundblast Audigy 2 ZS. I want to be able to mic my amp and record directly onto Audacity. I believe that I need some sort of pre-amp, but I am not exactly sure how to go about it. I apologize if this is repeatedly asked on the forums, I tried looking for an answer in the FAQs, but couldn't find what I need.

Basically I need to know how to mic my amp and record directly onto audacity, thanks for any help/suggestions. Also, I have a line 6 POD, I don't know if its possible but I could mic through that if I had the right cables for the microphone, although I'm sure a regular preamp would be better. Thanks!
#2
All I do is use a microphone onto a mic > guitar lead (you can get those anywhere) into a 3/4" > headphone sized plug. This goes into the back of the computer in the mic input (which is the soundcard, right)

(Forgive me if you know this next part, you most likely will, but I figured I should post it anyways.)

Then, if it isn't set like that, Go into voume controls, preferences, select recording, make sure microphone is selected on the list, then press OK. You'll be one the recording control menu. Select the microphone, and press OK.

Then, all you have to do is play into audacity.

That's really basic. There's much more difficult ways to do it. You could probably line out the amp, into the POD and into the soundcard, but I never recorded with one.

Oh yeah, and put the microphone right near the cone, for maximum power!
#3
^ you can do it that way, and it is cheapest obviously, but the results are not great. that sound card is not built for recording, and wont give great results as such. if all you are doing is recording one guitar, look into either a USB or Firewire audio interface. i have the m-audio fast track, others recomend some line 6 product, and there are a few other recomended in this forum quite often. look into those and see what you think would work. the audio interface is made for recording, and will give much better results than going through your soundcard.
#4
^ Obviously true, my man.

The results are great, but I'm sure using a better system, they'd be extraordinary

Especially if I spend my summer getting results with a low quality, that way, by the time October comes, anything I record, once I've worked it out, will be über-honed.