Hello all and thank you for taking time to read this. I have been working on some songs for around 6 months - 1 year now and I think i've got them down well enough to record them. The problem with this is that all i have to record with is GarageBand on my computer (Imac G5 if that matters) and the sound quality of the mic (im just using the one inside the computer i think, im not hooking anything up just pushing record and then playing) is pretty bad. I was wondering what sort of stuff i could get to make the sound more 'professional' i guess. When i record with the computer's mic it sounds kind of airy i think is the word when you play it back. If there's anything else that would help please let me know thanks.
okay...this is probably your best bet:

get an art tube mp [a mic preamp] and hook your guitar setup up to that [they're really cheap, i got mine for like 40 bucks]

and then you get an eigth inch to eigth inch cable and run it from your preamp to the eigth inch microphone input on your computer

on garageband you change the source to your microphone input

if that one doesn't work, hook it up to the blue eigth inch input on your computer and switch the source to "line in"

i do the same thing only with audacity, another free program, instead of garageband
or you could just get a 1/4 to 1/8 cable, plug that into your recording out/ simulated line out on your amp straight into your audio card "line in" then select that as your source on the pc.
It's supposed to be inside your comp duh !! UNless you use an external one.....

Anyway, I can get a rather good quality by just micing my cube straight toothe soundcard, and straight to Adobe Audition, I re-layer every line almost 10 times though................. but who doesn't ?? hahah !!

I use amp delay, computer reverb, a little pan, and vocal effects

The only problem I found on computer recording is that it is ****in hard to harmonize accurately !!!
Tone is all ...... well probably 75%, in your fingers.
The rest depends on your wallet's thickness !!

Keep the faith, baby!!
Layering or multi-tracking is recording one part of a song, and then recording more parts on top of it to make the final mix.

Here's what you have to do:
A-Make noise
B-Capture the noise
C-Get the noise into your computer
D-Record and edit it

Here are some ways to do that:
A-Just play guitar, whatever. Making noise is eaaasy.
B-You can either use a microphone here or use the LINE output on your amp. NOT THE SPEAKER OUT. I prefer to use a microphone on my amps, because it sounds nicer.
C-This is the hardest part. The soundcard on your computer has a 1/8" jack that you can plug a line level signal into. The computer's stock soundcard usually isn't good enough for recording music, so you'll probably need to buy an audio interface. These are basically a little external soundcard that you plug into your computer and you use it to get the audio into your computer. A Firewire interface is better than a USB one, and since all Macs have Firewire, get a Firewire interface for sure. Personally, I use a Presonus Firebox interface with my Powerbook. If you're looking to spend less, you could try the Presonus Inspire interface. It's 200 bucks I think, but you won't really get anything good for under 200.
D-You'll need a good program. Garageband is good if you're just starting out, but if you wanna take recording seriously, you should upgrade. I use Tracktion 2 as my program.

Hope that helped.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.