OK, I read the stickies and I think I need a preamp but I was hoping people here could give me advice before I just go buying stuff.

I've just gotten interested in home recording and just want to do it for fun. I have a Zoom G2.1u multieffects pedal that has a USB line out and came with Cubase LE software. I figured the Zoom would act as an audio interface, and I have a laptop so no sound card. Anyway, I go to record guitar and everything seems to work OK. The Zoom also has drum loops and they record fine also. However, I tried mic'ing an acoustic guitar and vocals with a cheap dynamic mic plugged into the Zoom, but there is barely any signal detected by Cubase. I had thought the Zoom would act as a preamp - does it not boost the signal enough?

I also tried: mic -> acoustic guitar amp -> Zoom -> computer, but that didn't work either. The line out of the acoustic guitar amp is a "headphone" line out, does that mean that again the signal going to the Zoom is too weak and doesn't get boosted enough?

If I go mic -> preamp -> Zoom -> computer, will that give better results? Would I be better off going straight from the preamp to the computer's mic jack to reduce latency? (I experience about 0.2 seconds of latency through the USB connection) Or maybe do I just need to get a better mic that will have a stronger output signal?

Specific recommendations of <inexpensive> equipment that I need would be appreciated. Thanks!
yeah a preamp would probably help out a lot.

American Strat
Epiphone Valve JR head - Volume Mod'ed
Custom 1x12 with Private Jack speaker
Boss BF-3 Flanger
Boss DS-2 Distortion
Boss MT-2 MetalZone

Gretsch Acoustic
Anybody else? Someone posts a thread "Do people record themselves? How?" and there are more replies than I get with my detailed questions. I don't get it.
Ok mate here's what I reccomend you do.

I've been using the same recording equipment ever since I started (nearly a year ago). My set up is simple: acoustic guitar/vox -> preamp -> computer, I use cool edit pro and have just got Cubase SX 3.

So for you, i thjink the best set up is: guitar -> zoom -> preamp -> comp. Try plugging directly into your LINE IN port ( the blue hole ) on your soundcard. The Pre-amp gives warmth to recordings, but you ereally need a decent mic. Invest in a good CONDENSOR microphone, preferably large diaphragm (good brands are Shure, sE, Rode etc.)

A good microphone is needed for a good recording, simple as that, make that your priority.

The Zoom simply isn't meant for acoustic or mic signals, that's my guess.
A separate preamp would help, but you wouldn't want to use it with the zoom.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
i dont think a pre amp will help your volume level that much. they dont add the much gain to your signal.
i condenser mic would help alot, altho i dont think the zoom has phantom power
so if you are that set on recording. then buy a good interface. firewire or usb will work fine
and get your self a condeser mic. and then a mic preamp for that condeser. and you should be set for semi-serious fooling around
"you just got to punch it"
"thats what im talkin about"
"just punch the frets"