hey friends, im sorry if this has been discussed to death but i searched for a good while and didnt find much that answered my questions.

me and my band have started to record stuff ourselves...

weve got a couple nice condensor microphones, a 4-channel mixer, we use cubase. we've got our recordings to a decent level..... but ive heard that for quality recordings you need a good soundcard, and we've only been using my computers stock soundcard.

can someone tell me exactly how a good soundcard will improve our recordings?
right now we use 2 cables going into the computer using a 1/4-1/8 adapter thing and plugging it rite into the mic input of my stock soundcard.

we have to record at a relatively low volume and crank the volume in post-production because the signal distorts when recording... will a soundcard help with the clipping?

also.... what kind of soundcard do i need? are soundcards for recording sound compleltely different than ones used for reproducing that sound? like, can i head over to future shop and get a soundcard and expect it to help us out? or do we need a soundcard specifically designed for recording? our budget isnt too intense, around $100 or so

help is much apreciated
get yourself a small mixer like a yamaha MG series....the 10/2 is only $100 new and you can find better deals on the larger ones on ebay for more inputs.

then get the m-audio 2496 sound card.
its great quality and only $100.

for more inputs you can go with the M-Audio Delta 1010 LT

the Yamaha mixers have good inputs...better than Behringer so stay away from Behringer gear if you are looking for better quality.

see these links for more info on recording and sound cards/interfaces: