I wasnt sure where to post this but hopefully here is acceptable.

Its finally summer and I want to spend a lot of time playing. I feel that Im finally at that level where I can record myself playing covers or my own material. I can sing and play now without losing coordination in my hands so Im excited about that too. Anways, Im lost on what equipment I should buy. Quite honestly, Id like to buy a microphone with a USB attachment and be able to not use the interface. Basically figure that will save me money for alittle. Id like to record acoustic and electric guitar. Even if Im not plugging in my electric and just recording the amp playing, Id be happy.

So.. Could anyone help me out here? I went to my local guitar shop but I really had the feeling the guy there was trying to rob me. Estimates on the equipment or even actual equipment links would be appreciated!!!
I got a secondhand M-audio delta card off ebay. It's just a PCI sound card that goes in your PC. Comes with 1/4" inputs so I can just plug my amp into one of them and record my electric directly. If you'll be singing/using a mic I suggest getting a cheap mixer, routing everything into that and then connecting that to the card.

It'll be far better than USB.
Hey man , i really dont know how to help you, like namewise, but i have something for my electric guitar and amp, it basically plugs from your amp to your computer mic jack, like one end is a guitar end and the other is the mic end, so you can go through your amp on the computer, it goes guitar-guitar plug-amp-guitar plug-computer, my line 6 has a headphone/record out jack, most amps have headphone jacks, and thats what you need.

Hope it helps.

Yes, poop.
Yeah, I just use the headphone jack. How's the quality when you plug it in directly to the mic?
If this is your first attempt at recording you will be doing a lot of research on recording tools and software, and tonnes of hours learning the programs techniques and procedures so don't go all out on something expensive or fancy just yet.

Go to Radioshack or even Walmart, you can pick up a cheap USB microphone to start off with, Ive been using the Rockband mic for a while and altho its not amazing it does pretty good, its no Shure Sm57 which is a great guitar mic but itll be a start.

If you go the USB route,( it would be a good inexpensive introduction to recording...)depending on your soundcard and pc, you will probably have to go to your volume settings and change the audio device. Double click the volume Icon in the taskbar, go to options, properties and change the mixer device to your USB mic if it hasnt done so already, then select the Recording option and you should see your mic recording level.

Good luck
Quote by Vixus
Yeah, I just use the headphone jack. How's the quality when you plug it in directly to the mic?

Its real good, good enough for demo tapes, etc.

Yes, poop.
I'd highly suggest the M-Audio black box. I owned one for a while and it's a great recording/practice tool. It's got drum beats, effects, 80 different amp models (elec, acoustic, and bass along with a mic preamp setting), and a great computer interface that can use either USB or a data cable. You can usually find em used anywhere between $110 - $150.

If you're using a mic, a decent mic is key. The Shure SM-57 is a great recording mic for around $120, but if you want to go cheaper they also make a PG-57 model for around $40. The quality isn't nearly as good, but it'll give you better then some fly-by-night mic.

Also, pay attention to your room acoustics. Different placements can dramaticly alter your tones. Be wary of anything that might vibrate or otherwise cause interference. For acoustic, I've found setting up in a bathroom works great, but being tethered to a comp that may not be an option. When you set it up, try a variety of different setups and locations until you find one you like. Make sure you get a mic boom too.

Finally, watch your mic placement. For acoustic, most people aim it about 2 inches below the center of the sound hole, others like it twards the middle of the bottom of the body, and some aim it at the 20th fret or so around the neck where it meets the body. For elec, aim it about 1 - 2 inches away from the front of the speakers, around the center. You may need to play with the placement a bit to get it just right.

Hope that helps.
-Guitar Gear-
1995 American Fender Strat, EMG 85 pup
Randall RH200 Head
Marshall 1960a Cab
Woods Acoustic
-Bass Gear-
Spector Legend 4 bass
Washburn Bantam bass
Hartke HA2500
Fender Bassman 410H
Play what you love, love what you play
You could use audacity,which is free, as an interface at the expense of some recording quality. As for microphone I can recommend the Shure SM-57 for guitar, but I don't know if it can be used for vocals as well. You can plug your mic straight into your sound card by using the mic input. For a drum machine you could use Hydrogen, also free, or "acquire" another one by other means.