I know we've got quite a few musicians on here who record stuff on their computers pretty regularly, so hopefully someone can help me out.
I want to hook my guitar up to my computer, both to record stuff for my own enjoyment, and to play around with amp and effect modeling software. My sound card is basic and only has a mic input and a line-in input, but from everything I've read I apparently need either a hi-z input, an instrument input, or an actual microphone input (not just the crappy 1/8" plug input).
I can get sound by plugging directly into the mic input (with a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter), but it's ****ty (as one would expect).
What do I need in order to set this up? I was thinking about getting a v-amp 2 for practice purposes anyway- would that do the trick, or do I need something like a DI Box? Or do I just need to get a better sound card with the right kinds of inputs? I know that there are huge floor units available that basically do all of this for you, but I'm not looking to drop $300 if I can help it. On that note, I also don't want to be running through an external mixer or anything like that.
Basically I'm a total noob at this and despite my best efforts at figuring it out myself I still have basically no idea what to do. I've always just played with an amp so this is uncharted territory for me.