Tascam Handheld

How can I improve my sound quality for recording guitar?

I have been dabbling in writing and recording music with my guitar. At the moment I have about a $500 ibanez electric and a roland micro-cube amp. What I am doing is using an aux cord from the amp (head phone out) to the line-in in the back of the computer. I use Audacity to record it all. I was just wondering, what should be my next step in improving this little 'home-studio'. Should I buy a better amp? or maybe one of those audio interfaces to plug into?

Any help and information would be highly appreciated.
Thanks!

There are a lot of different routes to go. If you want to do all your recording straight through your computer, upgrade from Audacity to some actual paid software. Browse around www.sweetwater.com for some of your options.

Another route would be to get a separate, dedicated recording unit, lay down your tracks on that, and then transfer it to your computer. You can get one of the little Tascam handheld ones for around $100 these days, up to the more full-featured all-in-one units for around $400 and up. Watch your local craigslist and you may find some being sold cheaper than that, but be careful about what exact features they have (I got a Boss BR-532 for $80, which works great, the only downside is that it uses an obsolete memory card and I had to invest another $40 or 50 in a card reader to transfer recordings to my computer).

Of course, if you want to build a proper home studio, the sky's the limit. You can drop $10,000 on studio gear before you stop to think about it, easy.

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