fraim wrote:thanks for your reply blondie!
i'm a classical guitar player but am pretty ignorant in recording myself. i'm not looking for any pro quality for distribution, for example. rather i'm just trying to get an honest self feedback of tone, lh & rh positioning, posture, etc., so that's all i'm trying to achieve. maybe you were thinking of a pro quality recording. i'm an intermediate/advanced player an am just looking at new ways i can improve.
i'll take a look at those settings you mentioned. do you have any recommendations on recording software?
OK I get that you don't need high level equipment but you are going about this the wrong way. A dedicated USB microphone (Samson, Subzero) would be the simplest option for what you want to do - it would be easy to use, just plug in and record and
cheaper than what you have already spent on all your gear so far (plus you are still not there yet..). This is not the same as buying a standard condenser mic, and a cable that goes from XLR to USB (USB mics have built in soundcards).
However, assuming you want to make the best use of your mxl mic and not start over, the usual way to go is via an audio interface, its difficult to do it any other way as you are discovering. You could go via the mic input on your PC soundcard, in which case you need to be careful with your mic input recording levels to avoid distortion. Going via the line in without a preamp will not work.
I agree that Audacity would be a great option for you, its free, easy to use, does all you want and more.