All of you who have recorded sound bytes, was there anything special about the microphone you used? I need to digitize myself telling some ghost stories that I can play back through the talk-through Boris.
The Shure SM58 is sort of like a gold standard for stage performers, and it's great in a studio too. And not a bad price for $100-$120But here's a dirty little secret: There's a clone mic from Behringer called the XM8500 that's identical that you can find for 25 bucks; $20 at Musicians Friend. I bought one and was blown away. Lent it to 2 friends who have the Shures and they A/B'd it against the SM58 and they couldn't tell the difference.
If you want really want crystal clean sound reproduction, you want a condenser microphone. But those start at a few hundred bucks... unless... you buy an M-Audio MXL-900. Available also at Musicians Friend, for fifty bucks. Professional studio quality sound; I know a couple of professional VoiceOver people who bought those to take in their "road kits" when they're paranoid about losing or damaging their thousand-dollar Sennheisers when they're travelling. They also make it in a USB-powered version for $100 that you can hook directly up to your 'puter without a mixer or external sound capture device.
These mics are studio/stage mics, so you need to plug them into some sort of mixer or recording interface that has a microphone jack and "phantom power". This may all be more than you were looking for (I did a little VO work so I bought some equipment), but with that and a copy of Audacity (awesome mixing power for freeware) you can make professional-grade recordings for hobby money.
Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm already set up with software to handle the mixing, I just need a way to digitize myself speaking. I was hoping for something decent I could plug straight into the sound card, doesn't need to be studio quality.