I have a pretty standard laptop. I have been using the "sound recorder" program on Windows to record musical ideas I want to save. Of course it produces an incredible amount of noise, and not much signal.
What method would you recommend for doing some simple multi-track recording on my computer, without tons of hiss? Mostly I record acoustic instruments. Of course I am willing to buy a microphone (hopefully one that doesn't break the bank). What software/hardware would you recommend?