for 'normal' quality I would suggest a usb-mic such as the 't-bone sc 440' - plug 'n play record.
the recording situation can be improved with a simple blanket over head and mic (and screen, if you talk to a picture) - looks really silly, but is the most affordable trick to get a 'dry' recording.
recording instruments is diff. cup of tea, probably you should ask in a forum specialized in home recording. musicians have very own .... standards according quality.
best way to achieve a great voice-over is recording a great voice talent ...
… when in FCP7 I used my camcorders microphone to record voice over. Is it posible to do that in FCPX ?
no 100% guarantee it works - depends on how the camer 'delivers' the signal.
but basically, live recording e.g. for a narration track, is implemented:
… How bad is the sound straight from the mic into the computer?
'quality' doesn't depend on size of plug ...
the built-in mic is 'good' for chat, not movies.
but connecting an excellent mic, having a great voice talent, setting up a perfect accustic surroundig should result in quality - even thru a 3.5mm socket and not via XLR ......
Any mic, a quiet room and a good working knowledge of EQ. [The very best of the Logic plugins/"inserts" are in FCPX, btw.] If you don't have a quiet place (like me) then the very best -- BAR NONE -- noise reduction is in ScreenFlow - just take the default setting (80%). It's amazing - no "granular electronic" sound on the edges of quiet and sound like you get in just about everything else.
That said: Zoom mics are really quite good. Inexpensive (H1), portable, and can be used as a USB audio interface (mic and other sources). The S/N is incredibly high - there is no detectable noise in the recording at all - quiet is DEAD quiet. The H1 (as well as the H2 and H4) has an extra audio input so you can actually use any other mic you like as the recording source, like... a Shure SM-58 (with XLR to 1/8 inch stereo connector). This particular Shure mic is one of the most popular in the world for all kinds of applications (talk radio, singers, etc...). It will make you sound like "THE VOICE". And the H1 makes the Shure *very portable*. The Zoom mics will also accept Line level input, so you can record from your computer, a CD player, etc...
If you have an acoustic guitar, the H1 + a lavalier mic (Audio-Technica ATR-3350 for instance) clipped to the soundhole (so the mic is inside) sounds unexpectedly good — you decide: http://sight-creations.com/prv/audio/improv_030612_03.mp3 [production notes: strictly an improvised piece (not very good - but doesn't violate anyone's copyright; I was playing with and feeling out a new partial capo); "finished" in Logic with Space Designer>Medium Spaces>Nice Hall (toned down) + Adaptive Limiter (as a signal booster); no noise reduction used whatsoever, and the original source recorded outside on a breezy day with occasional traffic (none of which you will hear!)... I recorded at a lower level to keep extraneous noise out and since the S/N is so high, I can boost the signal in post without adding any unwanted hiss.]
[**I'm not fishing for comments about the music here, I'd rather not hear about it! ... just demo'ing a setup.]
Thanks for great comment but im not satisfied. What is best:
(1) connect a mic to the socket on the computer?
(2) connect a usb mic?
(3) connect a soundcard and a mic into the soundcard?
The t-bone looks interesting, also the zooms. How about the apogee one? Lets say that im going to record a voice over for a documentary, i want a easy, fast, reliable setup to my macbook pro. More suggestion?