the most practical solution to this, in my opinion, would be if you or a close friend has an iphone. The mic quality actually seems to be pretty decent considering it's primary function is just voice memo. (i'm no sound pro, nor do I know the specs of the iphone microphone, but the few things I've recorded are not bad for certain things. )
I think if you feel comfortable doing electronica and heavy rhythmic stuff (hip hop) then the biggest contribution to your compositional palette would be learning how to write for orchestral instruments. And it really doesn't have to be playable music, because the chances of working on a game that has the budget for a live orchestra is slim as there are so few companies that go down that route. So really, just look into making that orchestral "sound". Some games designers will just want their strings and then you won't have a way around it. One tip I can give you, if you're producing multiple albums, then you're obviously familiar with harmony and all that jazz. Don't think of it as a "huge string arrangements, think of it as just a bunch of separate lines that all fit together. I assume if you had a single instrument playing 'Mary had a little lamb' or some other simple tune, you could harmonize it, strings are no different than anything else. Figure out a melody, then make something that sounds good along with it. and then do it again, and again, and again. Sure there are some people who have the keyboard skills to load a string patch in a program and just play all the parts in on one track, in one pass and have it sound great, but there are plenty of people who write in one line at a time, and make music that is just as appealing.
PS-I will listen to your tracks when I have a bit more time. I need to get to sleep, have to be up in 4 hours, lol. I look forward to hearing them though.
I'm digging this up from a while back, but nathan, do you know any other site's like Bear's? Just a composer going through their compositional thought process on stuff? I keep finding random stuff on youtube, but I really like that there are literally hours and hours of reading and examples of his compositional process. It's really interesting to see, and hard to find.