welcome to LJr
now that we have pleasantries done with can ya let us know what distro you are using? like you said odd you probably do not need to recompile your kernel. many distros have config tool, Red Hat has sndconfig, makdrake has something like it, Suse has YaST, etc.
here is a good doc which is prety generic for all distos:
it does talk about compiling the kernel, but i am guessing if you type modprobe <module_name> the module (aka driver) it will load.