HomeForumsSoftwareConnecting The Guitar In The Computer

This topic contains 57 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  ZUrlocker 11 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #11936

    Francisca
    Participant

    Hello everybody! Recently I learned that the program Audacity is free, so I decided to download it and try it. I’ve been thinking about recording my song ideas or recording myself playing over backingtracks so I can improve my playing… Anyway, the problem is that I don’t know how to connect the guitar to the computer!

    First of all, computers and softwares and technology are not really my thing. It is not easy for me even though I’m part of the “technology era.”  Second, I’ve been reading a little, but it still doesn’t work.

    I don’t have an audio interface, so I searched on the internet how to connect the guitar directly to the computer. Some people say that you can connect the guitar in the microphone input, but I also read that it is not good. I also read that you can connect it on the line in, the blue input (sorry if my English is not very good when trying to describe computer things!). I tried this but the guitar sounds really low, I almost couldn’t hear it at all. Maybe, I have to change some settings or something, I have no idea. So, how do I connect the guitar to the computer?

    Thanks! 🙂

    "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

  • #11937

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    What kind of amp do you use? Depending on that, there are different ways to connect. There is no wrong way.. but as you said, some will sound low, or not great. USB is the best, cleanest, perfect signal. If your amp has USB, you are good to go, just plug it in, and Audacity will see this as a new input to record from.

    If you want to record song ideas or practice.. then use anything available. Even use the computer microphone if it’s handy. The other day I was watching an interview about Dave Mustaine and it was claimed he has micro audio cassettes with song ideas, that he recorded with a cheap audio recorder, in hotel bathrooms back in the 80’s while on tour. Some of those might have ended up as real songs with hifi recordings later.

    Better to record low-fi than not record at all!

    (You can connect the headphone jack of a recorder to either a computer line-out or microphone-in, neither will sound perfect, but it’s better than nothing)

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #11939

    Francisca
    Participant

    What do you mean by what kind of amp do I use? Do I need one of those softwares like Guitar Rig or something? Because I only put the guitar on the computer not the amp.

    "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

  • #11941

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    When he asks what amp, he means like which brand and which model. Like do you have a Fender, a Marshall, or a Peavey or some other brand. If we know which amp you have, we could search for its specs and let you know how to hook it up to a computer (if it is possible directly).

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #11945

    Francisca
    Participant

    Oh, sorry. The brand is Freeman. The model is SM15.

    I didn’t know that the amp could be connected to the computer too. Sorry, but I’m really bad at this. But I want to learn!!!

    "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

    • #11956

      AlleyCatRocker1980s
      Participant

      It’s ok Francisca, You won’t know unless you ask..

      Practicing Guitar

    • #11960

      Francisca
      Participant

      🙂

      "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

  • #11946

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I didn’t find the amp in a web search.. Maybe you could upload some quick pictures of the amp and it’s various connectors.

    Here is an example. On my amp, it has a Phones jack (for headphones). This is the small size plug (3.5mm, not 1/4″). So I can use a simple stereo audio cable (“male to male 3.5mm stereo audio cable”) to connect the amp to my laptop’s “microphone in” jack. Then I use software and the amp volume to adjust the volume levels while watching Audacity, to see that the audio isn’t clipping (it doesn’t show red). Does this result in professional sound quality, no. Does it sound good, yes. Definitely good enough for recording song demos or progress clips to post here.

    See the pic for the cable:

    Picture-23

    Depending on your amp you might need a different cable, or, this might not be possible. If you want professional quality then sure, it’s best to get a USB audio interface (like Focusrite) or a different type of box which allows the guitar to plug straight into the computer, but, if you can just get a cable like the above, that is the best way to start, and also the best quickie/backup option too.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    Attachments:
    1. Picture-23.png

  • #11948

    AlleyCatRocker1980s
    Participant

    Hey Francisca,

    I’m not really shure, but I’ll check it out a lil later..

    If I don’t answer you in time, maby one of the guy’s can tell ya?

    I would like to know the answer to that as well??

    How have you been?  It’s alway’s great, to see you here… so whats new with you?

    Practicing Guitar

    • #11961

      Francisca
      Participant

      Hello AlleyCat! Thanks for your words. I have been great. I’m having a bad back but it’s nothing serious. I have goods news too. I’m really excited because The Rolling Stones are coming to Chile and I couldn’t afford the tickets, BUT there was a contest to win double tickets, I participated and I WON!!! So my sister and I are going to see The Rolling Stones in concert!!!

      How have you been? I read you’ve been practicing a lot. That’s great!

      "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

    • #11979

      AlleyCatRocker1980s
      Participant

      Hi Francisca.:)

      So sorry to hear about your back, I’m hoping soon you’ll feel a lot better!

      Great to hear you won the Concert Tickets, I’m very happy for you..:)

      My practice amp, is about the size of yours I have a small Peavey Rage..

      So for the Stones Concert, are their any Acts before them?  You will have a Blast Congrats!

      Please tell your sister, I said hi..:)

      Practicing Guitar

    • #11994

      Francisca
      Participant

      Hey, thank you very much :).

      Yes, a Chilean band called “Los Tres” is going to play before The Rolling Stones. I just knew today. They play Rock mixed with some Chilean folk rhythms.  They are considered as one of the most important bands here in Chile. I just know a couple of songs.

      I’m sure it is going to be great. This will be my third concert. I’m really excited!

      "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

    • #12001

      AlleyCatRocker1980s
      Participant

      That will be cool..opening up for The Stones, may be the break that they will need.

      Did you ever get a chance to meet the Band, in your home town before this gig with the Stones?

       

      Practicing Guitar

    • #12012

      Francisca
      Participant

      No. I have never seen them in concert. I just know a couple of songs, not my favorite style. But it is going to be interesting because Los Tres has an important career, they are good musicians. But, you know, I prefer Rock in English, some people criticize this but I just like it better in English.

       

      "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

    • #12050

      AlleyCatRocker1980s
      Participant

      You have every rite, to listen to the Music you love in any language that you would like.. thats why Music is Universal..

      How wonderful it is, that you won the Stones tickets..:)

      Practicing Guitar

    • #12080

      Francisca
      Participant

      🙂

      Yeah. I’m getting ready, the show is this Wednesday!

      "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

    • #12098

      AlleyCatRocker1980s
      Participant

      Here in the USA it’s already Tuesday night an it’s 8:20 pm..

      So the hours, are counting down to tomorrow night..:)

      Practicing Guitar

    • #12105

      Francisca
      Participant

      Today is the day. Wooo!

      "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

    • #12162

      AlleyCatRocker1980s
      Participant

      Did you get any, Movies of The Concert on your Cell Phone?  🙂

      Practicing Guitar

  • #11949

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    If your amp looks like this

    Picture-25

    then you need a slightly different cable to plug into the amp’s 1/4″ headphone jack and to the computer’s “line-in/mic-in” jack, like this:

    Picture-26

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    Attachments:
    1. Picture-25.png

    2. Picture-26.png

    • #11964

      Francisca
      Participant

      I just found the amp leaflet and it says: Phone: 1/4″. So it is like the second cable you showed me. And it also has an input that says AUX IN that I don’t know what it is for.

      Here is a photo of my amp controls.

      AmpFca

      "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

      Attachments:
      1. AmpFca.png

    • #12114

      Igglepud
      Participant

      The “AUX IN” lets you use a stereo, VCR, television, CD player, whatever has those plugs, and use the amp as a speak.

      Un ejemplo de usarlo: usas un CD con el “aux in”. Escuchas la canción de tu amp mientras tocas la guitarra en el amp al mismo tiempo.

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #11966

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    “Aux In” is so that you can connect an mp3 player or ipod or the computer itself to the amp, and the audio plays through the amp speaker. To connect it, you just need an adapter cable. “3.5mm stereo audio cable male to RCA male” type. The RCA plugs will plug into the red & white connectors. Using aux-in, you can use VLC or Audacity to play songs from the computer into the amp, just plug such a cable from the computer’s headphone jack into the aux-in.

    To get audio from the amp to the computer, yes just plug the cable with appropriate size connector, from the amp’s “Phones” to the computer’s “line-in”, then turn the volume on the amp to maybe 8. Then adjust the computer “line-in” volume control in Audacity or the computer settings, so that when you play, the level looks good. Good on the level indicator means, doesn’t go higher than -2 dB and certainly should not show red.

    You can record along with a track as follows. Load a song into Audacity. Set up the amp and cables to record. Set the record properties in Audacity to enable monitoring. You should be able to hear your guitar through the computer speakers. Then hit the record button, you should hear the song audio track and record guitar audio, also hearing this through the computer speakers. Once you’re done recording, adjust the levels so the guitar sounds good compared to the song, save the file, repeat this process with 8 different songs and then give the files and a photo of yourself posing with your guitar to a CD manufacturer so they can press your first cover album with cover+booklet inside 😀

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #11971

    Francisca
    Participant

    Hey, thanks a lot! I have one more question. I’m trying to connect the amp to the computer with another guitar cable (I have a mini jack adapter), because it has the appropiate size connector. And it kind of works. I can record in the program, but I can’t hear the guitar through the computer speakers. And the distortion doesn’t sound. What should I do? Thanks again.

    PS: I’m a little far from getting an entire album done! 🙂

    "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

  • #11972

    rorygfan
    Participant

    Necisita un 1/4″ stereo cable Superblonde se pone la foto y link arriba, su cable de guitarra es equivocado – esta es lo mismo diameter mono 1/4″ jack.  Busca su tienda de musica local para encontrar una cable como la foto arriba esta pagina o un adaptor 1/4″ stereo a mini jack.  Hay muchas audifonos se tienen esta adaptor tambien.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/469403-REG/Monster_Cable_600452_CableLinks_Adapter_1_4.html

  • #11975

    rorygfan
    Participant

    lo siento… me olvide una cosa, se tiene esta tipo de adaptor en la foto con su audifonos, hay otra cable mini a mini necesita para connectarlo a su computadora.   Esta es disponible en muchas lugares se venden celulares.

  • #11978

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Yea what he said. I think. Use a stereo cable not a guitar cable. A guitar cable is also called an instrument cable and it is different than a stereo audio cable. In addition to the difference in the cable (internally), the mono adapter you’re using is probably shorting out the sound. All solved by using the correct cable. You can use the cheapest one you find, no need for expensive ones.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #11981

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Francisca,

    I’m sure you don’t want to spend any money into it – but still consider getting something like an USB interface or USB mixer. Because it will make it very easy for you not only to send your guitar sound, but later maybe a XLR microphone, a drum track, an acoustic guitar, etc..

    Just checking one of online stores right now prices for a small USB mixer start at 58 Eur. 🙂

     

  • #11983

    Francisca
    Participant

    I found this cable. Is this the one?  http://www.audiomusica.com/catalogo/sonido/rcl30405d8-cable-parlante-plugplug-5mt-rockcable.html

    I have a 1/4″ stereo plug to 3.5mm stereo jack adapter.

    Adapter

    "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

    Attachments:
    1. Adapter.png

  • #11985

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    In the program you have, you may just need to find the setting to tell the program what your guitar is plugged into. But ya, good advice SB.  🙂

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #11990

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Hi, thanks. You know, if I could I would buy an audio interface, I want one. But the thing is I can’t afford it. Money is a problem to me but not because I don’t want to spend any, I just don’t have it. :(

    However, I’m going to get this cable anyway.

    Keep speaking (and playing) with your heart as you just did and it will come to you.

    • #11992

      Francisca
      Participant

      Thank you!

      "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

  • #11999

    Francisca
    Participant

    Thanks everybody. I appreciate your help!

    "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

  • #12000

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I found this cable. Is this the one?

    A guitar is mono. Your amp might output a mono signal. My amp outputs a stereo signal because it has stereo guitar effects. I am suspicious of the adapter you have, when used with that cable. But: if you have that cable and adapter on hand already, it is easiest to see if your software is set correctly before buying anything new. Like Motley suggests, check the software. Keep it connected and play with your sound settings to see if you have any audio. If you mention what kind of computer you have (Microsoft or Mac) then someone might be able to make a suggestion there. I’ll say, on Mac it is very simple (like, there is only one window that shows things easily), and on Windows, it can get tricky (multiple windows and sub-windows).

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #12009

    Francisca
    Participant

    My computer is Microsoft. I have Windows 7 Ultimate.

    I guess I’m going to make some more reading on cables and my amp to see what cable I need. I never really thought about how imporant it was to know about the inputs and outputs, anyway. Thanks again!

    "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

  • #12025

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    The best way to go about this, is also to learn the basic method of troubleshooting. For example, you don’t know if the amp is putting anything out of that jack, firstly. See if you can find some headphones with 1/4″ plug, and plug them in, and see if you can hear your guitar. If you can do that successfully, then you know how your amp works, and learn how the volume knob etc affects it’s headphone jack. Then move onto the next step in the line: does the cable work on it’s own? Use the cable somewhere else where everything else is also working. If that works, then you know the cable is good. Continue on like this, for each step of the chain. You don’t know if it’s your computer. After testing the amp with headphones and testing the cable, you’re more confident the amp is OK, so take the amp to another computer and see if it works in that setup. If it does, or doesn’t, you’ve learned something. If you want to figure out the computer part, see if there is something else you can connect into your computer’s line-in jack (like, some stereo extension cable) to an mp3 player or something, and see if you can get the software settings correct, and audacity to hear the music. It’s also easier to mess around with the software if there is a constant music source that is looping (vs. you having to strum your guitar and then play with the mouse). If that all works, you know the computer setup is good. Then, connect everything together, if both sides are working on their own, often it will finally work together. If it still doesn’t work, then there is some piece of the puzzle you missed, and find out how to try that piece in isolation, where everything else is working.

    Especially on Windows, I find myself doing these kind of troubleshooting steps a lot, because some setting will get changed somewhere by some other application, etc. Which is why some people get grumpy about touching their setups- “it’s working! don’t change a thing!” Hah. But if you know the basic troubleshooting method, this gets to be a very fast process, and you feel more free to experiment around because you can always get things working again. It’s really important.

    If you’re going to buy a new cable, I’d say, get a 1/4″ stereo cable like from my original picture above. But I didn’t find one on the site that you linked to. Since that’s a music store (I think) then they might not have that type of cable. Try an audio or electronics store instead.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #12037

    rorygfan
    Participant

    es dificil para encontrarlos in chile de google pero hay dos tiendas:

    1. https://www.facebook.com/PennElcomChile

    2. http://movitek.cl/electronics/accessories-supplies/audio-video-accessories/cables-interconnects/audio-cables/stereo-jack-cables.html?p=2

    busca:  “cable stereo 1/4 pulgada macho a 1/8 pulgada (3.5mm) mini macho”

  • #12040

    Igglepud
    Participant

    Odds are your sound card (the blue plug you are using) does not have any sort of amplification. I would HIGHLY recommend you invest in an audio interface. An M-Track is fairly cheap, easy to use, and will solve your issue.

    If you don’t want to do that, you need a pre-amp and a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch adapter. 1/4 female, 1/8 male.

     

    MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

    • #12041

      Igglepud
      Participant

      Y hablo el espanol si lo compres y te gustaria ayuda.

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #12046

    Francisca
    Participant

    Wow, a lot of info. Thank you very much again!

    Intentaré seguir las recomendaciones de Supeblonde y luego veré si compro el cable. I know an electronics store called Casa Royal. I’m gonna check there.

    Gracias por los links Rorygfan.

    🙂

    "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

  • #12084

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Buying an audio interface, like a USB instrument interface is one option, however it will open a bigger can of worms for simply recording progress as a 1st try and so that’s why the cable from amp’s headphone jack to computer is the best first step. It is not a you-need-this, it is more like an upgrade option for later. Here is my rationale:

    If you plug the guitar directly into the computer, it won’t have any effects. You’ll sound like John Denver on a quiet day (totally NOT metal, haha). So then you have to get into the world of buying plugins or software modelling. This is great if you want to make a clean guitar studio recording and then repeatedly tweak sounds much later in a DAW. But she said she wanted to record simple demos or progress etc and using Audacity which is free. If she had started out asking “I have Garageband on my Mac, how do I plug in the guitar” that’s a different story and a direct USB interface is great, because Garageband is a super simple package with pedals, amps, all very easy to click-and-go. I’m not sure there is a better package out there for starting out (maybe Band in a Box comes close, not sure, I’ve only seen it not used it). Or if she had started out asking “I want to get set up with a full blown DAW and spend a couple months learning audio production” then it would be different too. But Audacity does not have these DAW capabilities or guitar-centric graphical amp setups, or even MIDI. Audacity is basically a digital recorder and audio waveform editor. There are free trial-version downloads of some DAW’s but I don’t know if they have guitar effects, anyone want to advise? These are also more complex than Audacity’s click-to-record operation I would guess because they are full featured DAW environments, but there are Lite versions of these DAWs too. Moral of the story: the software side gets complex fast, when all you want to do is record a simple riff.

    To get any guitar distortion or gain effects like you do with your amp for free and easy, without getting a bunch of guitar software involved, means using your amp itself. Which means, using a cable from the amp to the computer.. using a patch cable.. whether or not there’s a USB interface involved. See where this is going? The USB interface is not needed for amateur audio, it is an extra step up. For prosumer audio, yes, great. But bargain demo recording, free first timer stuff, simpler is better. You’d need the male-male stereo cable anyway. Probably the adapter too. I seem to use two of those adapters somewhat regularly (one to convert headphone jack size and the other to convert my amp’s headphone output into my USB interface).

    The other angle is this: if someone has a practice amp which has built-in USB. Then you just need a USB cable. Audacity can record direct from an amp if it has USB. But there are limitations there too. My amp has USB but unless fooling around with software drivers I can record from only one device at a time (multitrack recording if the device is capable but the amp only has one channel: the guitar), so if I want to record guitar and another track (vocals or sometimes my drum synth metronome) then I don’t use the practice amp’s built-in USB. I use my multichannel USB interface and use a patch cable from amp->interface->computer and second channel on whatever I want.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #12094

      Igglepud
      Participant

      The issue she has is with the volume of the recording. They are too quiet. This should be fixed with a pre-amp.

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #12087

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    i’ve tried out several daws (sonar, cubase, studio one, harrison mixbus, audacity) and found reaper to be my favorite. audacity was very limited for my needs. studio one and harrison mixbus just never made sense to me – i bought them very cheap because they were on sale. sonar and cubase came free with my first two usb interfaces i bought. i used sonar for a while and only checked out some basic function in cubase. and both were stripped down older versions. i eventually landed on reaper and what I like is how i can customize it to my needs. it doesn’t have many of the bells and whistles as other big name daws but that may be why it’s a very stable daw. plus there are many free vst plugin options out there.
    for a guitar amp plugin i like amplitube and they have a free version that you can upgrade anytime either by purchasing one piece at a time or the entire program.

    http://www.ikmultimedia.com/mobile/products/amplitubecs/

    and here’s a resource for more free guitar amp plugins.

    Best Free Guitar Amplifier VST/AU Plugins!

    for drums i use mt power drums. it’s free and you can program your own beats or use their loops already in it – drag and drop ’em in your daw.

    http://www.powerdrumkit.com

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #12099

    metalj
    Participant
    • You can use a rocksmith USB cable but you will have no effects. There are no plugins for audacity. My suggestions is USB microphone in front of a combo amp. But then you’ll have no drums. So instead you can use a digitech effects unit. But then you’ll have no vocals. So instead try the boss br series of recorders. But you don’t want to spend that much so just stick to a USB mic in front of your combo amp. Plugging your combo amp from the headphone or aux to your computer is a mistake because it will suck the life out of your recording or overload your daw.

    Jay aka the letter J

  • #12104

    Francisca
    Participant

    Hello. Well that’s correct. I just want to be able to record simple riffs ideas (so I don’t forget them and to see how they sound from outside) and record over backingtracks in the computer. I record myself when playing songs with a little digital camera I have. And when I have some riffs ideas I write them down and record them with my camera. But I think that learning how to record in the computer is interesting. I read and hear that people record themeselves over backingtracks and that’s what I want learn to do. And I feel like it is something important to know.  And you know, eventually I’d like to learn how to  record a whole song in a home studio or something. But I’m very far from doing that right now. I don’t know how to put drums or bass to a song. For now I’m just interested in creating some riffs and trying to put some chords to some lyrics ideas.

    Yes, I have problems with the volume. It is too low and I can’t hear the guitar through the computer speakers. But, the thing is that I used a guitar cable to connect the amp to the computer. So, I’m going to buy the cable and see if it works this time.

    I found some cables. In the description of this one says: stereo audio cable. It is male to male.

    http://www.audiomusica.com/catalogo/as-mm0150-cable-audio-mini-plug-mini-plug-1-5mt.html

    I can’t find one with 1/4″ in one side and 1/8″ in the other. All of them are both 1/4″ or 1/8″. So, I’ll use an adapter. I have for both inputs.

    Here’s another cable. But in the description says: stereo auxiliary cable.

    http://www.casaroyal.cl/producto/cable-plug-3-5-st-3-5-st-1-5-mts/

    Is it the same audio and auxiliary? I haven’t found information on different types of cables yet. And I think I’m getting back to this on the weekend. I’m a little busy right now.

    When I start getting into DAWs I guess I know where to ask! 🙂 Thank you again.

     

    "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

    • #12107

      Igglepud
      Participant

      Sometimes, auxiliary can be the same. In the case of your amp, it is referring to an RCA red and white cable. That is not the same as a guitar audio cable. Your auxiliary cable is the same thing that connects a VCR to a television, and is an input on your amp, not an output.

      If you already used your amp with the computer and it did not solve the issue, a new cable will not help. You will need a pre-amp. That is what a pre-amp does. It makes your signal louder.

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

    • #12108

      Igglepud
      Participant

      Also, I would stick to mono cables, but I don’t think using stereo will matter. Your guitar’s signal is mono, so you get no benefit from using a stereo cable.

      MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #12110

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I like the stereo cable because it can be used for many other things. Probably the same cost or maybe cheaper (because mono is deemed a more specialized cable.) I use a stereo male-male to patch things around all the time. The level might be just fine, depends on her amp’s headphone output, even if it’s low I’d assume it would be around -20 to -15 dB which can be boosted up by +10dB in software to sit at -10 dB in the track where guitars normally are anyway. Here is a recording I just made in Audacity with my amp’s Headphone jack, and a stereo mini-mini patch cable, into my computer’s line-in. My amp’s headphone jack is already mini size so no adapter needed in my case.

    The first part of the Audacity recording is with amp master volume set where I normally have it for playing thru the speaker, I think it was around 3, the audio reached about -20 dB. Then at about 0:38 in the recording I turned the master volume up to 10, the guitar output reached near 0dB. Amp model is “British 60s”, kind of medium gain. So, the audio levels are fine. (My amp is the Fender Mustang Mini with 6″ speaker. I like it.)


    I also like metalj’s idea. That is a great idea, using a cheap USB microphone (or an expensive one if that’s in the budget). Then the mic can be used for vocals too! You could go so cheap as to use a USB headset (headphone+mic) such as for VOIP calls or gaming, to mic the amp. I’ve done that too. Those mic’s are pretty low quality (for voice/telephone type use) so it sounded highly EQ’ed and muffled but still it worked okay, the guitar was audible. Still comparable to using an old school cassette recorder. I remember reading about a track where the artists purposely recorded a song with the cheapest voice headset mic they could find (not for the main guitar but for an effected-sounding guitar). It ended up on the album. Anything goes if it works..

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #12111

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    If you already used your amp with the computer and it did not solve the issue, a new cable will not help. You will need a pre-amp. That is what a pre-amp does. It makes your signal louder.

    That is true that a preamp makes a signal louder, and is needed in some cases, but she hasn’t tried it yet, and I bet it is not needed here. I believe the first post said she connected the guitar to the computer mic-in and it sounded really low (which is true- that can’t really be done well, it’s not proper at all). Maybe she used that adapter (mono 1/4″ to stereo 3.5mm) with the instrument cable to plug the guitar cable directly into the computer mic-in, and played guitar directly into the computer. (Again, don’t do that it won’t work.)

    The later post said she tried the mono cable + adapter from the amp’s Phones out, but couldn’t hear anything thru the computer speakers (could be either a cable problem or software problem). So I would guess, we are not yet to that point in the troubleshooting process, to assume there is a level problem, between the amp’s headphone output and the computer line-in. I don’t believe a preamp is needed. Yes some amps may have that problem but it depends on the headphone-out drive circuit. I believe my Fender amp is known for having a good drive matching on the headphone circuit, to power quality headphones at loud levels or maybe the assumption is, in case someone like me tries to use the headphone-out as a line level signal. In essence- there is a pre-amp in the signal chain to the computer, it is the amp itself.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #12119

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    As superblonde is said earlier, this discussion is being made needlessly over-complicated.

    Francisca, follow the advice in superblondes earlier post about troubleshooting the settings for the blue “line level” input using a source other than the guitar amp. Once that is done, confirm that when you plug headphones into the amp, turning the volume knob up and down changes the volume in the headphones. Remember what setting of the knob is loud enough that you are able to hear the signal, but it is still very quiet.

    If both of those steps succeed, then turn the volume on the amp all the way down, and connect the headphone out on the amp to the blue input the same way you did in your very first post. If you were able to get the blue input working with another source, then you should be able to get it working with the headphone out of the amp by *gradually* turning up the volume knob of the amp (the same as when you test headphones). If you turn the amp up too loud while it is connected to the blue input, you can damage the electronics in your sound card. Remember the setting of the knob that let you hear with headphones but was still very quiet. As you are gradually turning the amp volume up from zero (and strumming the strings), notice whether the computer speakers are getting louder or not. At first, don’t turn the knob past the position from earlier, where you could hear the guitar in the headphones, but it was still quiet. Between zero and that “quiet” spot, does the sound from the computer speakers gradually increase? Is it loud enough, or still abnormally quiet? If it gradually increased, but is still abnormally quiet, you can try turning the volume knob on the amp up a little higher, but again only increase a little bit at a time, and don’t go very much farther that the “quiet” position from before. If you can’t get the sound to work in this way, only then should you worry about trying other things.

    The *most important* step, as superblonde and some others have said, is to experiment with software settings for the blue input with a reliable sound source connected to it so you can be sure it is working. If you have to use something like an mp3 player, make sure the volume is not too loud. The blue input isn’t really intended to work with the headphone output from things, but you can still force it to work if you are careful not to let the input be too loud.

  • #12160

    metalj
    Participant

    I don’t think you need a power amp. I would check for some open source mixer software with a powerful volume booster. If your actual recording volume is too low for an mp3 there is a setting in audacity that you can select that will turn the volume from a whisper to max volume without distorting.

    Jay aka the letter J

  • #12332

    Francisca
    Participant

    Hello… Today I went to the music store and asked for the cable but the salesperson told me it wouldn’t work. He said I’d better buy an interface. I wanted to go to another place and buy the cable anyway, but I changed my mind so I didn’t buy it after all. He said that the sound card of the computer can’t be used for this… Anyway, so I decided that I’m going to buy an audio interface on the internet, it is way cheaper than at the music stores here. So any suggestions? I just want to conect one guitar. Thanks.

    For now I’ll keep recording my playing with my camera. 🙂

    "...Guitar coming from a radio, Always takes you where you wanna go, Somehow all your troubles always seem to fade away..." - Joan Jett (Play That song Again).

  • #12337

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Sometimes it does not help to talk to the salesperson.

    If you wanted to, you could use any spare lengths of speaker wire or AC hookup wire you have in the house, to solder to that amp’s headphone jack on the inside of the cabinet, and then take an old pair of headphones that you don’t care about anymore, cut off the 3.5mm connector, solder the spare wires to the connector, and plug that into your soundcard – it would work fine and would cost nothing other than a little time.

    If you compare USB interfaces, the thing you want to check for is if it is 16 bit (older technology) or 24 bit (newer much better sounding). There are so many choices it depends on your budget. I would say get 2 channels, not one. You could very easily outgrow 1 channel. There are many things you might want to use the 2nd channel for, even though right now you’re just plugging in your guitar. If you got the stereo cable then you could plug in a music player, or keyboard, or drum machine, or anything with a headphone-out, into the interface to record along with the guitar simultaneously (for those quick recordings where you don’t want to first record one track into Audacity, then record guitar overdubbed – recording both at once saves a ton of time and frustration).

    How are you going to get distortion effects from plugging a guitar into the interface then plugging the interface into the computer? You have to use software. So plan on buying something there. You will need a DAW package of some type. Otherwise your guitar will sound completely clean when you play + record.

    Or, you might not want to buy an interface at all, because the interface does not give you any distortion sounds (no amp modeling). Maybe you want a newer practice amp, one that has USB built-in, as it also includes many other distortion effects. I bought my fender mustang mini practice amp for $70. (used). It has USB to act as an interface and since it has the modelling, it sounds great and has many amp models + effects (I used its USB interface to record my cover for Hardest Button to Button that I posted here before). I believe it is 16-bit. Many people have said they use a Line 6 POD, the pricier models have USB, but the POD does not have speakers. There are many other small practice amps the same size as the one you have, but with newer digital modeling and they include USB interfaces. They are mostly in that price range $80-$150.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #15937

    bdickens
    Participant

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Unfortunately, any realistic solution is going to cost money. I know this isn’t what the OP wants to hear, but all this fooling around with cables and adapters will only produce frustration and poor results. The best, simplest way to go about this is going to be to save up the money for a USB interface and a pair of  computer speakers. The Line 6 stuff is designed for a guitar level input, plus comes with a bunch of amp simulations already. In the meantime, recording on the camcorder will work just fine.</p>

    Byron Dickens

  • #18490

    ZUrlocker
    Participant

    I am late to this thread, but I also strongly recommend the RockSmith USB guitar cable. Costs around $30. If you have a Mac it works great with GarageBand (free) which includes all the effects, pedals, amp simulators you need. You record a “dry” signal and can change all the effects anytime you want before or after recording. I assume Windows users would be able to get similar guitar effects in any decent DAW. I used this cable to record an entire album with multiple guitar parts, bass etc, and it works great.

     

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