Connecting your guitar to a PC or laptop gives you a way to start recording your playing, experiment with different amp simulators, effects, plugins, and more. The good news is that you only need some very basic equipment to connect an electric or acoustic guitar to a PC or laptop.
Once you connect your guitar to your computer, read this guide for a thorough look at recording guitar at home. Connecting an electric guitar to a computer is easy, but it does require a special piece of hardware called an audio interface. If your computer has audio input jacks, you cannot directly plug your electric guitar into it and you must use an audio interface. The most popular way to connect an electric guitar to a computer is by using an audio interface.
An audio interface is a simple box that allows you to plug your guitar or other inputs into it, and it converts the signal into a digital signal to send via USB to your computer.
The most popular range of audio interfaces for guitarists is the Focusrite Scarlett range link to Amazon to see the different models, features, and prices. The below photo shows the Scarlett 2i While there is a lot of buttons and knobs on the box, the basic idea is that it allows you to plug a guitar cable from your electric guitar to the interface. The interface then processes the guitar signal and sends it via USB to your computer. You can see that the above interface allows you to plug multiple instruments or microphones in at once.
Most audio interfaces also allow you to connect headphones directly into the interface which allows you to play guitar in silence. The guide includes the best options for headphones and other advice. While the above interface is a great option that will suit many guitarists, a simpler and cheaper option is the iRig HD 2 by IK Multimedia:. The small interface may not have the ability to process multiple instruments or microphones at the same time like the Focusrite Scarlett, but it is a good option if you only want to plug one guitar into your computer.
You can also use it to connect to a Mac, iPhone or iPad Android not supported. Find out more about the iRig HD 2 and the software it comes with in this review. Different interfaces have different features, so have a think about what is important to you. All interfaces will do the basic job of connecting your guitar to a computer. While the most popular option to connect an electric guitar to a computer is with an audio interface, most modern multi-effects pedals can also do the job.
Almost all multi-effects pedals today have a USB port which allows you to connect your pedal to your computer and use it as an audio interface. Even small multi-effects pedals like this one are likely to have a USB port to connect to a computer. This is great if you want to record those tones or you just want to jam along with some backing tracks. You can also bypass any effects or presets you have set up on your multi-effects pedal if you want to record a dry signal. If you already have a multi-effects pedal, have a look to see whether it has a USB jack.
If it does, you may be able to use it as an audio interface. But if you do have an amp, you might want to check if it has a USB jack on the back. Many modern amps include a USB port which allows you to connect your amp to your computer and use it as an audio interface. You can see that it includes a USB jack along with all the other common jacks you tend to see on a modern guitar amp. If the back of your guitar amp has a USB port like this one, you can probably use it to connect to a computer.
The big advantage of connecting your guitar amp to your computer is that you can jam along and record your guitar using any tones produced by your amp. Each of the above options suits different guitarists.How to Connect a Guitar to a Computer Level of difficulty: Intermediate A guitar and a computer is a powerful tool for a serious guitar player.
Connecting the two can produce quality audio which can be recorded for amateur and professional use. Starters and seasoned guitar players can benefit from this technology. There are economical and expensive ways to do this. This port is labeled with an icon such as a microphone. It is located typically on the rear or side of the CPU. It is often near or beside the Headphones-Out port. You can hook up a speaker or headset to hear if it is working.
If it does not work, troubleshoot the Sound settings on the control panel. Step 3 For the 2nd method, plug the cable to the guitar. The pre-amp helps power the signal of the guitar to prove quality output. Step 6 For the 3rd method, follow the same procedure with the 2nd method. The only difference is the cable used to connect the pre-amp to the computer.
Step 8 Some pre-amps require a software program to be recognized by the computer. Use the installation CD that came with the pre-amp when purchased and install the program Step 9 To install the program, insert the disc on the disc drive and follow the installation process.
How to Find the Internet History of a Computer. How to Connect a Guitar to a Computer. For the 2nd method, plug the cable to the guitar. For the 3rd method, follow the same procedure with the 2nd method. Some pre-amps require a software program to be recognized by the computer. Use the installation CD that came with the pre-amp when purchased and install the program. To install the program, insert the disc on the disc drive and follow the installation process.
How to Write Computer Program. How to backup your computer.I just recently purchased my first electric guitar. This is how I went about it. The following is a very cheap starter way of connecting an electric guitar to a computer.
In my case I intended to connect the electric guitar on the line-in port on the back, though the mic-in would work too. Since the line-in port measures 3. To get around that I bought a 6. The rest I think is self-explanatory. I just connected the guitar jack into the adapter and plugged it into my line-in port. Increasing the line-in boost dB from Windows sound settings did however help.
I could even mess around recording myself on Audacity using this simplistic set-up provided the input was set to line-in. Make sure the Mixer is visible inside FL Studio. Click it to reveal the input options. Mine lists 3 input sources as follows:. Try every one of those input sources and find one which picks your Guitar.
On mine all three do pick up the guitar but the mono ones sound a tad better compared to the stereo one.
For the output check beneath the slots for the Audio Output Target menu. The Guitar should now be sufficiently audible through your speakers or headphones however the sound at this point is still clean. Click on the first slot and that should open a pop-up menu with a huge list of effect plugins. Take your pick from those effects but if you find that task too overwhelming, I recommend starting with Hardcore.
The effect levels for the individual plugins can also be adjusted using the knobs beside the slots. Lastly, should you want to do some recording while playing, just use the record button in the top menu. Now how about you stop reading this and go make some noise for your neighbours.
Connecting your Guitar to your Device
Feel free to share your comments or questions with me. I may not be able to respond immediately so please check later once I've approved your comment. Your email address will not be published. Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment.If you want to record electric or acoustic guitar or bass then read this step-by-step guide to the kit you need. Includes video tutorials. One of your most frequently asked questions is how do you record a guitar on a PC, Laptop, iPad or Mac.
How do you record the best, most engaging guitar sound? But before we start. To get your perfect guitar recording, you will need to experiment, listen, tweak, and try again.
There is no single way to get a great guitar sound. You can use the same guitar recording interface and a few items of recording gear to try them all. So watch the video below, then read on for more detail!
For more information, read our disclosure policy here. Connect the audio interface up to your computer or using a powered camera connection kitto your iPad.
Make sure you follow the instructions with your audio interface. Then simply connect your guitar direct to the instrument input on the interface. However, what you do is enhance the dry signal from your guitar with various plug-ins. These will allow you to get a really decent guitar sound by adding distortion, delay, chorus etc. The great thing about this is you can keep tweaking and changing the sound of your guitar after you have recorded. There are literally hundreds of fantastic fx and amp simulators to choose from.
Start with Garageband for free, and work your way up. My particular favourite is Guitar Rig from Native Instruments. Other than your guitar, you just need a guitar-usb interface. These are devices designed as a one-stop solution, so you can record your guitar directly on your computer with one purchase. This is a good budget solution, quick and easy. You will find these devices are not so well reviewed as the audio interfaces. However they are cheaper.
But, if you also want to record vocals, and other instruments, either now or in the future, then you might want to purchase an audio interface or USB mixer for that extra versatility. You simply connect your guitar to your amp as usual, then take the line out of the amp into your interface, and you are ready to record in the software of your choice. When you follow this method, you have three volumes to tweak and control: your guitar, your amp and your interface.
So you will have to take some time to tweak all the settings until you get the sound you are looking for.I'm using guitar rig to add effect to my guitar. I basically always use headphones to listen to it but i'd like to have the output to my guitar amp. Now,trough every computer speaker i've tried the sound is not nearly as the headphones one. So,since i'm not using the guitar amp, i'd like to have the output trough it. Problem is that,when i connect the pc out to the amp input,even if the amp volume is all to 0,i keep hearing HEAVY static sound,and when i mean heavy What I find is you should use decent quality cables.
How to Connect a Guitar to a Computer
I'd run a smaller cable out of the 3. Fiddle with the volume and EQ and you should be good to rock and roll. I've tried both with 3. But what i get is not a simple noise,it's an heavy electrical noise.
I've also tried to shut down the pc,but as i plug the cable in the pc even if the amp volume is fully down i get this static noise. You can get 3. Which PC output are you connecting to? Do you have separate headphone and speaker outputs? Is there a line-out on the computer?
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Ideally you connect the computer line-out to the amp line-in and levels should be okay. The amp guitar input will amplify a lot more and also expects a higher impedance input so if you really have to do that turn the computer volume right down to start with.How to plug your guitar into your computer - Connect your guitar for BIAS FX, Amplitube, etc
The guitar amp will colour the output sound, so it might be good for playing guitar through this setup, but not so great for playing music from the computer. Not a solution but for what it's worth, I can't run my laptop thfough my PA system without getting excessive noise. It works fine through my old home stereo. It works fine through the Crown commercial sound system I have. The PA that is designed for live music hates it though.
That's my preferred method when I want to play along with CD's that way I can crank up the volume on my amp and play along. Oh, I used to use an old desktop that worked just fine. This laptop though, thats another story. Tomorrow i'll try to post a video so you'll better see what the problem is,it's kinda strange to explain without it. So,here's the video,i've add some notes inside to explain what's going on.Revolutions in music don't come along very often, but when they do, they change the way we listen to and make music forever.
The guitar amp was originally devised for one reason: loudness. With all the extra decibels the amp afforded them, guitarists were able to take centre-stage, and the rest is rock 'n' roll history… but in many ways, times have moved on. The guitar amp is still alive and well, of course, but thanks to digital technology, guitarists now have the ability to load up a legendary rig right inside their DAW.
And they're not the only ones who benefit - virtual amp emulations are there to be used and abused by musicians and producers working in any genre. The playing field is wide open, and anybody can put together a killer stack to put the heat into a tune - whatever the genre. In this tutorial, we'll walk you through the various components that make up a range of virtual guitar amp rigs and give you the broad strokes on how to make your own for use with any instrumental source.
Step 1: The simplest virtual guitar rig emulates a 'combo' amp, which is an all-in-one amp combining preamp, tone controls, master output level, loudspeaker and sometimes vibrato and reverb.
The preamp gain sets the drive and hence how distorted the sound is, and tone controls adjust the overall EQ. Some amps include two separate channels - one clean and one more distorted. Step 2: More complex virtual amps comprise a separate amp and one or more cabinets.
These amp heads sometimes have more than two channels, ranging from clean to very distorted called 'high gain' channelsand you often have a choice of cabinets, each of which affects the overall tone. GrindMachine CM, part of cm Pluginshas five high-gain amp types and ten cabs. Step 3: Virtual cabinets usually incorporate some form of mic adjustment, ranging from pre-captured recording chains to flexible mic positioning and selection.
As you move the mic across the cone, you can hear how the tone goes from bright at the centre to more muted at the edge. Similarly, switching between dynamic, condenser and ribbon mics also impacts the sound. Step 4: In more advanced plugins, cabinet modelling now includes further enhancements such as cone selection, microphone angle and microphone distance.
You may also get two or more front microphones, or even a rear microphone, with phase inversion of one or more of the mics. Overall, these provide many ways to tweak the sound, just as you would with a hardware amp. Step 5: When recording guitar amplifiers, it's not uncommon to capture some of the room ambience, as it adds depth and width to the overall sound while retaining the focus - and some virtual amp plugins go as far as emulating this.
It may be a separate set of adjustable 'room' mics, or it may simply be added to the cabinet mic as you move it further away. Step 6: Pedal effects are typically positioned between the guitar and amp input, so the signal is processed prior to amplification. By default, in your virtual rig, pedals are the first processors in the chain. Common pedal effects are distortion, phaser, chorus, compressor, volume and wah-wah. Delay pedals are also available, but it's often easier to use an effects loop around the amp.
Step 7: There are no hard and fast rules about pedal order, and a virtual pedalboard allows quick re-ordering to assess differences. Common sense tells us that a compressor may bring up the noise floor, so it may be better before rather than after a noisy distortion. Step 8: Rack effects are common in more complex rigs, adding final finesse such as EQ, compression and reverb. Not all virtual amps include them, and signal flow positioning options vary.
It only takes a minute to sign up. I want to plug my electric guitar into my PC for practising. There are two goals, I want to reach:. So, because of 2 it is not possible to just use the headphones on my guitar amp, I need to plug-in my guitar into my computer. I have a multichannel soundcard so I would be able to listen to music and my playing at the same time over headphones then. But how can I use my effect settings? The ubiquitous solution here is to use an external audio interface.
There are plenty of cheap USB ones on the market that will provide you with inputs anything from 1 to multiple - mine has 8 inputsoutputs for headphones, line out, etc and some even have an effects loop. For your scenario, a simple one input USB interface would work just fine, and you can connect the output from your effects pedals straight into it.
You can adjust levels to the songs playback so that you can achieve the best result.
The way I practice going directly into my computer is with a guitar-jack-to-USB I got when I bought the game Rocksmith like this one here. To hear myself, I usually just open up something like GarageBand and set up an audio track which allows me to hear what I'm playing live more info on doing this through GarageBand here.
This works for me as I can also then play around with using different inbuilt effects if I'm going via my amp, or I can plug my guitar directly into the computer and use one of GarageBand's inbuilt amp settings.
It also lets me fine-tune my audio levels so the guitar isn't too loud or so the audio track isn't drowning out my playing. An alternative of course would be to find an audio splitter so you can have both your guitar output and music player feeding directly into your headphone cable. I tried this and it wasn't for me as I also enjoy recording myself playing but it is worth thinking about.
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