connecting guitar to computer

Discussion in 'Sequencing Hardware' started by sophy, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. sophy

    sophy New Member

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    can anyone help me? is it possible to connect a guitar to mic line in on back of computer? if so what else do i have to do to make it work????????
  2. alimomen

    alimomen New Member

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    You will need some sort of input/output device to get good quality. I would recommend and MBOX by Digidesign or even an old Soundblaster Live! PLatinum. You can get it off Ebay.
  3. bnjiman80

    bnjiman80 Tangled Up In Blue

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    Get a new one

    Hi there

    I don't know exactly what is the best hardware, but take a look at soundonsound.com for reviews.

    I have got an old Soundblaster live! somewhere, and it was ok, but sometimes came out of the slot. This might be a problem for any soundcard you plug in. (Thats why the front-panel interfaces are so neat, but pricey.) The advantage of a sound-card is it gets really fast connection to the motherboard on PCI slots. Seperate "boxes" I guess will have to go into USB or USB 2, which are theorectically slower. Whether this matters, I don't know. Look at some reviews.

    p.s. I wouldn't go for a second hand sound-card myself. You wont know if its noisy until you try it, and you won't be able to send it back if its from Ebay. There are some decent budget cards about instead. If you do get a second hand one, ensure you get the original driver CD in the post too, as Creative only offer updates and patches on their website. You can get usually the files on the web, but its a pain (e.g. If you install the wrong driver, or use a corrupted file, you might have problems). Maybe you can get an old card for £25 of ebay, but £50 would probably get you a new one. (With midi ports as well, in case you ever get a keyboard, or surround outputs, if you want to play DVDs on your pc.) Depends how fussed you are about the sound, what else you might use it for, how much money you have, and how good you are configuring the thing without manuals.

    Good luck! Ben
  4. bnjiman80

    bnjiman80 Tangled Up In Blue

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    Links

    Try this link:

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/Jan....asp?session=c6dbfbdc811f9fd0bd44332a88683717

    ...on the basic differences between soundcards (as at last year)

    It would help to know what PC you have too, whether you have thought about software, and if you are going to use midi backing with your recording (i.e. to provide drums). If this is the case, then might want a card/unit that has proven midi voices too. If you say what your goal is, people will find it easier to give you advice. :thumbsup:
  5. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    In general, this is not a good idea. The mic input is too sensitive (and the wrong impedance match) for a guitar pickup and it overload and distort far too easily. Conversely, the line input is too insensitive and you won't be able to record at a sufficiently high level ( which will mean you get a lot of noise).

    Since few people wish to record the 'plain' sound of the guitar anyway - preferring to add controlled distortion, reverb, phase or other effects - the most common way to overcome the problem is by use of an external effects unit. The input of this unit will match the output of the guitar pickup/s, while the output is ideally suited to plugging into the line input of the soundcard.
  6. bnjiman80

    bnjiman80 Tangled Up In Blue

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    Good point Greame

    Another option would be to get a microphone on a stand recording your guitar coming out of an amplifier. I guess this would be the cheapest way to do it if you have a decent guitar amp already. You could then plug the mic into the mic in.
  7. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    Strangely enough, the problem with using a microphone is that the sort of soundcards which come bundled with computers invariably have incredibly poor mic input circuitry and you will end up with a recording with a very high noise floor. There are a very few decent cards around - but they are not cheap and you would have to buy one, something that good would never come pre-installed.

    A better option is to use a microphone with an external pre-amplifier (or small mixer, which is probably a better choice anyway, since it is more versatile) and take the output of the mixer into the line input of the card.

    It all depends on how important it is to the user to make good quality recordings. Anyone really serious about this would be best advised to avoid cards like the SoundBlaster and Audigy like the plague. These might be good gamers cards, but they are not really up to scratch for high quality music production.
  8. Bobloadmire

    Bobloadmire New Member

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    SB Live Plantinum here, works nice
  9. Bobloadmire

    Bobloadmire New Member

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    Try the Guitar pod by the one company
  10. Bobloadmire

    Bobloadmire New Member

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    Or try micing your amp
  11. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    Depends on your definition of 'nice'. Personally, I think it's a dreadful card, especially when used in conjunction with a microphone, as the mic pre-amp is awfully noisy.
  12. jfkerluck

    jfkerluck New Member

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    Just get a reducer to bring the 1/4 guitar jack down to 1/8. I added a mono to stereo splitter to allow the signal to come out of both speakers, but it's not essential.

    Try GuitarFX ( http://www.guitarfx.net ) to get realtime effects for your playing.

    Another program is Cakewalk. It's not realtime, but you can record a sample, and add whatever effects you want later.
  13. DigiGuitar

    DigiGuitar New Member

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    Last edited: Mar 2, 2004
  14. johnrowley

    johnrowley Member

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    Creative Soundblaster Audigy with the breakout box is excellent for recording guitar, vocals or midi in/out price has dropped as the Audigy 2 is now out, still looking at around £100 so not cheap. A minimixer where you can plug guitar output from amp or effects into it and gives is a boost before input into line in of soundcard would work as well, they are around £25.00.
  15. DigiGuitar

    DigiGuitar New Member

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  16. -=BLADE=-

    -=BLADE=- Omnipotent Metal God

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    I personally use a USB Audio Capture Device by EDIROL for recording guitar.
  17. james

    james New Member

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    yeah in my experience its best to go through an external effects unit then into the line inon your sound card. then select volume control section on your computer to get the right levels
  18. Rich_b

    Rich_b Bass Cadet

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    I've got an SB Platinum Live! which comes with a front panel allows you to plug a guitar jack directly into it.

    Before that I used to plug my guitar into the sound card using a large to small jack adapter but if it's an electric guitar you should use the line-in input rather than mic, use the mic input for microphones and acoustics.

    You'll also have to select whichever source you're using, i.e. line-in or mic, from Windows Play Control or your sound card mixing software .
  19. musikman1

    musikman1 New Member

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    MIDI or sound?

    You say you want to hookup your guitar to your computer..

    Do you want to have the guitar notes converted to MIDI, or do you just want to plug the audio into your PC and record the guitar audio?

    If you want to convert to MIDI, something along the lines of the Roland GR series is ideal. We've use this in the studio for pro-tracks and it's done a great job!

    If you want to just play the guitar audio into your system, the BEST and most versatile method would be to pickup a cheepie mixer (the most you can afford). Plug your guitar into a mixer channel, feed the mixer RECORD OUT to the soundcard LINE IN, and away you go.

    This also lets you plug in just about ANYTHING audio related and record it with no probs..

    OVERKILL: Here in my home studio I have a Roland M480 (48 channel line mixer) that mixes down my synths, tape decks, etc. into a single stereo pair that is plugged into my Mackie 1604VLZ-PRO. The Mackie feeds the soundcard.

    WHY THE ROLAND M480?

    Well, Roland USED to make line mixers back in the day.. when they discontinued the Mxxx line (they had 120, 240 and 480), they blew them out CHEEP! I got the 48 channel (24 stereo channels) mixer for $450 new (list $3500). For 450 is was REALLY hard to turn it down!!

    I don't use anywhere NEAR that many, but if I need a extra input here or there, I sure got a few sitting around. :)

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