Recording music on computer

I thought I’d put this post up for those who have no idea how to record their guitar music and want to do so as easily as possible.

I’ve just bought an adaptor for my guitar cable that changes the plug to one that fits the computer microphone socket, I downloaded Audacity, and amazingly I can record straight from my guitar onto the computer.

Anything anyone else has to say on the very beginnings of recording a guitar would be welcomed.

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I’d recommend trying out something like the free lePou leCab2 impulse response loader and some free impulse response guitar cabs with your recordings in audacity. If you haven’t already. Can find most of that stuff at (can’t vouch for how safe downloads are though)…

Your cable sounds like a simple Hi-Z to Lo-Z transformer - Guitar is a Hi-Z signal - Mic input is Lo-Z signal - the impedance mismatch causes frequency attenuation without the transformer (it’ll sound weak and tinny without it - it’s why we don’t normally use mic input for guitar).

If you’re using a PC - try the ASIO4ALL drivers - these can give much lower latency than the standard windows drivers if setup correctly.

Always try to use the same Audio hardware device for both input and output - else you’ll get latency/sync problems because of hardware audio clock syncing issues and hardware buffer differences.

Garageband on a Mac is a brilliant free tool. It’s basically a very convincing amp simulator that you can record direct. The other day I was playing around with a Vox AC30 sim on it and it sounded almost identical to Brian May’s tone!

Now if only I could play like Dr. May…

Reaper promoted a free license until July 01, almost like Troy did. Btw it’s cheap and has a complete and free evaluation version for 60 days. It’s an amazing DAW.

Wow, I had underestimated the amp sims in Garageband, gotta give this a try! Would you be able to share pictures or an outline of the signal chain you used?

What is after is the easiest way to record myself to check on my technique. Can I plug a microphone into the microphone socket of the computer and put it in front of my amp?

I’m fine for the guitar and amplifier but I don’t know how to record onto my PC.

Me too! I bought an audio USB interface to connect my guitar to my computer, then simply used the ‘broken up brit’ preset on the ‘crunch guitar’ section of amplifiers on garageband. At least I think it was that one, if not then try all the other presets that simulate the VOX amp.

Then play it through speakers/subwoofer instead of headphones if you can, to get more bass response, and I swear it is 99% of Brian May’s tone.

Let me know how you get on :slight_smile: Stay safe Tommo!

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Reaper is great, I’m another fan.

Even a cheap USB or Firewire interface will give you a much clearer guitar signal than plugging into your computer’s mic or line in with an adaptor. I’ve been doing computer based home recording in some form or other since 1999, and to this day the single biggest improvement in audio quality I’ve experienced was getting a fairly cheap USB interface back in the early 2000s, to replace running a SM57 through a 1/4" to 1/8" adaptor plugged into my computer’s mic in.

That said… I made a LOT of music with that adaptor setup, and while the sound quality was comparatively lacking… it was still cool as hell to make music, and I had. BLAST doing it!

Hi Drew.

I just want enough quality to know when I play back a few notes that I’m getting an even volume in my playing.