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Drazgal

Guitar to Computer Question

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Hi, My brother has heard that he can use certian programs, such as Cakewalk Audio to play his guitar and record it onto his computer. He is wondering if Cakewalk supply such a cable or soemthing to link his guitar up to his sound card, and if not where might he get one from. Thanks in advance Ballistic Programs

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Cakewalk can obtain audio data from the line in port on the sound card, as well as the MIDI port (we''ll ignore MIDI since it''s not relevant to this discussion). As an example, a couple friends and I once connected a bunch of microphone through a mixer to the line in and a Yamaha keyboard to the MIDI port (so we obtained voice and music separately).

Cakewalk does not supply this cable, but essentially all you need is a converter jack (from the large type - I forget the proper name - used by guitars and amps to the small one used by the sound card). You might want to use some kind of amplifier to raise or limit the signal amplitude going into your card (if it gets too high you could blow your motherboard).

There are also special "music acquisition" boards on the market.

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I''ve connected a guitar (and a keyboard the same way) to my computer.

I have a cable that comes from the output thing on a guitar, or the phones/output on a keyboard (called a phono plug I think) and then changes it into RCA plugs (red and white, like A/V cables). Then I have a converter for RCA to little phono plugs (like on your sound card) which I then plug into my line in.

You could skip the 2nd thing I did and just get a cable straight to a little phono plug and plug it into your sound card, but either way works fine.

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Well, connecting the guitar directly to the mic./line in-jack,
would not do the best results.

The problem is, that the impedancy of the guitar output is quite different
from the soundcard''s input jacks''.
This causes a loss of quality of the signal.
For example, with the mic.jack high frequencies are distorted, and lower
are more quiet. If you decrease the gain, you will hear the higher frqs,
but not the lower.

Best solution: You need an amplifier that adapts the impedancies.
Input(-->guitar) has the fitting impedancy for th guit., output(-->soundcard)
has the fitting for the soundcard).

I don''t know where to buy somethingh like that.
Unfortunately, I don''t have access to my father`s books on that, at the moment,
I could search an "electronic plan" to build it self...
(live''s too far away...)
Maybe, there`s some info on the net.

Search for "adapt impedancy guitar" or so (or is it written "impedance" ?)
with google...

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I have it set up like this:

GUITAR --> ZOOM 707 FX PEDAL --> LINE-IN OF SOUND CARD

And that sounds fine to me. Of course, I know dick shit about impedancies (I''m learning slowly), so if you are going straight from guitar to line-in, it may sound weird or something (usually sounds Ok for me). But bear in mind that the line-in is a STEREO input, and you''ll probably end up using a MONO jack, so you will only get the left channel. In that case, you''ll have to be careful and probably plug into the mic in of yer soundcard. This will be boosted much higher than the line in, so adjust the volume of the guitar/fx box so it doesn''t clip.

What you will need is either a stereo large jack (or ''balanced'' jack) cable that goes to a small stereo jack at the other end. Or you can get a big -> small adaptor.

If you are not using an FX box of some type, you may have to find another way of converting the signal to stereo, or use the mic in like I said.

And you can record yer guitar in many different programs; I tend to use virtual multitracking progs for that (e.g. GoatStudio), or you can use Cubase or Cakewalk. I dunno much about audio recording in those two, so I''ll leave that for someone else to explain...

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I go from line out of my amp into my tascam US-428 (digital mixer\recording device), which is connected to my computer via USB.

It also has output to monitors\headphones so you dont have to use your soundcard

Works great, sounds awesome. I use cubasis, but it will work with cakewalk too.

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I have a similar setup to AxeSlash, except it is:

Guitar -> Zoom 505II Pedal -> Amp -> Mic -> Sound card.

In theory, this would be more ''noisy'' than just running a cable from the pedal to the sound card, but since my microphone is pretty decent, it sounds better this way. The direct link is a bit too bassy.

When looking at cables, the main things to take into account are the size of the plugs (they basically come in 2 sizes) and whether they are mono or stereo (stereo ones have a plastic ring half way up that separates the 2 channels). But they''re cheap enough. You may need adaptors to convert from the smaller plugs to the larger ones, or vice versa.

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Amp to mic?! That''s like inviting hiss!

Well, I think the best set up is guitar->optional pedal->amplifier->line in on soundcard. The only problem is to make sure that your amp outputs are all fused (one back case of feedback and your motherboard is toast).

[offtopic:] I bought myself a new acoustic 6-string 2 weeks ago. I haven''t played guitar in about 2 years (and I was barely out of "beginner" then), but my chords are just about as fresh as they ever were. Yay!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
well, in professional studio''s, the amps are generally mic''ed. don''t really know why, (adds "air", I hear) but as long as you''ve got quality equipment, its probably the way to go. That''s the why I do it on just about everything. Just *sounds* better, IMO. I guess the noise levels might be bad if you working w. low-to-mid-quality stuff (like most of us, I imagine) but if you''ve got good acoustics, it just sounds alot more natural. When you hear someone play out, there''s always a room ambience. (ie, you don''t have a pair of headphones running from their amp

If you see the Buddha on the road, Kill Him. -apocryphal

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As for miccing the amp...well, it''s down to personal preference and the quality of your equipment. For me, itmeans that there are more cables, more noise, and more boosting necessary, which I don''t like at all. If you are gonna mic your amp, and try to get GOOD quality sound out of it, you''ll have to isolate the whole setup from wherever YOU are so that you don''t pick up anything else.

I used to mic the amp, but found no advantage when compared to using line-out. And if you can afford decent enough kit to mic up the amp, then you may as well buy the pedal which will have all your cabinet and room ambience effects built in to it. THAT will probably sound more professional, unless you have done a LOT of close-miking in your past.

I reccomend that if you have the equipment, try out all the options, and discover for yourself which gives you the sound you want. I track metal, so for me, hering the ambience of the room and the cabinet''s sound isn''t too importamt because it''s all drowned by distortion and blastbeats...

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