Recording Electric Guitar on You're Computer
Recording the Electric Guitar to You're Computer
Recording Electric Guitars on You're Computer and what you need to do it with.
This is also the exact way I hook up to record, and what I use.
If you are like me and you like to play guitar. You will also want to be able to record you're guitar and what you play to you're computer. There are many ways to record you're guitar, but I will tell you basically what you need and how to do it. Just plugging you're guitar into the (line in) on you're PC will not cut it for the way you want you're music to come out sounding. Yes it will record but will it sound good like you hear on the radio? No! I have also bought things before that just didn't work well at all! It took me a bit of money by trial and error before getting what would work great, and that was relatively cheap to get at the same time.
There are many way to hook the guitar up to the computer, but many are very expensive. No matter how you look at it, if you want great recordings it will cost you a little money to get the things you need to do it. But the difference can be thousand in costs if you do not know how to do it. Can it be done on a regular PC? Yes it can! Allot of people do prefer to use a MAC. And they are better in recording and soft-wares but they are way more expensive and not really too much difference will be heard from the way I do it. I can still record with the best of them in 24bit HD advanced recordings and mixing them down to 16 bit mp3's. By the way 16bit is the highest quality you can get a mp3 to be. 24bit is a (wave) files that are rather large files.
Lets get started with what you will need to start recording that guitar you love to play. And this is one of the best and the cheapest ways to do it.
1. Guitar that is in very good condition that stays in tune.
2. Computer - If you are reading this then you have one! lol! But the computer you have must meet certain system requirements. I will mention them below in a minute.
3. Recording Software - I use Guitar Tracks Pro 3 by Cakewalk. It's very easy to use and great software to edit and mix with. Believe it or not I do most of my editing with the tones I create using the PODxt. This way I do not have to do allot with my recordings if anything at all. 99% of the time my tones are created perfectly before I record them.
Windows 2000, XP
800 MHz processor
128 MB RAM
100 MB free hard disk space
1024 X 768, 16-bit color
CD-ROM drive (for installation)
Windows-compatible sound card
Windows-compatible MIDI interface*
*Required for Remote Control/Synchronization
Note: Guitar Tracks Pro Version 3 does not support Windows 95/98/ME/NT
The more memory and the larger processor you have the better!
Now there are other recording soft wares out there. Some are more expensive or not as good or easy to use. This software let you do everything you need to do all within it. Now if you have Windows Vista you can buy Guitar Tracks Pro 4 or another of you're choosing from www.cakewalk.com
4. Recording interface - I use the PODxt with models packs installed because right now it has every amplifier, cabinet,, and effects to work with including it own EQ and 4 different microphones to work with as well with in it. It also has 24bit USB recording itself which makes it awesome! You hook it up USB and get great recordings. But I do it another way so I can also do other tricks and playback while recording. I run Line 6 Edit Tone creator at the same time. This is so I can record and create the best tones right then to know how they will sound together as I described in step 3. This save hrs of work testing tones with each other. Not to mention once you create them you can save them forever! Read my article about Line 6 later.
5. Headphones - A really good pair of headphones works great! Or you can use studio monitors. Or even you're regular speakers for you're computer. But trusting the sound of you're speakers outside a closed environment could be risky to the sound of you're recordings. Studio monitors are good if you can afford them. But still using headphones in the closed environment is the best I think. This varies between artists. But there are millions of us who use headphones over studio monitors in a home environment. Face it, our homes most of the time are not set up to the acoustics of a real studio that uses monitors, and has its own room for each instrument. Trying to create those type environments is what we try to do if we are lucky.
6. (Optional but for the best and better recordings) A sound card that supports recording like we do. I use Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2Zs with front bay for my PC. For my Laptop I use a PCI Audigy 2Zs sound card. Very cool! There are many others to choose from out there. But this sound card does great! I have never had ANY problems with these sound cards.
Below are the additional item I use to record with. Using these items I will tell you how to record you're guitar so its ready for a video. Notice that I have written (Optional) in some items. These are things not necessary to have but makes life easier if you do have them.
Cakewalk - Guitar Tracks Pro 3
Sony MDR V150 Dynamic Stereo Headphones
Audigy 2Zs Notebook Soundblaster Sound Card
Audigy 2Zs Soundblaster and (Optional) Front Bay
(Optional) Front Bay
1/4" to 1/8" Stereo Cable
Line 6 PODxt and Bass PODxt
(Optional) PODxt Multi Mounting Bracket
(Optional) Microphone Boom Stand
(optional) LP Microphone Claw
When recording you're guitar you want the perfect levels and the secret is to keeping them the same way always. So when you find the correct levels you like to record at mark them down and keep them at those settings. 90% of the time if you do not change them they will stay the same. Turning up or down you're you're pc's regular volume level will not affect these settings. This has to do with the level input running through the line in setting. You can find these settings by;
1.Right Click on the volume icon in the task bar at the lower right hand side of the pc's screen.
2. Open Volume Control - A Box will open up.
3. Go to Options at the top left of the box
4. Properties - You will see Mixer Devise, Playback, and Recording
5. Make sure the Mixer Devise setting is set to the sound card you are recording through is ou are using a PCI sound card above. This should be defaulted by using the internal computer sound card.
6. Now click recording - Check All Boxes! and push OK
7. Make sure the Line In is checked. You can double check to make sure have set this correct and get the levels you want at the same time as you are recording. Once you have them where you want them? Push OK.
8. On the PODxt there Output Level I set around 2 to 3 depending if it is a clean tone being used or a distortion. Most always mine is set at 2. There really is no need to go higher if you create you tones right.
Since there are so many other ways to record the guitar I need to stop here. If you are using other audio interfaces then what I use, settings can be different then what I would post next. What I have posted is basics for all audio recording no matter what you have or are using. There are other things you can use as an interface like Digidesign, but that is VERY expensive and I have had it before. I just ended up getting rid of it because I found an easier way and cheaper without have too much differences in recording quality. Also another good thing to use besides the PODxt is Line 6 Guitar Port. Much cheaper but it also does not have all that the PODxt has, and cannot play live gigs like the PODxt does. If you have any other questions for me, just give me a shout. I am more then happy to answer any questions you may have.