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Recording myself playing guitar & playback

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I wasn't really sure where to post this. I am sorry ahead of time if I am in the wrong section.

Being that about a month ago I had 0 knowledge of computers. When I say that I mean it. I have never looked inside of a computer until I built this one lol. So here I am a month later with a better understanding and with my computer stable as can be @ the specs I wanted and ready to move to the next goal.

Aside from playing games and the typical usage the other main goal for my computer was to set it up so I could record alot of what I write on guitar to drum loops etc. Here we go.

I am currently running my audio via optical running from my tv to my reciever. I am pretty clueless in the audo area and it seemed like the easiest way to get the surround sound I wanted. aka whatever plays on the tv I can play through my surround. lol simple enough right?

But what do I need to buy to feed my guitar to my computer and record as well as play back? Am I just going to have to look for something like a line6 podxt live and then get the software needed via usb? Or is there a diffrent method that those of you who do this would recommend? Sorry if the question is retarded this is one step @ a time for me lol. Just looking to hear what you guys would do?
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post #2 of 6
You need an audio interface, and by that I mean a device that accepts XLR microphone connections with guitar inputs if you need that.

I use MOTU Ultralite MK3. But what exactly are you playing? Electric or acoustic? I'm sure you will probably have an XLR microphone already. I don't recommend using USB microphones as they're kind of one way and not use-able with normal instrument gear. They have fairly good amount of USB condenser microphones now but nothing beats regular old XLR microphones. A lot of the condenser mics sound like they're just a lot better for doing podcasts. If you want a decent starting mic I'd recommend SM57 and SM58. SM57 for picking up instrumentals and SM58 for vocals. All XLR mics need a pre-amp they don't work like normal computer microphones.

Dual Microphone + Monitor:
$79
ART USB Dual Pre

Single Microphone + Guitar + Monitor:
$119
M-Audio Fast Track USB

Two Microphones + Midi Input + Monitor:
$149.95
PreSonus AudioBox USB

Two Microphones + Midi Input + Monitor + S/PDIF In Out + More outputs:
$199
M-Audio FastTrack Pro

$550 Range:
Avid Pro Tools Mbox
MOTU UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid

The more connections you want the more it's going to cost. The higher cost allows you to fine tune controls and mixing with higher quality recorded audio. It all depends on what you want to do.

You need a recording and playback software:

Audacity - Free
Cakewalk Sonar - Costs Money
Cubase - Costs Money
Pro Tools - Costs Money
Logic - Costs Money (Apple)
FL Studio - Costs Money
Ableton - Costs Money

There is a lot of software out there. Choice is really up to you and the budget you're on.
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post #3 of 6
The equipment that anoob mentions is great. M-Audio serves up some good stuff. If you're on a budget, Behringer sells their Xenyx mixers for cheap and they work fine. They have XLR connections plus other input channels. You can mike the amp or send your guitar signal straight to the unit. There are FX loops on them, and tape inputs so you can put background music into the mix.
Audacity works well for recording.
post #4 of 6
If you don't have a decent soundcard, you should get a USB interface that will act as a preamp as well as ADC (analogue to digital converter). If you do have a good soundcard, just get a preamp such as the M-Audio audio buddy ($50) and it will plug into the line-in on your soundcard.
Edited by DrGroove - 3/3/11 at 1:48pm
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post #5 of 6
I've got the Pod X3, and it's pretty good for what I need it for (getting amp emulation away from my Orange stack), and the occasional recording on my laptop. It's just a case of guitar > Pod X3 > laptop where I can use whatever software to record and edit it.

If you're looking further up the price range there is a large selection of similar hardware that does this. Alternatively, you can mic up your amp and record the sound directly, although unless you're serious about this it will usually cost more to get the same sound quality as amp emulation devices such as the Line 6 Pod products get you. You also have the benefit of FX and presets that your amp doesn't have, and you can record/play with headphones/low volume that you don't get with good amps (they need to be loud to sound good normally).

As I said, there are alternatives to the Line 6 devices, but I found for my budget (~£100) they were the best option.

If you value the audio quality a lot also it might be worth investing in a soundcard as well, and some monitor-type speakers to give you cleaner sound reproduction playing it back (or some monitor headphones). Consumer speakers all bias the sounds away from what the guitar tone actually sounds like as they are designed to handle fully produced audio.
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks tons for the responses! Sorry, for the late thank you. I was testing out a new OC lol. I will be recording with an electric. I use a ESP JD600 as my main guitar because I play most heavy metal etc. When I step it down a notch I like to use my washburn Idol for things like Tool. Then I have an acoustic but don't plan to record with that at all. I use it mostly for practice.

Looks like I have a whole lot of reading ahead of me to figure out how much I want to spend and what will fit me best. But thanks tons for pointing me in the right direction and giving me a general Idea of what I might want to or should do. Greatly appreciated!

Oh I am not in a band or anything like that but I am sick of sitting down and writing riffs so I don't forget them lol. Would just be nice to record it or lay down 2-3 diffrent parts depending on where my head takes me. My style is like tool ran head first into avenged sevenfold or something like that. I come up with some really really akward timings and get them mixed up when I just have it tabbed out quickly with a mechanical pencil lol.
Edited by jamesschmidt82 - 3/5/11 at 6:13am
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Desoulate
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