Thursday, January 05, 2006

How To Connect A Guitar To A Computer

By: Brad Finley

So many players want to record guitar playing on their computer.
Digital recording is more popular than ever for pros and
amateurs alike. But there are some things to be considered when
you connect a guitar to a computer; mostly how you want to
connect the instrument, and the quality of the recording you
hope to capture. The type of guitar computer interface you
choose will greatly affect the sound of the electric guitar
through the computer and the overall recording you can expect.

While it is possible to play guitar through a PC just by
plugging it in, this basic approach is likely to be fine for
most though many players don't like sacrificing a good sound for
the ease of quick setup. Electric players need a 'high
impedance' input to get their electric guitar to connect to a
computer, and though most computer soundcards come with high
impedance inputs, these inputs are usually not strong enough to
get a good guitar signal or in the long run, for recording
guitar effects for PC. This lower 'impedance' can cause noise
problems too. A player can avoid all this of course by plugging
the guitar into a 'line-in' jack, instead of the 'mic-in', but
then the all-important preamp is needed.

Almost any one attempting to connect a guitar through their
computer or familiar with recording a guitar into a mixing
consol should be familiar with a preamp. The preamp does exactly
what its name implies, it "amps" the signal before it goes into
the plug-in. Therefore your guitar's signal will get that extra
boost it needs when you record guitar on a pc...or into any
other device that is not an amp. There are plenty of external
interfaces that combine computer soundcards with a preamp. Or if
you like more components to you set-up you can always buy a
preamp separate from your sound card. There are a lot of
stand-alone vintage preamps out there that will not only boost
your signal, but warm your sound before it goes into the
'cooler' digital domain of your pc.

It's not only the pristine quality of digital that makes
recording guitar on a pc so much fun, it is also portability.
With very little equipment you can put down a riff (or an entire
song actually) into a laptop! And added to all this wonderful
technology is the fact that there are so many recording guitar
effects for pc now on the market, a player can access different
amp sounds and settings, effects. Well after you have wrestled
with how to connect a guitar to your pc and have recorded a
strong signal, you can call record guitar effects with pc during
recording or in post-production.

Of course information about how to connect your guitar to a pc
and the wonderful wide world of effects is available through an
on-line pc guitar tutor and websites devoted to digital
recording. You can even purchase a computer guitar tuner (some
programs include a free computer guitar tuner) so everything you
will ever need is self-contained in your rockin' pc! Some
players are even recording parts, then downloading and sending
these pieces of tunes to musician's half-way across the world.

The possibilities really are unlimited for the guitar player
who says: "I want to connect a guitar to my pc"; he or she will
be amazed at the varied and easy results they can achieve when
they simply start recording guitar on a pc.

About the author:
Brad Finley is senior editor of MyGuitarWorkshop - Free Guitar Lessons .
Website provides guitar lessons and instructions for all level
guitar players. Also click for Free Music Theory

No comments: