Recording guitar into your computer
This thread is about recording your guitar into your PC, it's a commmonly asked question,i've merged the threads together, here you go.
here's one resource that shows you how to do it:
the guy hasn't updated that page in a long time, maybe we can email him and pester him for the lessons :)
but the barebones equipment you need to get started is:
an adapter which accepts a 1/4" mono plug (to accept your guitar cord) and fits 1/8" plug (for the input into your soundcard).
here's an example:
(doesn't have to be gold by the way, that's just an example)
recording software to record the sound. something like Cakewalk or something. everybody has Windows sound recorder on their computer, but that sucks ass for recording.
so the connection is :
guitar->cord->adapter->line-in or mic input in soundcard
that's a pretty crappy deal, you don't have any distortion for your brutal metal sound
so then you add a distortion pedal
guitar->cord->distortion pedal or effects pedal->cord->adapter->soundcard
still that's a crappy deal, it sounds bad, most of us don't have super good soundcards.
you need something to shape the sound before and/or after the sound gets into the soundcard:
the line-out of your amp
an E.Q pedal
shaping the sound after your record with Cool Edit or something.
and here comes the more expensive choices:
line6 guitarport (this works very well)
mic-ing your amp with a nice instrument mic, like a Shure SM57, and after that you'd probably have to run that mic thru a mixer or mic pre-amp
so there you go.
the following are suggestions from other threads.
I always got tired of having to hook my guitar into the back of the comp. (through the mic jack on the soundcard, so after looking around found Creative Lab's Live! Drive IR, where you can simply hook any instrument/headphones in through the front of the comp. Also the software that comes with Live! Drive IR has excellent clean and vocal effects (not good for distortion though).
Magix Music Studio Generation makes Window's audio recording software look like kids toys. You can record up to 16 tracks, edit, sample/resample, add effects, and more. I purchased it at Best Buy for about $50 and it's definately worth the price.
My Current Setup For Audio Recording:
Windows XP Pro.
Creative Live Drive IR (Hardware)
Magix Music Studio Generator 6 (software)
Yamaha CD Burner
ESP F205 (bass)
Zoom 505 (bass pedal)
Marlboro Lights & lighter
Coffee Table (to set the computer on)
I got questions up the ass about Cakewalk and other stuff
ok, i need some help with a lot of stuff. So, its time for numbered questions!
1. What is a condenser microphone? Does it have to do with recording
2. Is Cakewalk a good program to record from a PC? How do I record instruments onto the Cakewalk program? How do I get the MIDI drum sounds on Cakewalk?
3. For someone who wants to make a demo and is all alone, would this thing be a good choice to make a demo on? Or can I get better stuff for the $1000?
Here is the machine
4. What do you think of the Digitech Master Metal Pedal?
If I make a demo on a CD-R, can I take it someplace and have it made into many real CDs?
You're going to get better way quality out of the digital recorder
yes/no... yes, they can burn the same CD (the ones they use will be of higher quality, and the burning will be better, and won't damage as quickly, will last longer etc.). However, they won't be able to alter your mix, master the disc, and all that fun stuff if you want a professional engineer to work on your music. You would need the original tracks for that. Whether or not you can burn that info onto a CD and take it to them, I really don't know.
For the record, I use Cubasis, and would recommend it. On the other hand, I have no experience with Cakewalk, and couldn't tell you either way. Do you have external MIDI control, or do you need a computer based program for your drums?
Thats my biggest problem with recording with my PC. While my PC is not that old, it is not equipped to handle recording. It has no inputs for a MIDI cable. I guess I'll just have to save up $1000.......
How many inputs do you need to record at one time? You can pick up an Echo Mia soundcard and an SM57 for around $250... I don't know if that solves your MIDI problem.... FWIW, that's almost 50% off of that unit, and I'd say it's a pretty nice deal. Built in drum machine, up to six inputs simultaneous, built in CD burner... pretty nice unit if you ask me.
Heres a suggestion that i was going to do. Save up 800 -1000. There is a extremly good digitial 8 - 12 track recording system (with 256 virtual tracks) and it comes with a cd burner so when you record it, you can just burn it. Also it comes with further editing software for your computer, you just transfer the shit on your computer and edit it and transfer it back. The reason i wouldnt go with PC recording material is becasue if you wanted to get real drums in there, how are you gunna record it. With this the digital ones you can take them anywhere and have good sound quality. Boss carries the best ones for this. I suggest if your going to buy anything you buy it from guitar center becasue they have a 30 day trial, and if you dont like it you can return it within 30 days.
Thats exactly the type of thing I was gonna get, except it was by Zoom. By the way, what are virtual tracks? Whenever I read ads for recording stuff, it always says like 4-10 tracks and then several hundred virtual ones.
I downloaded sonar xl (made by cakewalk) and use that to record directly to my laptop. I have no use for an external recorder. If you do it like this though you will probably need to upgrade to a better soundcard with the number of inputs that you need. I had to get an external soundcard because I use a laptop instead of a desktop but it works great. Another thing I suggest is getting an external hard drive to use strictly for recording on. If you record to your system hard drive, by the time you finish laying down several tracks and redoing tracks over and over and over to get it just right, your system HD will be fragmented to shit. So I go with an external. I can control everything the virtual way on my screen (i.e. levels, effects, etc..) and don't need any hardware like a digital recorder. Get good mics too. They make a huge difference. As for drums, there are several excellent drum programs and plugins available for cakewalk programs, all fairly inexpensive, and much easier to control, cut and paste and stuff like that than an analog drum machine. My band uses a real drummer so we don't record the virtual drums but they are good to have when laying down new song ideas and stuff like that. I've recorded in a studio, I've recorded using digital recorders, and I've used my laptop. Nothing beats the laptop because of the creative control you have. Hope this helped.
Re: I got questions up the ass about Cakewalk and other stuff
yeah, it's fine....
to record an instrument in CW you have to open the track properties, and select the source (audio)
then go to the principal screen, press the button R of the track you wanna record, press "record" and it's done!!
and to write midi drums, you must select a track, open the properties and select channel 10
then go to the staff view and write the drums in the pentagram
NOTE= the closed hi-hat is F sharp and the open is B flat
I honestly think you should get "Guitar Fx Box". It's meant for use as an amp (great effects), but can handle recording of wave files. So you can record yourself several times and stuff, and you could also play over a drum pattern, or something.
I think it's about $200, but not sure.
Got a question about pedals and recording. . .
First off, here's my gear:
- Schecter Omen 6 (changed the strings very recently, and the battery for the pickups too)
- - EMG 81 bridge pickup
- - EMG 89 neck pickup
- Boss Metalzone distortion pedal
Anyway, I've been trying to record myself, and it sounds like crap. First, it's too damn muddy, kinda like Nile (which in and of itself isn't bad, but I'm not trying to play death metal at all). Someone tells me to cut out the bass frequencies, so I drop the dial down to 1/3 and it cuts out the muddiness.
Now I realized it just sounds like crap. So, the way I figure, there are a few possible things going wrong:
- The newness of the strings has a stronger effect than I realized
- The pedal sucks without bass frequencies
- The pedal sucks, period
- My soundcard is terrible (I got people telling me my soundcard is fine for what I'm doing, though. . .)
At this point, I'm trying to get a good melodic metal sound, from Blind Guardian in "Mirror Mirror" to Opeth on "Blackwater Park" to Immortal in "Withstand the Fall of Time". Is there anything that I can do with my current setup to get a good melodic sound, or will I have to get myself a new pedal? (Which I can do, so recommend a good pedal if I need it. . .)
what are you recording onto and what are you recording with?
if its a plain old computer mic, then its a bad deal.
the metal zone needs bass on it, if you have no bass on it, it'll suck.
Recording by sticking a regular guitar cord into a 3.5mm adapter, then plugging it into the Line In port of my computer. Using the program Cool Edit Pro to record.
What sort of soundcard for that "line in" port? If it's stock, I'm willing to bet that's the problem. I also wouldn't use a Metalzone to record (or any pedal for that matter)... do you have an amp with a line out/headphone out/preamp out option?
My amp is a Fender Roc-Pro, I don't think it has such an option, unless "footswitch" isn't what I think it is.
My soundcard is a Creative Sound Blaster AudioPCI 64V.
What I normally do when i record on my computer is to mike the amp. dont plug yourself directly into you computer. get a decent microphone, hold it close to the speaker of your amp and record. Just be careful not to get any background noise in the recdording.
I havent listend to blind guardian much, but i know Opeth very well. First of all, Opeth uses Laney amps with the gain turned down a bit. The reason for the gain being turned down is to get rid of the muddieness so you can actually be able to hear some of their fucked up chords so your gonna have do get rid of some of your gain. 2nd of all, your emg-81 isnt going to sound right. I know mike uses PRS guitars exclusivly for electric recordings. And 3rd, do not use the metal zone. Its signiature sound is mud. Maybe i despise the metalzone so much because of the fact i play an Opeth type of metal. Pedals i would recommend for this sound though would be Ratt distortion, possibly a big muff pedal. The ratt is a really diverse distortion pedal,its got just about everything, it sounds real good except one huge problem, if you put alot of gain in it you get alot of extra noise, so only operate with a noisegate of some sort. The big muff has another problem too, it come outa the box with alot of mid, so if you want it so sound more "metal" your going to have to EQ it.
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