Apr 08, 2014

How to connect electric guitar to PC?

What’s the best way to connect an electric guitar to record sessions on a PC? Once I get everything set up, I’m planning on using Reaper digital audio workstation software, which is Windows compatible software similar to GarageBand on Macs. Sound is more important that cost, but keep in mind I’m not a professional musician.


The easiest way is to connect your guitar directly to the line-in/mic jack using an adaptor. It’s also going to sound pretty terrible, so don’t do it. A much better option is a guitar to USB interface. It will sound much better and I think you will be far happier with the results. Behringer makes some inexpensive ones that cost less than $50. Keep in mind, we are not talking a studio quality set-up, but it should be good enough for you to learn your way around your software and you can go with a more complex (and expensive) set-up later if you want.

Recording your guitar on a PC computer, Laptop or Mac

"There are several ways of recording your guitar directly onto the hard drive of your computer. If you play an electric guitar, then the simplest way is to connect the headphone/line out from your amp to the line in of your soundcard. All you need to do this is Computer Guitar Adapter which has a standard jack input for your guitar lead on one end, and a mini-jack on the other. You can try out how this sounds by using the built-in Windows sound recorder software although better still download Audacity which is free recording software.

You can also experiment by plugging your electric guitar directly into the mic-in socket on your sound card. This will work but it may not give the high quality performance needed for a more professional sound. In general, electric guitars need a high impedance input, but although most computer soundcard's mic inputs have a high impedance, it is not as high as a normal guitar input. This lower impedance can result in quality problems."
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