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Recording The Guitar to a Computer


You want to record your guitar, make your own riffs, music, etc. You want to plug my guitar into my computer? How to connect the guitar to the computer the right and best way? What software? Which audio interface? What about my favorites guitar effects? What computer? Where to start? It can be overwhelming.

The recording guitarist's computer setup should be something like this:

* Guitar (*GTR with 13 pin connection recommended) * Microphone for recording Acoustic guitar, vocals etc. * Quality guitar cable * Audio Interface-Firewire (recommended) or USB * Guitar/midi interface * USB/Firewire cables * Computer (Mac recommended or PC) * Extra external/internal Hard Drive (recommended) * Audio recording/sequencer software * Plug-ins: effects- reverb, compressor, delay, chorus, etc o Dedicated guitar effects/amp simulation o Sampler/synths (for 13 pin guitarists or guitarist who can play keyboards) * Quality cables to speakers * Powered Speakers * Headphones (so you do not disturb the wife an kids at those late weekend sessions).

Some recording setups:

-Setting up your whole live rig and putting a microphone in front of the your cabinet, playing at loud volumes so you get the amp to sound right, push the speaker enough, putting your speaker in a closet, using a blanket to damping volume, etc. -You could use a load on you speaker and record direct.

-Use a preamp that is compensated for direct recording as the front end. You can plug this into outboard effects or add plug-ins

-You could record from your pedal board or any outboard multi-effects you might own. You probably end up with a direct type sound. Some multi-effects have amp simulation that might take the edge off the direct sound.

With any of these scenarios you are committing yourself to the recorded track. If you record with effects, you can't change it later. You would have to re-record! And if you do not re-record on the same day or you have to come back and have to set up the rig again, hopefully the knobs setting were written down, place the speaker in the same place etc, etc.... If you get into the recording other instruments or mixing the song and you want to change the guitar sound, tone, effects, etc, -- you have to re-record!

With a guitar with a 13 pin connection, either internally or a pickup installed on the body, you get 100% use of your software. You can record your guitar sound and get access to any software synths or samplers that come with the software or as a plug-in add-on.

With a software computer base system, you can change almost everything after you have recorded--amps, effects, mics, mic placement and more. You do this with plug-ins. You can save all your presets, sounds, etc. You could have multi-guitar tracks with different settings all from recording one track. The flexibility is there! Yes, there are purists out there- "software can't sound like tubes". Well, the software is getting pretty close!!!!

There is a lot of software out there. You do not have to spend a lot of money AND it is always improving. You buy a box. (i.e.hard disk recorders, and others mentioned above), you have bought a box. You usually can't upgrade without buying a new box.

People use computers every day at work or home- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel Power Point, etc) Email, Internet. Use it to record your guitar and music!!

Hopefully, this helps and you can check out more at http://www.guitarhelper.net

Brian has 18 years experience in the Music Industry.

He can be contacted at Brian@guitarhelper.net.

Submitted by:

Brian Murphy

Brian Murphy

18 years Music industry experience guitar player for over 30 years





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