Version 2, decided that I needed to be more specific in detailing how to do this method properly, and some new tricks that I've found to work extremely well.

This method is basically a way for use poor musicians to get a decent recorded tone without having to buy interfaces and mics and such. It's not a perfect method, and a interface will definitely help in getting the most of your tone, but you can still get a very decent usable tone using this method.

Note: When recording using this method, you must have a load on your speaker at all times, your amp is acting normally, your just taking the preamp signal and using it, everything else with the amp must be normal. You don't have to crank your amp very loud to get a decent line level volume, very little volume will do just fine. SS amps will do ok if you run them without a speaker, but it's highly recommended you do.

Alright, lets start, I'll be using Reaper with this guide, since it's easy to get a hold of and pretty easy to use. The first thing I'll go through is getting your hardware set up. You can do this two ways, using the FX send or out on your amp, or just plugging your guitar straight into the sound card, either way works, but with the amp it tends to work better.

First, you need a 1/4th inch female to 1/8th inch male adapter. Plug that into either your "Mic in" or your "Line in", line in works the best of the two. Then plug a cable into your FX send or out and connect it to your adapter. Your set up should look like this:

Now that's set, lets get your soundcard set up so this will work. First things first, if you have Windows 7, yours is going to be pretty much set up exactly like mine, so follow the pictures:

First, go to your control pannel, you'll see this:

Now, click on "Hardware and Sound". Then click on "Realtek HD Audio Manager".

It'll take you to this page, click on the line in tab, and set yours exactly like I have mine. I like the input volume at 50 because it vastly reduces any clipping and in general makes for a better recording tone.

Now that's set, bring up your DAW, this is what mine looks like with a complete song in there:

Now, go up to the top bar, and click on options, scroll all the way down till you find "preferences", it's going to be at the very bottom, now click on it.

After you click on preferences, you'll see something like this, mines on MIDI for some reason.

So, click on the "devices" tab, and you'll see this, set your exactly how I have mine set. If you do not have the ASIO driver, then download it here: http://asio4all.com/

Now you need to add your VST's, so click on the VST tab in the same box thingy, and click the add function where you see the mouse sitting at:

Search through your documents till you find your VST's folder, which is whatever folder you made to hold your VST's in, click that.

Now you get to add the impulses to your track. Click on the little fx icon on the track, it'll open up a page like this, then click on the FX and add FX function like shown:

Then add your impulse loader, I like LeCab 2, which you can find here: http://lepouplugins.blogspot.com/2010/12/lecab2-vst-for-windows.html

Once you set it, you can load your impulses into it and off you go. In the track fx list, make sure if comes after your VST amp if your using a VST amp.

Last edited by ethan_hanus at Apr 11, 2011,
If you do this correctly, then you'll be getting tones similar to what I get, here are a few examples for you, all of which were done using a Valveking, and a Squier Affinity with a Bareknuckle Painkiller in the bridge, and BKP Trilogy Suites in the middle and neck.

Cleans: http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/ethan_hanus/music/all/play963677

Heavy metal shiz: http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/ethan_hanus/music/all/play979524

Alternativish: http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/ethan_hanus/music/all/play980618
Last edited by ethan_hanus at Apr 11, 2011,
So I followed this to a T except I ran the guitar directly into my Line In port on my old laptop. I had Reaper acting essentially like an effects processor using Lecto and Lecab to create my tone. I just got a new Alienware M17x computer and I was excited about being able to use some of it's power to start recording stuff in higher quality but I can't seem to get Reaper to work anymore. I set it up exactly as in the thread only this laptop doesn't have a Line In port so I am running it through the Mic Jack.

When I look at the windows 7 mixer I can see that the mic reacts when I strum the guitar but in Reaper all I get when I arm the track (monitoring is enabled) is a high pitched consistent whine. Absolutely no sound from my guitar comes through. I did notice that instead of having Real Tek HD audio like on my old Windows XP laptop I have IDT Audio on this Windows 7 machine. I was hoping to not have to buy a USB interface for a while because I am strapped for cash so if you all have any suggestions that'd be awesome.
Have you changed the audio driver to ASIO? Sometimes if you have another program that uses a sound driver open, it will prevent Reaper from working right in the monitor function.

You may have to fiddle with the audio driver settings in Reaper for it to work properly, I don't remember what I used to do with my Asus G71, but I know what I posted here didn't always work with it.
I poked around for a while last night. I finally got Reaper to recognize at least my guitar in Wave Out. This doesn't help much because of the absurd lag time between playing and sound output. Still no sound except the high whine when in ASIO mode.

Here are some screen shots of my audio settings in Reaper and on Windows. I think I may just have to uninstall IDT audio and install Realtek though I am a bit wary of doing that because I don't want to **** up my sound card and have to wipe windows to get my sound back =\

Last edited by Xylence at Jul 20, 2011,