Well, I've been playing electric guitar since April of 2009, and I play heavy metal/thrash metal and hard rock music most of the time. I have recorded some videos of me covering Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, etc. songs, by just taking my digital camera, putting it in front of me, recording, while I play guitar along with the music. The sound comes through my combo amplifier and gets recorded on the camera, which is why there is often unwanted distortion and "outside noise" on some of my videos.

I believe the time has come to get into "professional" recording. As far as I know (and think), you need a USB guitar cable to record the guitar's sound directly into your computer. However, that really is as far as my knowledge in this area goes. I heard about several packages (ProTools, Guitar Rig, etc), and I think they record guitars directly into PCs perfectly.

What's the best "package" I can get to record my guitar directly into my computer (considering ease-of-use and price), what equipment do I need, and how do I use 'em?

Just a "general" guide on how to use these software/tools to record straight into computer will help a lot. Thanks!
Last edited by zuhairreza at Nov 13, 2011,
if you plug your guitar strait into your pc it will sound like shit. the best thing to do is get an audio interface and some decent software, I'm not sure on the best free software for pc because i use garageband on my mac
If you want to record to your computer, as the last guy said you'll need an interface. There are a number of choices which are discussed in detail in other threads, personally if you're going with an interface I'd recommend one of Zoom's R series (there's an 8, 16 and 24 track version) as this can be used as a standalone multitracker as well so you'd be able to take it along to any band practices or gigs you may get involved with in the future. (It also comes bundled with a copy of cubase so you'd get the necessary software as well, although it works with all the main software DAWs).

Personally I prefer multitrackers as standalone DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation), at the moment the Zoom is the only option which doubles up as an interface but other multitrackers are worth considering if you decided you wanted something which can do everything you need in a single package. They're easier to get to grips with so you'd spend less time working with getting your recording mixed allowing you to keep more of your guitar time for playing guitar. You could still rip the final product to your PC as an mp3 file when you were done.

You'll also need to be able to mic up your amp, so you'll need to get a microphone. Shure are usually the best option here.

You don't mention a budget - how much have you got to spend on kit? That will be a big influence on which is the best way to go.
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Budget's under 500 dollars.

So the Audio Interface I get will be connected to the computer, while my guitar will be connected to the audio interface. Is that it? And after I record the guitar track, I can add effects and edit the audio using the software (what people call "amp simulators", or DAWs, such as REAPER, etc.)?

I have a question: how can I hear my guitar when I am playing it, if it's connected to the computer?

I am using either a Gibson Flying V or Schecter Damien 6. My amp is Line 6's Spider IV 15 watts combo.

Hopefully these things come with instructions and "connecting what to what" manual.

Thank you.
Last edited by zuhairreza at Nov 13, 2011,
Will just getting a TASCAM US 100 Audio Interface, a USB guitar cable and a decent amp simulation software help me record my guitar into the computer well?

I want to use the "direct input" method to record. My Line 6 has a "Phones/Record Out" port, and I believe this is what I use to connect my amp to the computer.

I don't want all those other pieces of hardware such as monitors, mics, etc. if I can help it. They are expensive and besides, I don't want any "top notch" quality. Just a "clear" sound will do, so on my future cover song videos, aside from the original music (which I will put in the background), my guitar's distorted sound can be clearly heard. I don't want "professional" level recording quality. Thanks.
Last edited by zuhairreza at Nov 13, 2011,
After lots of research, things are finally beginning to make sense.

I think here's what I need to do: Get a USB 2.0 Audio Interface (which comes with USB cable), connect that to the computer, connect my guitar to the Audio Interface and play. The guitar'll then be recorded into the computer, and I can edit the track using an amp simulation software. Is that right?

I am thinking of getting a TASCAM US 100 USB 2.0 Audio Interface.

One thing, can we substitute studio monitors for comp. speakers? I'd rather not spend that much if possible.

Please let me know if I understood anything incorrectly, and list top options for an amp simulation software. Thanks!
you sound like youve got the right idea. you take your interface and hook it to your computer. you then plug the guitar into the interface. then you have the software to do amp modeling, effects, and any other manipulation you want.

you can use computer speakers or headphone instead of monitors, but you have to know they will color your sound. monitors are the ideal choice if you are mixing, but if you are just tracking your guitar then you can probably skip them.

check out this for information on using amp sims. gets you a nice step by step walkthrough to get started, and has some options for free sims.

for your interface, i dont know much about the tascam 100 but it looks a bit cheap. for just plugging your guitar straight in, the line 6 pod studio gx is a solid option. if you want the option to expand more later, the focusrite saffire 6 (or scarlett if you want more) are some solid options, along with the m-audio fast track or fast track pro.