Dear all,

I am somewhat of a noob regarding audio recording and mixing and I have the following problem: I want to practice guitar over some backing tracks played back from the computer and hear everything in my headphones since I play a lot and don't want to disturb my neighbors. The idea is to somehow mix the sound coming from my BOSS GT 6 Guitar Effects Processor with the mp3's played from my computer. A nice thing would be to be able to record what I am playing. Two solutions I came across while searching the web were:

- just buying an audio mixer, plug boss gt in one channel and the computer output in another and take the output to the headphones. Downside is I haven't seen anything cheap with decent recording capabilities..

- buying an audio interface (which definitely is able to record the inputted guitar) and somehow play it together with the mp3 on the computer (how would that work??)

I would appreciate some advices on what I should purchase to solve my problem. The limit would be like 100 dollars second hand gear...

Thanks in advance!
I would advise against the first one.
Hell of a pain in the ass to setup, and not that much good sounding in the end.

I'd suggest you getting an unbranded guitar link and using software amp sims.
Refer to the amp sims sticky in the recording section of this forum.
The way I record is using a USB interface, and setting the program's speaker output to the mixer. Then I can mix the guitar signal and the backing track as I see fit
Your first solution will work. I have a Tascam firewire mixer that can work exactly like that. The advantage is that you can record the guitar without the backing track if desired. A USB mixer can probably accomplish the same thing.

Another solution is just plug the output of the GT into the line in on your computer with the correct adapters. People will say that you won't get great recorded quality, but it can be adequate if you get your levels correct. The downside of an audio interface is that it is sometimes difficult to get the latency low. Plugging into your computer's line in is zero latency with zero effort.
If you have a daw (digital audio workstation) program for recording...like reaper, pro tools, audacity, cubase, etc......you can simply connect the GT 6 open a new project select the GT 6 as the input.

Next add two tracks, one is the GT6 the other in an import of the mp3 you want to have playing then you're set.
Either USB mixer or audio interface will do. Behringer USB mixers are under $80, or something like the Art already suggested.
The mp3s will have to be loaded into some program which allows monitoring of incoming signal, like say Reaper, Mixcraft, Tracktion on the cheap (beer $70), or something more expensive. Usually the software will come with the hardware, like if you buy Presonus, Roland, Steinberg, etc.
Thank you all so much for your comments! I have decided to go with an audio interface. After a long search for used items on my local market i have to decide between these four:

Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 -> http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UMC22.aspx
Tascam US-122MKII -> http://tascam.com/product/us-122mkii/
Presonus AudioBox USB -> http://www.presonus.com/products/AudioBox-USB
Steinberg CI1 -> https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/audio_interfaces/ci_serie/modelle/ci1.html

My questions are: have you owned any of the above and would you recommend it? Which one do you think is the best? My primary interest is quality of the recording(noise free), low latency and to be able to achieve what I talked about in my first post. Many thanks for your help!
Quote by Dazzl1113
If you have a daw (digital audio workstation) program for recording...like reaper, pro tools, audacity, cubase, etc......you can simply connect the GT 6 open a new project select the GT 6 as the input.

Next add two tracks, one is the GT6 the other in an import of the mp3 you want to have playing then you're set.
This is totally wrong. The Boss GT-6 has no built in audio interface.
Quote by fly135
This is totally wrong. The Boss GT-6 has no built in audio interface.

True, the Boss units that have USB interface are the GT-10 and GT-100 and the new line they just introduced.
It does however have an SPDIF interface, which allows a direct digital recording if you have an audio card with SPDIF. Back when I had a GT-8 I bought a card with SPDIF. It was a bear to figure out how to get it to work. But when I did it worked great.
I have a Korg Pandora PX5D. There's also the Mini which has most of what the 5D does.

The Pandora is tiny, battery powered (AC adapter is available) and has an enormous number of features for the size. There's an MP3 input, guitar input (you can plug the output of your current modeler in there as well) and USB recording output (Korg included DAW software with the unit).

But there's SO much more. There's a whole modeling system built in as well, including amps, cabs and FX. In addition, there are bass lines, drum machine, a slower downer (maintains the original pitch of a song but slows it down so that you can practice slowly with it) a pitch shifter (keeps the original speed but changes the pitch to wherever you need to play it for a singer, etc.), a phrase trainer (record up to 40 seconds of an MP3 and loop it so that you practice a specific part over and over again), a tuner, a metronome and so much more.

In essence, you can take this, your headphones and guitar and practice in the middle of a pasture if you like.
Dspellman, I got the similar product by the competition, Boss Micro Br used for $50. Works good although sometimes doesn't play files created with certain mp3 encoders.

gokuhssj3 - what you do is use a program to play the mp3s though your PC and set the output to the new audio interface. Easily done by just assigning it as default audio interface. Then your processor out and PC audio out are mixed together. You can also do it in recording program, like say Audacity (free) to be able to record your input.

The Pandora/MicroBr, etc. option is also viable if you want to go that route. I was preparing to audition to a label band for a tour and the MicroBr was more handy than to be on the PC.
If you use a USB based audio interface to monitor your playing then you may have to deal with latency issues. There are methods to reduce latency to acceptable levels. The ASIO driver is one such method. Some people plug this stuff together and it works like a champ. Others are not so lucky and complain no matter what they do the problems persist.

When you use an audio interface to record and monitor through other means (like a guitar amp) then latency isn't so much an issue. If you use a mixer then there is no issues at all. If you use a mixer with built in USB interface then you have the best of both worlds. If you just get an audio interface, then it may work fine or you may be back with posts asking how to fix your latency issues.

Edit: Looked at your link. That should be fine. You have both options (direct or interface) for monitoring. Plus it claims to be low latency, so they should have drivers and instructions for dealing with that.
Last edited by fly135 at Nov 6, 2014,
Most newer PCs can handle low latency, especially since you're using an already effected signal so you won't be applying extra effects in realtime.
Quote by gokuhssj3
Let's say I will buy the Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 (http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UMC22.aspx). I plug the UMC into the USB Port of my computer and the GT6 into Line 1 of the UMC. How will I then be able to hear the mp3's on my computer at the same time with whats coming from the GT6?

Just an FYI...
Behringer has a less than stellar reputation as far as build quality and reliability goes.
I can't say if the product you listed has the same issues, by I myself would consider choosing something else.
Another FYI.... I have two low end Behringer mixers that have been very reliable. They are powered up 24/7 and have been for a long time (one for several years). I use them to mix computer/guitar/etc to my stereo in two different rooms of my house.