#1
To Admin: Not sure where to post this. I hope this is the right place.

(What I Have) vs (What I Need)

First let me explain what I want to do, then, maybe someone out there can explain to me in simple terms what I need to do, or buy, in order to do it.

I want to be able to play at coffee houses, usually solo. I want to set up my laptop so that I can use it for guitar effects, and if possible, vocal effects. No out there effects for either, basic stuff like compression, overdrive, delay, reverb, eq, chorus for guitar, and for vocals I'd like to be able to use compression, reverb, eq, and maybe delay.

More on what I'd like to be able to achieve: I'd let to be able to set up so that I can play and sing and use the laptop for the effects. I'd like to be able to send the vocals through one effects chain and the vocals through a separate chain. I'd like to also have the ability to run a second guitar and mic for a second musician so that musician could also do the same thing. A lot of musicians around here and it would be nice to be able to allow one (or more possibly) to sit in.

I'm not a techie kind of guy, so, if you reply, pretend you are talking to a complete ******. Just pretend I'm a drummer or something like that.

Now, let me tell you what I already have.

I already have an extra laptop that isn't that old, but, I can get a newer one if need be.
I already some some software that I think has some effects I could possibly use - I bought Sonar 6 XL, but, never used it. I was thinking I might be able to use the effects that came with the software.
I already have guitars and mics. I already have a guitar amp.


Can I set up my laptop - a dedicated laptop specifically for this purpose - to achieve this? How fast of a processor, or whatever, do I need? Does that even matter? I think Sonar has something called "live monitoring". Can I use that somehow so that I could set up this kind of thing. I don't want any latency. Do I need an "interface", or a small USB mixer or something like that?

I know, I know, lots of questions. Try not to be smartasses. I'm a guitar player, not a guitar tech.
#2
If a standalone digital FX unit is not possible for whatever reason and you're insisting on running through your laptop, the most straightforward solution would be Native Instruments Guitar Rig (with Rig Kontrol).

This is both a signal processor software (the application that applies FX, etc to your input signals) and a hardware controller (as well as audio in/out). This package along with your laptop will allow you to connect your guitar to the hardware controller, which then uses the processing from the computer/software and allow it to be routed to an audio out such as monitors / speakers, etc.

However this setup is a bit on the costly side. Around $500 for the soft/hardware package. And if your computer can't handle it, there's the cost of needing a new computer. If you have the budget I would recommend a MacBook Pro, not only because it is stable as an OS but also because it is physically durable and light which is helpful as a unit that you have to lug around for gigs.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#3
To play through your laptop, you need an interface. There's a sticky dedicated to recommendations of how to get started over in the Recordings forum.

I know you don't mention recording in the OP, but the equipment & software you need is the same - the only difference is you don't hit the record button.
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#4
Thanks for replies. I'll try to find the thread in the Recording forum. (I am wondering why I would need to buy Guitar Rig since Sonar already has fx.)
#5
Quote by jeffdumas1965
Thanks for replies. I'll try to find the thread in the Recording forum. (I am wondering why I would need to buy Guitar Rig since Sonar already has fx.)

Unless you plan on keeping a static FX setup for an entire show, you'll need a hardware controller to interface with those FX. While you don't necessarily need Guitar Rig to set that up, it takes someone pretty tech savvy to come up with their own solution.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
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Quote by PhoenixGRM
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#6
Thanks again for responses, have been trying to research this a bit. Here is what I have concluded: It is a nice idea - (trying to use a pc to process multiple effects to different things, for instance using a laptop to add compression and reverb to mic one, compression and reverb to mic two, etc, adding an effects chain to guitar one, adding an effects chain to guitar two, etc) but, it is impractical. Just too much processing for a laptop to handle, at least today in 2015. Mainstream affordable laptops aren't up to the task. I'm not sure yet as to what the most affordable way to achieve what I want is.

Maybe, Guitar One to Multi Effect Pedal to Mixer, Guitar Two to Multi Effect to Mixer
Mic One and Mic Two into Mixer and use Mixer that has FX and apply internal FX to mics
All out to PA.

Seems like that might be least expensive way to get a rich sound without having to have both guitars using same exact effect.

Do they make multi effect rack units or something which will allow you to apply different effect chains to different guitars and then send those instruments to different channels on a mixer or something. Just thinking out loud, but, comment if you have ideas.
Last edited by jeffdumas1965 at Jun 10, 2015,