#1
Hi everyone - I have ben loking round the site for a while, but this is my first post here so here goes...

A while ago, I got it into my head that I want to start recording my electric guitar on my laptop. At the moment, I have kristal, audacity and wavepad installed on my laptop and I can't get either of them to record my guitar...sound doesn't even come out the speakers. I have tried everything that I can think of to get sound:-

-Guitar-->PC
-Guitar-->AMP (headphone socket out)-->PC
-messing with volumes (on guitar, amp and pc)
-switching between mic and line-in on my pc and switching on the software.
-tried messing with volumes in every place I can

What confuses me is that my mic works fine (in the mic port anyways) but the guitar just wont record (the line in the software stays flat instead of moving with the beat when recording)

I thought (when just going guitar-->PC) that the volume just wasnt high enough, so thats why I used the amp (no line-out) and the master volume knob, but still nothing.

I am a student at the moment, so I cant afford all the expensive things, butthere are websites that say you only need a cable from guitar-->PC to record...nothing happens

Anyways, any help would be GREATLY appreciated. I suppose there is always just putting the mic to the guitar, but the quality is bad (background noise too) - My aim is to ust get a noise from my guitar on the pc, lol
#3
Are you using the Line in on your pc for the guitar? it is only line level and will need a pre amp to raise the volume, also, the line-in needs to be selected as the recording device in your volume panel. If the mic works fine (mic in) but Line in is being used for Guitar, then you need to change the recording device as i stated everytime you switch inputs.


::edit before the inevitable::

To change recording input, double click the volume icon near the clock (bottom right). Select options and checkmark recording. Hit ok and you will see the recording input volumes, check mark the input you want to use.
Last edited by ToXyN at Feb 12, 2007,
#4
Hi there - I have been flipping between mic and line-in and making the neccessary adjustments on the software and volume control (the little speaker next to the clock) and still nothing at all.

I believe my adaptor is ok as it is brand new (worked with my mates 1/4" headphones) and 1 cable is brand new (guitar-->amp) and the other cable works as that is what I used before the new one...all connections work.

Am I right in thinking that I cant use the headphones socket out of my amp (frontman 15G) that came with the guitar then? In my manual it says (and I quote) "HEADPHONES - output jack for standard stereo/mono headphones. This jack can also be used as an un balanced line output by using a stereo or mono 1/4" plg connection"

Could the unbalanced part be a culprit??

P.S. Thanks for the VERY quick replys
Last edited by seanhellen at Feb 12, 2007,
#5
Yep. I'll bet that's your problem. I see this ALOT. You have to be careful when you start buying adapters and connecting cables. You can't just buy a 1/4" to 1/8" stereo adapter and expect it to work.

The line out of your amp is going to be mono, while the soundcard in is going to be stereo. You'll need two adapters. One to get your 1/4" mono to 1/4" stereo, and then another one to get that 1/4" stereo to 1/8" stereo. You might be able to find one 1/4" mono to 1/8" stereo, but I've never seen one.

But, the thing is, you said you went from the headphones out of your amp to your soundcard. So, did you use a stereo cable for this? Headphones outs are usually stereo, but I'm not so sure with amps.

Just give us a little more info on what cables you're using, adapters and etc.
#6
i've got an ibanez gt10 and a crate gx-15 and the headphone out on both is stereo. if you have one that isn't stereo, you can get a cheap EQ pedal and that should fix the problem... and let you fiddle with your tone a bit more. also, assuming you can here the guitar sound through your computer and it's not recording, check the "windows recording mixer" in your Control Panel -> Sound section. you can also access this with cool edit pro through the options menu. make sure the "line in" is selected and is set at the appropriate volume which can be figured out just by fiddling with it. if you're recording direct without a mic with your amp or processor or whatever, make sure you always use your 'line in' jack.
#7
What confuses me is that my mic works fine (in the mic port anyways) but the guitar just wont record (the line in the software stays flat instead of moving with the beat when recording



#9
Hmmm...so basically the line input has produced no sound at this point right? Does ANYTHING work in the line input?

At this point, you really need to isolate things to pinpoint the problem. Try running your mic into the line input. If it works for the mic input then just move the cable over to the line input. It will be quite faint sounding, but it will be good enough to tell whether the input itself is even working or not.

And then, the other way around, try running your chain into the mic input - keeping the volumes turned way down, just to see if the signal registers.

It sounds like you're familiar enough with the software and inputs, so I'd just use your knowledge and isolate this thing.

I will say, for the record, I suspect your connectivity. You really need to post every single piece of the chain from your guitar to your pc - including adapters ( what they receive and what they send - like mono 1/4" to stereo 1/4" or whatever) and cables, including whether the cable is mono, stereo, rca, whatever.

I know you don't believe me, and I'm wrong about this as much as I'm right, but most of the open circuit problems I've experienced with audio recording come from cables and adapters and understanding what each input and output requires.
#10
lol, ok, here goes (***breathe in***) - My (very simple) chain:-

- Fender guitar to amp via new venom instrument cable (as normal)

- From the amp headphones socket (instructions say it can be line-out too) comes another cable (1/4" both ends - preceeded the venom cable) that goes into a stereo 1/4" to adapter...(dont know what the smaller plug is...so it can go to the laptop sound card)

- stereo adapter (1/4" to small plug) goes into the sound card on my laptop.

This is my setup at the moment...as I said earlier, I am just looking for a sound at the moment, so I have no pedal connected. I dont know if the cable is mono or stereo...have to look when I get back home.

I have done some more trial and error and have actually got a VERY, VERY, EXTREMELY faint sound...can only just hear it when EVERYTHING is turned up to full volume...plus background noise which doesn't help...this is in the mic input on the laptop - line in just doesn't do anything.

I know that my mic input works as if I take out the guitar lead + adaptor, plug my mic in and talk, I deafen myself, lol . As for my line in - I have never used it and dont have anything I can plug into it to check...unless of course, I can plug my mic into it?

Thats it I think - off the top of my head.

If you want any more info, just ask - this has become a bit of a vendetta now as I get my thoughts on something like this and then go at it until its fixed, lol
#12
lol, ok, here goes (***breathe in***) - My (very simple) chain:-

- Fender guitar to amp via new venom instrument cable (as normal)

- From the amp headphones socket (instructions say it can be line-out too) comes another cable (1/4" both ends - preceeded the venom cable) that goes into a stereo 1/4" to adapter...(dont know what the smaller plug is...so it can go to the laptop sound card)

- stereo adapter (1/4" to small plug) goes into the sound card on my laptop.


that's nearly exactly the same chain setup i have except with an EQ and a Digitech processor. I took them out to see if that did anything to mine and it still gets plenty of volume. perhaps the soundcard or the cable is bad or not functioning properly. can you try it on another computer perhaps?
#13
yeah, I could probably get 1 one of my uni mates to lend me their pc for a min.

I have to use the amp as there is no sound at all if I just connect the guitar to he pc straight off - there is only the headphones and aux-in on my amp...its not very posh, lol
#14
I dunno you probably tried this but what about the volume controls in the program itself (you know how audacity has an output volume and an input volume), its something most people overlook I know I did if thats not it then I have no idea.
#15
When I use the headphone output, it doesn't work, so I do it this way:

Guitar--->Pedal--->PC

I wish it would work with the headphone output, its alot harder to get a good tone plugged straight into the computer via the pedal.
Quote by fukyu1980
LOL ! muther fuker i was gonna say that LOL!
#16
yep, tried the vols. in audacity too.

I would have tried it with a pedal or any fx machine I had...if i had one

I think I may have to resort to buying a USB thingy for the pc and be done with it, lol
#17
Verify the line input of your laptop is really working. Try another source, such as an MP3 player. You just need a 1/8" stereo cable to do that. Most headphone outputs are stereo.

It can also get confusing about whether to use the Windows Playblack or Recorder audio settings and what type of sound card you have. Normally you can just use the playback settings to monitor whats on the line input signal of your laptop on your speakers. But the recording SW uses the recording mixer settings. They could do a lot to improve that crap in Windows.


You can get a 1/4" to 1/8 headphone adapter to plug into your amp.
#18
Ok, tried my ipod in the line-in with the cable and its fine, very loud - still had the volume up from trying the guitar, lol
#19
Quote by seanhellen
-From the amp headphones socket (instructions say it can be line-out too) comes another cable (1/4" both ends - preceeded the venom cable) that goes into a stereo 1/4" to adapter...(dont know what the smaller plug is...so it can go to the laptop sound card)

- stereo adapter (1/4" to small plug) goes into the sound card on my laptop.


There it is. Is the cable running from your amp to the adapter, mono or stereo? You have a stereo adapter, so it's made for a stereo 1/4" cable. Sounds like you're using a mono cable (typical instrument cable) there.
#20
yep, its the cable that came with the guitar originally...it was then replaced by the venom cable - which, btw, I cant find whether its stereo or mono.

Which would you suggest then? A new cableor a mono adaptor?
#21
if it's mono, the cable will only have one ring around the plug. if it's stereo, the plug will have 2 rings.
#22
ok, both my cables have only 1 black ring round them, as does my adaptor. However, my adaptor is advertised as "3.5mm Mono to 1/4in Stereo Adaptor" even though it only has 1 ring?!?!?!?

EDIT - Would you suggest somehting like this-->http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=1229&criteria=adaptor&doy=19m2

I have this at the moment-->http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=1178&criteria=mono%20to%20stereo&doy=19m2
Last edited by seanhellen at Feb 19, 2007,
#23
that might work. below, top is mono & bottom is stereo.


something else you could do is:

1/8" jack stereo cable with 2 male ends:


and a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter:


that way, the 1/4" adapter goes onto one end of the cable which goes into an amp or processer or whatever and the 1/8" line goes into the soundcard.
#24
Quote by seanhellen
ok, both my cables have only 1 black ring round them, as does my adaptor. However, my adaptor is advertised as "3.5mm Mono to 1/4in Stereo Adaptor" even though it only has 1 ring?!?!?!?

EDIT - Would you suggest somehting like this-->http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=1229&criteria=adaptor&doy=19m2

I have this at the moment-->http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=1178&criteria=mono%20to%20stereo&doy=19m2


Ok, what you have at the moment is correct for the cable, but not for the soundcard. See, a mic-in is mono. A line-in is stereo. So, right now, you're plugging in a mono plug into a stereo jack - no sound because it's shorting a channel to ground.

The other thing is you're using that mono cable on your headphones out on your amp. Headphones are usually stereo. Again, shorting a channel to ground.

So, basically your problem is from using that mono cable and that mono adapter on stereo jacks. The channels are being shorted to ground.

So, to fix this, you just need a stereo cable (2 rings on each end) and a standard 1/4" stereo to 1/8" stereo adapter. That's it.


In the future, I'm sure you'll pay more attention to this now. Mono/stereo matters - alot, as you've seen. Label your adapters too with a little piece of tape or something because there are tons of adapters that all look the same, but do different things. There's adapters made for 1/4" mono to 1/8" stereo that look exactly like adapters made for 1/4" stereo to 1/8" stereo - but they're not the same. One will short a channel to ground when used on a stereo cable - the other will not. It sucks trying to figure this out when you're looking at a pile of them.
#25
yep, all my cables and the end of my adaptor is like the top plug in your first pic. is a guitar mono or stereo then? May be a stupid question, but hey...I'm stupid, lol.

I have got 1 adaptor that is exactly like the one in your last pic. But I dont know if it is mono to stereo or stereo to stereo.


***EDIT - IT WORKS*** Ok, a bit of a long way to do it, but it works - I had all the things lying around in my drawer too :-

Guitar-->amp as per normal

From amp headphones comes a stereo adaptor (mentioned above - call it "adaptor A")

From Adaptor A comes another adaptor to convert rca to line-in type plug...i know what I mean, lol

then rca wire into line-in port on laptop...this wire has rca on 1 end and a jack plug (for line-in) on the other.

Well, like I say I know what I mean, lol

Thanks for all the hints guys, I can now hear myself play on the laptop Thanks again.
Last edited by seanhellen at Feb 19, 2007,
#26
Yeah, I see why you're having problems Sean...

Guitars are mono, high impedance devices - low level / mic level signal. All low level devices need some kind of pre-amp processing to boost the signal and deal with the high impedance of the coils (same with most mics). This is what an amplifier or mixer does - it pre-amps this signal to a line-level signal - that's what you want.

Mixers, processors, CD players, etc are usually stereo, low impedance devices - line level signals. This is where most of the audio processing takes place.


Amplifiers usually have 3 kinds of outputs. External speaker out, line-out and headphones out. External speaker out is a juicy signal designed to physically push speaker cones - never run this signal into any line level device - only speaker cabinets. Line-out is exactly what it sounds like, it's a line-level signal. Only usually this is a mono signal coming out of an amp (because most amplifiers aren't designed for stereo processing - it's all just a mono arrangement). But not always - so know your gear before you hook stuff up. Heaphones out is almost always going to be stereo. This signal is also designed for speakers - itty bitty ones - but can still blow a soundcard if you're not careful. Only use this if you have to, and be easy with the volume.

Does that clear a few things up? Get familiar with this. You should be able to understand low/mic level, line level, mono, stereo and etc..
#27
ok, thanks for the advice Paranoia - I think that I am going to have to get one of those cables that was mentioned above (2 jacks on either end) as there is a LOT of "buzzing". This is the only word I can describe it.
Last edited by seanhellen at Feb 19, 2007,
#28
Yeah, that's noise.

I would just get an 1/8" stereo cable, like hetjr pasted in above. Leave it plugged into your soundcard's line-in and just get different adapters for it to plug into your amp, guitar or whatever. This RCA fix of yours is cool for troubleshooting, but that noise is going to drive you insane before too long.
#29
lol, it has already.

If I am understanding this right, I would have to get a mono cable though, wouldnt I?

Oh, and would the noise go away if I got this cable?

***EDIT***

Just tried without the amp...signal straight from guitarand its fine...no nooise either..yay
Last edited by seanhellen at Feb 19, 2007,
#30
ok,I have just got the cable and adaptor andit still works,lol

Now 2 more questions and I'm done I think:-

1. Is there any way to stop noisewithout having to do it in the software?
2. Is there any to get rid of the slight delay in kristal...i like that program apart from the delay, lol