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Guitar & USB

Postby Daniel V. » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:49 pm

Hi everyone, I'm asking this here because I figure it's where I will get a good answer.

Basically, I want to plug my electric guitar into the PC for the purposes of recording some tracks. In order to do so I know that I need a guitar plug/usb adapter.

My question is whether this is sufficient to simply record the guitar's basic sound. As I looked around online others have noted that one needs an interface between the guitar and PC. One example of many is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.

https://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-2i2

I may eventually get one of those or another but for the moment I just want the simplest connection to record some guitar music with no distortion, effects, etc. Addedly, I will use Audacity for the recording.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Thank You :)

Daniel V.
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Re: Guitar & USB

Postby The Elf » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:12 pm

Buying a lesser device will simply result in you having to re-buy at some stage. With a proper audio interface you're set for a long time into the future.

You may also find that a 'simpler' method is not as simple as you might imagine, and could come with compromises and limitations.

The interface you've linked to will do a perfectly good job for you. With it you can record abolutely anything you like - in mono and stereo. Unless you are very, very tight for money I'd go for it, or something very similar. I often spec the Native Instruments KA6 for beginners on a budget.
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Re: Guitar & USB

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:32 pm

+1 you can do it cheaper but unless money is really tight, or you are a true technophobe an audio interface like the Focusrite you link to will make more sense. For the cheapest method forget guitar to USB cables and just make up a suitable adapter cable to plug your guitar straight into the PCs onboard sound card (this won't always be possible but I have one I made to record to an iPhone or iPad which works perfectly adequately for recording demos or just remembering ideas).
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Re: Guitar & USB

Postby Daniel V. » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:18 pm

Thanks to both of you for the prompt response.

'The Elf', yes, I'm aware that 'simpler' is sometimes easier in theory. Thing is, with some previous expenses and now the holiday season things have gotten a little tighter than Santa's outfit. 'Sam Spoons' got it right with just something to remember ideas but I won't be doing the sound card bit. :)

Anyway, I saw a couple of possibilities in this regard:

Behringer U-Phoria UMC 22

Behringer UCA222 Ultra-Low Latency

There were others even cheaper that looked like handhelds but some of the reviews mentioned garbled sound and latency issues.

There's no doubt that up the road I will be getting something higher on the scale but for now are the two I mentioned above or others similarly priced basic enough for the task?

Thank You

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Re: Guitar & USB

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:44 am

Like others have said, it costs more money to buy twice. I’d be wary of the cheaper Behringer stuff based on reputation.

Looking at Sweetwater’s USB interface listings in low to high price sorting, the first ones that look remotely sensible are the Presonus entry level interfaces. Also Shure list the MVi at US$79, but again I’m unfamiliar with it.

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Re: Guitar & USB

Postby ef37a » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:25 am

Like Bob I too am wary of Behringer kit but that range of AIs has been around a while now and there have been no negative reports that I know about (keep hoping SoS will review one!)

The 2i2 is ok but you are paying for a name. The Berry 202/222 interfaces are ok for tape dubbing but not passive guitar unless you use a pedal to drive them. You would need a pedal that 'buffers' when off, Boss, Blackstar. NOT one of those engineering nonsenses, 'True Bypass'. A buffer pedal will present the correct, high impedance to the guitar and preserve the "tone". That will work but operationally a bit of a kludge, get a proper AI if you can.

The cheapest but still very decent AI I know of is the Alesis i02 Express, comes with Cubase to boot.

https://www.maplin.co.uk/p/alesis-io2-e ... face-n88jj

And Maplin are pricey, should find one under $100.

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Re: Guitar & USB

Postby The Elf » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:20 am

I'm very wary of Behringer at these price levels, but the UCM22 at least has a guitar input. If money is that tight then that's the one I'd go for between the two.

But I also wouldn't immediately dismiss plugging straight into the computer's mic input. When you're down at these price levels then it would seem a reasonable compromise rather than spending anything at all.
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Re: Guitar & USB

Postby Alba » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:33 pm

+1 straight into the machine.

If you are handy with a soldering iron then you could make a pre-amp.

The Tillman FET preamp is good. I made one and it works a treat straight into the Line In on the laptop.

example (not me, i do more bum notes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDeJXaxguqU

Info http://www.till.com/articles/GuitarPreamp/

circuit http://www.till.com/articles/GuitarPrea ... preamp.gif

Tagboard layouts http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... llman.html

And if you can't find or don't want to pay a fortune for the J201 N-channel JFETs then PM me your address and i'll send you a couple for christmas if you're skint. I've got a bag full of them.

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Guitar 1/4">USB cable

Postby markoos » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:47 pm

Does anyone have any experience with the Alesis GuitarLink? Only 16/44.1 - £25

http://www.alesis.com/products/legacy/guitarlink

There are others available at £9:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Professional-G ... F6WBC16H8H

Has anyone any experience of these at all? Would this work with an electric guitar output?
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Re: Guitar & USB

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:15 pm

The "Studio Quality" claim is slightly dubious for 16/44.1 but at £8.99 you probably aren't going to be disappointed, and you can send it back for a refund if it's truly horrible......
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Re: Guitar & USB

Postby Wonks » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:06 am

The £9 cable has mixed reviews. You'd probably have to try ASIO4ALL on it to get a lowish latency, and some seem to work fine and some don't, so there may be a large percentage of badly constructed units out there.

Some people were complaining of what sounds like ground loop noise. They may have been using it through some pedals with a non-isolated power supply as there shouldn't be a ground loop path with the guitar plugged straight in (or pedals using batteries).

As there doesn't appear to be any gain control, it won't be optimised for all types of guitars, so those with more powerful pickups may cause clipping. Also, it may only be a USB1.1 interface, which may not work if you've only got USB3 ports. You should be OK with USB2 ports.
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Re: Guitar & USB

Postby markoos » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:38 pm

Hmmm. Given the number of bad reviews for virtually all of these cable types I'm happy to give them a miss, but it might be worthwhile exploring for the OP (sorry for the hijack, btw!).
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Re: Guitar & USB

Postby markoos » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:42 pm

Incidentally Daniel, what OS is on the computer? Does it have a built in audio input? If not, and the OS is supported, what about getting a simple, old, used, cheap-but-decent-quality interface?

I've just powered up an old Edirol UA-20 (24bit) - maybe you could pick something like this up, as long as you check the drivers are still available for your OS.
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