Can you plug your guitar in to your computer? Well, that all depends; what do you want it to do? If you want to plug in and start shredding with cool effects and great tone channeled in for you, you’re down for a bit of a bummer.
That won’t happen. However, if you want to plug into your computer and manage your tone with an outside source, using your computer to monitor and tweak, or even use it for recording, you’re in for a big surprise; you can do it!
You just need some stuff, first.
In this article, we are going to talk all about how to plug a guitar in to a computer.
You can’t just plug your guitar into your computer. We’re going to get that out right at the start. It would be nice, but it won’t work. Computers aren’t meant to be amps. You are going to need some sort of adapter for your guitar.
There are a ton of them on the market, as well as USB microphones that will allow you to simply plug a microphone into your computer and stick it next to your amp for recording. However, you will have a very hard time if you try to find a “guitar” outlet on your computer. It just won’t happen, we promise you.
Many recording software packages come with adapters so that you can, well, record. These vary in size and quality, and it is best for you, if deciding to record with your computer, to buy a recording software package that suits your needs and abilities.
Many musicians prefer Avid Pro Tools, but Sonar Cakewalk and Cubase are very popular as well. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of different types of recording software for musicians of all levels. Do some research and don’t just buy the most expensive, or most talked up, thing you see, because what works for others may not be what you prefer.
Now, you can also use an adapter, if you have a program that has the capabilities, to add distortion to your guitar. You will only get as much volume as your speakers allow, however, and you won’t want to abuse them too badly for risk of blowing them out.
Thus, a computer isn’t going to be the best choice for an amplifier. As stated before, it can be used in a chain to adjust levels if you are using preamps, but it won’t get you a loud, live sound.
Now, the final way is to use a microphone. This method of “plugging your guitar” into your computer involved an amplifier. It is also used strictly for recording, as you won’t be able to get much out of your guitar if you just put a microphone up to it while it is unplugged. Sorry, it just won’t happen.
In the end, there is more than one way to plug your guitar into your amplifier. However, each way is dependent upon what your needs are. Good luck!