Total rookie..I want to plug my guitar/bass into my computer.

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by capnjim, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. capnjim


    Mar 13, 2008
    I should be easy, but I don't get along very well with computers. I would like to start recording my own music. Whats the easiest interface/software to get started, something I can play bass and guitar and will have built in drum tracks.
    I don't want to start downloading free stuff as I have had bad luck with it. I'm looking for one product that comes with interface and recording/modeling software.
    I'm not looking for crazy good quality, I just want to get a few ideas down on the computer.
  2. Download audacity, then, what I do, is plug in the headphone jack into the microphone jack, using a male to male lead and an extender. Word of warning, be careful, if you turn it up too much, the input will be distorted.
  3. capnjim


    Mar 13, 2008
    I don't quite do I plug my guitar in?? Don't I need a 1/4" interface-USB?
  4. Adub311


    Jun 25, 2011
    Whittier, CA
    i use a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter and plug it into the microphone jack
  5. capnjim


    Mar 13, 2008
    I'll have to give it a try..I then use audacity for different sounds and drum tracks?
  6. Cohacq


    May 14, 2010
    I DO NOT recommend just using an adapter to plug it in or using the headphone jack on the amp. You're way better off getting a proper interface.

    I use the MBOX2 myself, but I've heard a lot of good about he M-audio Fast Track Pro aswell, and it's a lot cheaper!
  7. Adub311


    Jun 25, 2011
    Whittier, CA
    this is a much better choice than the adapter...i just use the adapter because it was like $4
  8. ffutterman

    ffutterman Talentless Bass Enthusiast

    May 7, 2010
    I use the headphone cord/adapter/Audacity combo, and am desperately trying to find something better. The sound quality is tolerable at first, but it'll wear you out after a while for being so bad. It works if your budget is under $10, but I don't recommend it.
  9. JaamE

    JaamE Owner of the GK Angry Bird amp

    Apr 13, 2011
    Olympia, WA
    My Target has some of the USB - 1/4" in the discount pile right now for $11.
  10. capnjim


    Mar 13, 2008
    I want to set something up that I will be happy with. I don't mind spending 100$ or so for a decent set-up.
    There's actually a M-audio Fast Track for sale locally for 150$.
  11. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Don't know what your PC is, but many have excellent Audio I/O
    At least PC's I have do.

    You can also get good quality external interfaces fairly cheap
    Lexicon Alpha |

    Little mixers also, these work with USB or Standalone, Nice feature
    ART USB Mix |
    Behringer Xenyx 302USB |

    I'm looking at the new behringer mini USB mixer so I can use it for quick mixing and PC use.
    $60 street when it releases.
    Hoping that IOS is also supported.
  12. An interface with simple recording software is $100 to $200. Cheap, but you don't get the drum tracks, or any effects. A package that has everything... interface - recording software - instrument generators (including drums) - effects, all of that stuff together starts at $300
  13. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Any of those that seamonkey suggested will work.

    I use a Presonus USB Audiobox and it works great. Mine came with Cubase LE 4.0, but it now comes with Studio One Artist. You could use it with Audacity as well. Probably more in line with what you're looking for, and less than $150.
  14. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    And speaking of Studio One, there is a Studio One Free!

    Studio One Free « Studio One

    You can try it now, and if you get the Presonus you'll get the Artist edition with even more features.
  15. capnjim


    Mar 13, 2008
    Hey Nick...what would you suggest as a good starter package. I would rather spend the money now and have a complete set-up than spending time trying to download and install a bunch of stuff.
    Thanks usual, great advice.
  16. Spyral


    Nov 10, 2011
    I just picked up a Boss BR-80 mini recording studio a few days back and have been having a blast with it.

    It's easy to use, you just plug your bass/guitar/mic straight into the input and start recording, really easy to use and understand after a quick read of the manual.

    You don't even need to be at your computer to lay down some tracks, the device can stand-alone, you do need some headphones or speakers though.

    Check out the walk through here: BOSS MICRO BR® BR-80 Lessons - MTR Mode
  17. capnjim


    Mar 13, 2008
    I actually own a boss br-600, but I find it way too complicated. I almost forgot I had it!
    Maybe I should dig it out and give it another shot.
  18. I learned a lesson from a friend. He bought the whole package. All of the parts were designed to be used as a package. Therefore, my friend had to learn all of the package to get any part of the package to work. He got it all installed pretty easy. Then he spent months trying to learn how to use all of the parts, all at the same time. He got frustrated and quit.

    So, I went the "spend time" route. I researched, then bought, one piece at a time. I learned how to use each piece, one at a time. All of the parts I got were more generic. Not dependent on complete knowledge of all of the other pieces. Along the way, I found out that a lot of the software can be acquired free. I got several parts used. Yes, it took time to acquire all of the parts. But, I didn't need all of the parts to learn how to make recordings. At first, the recordings were simple. As I learned more, I added more stuff. The recordings got better. Six years now and I'm still at it.

    But, absolutely, the first piece is the audio interface, and multi-track recording software. I read up on stuff for weeks. I got a Presonus Firewire interface. It came with a recording program, but I soon learned that it was too limited for my needs. I got a more complete program second hand from another studio that was upgrading. I got microphones, I got effects software, I got instrument generators. I got a midi controller... All over time. It all works together, but it didn't come as one package.

    That's my experience.
  19. i got a behringer ucg102 usb interface which cost like 30$ and it works like a charm! very awesome very cheap. ive been using it for a couple of months now doesnt look like its gonna go kaput
  20. capnjim


    Mar 13, 2008