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How to Record Guitar to PC

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Want to know how to record your guitar to PC? There are many different ways you can record music from your guitar to your PC.  Making music on your computer has come a long way from the very robotic sounds of early MIDI and now with full amp modeling you can get a wide variety of nice guitar, bass, and other sounds that are almost the same as a regular amplifier. In fact most people who are not trained musicians would have a difficult time knowing if the music you were playing out of your computer was recorded with a digital device or with a regular amplifier. In this article we’ll discuss several ways you can record to your PC as well as some products that will help you record your music to the PC.

Record Guitar to PC With Amp Modeling Software

One of the easiest ways you can learn how to record guitar to PC without a lot of expensive gear is to use amp modeling. This requires you to buy a USB guitar device to plug your instrument into and some software that simulates amplifiers and various effects. Other equipment you’ll need is a good set of headphones and external speakers. An example of a USB device is the POD devices made by Line 6 these amp modeling devices allow you to get some great classic and modern amplifier tones and transfer these sounds to your PC. With their software such as the POD Farm you can begin to make music on your computer with the program. All you need is a recording program such as Audacity to start making tracks and then playing over them to create a song. You can add bass, vocals, and get some drum samples to create a whole song this way. This is perhaps the easiest way to record onto your computer and you won’t spend more than a couple hundred dollars at the most.

Using a DAW to Record to PC

A Daw is short for digital audio interface and these programs offer more robust recording features than simple amp modeling. Programs such as Pro Tools offer full featured recording. The downside to programs such as Pro Tools is that you’ll require investment in a fairly good computer with tons of memory since this program uses quite a bit of resources on your machine. Pro Tools can be used with a USB audio interface to help you record your music. Even if you don’t own a guitar you can still mix and record a wide variety of sounds with this advanced program. You have a full feature of effects to apply to your music such as delays, flanger, distortion, pitch shifting, and many more. You can print and make full scores with the program if you want. Most DAW programs offer many of these features to a certain degree while others can be quite stripped down and easier to use.


If you want to learn how to record guitar to PC  there are so many options that it can get a bit confusing. The easiest way is to just buy a USB device and some software to use it properly.  IK Multimedia offers a free version of their AmpliTube amp modeling program and you can buy additional amplifiers with their Custom Shop setup.  Line 6 has a free POD Farm version you can try as well as the Gear Box program. You can buy a simple USD device like the IK Multimedia Stealth Plug which won’t cost you more than $100.00 or so. I like to use a combination of POD devices and IK Multimedia software when I record. The Audacity recording software is free and super easy to use, even for beginners. There are other programs for simple recording too and AmpliTube even comes with its own simple 4-track recorder so you can begin to make music right away with it.  Using this method isn’t difficult and a complete beginner can begin to record great sounding music this way. For people who want many more options you can go with a full-featured DAW like Pro Tools and record with that but that has more of a learning curve. Experiment and you'll soon learn how to record guitar to PC.



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