How do I get started recording into my computer?

Topics archived from Public Space and its subforums after a long period of inactivity, or redundant for some other reason. This section is read-only.
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Topics archived from Public Space and its subforums after a long period of inactivity, or redundant for some other reason. This section is read-only.

How do I get started recording into my computer?

Post by Bartacus » Thu May 05, 2005 5:10 pm

I've been playing classical guitar for 8 months, and I'd like to record the compositions I've learned so far on my laptop (Windows Millenium system).
Can someone advise as to how I should proceed? I saw some posts about preamps and microphones, and a friend said I can get free downloadable software. But I'm a novice at all of this.

Thank you!

Bart (an ambitious beginner)


Post by BobM » Fri May 06, 2005 1:27 am

Hi Bart,

Welcome. Here is what I use in addition to my SoundCard built in my Mother board. (generic) (about the same that you may have already in your laptop):

Mixer Behringer UB1002
Mic Behringer B-1
Software freeware Audacity(?)

In addition to that you will need the microphone cable and the cable from the mixer to the sound card. There are different solutions but I use a stereo cable with an adapter 1/4" to 1/8" for the computer side. I plug the mixer into the "Line in" of the sound card.

The rest is just mic placement which you will have to experiment with due to the difference in rooms acoustics and instruments.

Happy guitar!



Post by fabio » Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:07 am

I'd recommend you get at least a decent mic -- common computer desktop and webcam mics are NOT an option! they just plain suck for this purpose, unless your soundcard has some kind of mic booster. Mine has it, so it doesn't suck 100% when I record, but I still have to play pretty close to it - that makes room ambience and acoustics go down the hill.
As BobM said, a good mixer or preamp would help a lot.
For software, there are thousands of options, but for plain basic classical guitar recording I think Goldwave ( or cubase would be enough, also try and find similar freeware softwares if you don't want to spend much.
As a footnote I should add that laptop computers will not do miracles and when it comes to sound playing/recording they are specially not the best option. If it's possible, use a desktop comp connected to a good set of speakers.


Post by anathem » Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:24 am

there's a post somewhere around here i think in the mp3 area where there was a long discussion on this matter..browse for a few minutes and ure sure to find it ;)


Recording to PC

Post by Anonymous » Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:40 pm

I apologize if this topic has already been covered but can anyone recommend a good USB plug in system. I have a miced guitar and I wish to record woithout changing any of my computers hardware so I would like something external.

Any recommendations for clean and true recording of the classical guitar.

Thank you.


Post by billb » Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:33 pm

Hi matarleton. If you have the money buy a good "condenser mic" and a preamp. Marshell makes good and cheap condenser mics for about $150 -200. Go to and check them out.

You can plug the preamp into your soundcard. You will just have to by a little plug adapter that goes ontop of the 1/4 inch jack and changes it to 1/8. They are about 1$.

If you don't have the cash you can by a cheap dynamic microphone and plug that directly into your sound card using that adapter I mentioned.

Make sure that the microphone in your windows mixer has the 20db boost on. (almost all soundcards have this)

You might find it kind of noisy so you will have to do some noise reduction in the software. Also add reverb this livens up your recording.

Audacty is a good freeware. I don't know how the noise reduction is.

Anyway, that's what I used before I bought some good mics.

I use cooledit pro software.


Coumputer recording

Post by Anonymous » Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:42 pm

I appreciate the response.

Any suggestions on an external "plug in type" interface that connects to the USB of my computer?

I am already miced up with a pre-amp. I need a recommendation on an interface that connects to the USB that will give good recording without latency.

Thank you so much for your replies and assistance.


line in splitter

Post by Azalais » Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:52 pm

How about just using an 1/8" adapter/splitter into your microphone/line in jack? I have one that has one male and three female plugs... I have the same thing on the line out jack... for external speakers/headphones/etc.

Your local "electronics shack" has them for about $3 each

I did look into USB microphones (for dictation software) but the choices were expensive... There are also some "creative" solutions for an external USB soundcard... I haven't tried them, and given my past experience with add-on sound cards (motherboard conficts with the built-in soundcard, lack of drivers, etc...) I'm not sure that I have the patience to try them...

By the way... I have a Marshal large diaphram condensor mic (MXL1006BP) BobM and I have been experimenting with his Beringer Tube Ultragain MIC100 preamp... we plugged my mic into the preamp, and ran it it straight into my Goldwave software and it sounds 1000% better than anything else I have tried... it has a beautiful warm sound and balances the various dynamics and ranges very nicely. (BobM plays beautifully, I might add!! especially Bach!) We have recorded several of my guitars, including a boisterous 1979 Ramirez 1a, and a very sweet 1830 Derazey guitar that I just restored... both sounded much better (more like they sound when you are sitting in the same room with them) Maybe we will post some samples?



Simple recording

Post by Anonymous » Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:54 am

I am now recording into my computer for only $4.27! It is not studio quality of course but it serves my pupose.

Download Audacity Audio software

Go to a Radio Shack or other electronics store (no endorsement of Radio Shack specifically, that is where I found my adapter) and get a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter.

Install the software, plug in and play. Make sure you have enough memory, speed and no compatibility issues though.

Its a start for me.



Post by king2ba » Fri Jul 22, 2005 2:27 pm

I'll second Audacity. It's a GREAT program....and it's completely free. I'm a middle school music teacher during the day and just the fact that I can take a song and speed it up or slow it down without changing pitch makes the disk space worth it. It's also great for practicing. I just use a $20 computer mic and leve it running. Since I can "see" what I played, I can easily edit things together. Works great!


Post by sami007 » Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:15 pm

windows comes with free recording software. go to start/accessories/entertainment/sound recorder. its very bassic, the sound quality is bad and u can only record for 60 seconds.


Post by hav » Mon Jul 25, 2005 3:11 am

I have found it pretty easy - I record on a laptop (but it's win2kpro) - anyway, I just use...

* Recording:
Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000 and its software

* Conversions:
-Win Media Encoder 9
-Real Producer 10

* Editing (when required like to lighten video or clean up hiss):
-Adobe Audition
-Video Edit Magic


Post by BobM » Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:54 pm

Hi everyone,

I just came back from vacations so I think I've missed some of the action. :D

Azalais, thanks for your words about my playing, now I'm all red! :oops: :D You do have a very beautiful sound, you know. 8)

Hav, it's been a long time! how are things? I tell you, that QuickCam you mention is wonderfull. Following your advice, I got it sometime ago and I love it! It is very recommendable if someone out there wants to make home videos, specially the way you use it, for studying the instrument.

In any case, I had a tascam USB device -- it is in one of my messages I can't remember (here somewhere). I don't recommend it -- hardware compatibility issues with some configurations -- and in general I've heard very lukewarm reviews about most USB devises for home recording. I'd rather use a combination like the one azalais proposes. We use it and it works great.

It is also a good idea to add a mixing console between your mic and the computer, specially for those who don't have powerful software or preamps, since they usually come with a preamp and gives flexibility while recording. Of course if you guys don't use a condenser mic, you don't need the preamp...

Happy guitar!


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