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Record guitar with this interface

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by rockdude, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. rockdude

    rockdude Active Member

    So I ordered this audio interface today ----- http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Digidesign-Mbox-2-Mini-?sku=700498 mainly to use with a mic but my younger brother is a guitarist and has a nice les paul id like to mabye in the future to do some recording with. My question is how do I hook up a guitar correctly with this audio interface? Do i buy this wire http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Mogami-Gold-HighDefinition-Neutrik-14-Straight-Instrument-Cable?sku=333170
    and plug it into the guitar or the guitar's amp output then plug it into the interface's Line 1 or 2 input? is that correct?
  2. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    Best bet is to plug into the amp and then mic up the amp.
  3. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Save the $50 single instrument cable to buy later, and buy a less-expensive one. Then, buy something else more useful. Do those cables make a difference? Maybe a little. If everything else is good enough to capture the tiny difference.

    A good tuner and/or new strings would be a better investment, and make a recording sound better...as would paying someone to check the guitars' setup and intonation.

    And DO NOT plug a guitar amp SPEAKER OUTPUT into an audio interface! (How many times has THIS been mentioned, lately?) You won't be happy with the results...and neither will your equipment.

  4. rockdude

    rockdude Active Member

    so then cheap instrument cable from guitar to audio interface line in?
  5. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Not exactly. A LESS expensive cable will do for what you are doing. That isn't saying get the cheapest cable...you just don't really need a $50 cable at this stage. That money could be spent more wisely right now.

    You said you had an amp. And a mic. Plug the guitar into the amp with your cable. Plug the mic into the interface, and put that in front of the amp. Record.

    You could even get an A/B/Y box, and record the guitar through the instrument input of the MBox, and the mic'ed input simultaneously on two tracks. This way, you could experiemnt with applying effects on the direct signal, and mixing that in with the mic'ed signal. And, that depends on the type of music you play.

    You would plug the guitar into the A/B/Y box, and then split it out the two ouputs...one to the amp, and one to the MBox input. Be aware that there MAY be some signal loading by splitting, and there MAY be some signal delay from the mic'ed signal in comparison to the direct...since it has to go to the amp, through some air to be picked up by the mic, and THEN sent to the MBox. You can always nudge the tracks together in the program.

    Just some thoughts.

  6. rockdude

    rockdude Active Member

    im not familiar with a A/B/Y box what is that? So i should record the amp with the mic huh does that actually produce good quality i always thought that would end up with bad quality.

    So do i need that box to record directly into the Mbox? I was under the impression the mbox could record guitar plugged into it, atleast thats what they say in the product information. I mean iv seen those little cheap 50-100$ usb interfaces that are just built to plug 1 guitar into so you can record onto computer so why should i not do that? I dont mind spending 20-50$ for extra instrument cable.
  7. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member


    A little internet surfing for stuff like "guitar recording techniques", etc., will yield a lot of good info. There are entire books written about it, and it's just too deep to get into all the techniques and reasons in the forum. Even searching within these forums, you will probably find some useful info.

    That said...the basic premise is that most rock guitar, and a lot of other types of music, are recorded with mics in front of amps. The interaction of the guitars, amps, speakers and mics are what gives a guitar its certain sound. A direct-recorded guitar is lacking any of the interactions of the aforementioned, and yields a clean tone that many think is too sterile. It's just pickups through volume and tone pots on the guitar through a cable to recorder.

    Both can and do get used...sometimes at the same time. It depends on the sound you want. Many people will record a mic'ed amp, and a direct signal. Once it's in the program, you can futz with either with computer effects and amp emulation software, or even possibly run that clean direct signal back out of the computer to different effects or amp(s) to re-record the same performance...with a different sound that may fit the tune better.

    Whether or not the amp produces bad quality sound is pretty much dependant on the amp, the guitar, the speaker, the mic and your recording techniques. If any of those are inferior, then the the sound will probably be inferior...though some people like to use ratty stuff to achieve a certain lo-fi funky sound.

    An A/B/Y box is simply a splitter that allows one signal to go to two places, or choose either. You could possibly even just use a splitter cable. The box takes one input and can send it out of either output "A", output "B", or both, hence the "Y".

    Do yourself a favor and dig in to the search engines a bit, and you'll have a better idea of how to rock, dude :wink:

  8. rockdude

    rockdude Active Member

    no believe me i do my searching its just while i actually had a forum where someone was actually replying to me i figured i should take advantage of it. You would be suprised at how many music/recording forums i have been to in the past 2 weeks that dont give me squat but "witty" answers. Lol anyways yea i once before recorded electric guiar thru a miced amp and it was not the best quality though i was well aware that for one the amp was very much crap and the mic i was using was not very good and more intended for podcasting. It was more of just a quick test thing where i wanted to see in the area of what it would sound like. This time around i will be using a much better mic not including the interface but most importantly a very nice marshal amp. So when the time comes ill give her a wirl =) . I read things all over the place that give me different answers and troubling opinions, so when I can have someone directly answer my question i quite like it. Sorry if im much trouble guys : (
  9. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    You're not being any trouble, Rockdude. It's just a deep subject, and there's a thousand things that can affect the sound..for each thing you try. The best thing is to soak in a few suggestions...get a spark of an idea of what to search for deeper info..soak up some of that, and then progress the subject.

    People here will help. People usually help more those people who seem to be doing a bit of their own legwork. The relationships between EVERYTHING affecting everything else are many. Even a slight 1/2" movement of a mic in front of a speaker can make a huge difference. Why?

    "My amp distortion sounds great in the room...but it sounds (thin, muddy, veiled, too distorted, not distorted enough...whatever) in the recording. Why?"

    You've got the basics in this thread. Put a mic up, adjust levels, hit record. Move the mic a bit, and try a bit more. Try a direct sound. Play around, and hear what the differences are.

    Then, after you've tried all these things you'll have an idea of how that works. Time for the next thing.

    Nobody can give you a total electric guitar (or vocal recording) primer in one thread.

    Have some fun..do some experiements, and then ask some questions.

    Just don't try to plug an amplifier's speaker output into an interface! :wink:


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