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Home recording question.. help!


I'm hoping to set up a very simple home recording 'studio' with which I will be able to record electric guitar, mics, bass and keyboard.

I have Audacity at the moment, but I cannot for the life of me get it to recognise ANY sound. I bought a 1/4' to 1/8' adapter and have tried going from the amp > line-in, the amp > mic-in, the guitar straight to the mic-in.. and every time it picks up nothing.

Do I need a pre-amp or some sort of thing in between the amp and the sound card for recording guitar/bass? What do I need to record the keyboard (for drum loops etc)?

As you can probably tell I'm a complete newbie to all this, so any help would be useful!

Thank you so much in advance..



Pro Audio Guest Mon, 04/24/2006 - 16:47
You've got to make sure your recording setting has the microphone column "ticked" and the slider somewhere at the middle. Maybe you could plug it into the line-in input jack of your soundcard. If you're using XP, its at the volume control, recording panel. Tick where you plug.

You do no need any preamp because you are connecting directly from the amp itself and I guess its from the headphone jack which may be quite high powered for the soundcard, so you got to set it properly.

However if you are using good amps, its just best to mic it, for that you need a preamp, maybe one with phantom if condensers are used. Alot of the sound moulding comes from the cones.

RemyRAD Mon, 04/24/2006 - 21:22
Your sound cards mixers software typically defaults to settings you don't necessarily want to use. I find those " Sound Blaster" type mixer interfaces fairly confusing and generally crummy. I much prefer to use the onboard mixer within Windows. It is much more straightforward without all of the other stupid stuff.

If you go to your start menu, then "accessories", "entertainment", "mixer", it will bring up the playback or " monitor" mixer. Once that mixer is on your desktop, you can select "options", " properties", then from the properties menu you can select playback or record and what input sources are available. Now that is just for monitoring purposes. It will display more sources than the soundcard possesses. Only select the sources that are available on your soundcard.

To get to the "recording mixer", you have to have the " master volume" mixer or as I said the "monitor mixer" visible. Then you select options, then properties and then click on " recording". You will then see a selection of check boxes for the available input sources available from your sound card. It will actually indicate more sources that your sound card is capable of. You want to use whatever input sources your sound card provides for. Then select "OK". You will then be transported magically to the recording mixer with the input sources you have selected available from your sound card. It is here that you must adjust the input volume and select your input sources as only one can usually be selected in the recording mixer at a time. This will " wire" your sound card to your software so that you can record the sources you have selected.

One other cool thing that you can do, is once you have the recording mixer on your desktop, open up another instance, from your start menu, then "accessories", "entertainment", "mixer", for another playback/monitor mixer to be displayed simultaneously with your separate recording mixer. Almost like a real console now! Having both mixer's open simultaneously negates the need to be switching back and forth between playback and recording mixers, which the bundled software generally makes you do. I find this much more convenient.

Queen of workarounds
Ms. Remy Ann David

RemyRAD Tue, 04/25/2006 - 10:21
"and it still won't hear anything!" not quite sure what you mean by the sound card won't hear anything? Can the computer play any resident on your hard drive audio and/or video files? That is the first place to start. For input in the mixercan play back files that already exist on your computer, that is half the battle.

The second half of the battle is trying to figure out what you have plugged in? What kind of "connector" you have plugged in with? What source you have input selected on the "monitor"/playback mixer? And if you still cannot obtain any input to output or "E to E" (electronics in to electronics out) sound from the sound card, you may have a bad sound card? But I just think it's operator and interface error? Let me know if you make any further progress? If not, I would be happy to try and speak to you on the phone to get you up and running. If you would care to send me your phone number privately, send it to

Fishing in the dark
Ms. Remy Ann David