If you own a guitar you will sooner or later want to know how to connect it to your computer to hear what you sound like. There are a few ways to go about this job, and they can all be undertaken by an amateur guitarist.
This tutorial is meant to give you a start on connecting your guitar to your computer, so if you are in a rush to hear your playing and you don’t care too much about the sound quality, I will get to you first and go onto more audio-friendly solutions later.
Once you have decided on how you are going to connect your guitar to your computer you will want to know how to record your guitar playing. For quick checks to see if you have connected everything up properly, the built-in recorder on your computer will do the job. You will find that you have severely limited recording time on this little application so you will need to download something more substantial from the web. Audacity is a good free sound editor. There is a tutorial here and a bunch of video tutorials on YouTube.
While I am talking about installing new programs, you could do a search for an audio mixer program. Some are free and they all come with some features to change how your guitar sounds.
If you are new to recording your guitar on your computer, start by plugging a microphone into the pink microphone socket. Put your microphone in front of your guitar or amplifier and play.
If you have a guitar with a pickup and you don’t like the way your guitar sounds through the microphone, plug the guitar into the mike socket. Or plug the guitar into the blue line-in socket on your computer with a cable made for this job. You can buy one at an electronics store.
You will now notice an improvement in audio quality but it still could do with some improvement. So my next suggestion is to buy a better sound card than the one that your computer came with. Another solution is to buy something called an external sound card. The sound card plugs into the USB port on your computer and will give you a better quality of sound. If you are using a computer that doesn’t have a line-in socket, the external sound card will solve that problem, too.