if i plug my guitar into my amp then to my computer can i get effects for the guitar through the computer?

such as distortion and what not, sorry if it sounds stupid but instructables is an awesome resource for answers, any help is greatly appreciated.

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gmoon6 years ago
As has been noted, leave the amplifier out of the input chain--plug the guitar directly into your sound card. Experiment with both the mic and line inputs. Line in may require a small preamp. You can use your computer speakers, or amplify the output, post-processing.

Does this work? YES. I used to do this all the time with the Linux operating system and a PC. You can make it work under Windows, but you'll have to buy software.

Any problems? Real-time audio effects suffer from latency issues--a small time delay. I was usually successful in reducing the latency to around 10 ms (milliseconds), which is around 1/100 of a second. If the latency rises above 30 ms it's definitely noticeable.

This was my basic software:
-- JACK, a real-time, low-latency audio router/scheduler. This is the foundation that makes the whole real-time audio work. There's usually some tweaking involved to make your soundcard work well (and fast) under JACK, but it does work...

JACK is also the "glue"--you use the JACK to "connect" the audio streams, such as input->JACKrack->output. Processor speed and complexity of the effect chain is the the only limit to the number of effects you can chain together...

-- JACKrack, which is the framework that loads the LADSPA effect modules. You can move them around, change parameters, etc.

-- LADSPA effects. There are a few hundred different plug-in effects, everything from echo/reverb to distortion and flanging.
Kiteman6 years ago
I don't know, but I'd be willing to bet that the amplified signal would fry a thing or three in your PC.

Instead, send the un-amplified signal to your computer and use (unknown) software to apply effects.
blacjack1 (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
sorry about the long reply time the robot didnt show that i had any messges until today. and thanks for telling me not to go amp-soundcard -speaker as i didnt know the output signal could fry the souncard thanks for everyones help. i ended up getting a guitar effcts pedal anyway, once again thanks for all your help.
rickharris6 years ago
Feed guitar to PC then PC output to amp - Audacity will apply some effects such as flanging and echoe/reverb. Otherwise get circuit for guitar effects pedal and build one or buy.


orksecurity6 years ago
Speaking as a sound technician:

1) If the amp, or the effects, have a line-level output and the PC has as line-level input you can probably get away with connecting them.

2) However, the results aren't going to sound exactly like what you get through your amp, since the speaker is also part of the sound path and introduces some color of its own. Depending on exactly what you're trying to do, it may be better to point a decent microphone at the speaker.

Some performers insist on the latter. It's a pain and a half for the sound tech.
Re-design6 years ago
There are some (free) computer software that mimic the effects that you can use with your sound card.

Google "computer guitar effects".
seandogue6 years ago
If your soundcard supports effecting via line input, yes, if not, no.

If it does, I would not route the guitar through the amp first, since the signal level would be far too high for a soundcard input. Instead, the guitar would route to the soundcard first, then to the amplifier from the soundcard's output.

For instance, I have an SB Xfi that I sometimes plug my guitars into. The card has a number of inboard effects that can be applied to the guitar signal.