Recording Without a Full Studio for Really Cheap





Introduction: Recording Without a Full Studio for Really Cheap

in this instructable I am going to show you how to record stuff from your guitar in excellent quality, without a studio, and for really cheap. This is my first instructable, so any suggestions on how to make it better are much appreciated. the initials on my guitar are based off of this project here:

This is what my setup looked like once I had everything ready.

Step 1: Stuff You Need

here is what you will need:

2 guitar cables
one amp
one guitar with electronics
a computer
one of these things (it changes the size of the end of the cable to the size of a headphone)
electricity (duh)
double stuffed Oreos (optional but highly recommended)


usb mic
one of thoes things


Audacity is a free audio recording/editing program that is free. Here is a link to it if you don't already have it:

you should also get the LAME mp3 encoder which is here:
what this does is it allows you to export what you've made as an mp3

Step 2: Setting It Up

before you open up Audacity, find the place on your computer and plug in the "one of these things" in the other end plug in your cable. Now plug the other end of that cable into the rec out or headphone place on your amp. make sure your amp is plugged in, obviously. Take your second cable and plug it into your amp and guitar like you normally would.

Step 3: Audacity

open up Audacity. Click on the edit drop-down at the top and then preferences, which is at the bottom. on the first tab chose the recording device that you plugged into. There should only be a few, so if you don't know just test them all until you get to the right one. Your basically ready to record.

Step 4: Record

WARNING: do not turn your amp up too loud, your sound card can only handle so much. You could easily blow your sound card if the amplitude is too great.

Now all you have to do is push the record button and play your stuff, when you finish push stop. you wont be able to hear through the amp, but if you enable software playtrough in the preferences menu then you can hear what your playing through your computer speakers, though there might be a bit of delay. if you really want to hear whats going on through the amp, then you can get another "one of these things" a "one of those things" (the opposite of a one of these things) and headphones or speakers and a headphone splitter. I'm not sure if this will work, but if it does it will look something like this:

Step 5: Other Options for Vocals and Other Instruments

USB microphones are great for recording things in fairly high quality. you could use a really nice one that costs lots of money, or you could do what I do and use the one that I use with Guitar Hero: World Tour. To get audacity to read your mic, you have to plug it in when audacity isn't running. Once you open Audacity, go to Edit> Preferences and then under recording chose what will show up as something like: USB microphone. If you have a mic stand for it, great, but if you dont, a great idea is to use a music stand like in picture one. if your micing something like an acoustic guitar, then just drop the music stand down to the level of the sound hole

[pictures coming soon]



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    I connected my amp to the line-in via an aux cable (my amp has an aux jack), but it didn't sound much good, also had a lit of noise.
    Then I used my effects processor, a Zoom G1XN, connected it to line in using "one of these things" and the aux cable, and it worked like a dream!!
    It only had a little bit of noise, which can easily be removed in Audacity itself. However, the noise is completely eliminated if I plug my laptop and my processor to different switchboards ;)

    What's the technical term for "one of these things because I can't just walk into an electronics store and ask fo that/

    1/4"to 3.5 mm adapter

    something along the lines of male quarter inch to female eighth inch.

     I bet its somewhere already in here, but couldn't you use the line-in? It would provide a much better sound quality. Nice instructable by the way. :) Thumbsup.

    You can use a sound card input to record it, but not the onboard sound input. Onboard has no pre-amp, but a sound card does.
    I like the audacity Beta best for these projects.
    Good Ible !

    yes, you could use the line in.

    That's a good program for splitting tracks, but poor for mixing. Take a look at SoundForge studio or Adobe, they offer a lot more options.

    i just get the ksssshhhhhssshhh sound with both my mic. and my guitars