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Where is the static comming from? Answered

I recently began experimenting with recording my guitar. I've tried plugging my guitar straight into the line in port of my laptop via a 1/4" cable and 1/4-1/8 adapter. I then record it in audacity with no added effects or gain or whatever. I liked it but it did not seem as good as it should have been. I tried connecting my guitar to my amplifier and connecting my amplifier via the headphone port and a 1/8" cable to the line in port. It sounded PERFECT except that there was a constant anoying string of static being recorded. I turned down the gain on my amp but then my laptop would not get a signal. I experimented with a bunch of different combonations of gain and volume but i cannot get rid of the static. I expect it's because my amp does not have any output other than the speakers or headphones. I'm just wondering if there is anything i can do other than get or borrow an amp with lower noise.

3 Replies

thegeeke (author)2012-10-30

There are a number of problems it could be, but most built in sound cards are a piece of junk. If you really want, look at these articles I wrote on sound, but I don't think they will help you. Look into an M-Audio USB interface... that should help clean it up. :)



This one will probably help the most:

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framistanBest Answer (author)2012-10-27

Audio is a little tricky to deal with as you have discovered. Most likely, your headphone output is too strong to feed into the line-in port. Try splitting the audio at the guitar output into 2 signals. Feed one to the AMP and the other to the line-in port. What is happening is... the signal from your headphone jack is (lets say) 4volts. However your line-in only requires ONE volt (for full loudness). This brings up the NOISE level (static) to a high value before you even play the guitar. Every amplifier has SOME noise, so the problem isnt the noise... it is the excessive output level of the headphone jack feeding an input that "wants" only one volt--- not 4volts. Another sollution is to go ahead and use the headphone output jack, but place a volume control on the headphone wire... so you can turn down the level feeding into the line-in port. Some headphones are prewired with a volume control already on the wire. You might be able to purchase a cheap headphone at the dollar store that has one of those volume controls already wired in. Just cut off the headphones part and wire it up.

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rickharris (author)2012-10-27

Possibly the ground on the amp isn't a good as it should be.

Possibly via the cable - try a shielded one.

Possibly from the amp but not noticed because the amp speakers don't do high freq very well.

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