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Turn passive speakers into active speakers? Answered

Hi, I finally got around to starting the Altoids Tin Guitar but I have a problem: I have no amp. And an electric guitar is kind of useless without an amp. I figured I could use some old computer speakers but I realized that they are not powered speakers. Is there any way to turn passive speakers into active speakers? Or at the very least is there any software I can download that will let me hear the guitar on my computer as I play? I've tested the piezo (attatched to the 1/8" jack with an audio cable.. I forgot what you call it, but it's the kind that has two plugs) by plugging it into the mic jack for my computer and holding it near my acousic guitar while I strum. I can record audio just fine but I can't hear as I play. Is there any software that would let me do that? (A demo is fine with me.)



9 years ago

i have a tape deak will that to and is there a vid of how to do it


10 years ago

Is there any way to turn passive speakers into active speakers?

Yep, that would be an amplifier...which you lack.

Either convert a discarded tape player or similar device for the amplifier, or build something like the Little Gem amp. The parts are inexpensive...

Most sound cards will let you hear the input live. There's a "Recording Mix" option somewhere. On XP, open the volume control, then choose the mixer device under "Properties," which will get you to the Recording Control. With my card, it's called "Stereo Mix" and is muted by default.

If you're recording audio, you want the live mix muted! Normally the other prerecorded tracks are played while you record. If the "mix" was active, then those tracks would also be re-recorded on the same track as your guitar. But you want the guitar audio by itself on a separate track.

Live, realtime FX?

Well, there's GNUitar, which is kinda buggy and crude, but still works.

If I want decent realtime FX, I use Linux and the JACK audio server, which acts as an internal router of audio data. You can use JACK-aware programs such as JACKrack to build your own audio effects from scratch, using many available plugin modules (delays, flanges, distortions, amp modeling, etc..)

You can run Linux off a live CD if you have a different OS...


Reply 10 years ago

doesn't a guitar need power? (for the pick up?)


Reply 10 years ago

Naw, most pickups are the passive magnetic type--just a wire coil surrounding a permanent magnet. Usually with a simple passive tone (low-pass cap filter) and volume control.

They make "active" pickups, too, generally with a built-in preamp. But the vast majority are passive.