There are multiple reasons for a guitarist to plug their guitar to a computer or a laptop. It could be for music recording or jam with backing track. Having said that, there are couple of tools or equipment needed for you to do just that. So, let me start explaining on how to connect guitar to computer.
Before I begin, I would like to inform you that this is the personal setup that I have in my home. Actually, there are many ways for you to plug your guitar into a computer. Without further a due, let us start with the tool I have.
How to connect guitar to computer
Let us just assume that you already have a computer or a laptop. I do not want to dive in detail of the specification of your computer because nowadays machine is good enough to accomplish your objective and so long they have sound card.
What is an Audio Interface? It is a device or I would say a bridge that connect your guitar to a computer. It turns analog signals to digital signals and vice versa. The most basic one that I have is the Focusrite iTrack Solo (pretty outdated 🙂 ). But at least it is still usable and good.
As you can see from the photo above, there are 2 input jack which is XLR 3 female microphone input and the other one is TRS guitar input. This device cost me around RM400, where you can buy it here.
Speaker or Studio Monitor
If you want a good sound quality coming out from your guitar, you can’t rely on the small speakers or your onboard computer’s speaker. You need to fork out some money and do not worry, it won’t break your bank. There are pretty cheap studio monitors out there if you search thoroughly.
But in this case, I use KRK Rokit 5 with the price around RM1,500 (a pair) but you can always opt for cheaper ones.
With only this two equipment, we have sufficient item to connect guitar to computer. The total amount of money I spent on these was RM1,900 or approximately USD450. Again, I would like to emphasize that it can be lower than this.
Important advice when buying audio interface and monitor
Before buying these two items, you must check the following:
- Types of output jack that the audio interface you want to buy have
- Types of input jack that the studio monitor you want to buy have
Focusrite iTrack solo only has RCA connector to transport sound to your studio monitors or speakers. So, make sure that your monitor has a RCA input too.
Now that we know how to connect guitar to PC the most basic way. So, what next? I am going to introduce the guitar digital effect software and recording tools for you to move up.