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Playing Guitar through the PC

stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
edited March 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I picked up a used guitar and practise amp a month or so ago to learn how to play. I ended up trading the used guitar in for a new one this week having decided I am going to keep with it. For those curious, I went from this which buzzed when the selector was on 2 and 4 and wouldn't stay in tune for any length of time, and this which had a slightly wider, more comfortable neck and humbuckers that had a warmer, thicker sound. From what I've been told, it is a pretty lateral move, but I am a beginner and I don't want to sink a ton of money into gear until I can actually use it to its potential.

While I was there, I tried out a few guitars on a 1000$ Crate kit that made my ham fisted chords sound beautiful and made me realize just how bad my ~30 year old 10 watt Yamaha practise amp really is. I can't afford to blow a ton of cash on a new amp right now so I was wondering if anyone had any experience playing through the pc using software preamp / pedals to adjust the sound. I know there is a ton of software out there for this, so I am asking what a good setup for a beginner would be and if it is even possible to make a pc sound better than a broken practise amp.

tl;dr -> looking to setup a PC for a beginner playing guitar.

stigweard on

Posts

  • SpackleSpackle Registered User
    edited March 2007
    How much are you willing to spend, what kind of PC gear do you have now?

    It seems by the time you get the sound coming out of your speakers to be fairly decent, you could have bought a used amp thats a ton more reliable. What if you want to play at a friends? Going to cart your PC with you?

    I'd just save for a new amp.

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  • edited March 2007
    I bought a Digitech RP100 pedal to mess around with effects and stuff. I just run the output of that into the line-in for my computer when I'm feeling the need for more sound than headphones can supply. I like it because I can fool around with different amp simulations. It was about $200CAD when I bought it a few years ago.

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  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Well, I went out and looked around for gear for the PC thing, saw some practise amps in a decent price range and ended up getting a Vox Valvetronix AD15T for 200$. When it came down to it, I don't know what kind of sound I am going to grow into and after spending an hour or so playing with it, I figured it would be a good match while I learn. I'm still curious about the PC thing, but it can wait for a while. My PC is an e6600 with 2gb of ram, and an X-fi with Logitech X-540s for sound. Other gear includes the guitar, patch cables, jack converter, and that is about it.

  • edited March 2007
    Theoretically I suppose you could plug the guitar right into the line-in of your computer and then amplify through your speakers. VOX apparently make some pretty neat amps so that was probably a good choice.

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  • SpackleSpackle Registered User
    edited March 2007
    DaySleeper wrote: »
    Theoretically I suppose you could plug the guitar right into the line-in of your computer and then amplify through your speakers. VOX apparently make some pretty neat amps so that was probably a good choice.

    Yea and it seems he has a nice sound card as well. It just seems like you'd have to really work with your computer to get the sound that you want where as an amp, just twist some knobs, push a switch here or there and jam away ya know?

    Taco Bell does win the franchise war according to the tome of knowledge that is Demolition Man. However, I've watched Demolition Man more then a few times and never once did I see WoW. In conclusion Taco Bell has more lasting power then WoW.
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  • MishraMishra Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Really if your still just learning, i'd focus on getting the motions down rather than tone. If you really can't stand the sound thoughIf your looking for a good cheap practice amp though I'd go with a Roland Micro Cube, it's ~130 bucks with some effects and can simulate a bunch of other cabinets. It can also run off batteries, which is great for travel. Your probably going to spend as much on getting it to run through your PC. I play my american strat through one all the time and it sounds great.

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  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I actually saw that Roland MicroCube but I didn't audition it and I didn't know it was capable of running on batteries. It listed at 165$ (CAD) at the store I was at though and for another 40$ the Vox seemed like a bargain. Space is a moot point for travelling since a swift+ won't even accommodate the guitar with 2 adults + 4yo + luggage for two weeks. If I were to bring it, I'd have to use the van, and it has enough room for all of the above + a couple of guitars and amps with enough room left over to sleep in it.

  • ThandorThandor __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2007
    I am interested in said software also.

    I have 4 guitars still laying around from my highschool days but one way or another my amps disappeared through the years. There has to be some cool easy software for this sort of thing.

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  • DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User
    edited March 2007
    If you're of the Mac persuasion, GarageBand has a bunch of built-in guitar effects. Apple tells you to just grab a 1/4" - 1/8" audio cable and plug it into your line in, but you'll really want some sort of pre-amp for the best sound. A real pre-amp will cost almost as much or as much as a real amp. There are a few companies (M-Audio comes to mind) that sell USB recording interfaces designed for precisely such a purpose, and are relatively cheap.

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