Recording a guitar can seem intimidating especially if you are a newbie. One of the most common misconceptions about recording guitar among people is that it is expensive. It does require some equipment and techniques. But they are not impossible to get and learn. Record the tunes and songs in your mind with our in-depth guide on how to record guitar on PC.
If you have the basic knowledge, then you can do it by yourself. For that, we have made this article for the newbies who are struggling to find the right resource of information.
You can also check: Best Wireless Microphones for Computers
What Do You Need?
We have mentioned everything right from the things you will need to the techniques you can apply. The guitar is used in many genres. So, it is an important skill to learn. For the recording, you will need –
- DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
The DAW is the software where you record, edit and mix audio. There are different types of DAW out there. For recording guitar, you can go with Pro Tools and Logic Pro. You can buy the premium DAWs if you are going to do a lot of recording. It is advised to not buy something expensive if you are just starting. There are always funding issues at the beginning. So, you can buy an efficient one and learn with it. You can buy Reaper or GarageBand. They are affordable and quite efficient.
- Audio Interface
You will need an audio interface to plug microphones into your computer. There are some techniques to learn for using the audio interface. You need to set I/O. you need to tell the computer where the microphone is plugged. You will need to make sure the interface is selected as your input and output.
- Guitar Amplifier (Optional)
- Amp Simulator
This is optional. You can use it in case you don’t have an amplifier. It gives the same effect as an amplifier.
- Microphones (Optional)
Remember, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on this equipment. You can go with basic equipment if you have budget issues and you are learning. There will be no use of expensive equipment if you don’t even know how to use them.
How to Record Guitar on PC: Amplifier
For recording your amp, put your mic on a stand. You can get an amp stand. Then you need to take your mic. For more frequency, make sure to place the mic close to the cone. You will get high or low frequency depending on the placement of the mic. You can place the mic depending on the mood of your music.
Keep experimenting with the placement of the mic to get an idea of different sounds. If you are using a condenser mic, then you will need to turn on your phantom power first since the condenser mics need the power to work. There is a button in the interface marked ‘’+48v’’ or ‘’Phantom Power’’. Click on that and start recording.
If you don’t have an amp, you can record by plugging the guitar directly into the interface. You will need 1/4’’ cable. We all know that the amplifiers add a lot of life to the music of the electric guitar. So, at first, you might not like what you are hearing. That’s when the amp simulators come to the rescue. They are the digital recreation of amplifiers. They give the effect of a real amplifier. What they do is – they run a direct signal from your guitar and make the sound livelier.
How to Record Guitar on PC: Acoustic Guitar
For recording acoustic guitar, you will need to use a condenser mic considering the sound of an acoustic guitar is more intense than the electric guitar. The condenser mics will be able to record all those high frequencies.
You can point the mic directly in the front of the sound source or at the 12th or 15th fret. If you put it directly in front of the soundhole, you will get low/middle frequencies whereas, from the 12th or 15th fret angle, you will get a high frequency.
To get a better recording, make sure the amp is grounded. To minimize the background noise, you can use humbucker pickups. You can also ground the exterminator. if possible, add an extra mic to the recording. Recording with two mics improves the recordings. You can use a room mic. The room mics hold the sound of the amp inside of the room. This way, you can add depth to your music. The mic should be three times away from the first mic.
After deciding on the amplifier and mics, we will be ready to record. You will need to create an audio channel in your DAW. See if the input is alright. Without correct settings, the channel will set correctly. If the input does not match the correct ones in the interface, then it won’t pick recordings from the guitar. Then you will need to set the volume. You can make things loud or quiet in the mix. The volume should between -20 and -12 dB.
Make sure to check in the channel meter if it’s okay. Don’t record too loudly. Or else your recordings will distort harming the quality of the audio. After you have gotten the recording, you need to think about the effects and backing tracks. There is a lot of software out there at a low cost. Some of them are even free. They offer great options in loops and riffs so that you can create complete performances.
Recording guitar on PC might be tough in the beginning. The techniques, the equipment, their use – all of them together can be a lot. You will need to keep practicing to get yourself adapted to the techniques and equipment. With time and practice, it will get easier. You may not get what you expected, but you need to keep going. With time and hard work, you will get the result and then it will all be worth it. This is how to record guitar on pc.