electric guitar to PC adapter cable?
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Author Topic: electric guitar to PC adapter cable?  (Read 302 times)

Offline fraterchaos

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electric guitar to PC adapter cable?
« on: December 27, 2018, 11:26:58 PM »
I recently picked up a cheap electric guitar (without amp) and I was thinking of trying to hook it up through the computer so I could listen and learn to play it using my PC and headphones...

having done a bit of searching online, I found numerous cables and boxes that claim to do such a job, but none of them are listed as being Linux compatible... some claim to need no drivers and others include Mac/Windows software to enable them.

I was wondering if anybody out there had tried/used one of these devices in Linux and what results you had. What software did you need to make it work? Can I patch it straight through Pulse and hear the output over the PC speakers and/or headphones?

If you happen to know of any product that will definitely work in Linux, let me know.

As you may or may not know, I'm running Manjaro, if that makes any difference. I think I have JACK installed although I've never used it and don't really know anything about it...

Thanks!
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Offline Spatry

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Re: electric guitar to PC adapter cable?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2018, 07:40:57 AM »
I used a simple cable from a guitar to the microphone on my old laptop and ran the signal through JACK, it did awesome real-time guitar effects back in the day. Electric guitar cables are mono, you can go to radio shack to get a converter for one end of the cable which will go into your mic input... that is what I did anyway.
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Offline fraterchaos

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Re: Re: electric guitar to PC adapter cable?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2018, 11:10:46 PM »
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I used a simple cable from a guitar to the microphone on my old laptop and ran the signal through JACK, it did awesome real-time guitar effects back in the day. Electric guitar cables are mono, you can go to radio shack to get a converter for one end of the cable which will go into your mic input... that is what I did anyway.

ah... well radio shack no longer exists, at least around here.

I have seen a couple versions of guitar to USB cables, online, some have a box that gives a minimum of controls, others are just a cable. But none of them even mention Linux, so I just wondered if Linux would be able to read the signal over USB... they are all pretty low cost, some as low as $3, so I suppose I'll just give one of the cheap ones a try.
Science, like Nature, must also be tamed... with a view towards it's preservation. -- Rush

Offline CwF

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Re: electric guitar to PC adapter cable?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2018, 11:05:58 AM »
Maybe try a UCA202 or something similar to add a separate sink control for a usb input. This would protect the analog in port, from voltage spikes and from yanking during that Angus riff. I have tested this.
Then tape an rca connector on the end of your chopped guitar cable and you're good to go.

Offline fraterchaos

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Re: Re: electric guitar to PC adapter cable?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2018, 09:05:46 PM »
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Maybe try a UCA202 or something similar to add a separate sink control for a usb input. This would protect the analog in port, from voltage spikes and from yanking during that Angus riff. I have tested this.
Then tape an rca connector on the end of your chopped guitar cable and you're good to go.

well, I already ordered one of these, because it was cheap and I'm just messing about at this point.

I don't really have any easy access to electronic parts like Radio Shack or anything similar in my area... so it's just easier to order a quick and dirty cable from ebay than trying to kludge one together when I don't have any of the parts...

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Offline eronis

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Re: Re: electric guitar to PC adapter cable?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2018, 06:58:31 AM »
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I used a simple cable from a guitar to the microphone on my old laptop and ran the signal through JACK, it did awesome real-time guitar effects back in the day. Electric guitar cables are mono, you can go to radio shack to get a converter for one end of the cable which will go into your mic input... that is what I did anyway.
I remember doing the same with Rakarrack and Rocksmith :) But it's not what I exactly wanted.
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Offline Spatry

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Re: electric guitar to PC adapter cable?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2018, 07:16:38 AM »
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I remember doing the same with Rakarrack and Rocksmith :) But it's not what I exactly wanted.
Works great if you are in a pinch though... I was amazed at how well it worked with Jack on Linux because I could never do the same thing in Windows. I liked the fact that it handles real-time effects processing very well but some of the effects were not to my satisfaction... With some tinkering and trickery I was able to get sound fairly close to what I was looking for but never enough to find the sweet spot.
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Offline eronis

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Re: Re: electric guitar to PC adapter cable?
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2018, 11:24:28 AM »
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Works great if you are in a pinch though... I was amazed at how well it worked with Jack on Linux because I could never do the same thing in Windows. I liked the fact that it handles real-time effects processing very well but some of the effects were not to my satisfaction... With some tinkering and trickery I was able to get sound fairly close to what I was looking for but never enough to find the sweet spot.
If you want good sound, you need professional equipment of course. But it can be sufficient for having some fun with your instrument :)
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Offline fraterchaos

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Re: Re: Re: electric guitar to PC adapter cable?
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2018, 03:16:44 PM »
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If you want good sound, you need professional equipment of course. But it can be sufficient for having some fun with your instrument :)

Since I don't even actually play guitar at this point, "having fun" is about what I'm looking for. Perhaps if I start learning to play I might want something better... but for now, just getting sound will be "good enough"

Post Merge: January 05, 2019, 09:14:40 PM

UPDATE:

So my USB to 1/8 guitar plug adapter came in the post today...

It shows up in Pulse as a USB input device, (lists as a microphone actually)...

but how do I get it so I can hear the output? I assumed that since it was showing, I should just be able to hear it on the headphones, but no, all I get on the headphones is the echo of the guitar from the other mic...

I tried installing a guitar amp app that uses JACK, but it seems to be unable to start the JACK server... even if I disable Pulse.

Any ideas how I get the sound of the guitar to play out the headphones?

UPDATE 2:

Well, if I run VLC I can hear the guitar through my headphones, but the latency is a complete mess...

I guess I will need to research JACK and figure out how to set all that up if I want to actually play in real time

At least I know it's working
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 11:10:05 PM by fraterchaos »
Science, like Nature, must also be tamed... with a view towards it's preservation. -- Rush