how to connect guitar to audio interface

How to Connect Guitar to Audio Interface and More

One of the most important (and obvious) things about playing guitar is how it sounds, and how you record your electric guitar will significantly affect how it sounds. There are many ways to record electric guitars, but each method has some disadvantages and advantages. 

In this article, we discuss how to record an electric guitar with an amp, how to record an electric guitar without an amp, how to use a phone or tablet to record electric guitars, and, of course, how to connect a guitar to an audio interface.

The Different Ways of Recording Electric Guitar

There are three main ways to record an electric guitar: with an amp, without an amp, and on a phone or tablet. In this section, we discuss each way in detail.

how to connect guitar to audio interface

Recording With an Amp

If you have an amp and want to record your guitar with it, you will need some essential equipment. You will need an audio interface, a guitar cable, and a microphone. The audio interface will connect to your amp and the computer, while the guitar cable connects the guitar to the audio interface. The microphone will be used to capture your guitar tone.

There are many different audio interfaces on the market, but most of them have the same functions. They usually come with two inputs (for microphones) and two outputs (one for headphones and one for speakers). Some high-end audio interfaces include built-in preamps for recording vocals or instruments.

When choosing an audio interface, ensure it has enough inputs for all of your gear. If you plan on recording drums or other instruments at some point, make sure there are enough inputs for all of these as well.

Once you have your audio interface, you will need a guitar cable and a microphone to connect it to your amp. Producers prefer no standard length or brand of cables, but, if possible, use a balanced XLR cable rather than unbalanced TRS jacks (TS). 

Balanced XLR cables offer more protection against electrical interference that can be picked up by microphones than TRS ones.

The main difference between the two types is how much external noise they pick up from the surroundings and how strong their audio signal is when plugged in. 

If you’re recording electric guitars on an amp, this extra strength could come into play during heavy playing sessions where lots of feedback is likely to occur.

Recording Without an Amp

If you don’t have an amp or want a cleaner guitar tone, there are two ways of recording electric guitars without amps. The first is by using direct input (DI). DI boxes can be used to connect your guitar directly into the audio interface via an instrument cable and then record it that way. 

Although this method does not capture any amplifiers or speakers in action, most DIs still offer some kind of tone shaping with controls for gain level and impedance matching. This allows you to fine-tune how strong your guitar’s signal will be when recorded. 

Another advantage over recording through an amplifier is how much control producers have over how they choose to process their sound later on. Still, unlike amp recordings, there is no option to add distortion or overdrive.

The second way of recording electric guitar without an amp is by using a software amp simulator. This method involves plugging your guitar into your computer via a guitar interface and then simulating the sound of an amplifier and cabinet using the software. 

There are many different software amp simulators on the market, with some being more accurate than others. The main benefit of this method is that you can choose any type of amplifier and cabinet you want, as well as experiment with different mic placements to get the exact tone you’re looking for. You can also add delay, reverb, and compression effects to the signal.

Recording Electric Guitar on Phone or Tablet

If you want to record electric guitar on your phone or tablet, there are a few different ways of doing so. The first is by using an app with amp and effects modeling built-in. This will give you a range of amps and pedals to choose from, as well as the ability to tweak their settings until you find the sound you’re looking for. 

Some apps allow you to record directly into your device without using an external mic. Another option is to use an audio interface that connects to your phone or tablet via USB port or Lightning connector. 

This will give you more options for recording quality and how many inputs and outputs your device has. You can also use this type of interface to connect other instruments and microphones to your phone or tablet for recording.

how to connect guitar to audio interface

Equipment for Each Method

When it comes to choosing the right audio equipment for each method of recording electric guitar, there are a few essential things you need. 

If you’re going to be recording with an amp, you will need a speaker cabinet and a mic and stand to place it in front of the speaker. You might also want to use a reflection filter if you’re having trouble getting a good tone from your recordings. 

When using an audio interface to record guitars without an amp, make sure you have enough inputs for all of your gear; and when using software amp simulators, make sure you have a good quality guitar interface.

Recording and how to connect guitar to audio interface

Regarding quality and flexibility, recording electric guitars with an audio interface is the best option. If you’re looking for an affordable option, many USB audio interfaces on the market will get the job done. Or, if you want something a bit more high-end, Thunderbolt-enabled audio interfaces offer incredible power and performance.

Not only do they offer excellent sound quality, but most interfaces also have built-in preamps, which give you better control over the tone of your guitar recordings. Many audio interfaces also come with multiple inputs and outputs, meaning you can record multiple instruments at once.

Recording With Guitar Audio Interfaces

Guitar interfaces are designed specifically for recording electric guitars or electric-acoustic guitars. They usually have a range of inputs and outputs and built-in preamps and amp modeling software. This means you can plug your guitar rig directly into the interface and start recording without using any other gear. 

Many guitar interfaces also come with DAWs (digital audio workstations) installed, allowing you to start recording immediately without purchasing additional software.

The Recording Process

There are a few things to keep in mind when recording electric guitars. First, you need to find the right balance between the guitar and the amp. This means finding the right gain level on the amp, as well as the proper mic placement and volume setting on your interface or software. 

If you have too much gain on your guitar player, you will get distortion in your recordings, and if you don’t have enough, you won’t be able to hear the guitar properly.

The next thing to keep in mind is the tone of your guitar. Some guitars sound better than others when recording, so you might have to experiment with different amps and effects until you find the right combination. 

The last thing to consider is how you want the final recording to sound. Do you want it to be clean and natural, or do you want it to have a more overdriven or distorted sound? Once you’ve decided on a tone, you can start tweaking your amp simulator or audio interface settings until you get the desired result.

Another thing to keep in mind is that different amps can sound very different when recorded. For example, a Marshall stack sounds very different from a Fender Twin Reverb. When choosing an amp simulator, make sure you pick one with models of amps that you are familiar with. This will help you to get the best tone from your recordings.

When it comes to recording, always try to use the same guitar and amp setup that you’ll be using live. This will help you avoid any surprises when it comes time to play your shows. It’s also a good idea to have a few different takes of each song so that you can choose the best one for the final mix.

Editing and Mixing

Once you have recorded all of your tracks, it’s time to start editing and mixing them. This is where you decide which take of each song sounds the best and creates a cohesive-sounding album. Many software programs allow you to do this, such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, and Cubase.

When editing your tracks, make sure you cut out any mistakes or unwanted noise. You can also use EQ and compression to help get the best sound from your recordings. Once everything is edited and mixed together, it’s time to export your final product. Most audio software will allow you to export in various formats, such as MP3, WAV, and AIFF.


Recording electric guitars after you figure out how to connect a guitar to an audio interface can be a lot of fun, and it doesn’t have to cost you much money at all. When getting great recordings, all that really matters is spending time experimenting in the studio until you get things right. 

As long as you have an interface or guitar amp with speaker outputs, then recording your music is easy! This will help ensure that every song on your album sounds perfect.

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