How can I plug my guitar into my computer to record? Audio Interface

This is such a big question, but the answer is simple. What you need to plug your guitar into your computer to record your music is called “an audio interface” and a 1/4 inch guitar cable. There are several on the market, and some are easier than others to use. I have personally used the Avid Pro Tools audio interface, which was called an Mbox. Over the years, I also bought the Mbox 2 and the Mbox Mini (each had more/less inputs for me). The Mbox was not just for recording guitars, but also for recording any instrument that has quarter inch instrument input, or an XLR input (which means you are probably using a microphone to record your vocals).


Are there easier ones to use that are specifically MADE for guitarists? Yes, you also have the iRig 2 as a low-cost option, an audio interface that looks like a guitar cable, and the iRig HD 2 which is a guitar/bass audio interface that has digital inputs/outputs for higher fidelity recording. To control effects naturally, you can also employ the iRig BlueBoard, a Bluetooth MIDI Foot pedal controller from IK Multimedia (really cool, and more natural for guitarists and bassists to control their software effects).


OK, so maybe you have an audio interface, but you have no idea how to record… What do you need to record your guitar? SOFTWARE. A natural software for guitarists and bassists to record with is called AmpliTube from IK Multimedia. It has stomps, amps, and something like 20,000 different amp/fx combos that you can use to craft your tone. It has multi-track recording too, and the ability to import music so you can record your guitars over it, and export as a final song.

If you are using an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, or Android, and want to plug your guitar or bass into it to record, you’ll need to try the iRig 2 or the iRig Pro DUO. The iRig is a quarter inch input for your guitar or bass, and also has an audio ouput (eighth inch) for headphones/speakers/PA system. What is the software to use with iRig? IK Multimedia’s “AmpliTube” again. AmpliTube for iPhone or iPad has recording options (4 and 8 tracks of recording, plus a host of amps and stomp models to choose from). You may download the AmpliTube software for FREE from iTunes (FREE99 is always the best price!). There is also a full version of AmpliTube from iTunes, and costs $19.99. IK Multimedia keeps coming out with new models of amps and effects for guitar and bass, so your rig will never be stale. You’ll just have to keep upgrading your rig for $2.99 per pedal…

I hope I was able to answer your question(s) about music production, technology and recording guitar. Thanks for reading Starr Ackerman’s Music Production Blog!

~ by Starr Ackerman on February 2, 2011.

4 Responses to “How can I plug my guitar into my computer to record? Audio Interface”

  1. […] How can I plug my guitar into my computer to record? Audio Interface […]


  2. Hello friends, its enormous post regarding educationand completely defined, keep it up
    all the time.


  3. It is nice info if you have zero clue what to buy. However, the real issue is that the iRig was not designed for connection with computers (no USB connectivity). So, how will a passive guitar-iPad/iPhone/latest Android interface like iRig 2 will HOOK UP into the Windows PC? Thx for your time in advance!


    • Hi,

      The original iRig 2 was designed to turn the stereo output of the iPhone into a DI and an output. Coincidentally, it also worked with Mac, PC and Android products that had the same headphone output or a mic input (and worked with computers, just analog, not digital). The iRig HD and the iRig HD 2 were designed to work with the digital inputs, like the USB 2, lightning and Micro-usb – etc. Here is a link to check it out the iRig HD:


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