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How to Record Guitar on PC for Listening

By Zoe Clarke

August 26, 2018

Sometimes you have learned a few songs with the guitar and want to share the moment with your friends so as to show your talent, or you just want to improve your guitar playing skills through the review of the recordings, but most users always fail to replay the guitar with the same quality as the original one. That must annoy most guitar players all the time and users are still looking for some powerful ways to achieve the playing effects of guitar on PC for listening or recording. 

So are there any effective solutions for recording guitar on PC? Of course! Several ways of recording your guitar effectively onto the hard drive of your computer are introduced to you! Depending on your situation and equipment, you can choose the most suitable one to get your guitar recording on PC for listening.


Method 1. Computer-Guitar Cable or Adaptor for Recording Guitar

It's very lucky and easy for the users who play electric guitars to get these following two simplest ways to record guitar on PC.

#1. With Built-in Sound Card:

If your PC owns a built-in sound card, you just need to directly plug your electric guitar into the mic-in socket on your sound card (or the mic in on your laptop).

#2. Without Audio-in Port:

If you couldn't find an audio-in port on your PC, all you need to do is to prepare a simple computer guitar adaptor, or known as a headphone jack for recording. Namely, you need to connect the headphone or line out from the amp to the line in of their sound card. As the picture shows below, it has a standard jack input for your guitar lead on the end, and a mini-jack on the other.

Computer Guitar Cable


#1 Guitar cable should be with 1/4" jack on one end and 1/8" mini-jack on the other.

#2 If your laptop does not have an audio-in port, you will need to purchase an interface or a special cable that plugs into your audio-out port, also known as a headphone jack.

Instructions of Recording Guitar with Computer-Guitar Cable or Adaptor:

Step 1. Locate your Computer's Audio-in Port

If you couldn't find the audio-in port, use the suitable computer guitar cable to record.

Step 2. Launch the Recorder

Run the built-in Windows sound recorder software, and then play the guitar.

Step 3. Click to Record the Sounds


• Simplest way for electric guitar

• Lowest cost


• Lower impedance will cause low-quality recordings noisy sounds

Method 2. Devices with a Pre-amp for Recording Guitar

If you are unsatisfied with the strength of your guitar's signal, this solution will improve the recording effects of guitar, which is to enhance it with a preamp. Pre-amplification is the first stage of amplification which could strengthen your guitar's signal. You can purchase a preamp specifically designed for guitars or other relative devices including amp-modelers, pedals, drum machines, and direct boxes.

Step 1. Find a Device with a Preamp.

Pay attention to prepare the audio-in port on your PC or laptop, which is useful and have mentioned above.

Step 2. Connect your Guitar and Preamp to your Laptop.

Plug your standard guitar cable into your guitar Insert the other end of the guitar cable into the input port of the preamp Insert a ⅛" stereo in cable into your pre-amp's PA Out or Line-Out port Put the opposite end of this cable into your laptop's audio-in port.

Step 3. Test the Effect

Test the strength with listening to the guitar through your headphone and then save it with the built-in Windows voice recorder.


• Strengthen the signal of the guitar

• Reduce noise


• Only can record the guitar sounds without the same input of the users' voice

• Fail to decrease any delay when recording

• Need to make sure your sound is muted and the correctly selected port (audio-in, audio-out, headphone, microphone, etc.)

Note: Although the computer guitar cable is a simple and cheap method for recording the guitar, it still couldn't meet the need of those who want to do professional guitar recordings. Here we would like to recommend the next two all-in-one solutions to you which will offer professional improvements in quality and achieve both the input and output between guitar sounds and singer's voice at the same time.

Method 3. USB Audio Interfaces for Recording Guitar

"I've got a USB audio interface, what is it actually and how do I use it to record my guitar?"

Well, that's common questions for most users who own an acoustic guitar. And you will make it clear and get your high-quality guitar recordings with this useful tutorial!

What is the audio interfaces?

Basically, an audio interface is an external sound card, getting sound in and out your computer, now widely used by people with desktop computers, laptops and tablets. What the crucial way to improve your guitar recording is to fit a new sound card inside your machine. All the USB audio interfaces that have guitar and mic input can be applied to record guitar alongside a dynamic vocal mic.

Reasons for USB Audio Interface and Improvement:

If you want to make a professional recording of your voice or any instrument and achieve the mixed listening results, you will need an audio interface. Most importantly, you have to install a really powerful voice recorder to avoid the poor output quality by using built-in Windows voice recorder. That is TuneFab Screen Recorder.

Functions of TuneFab Screen Recorder:

#1 High output quality.

Recording audio with the original quality without any damage into WMA, MP3, M4A, and AAC.

#2 Fast audio downloading speed.

No recording delay happens when recording with TuneFab Screen Recorder.

#3 Freely without online or any limitation.

For recording the guitar, you can use TuneFab Screen Recorder without any consideration of your network connection. It is for offline using.

#4 Easy-to-use interface with simple instruction.

Just selecting the recorder, file formats, file folders and click REC then you can save whatever sounds or audio tracks to your computer.

Tutorial of Recording Guitar with USB Audio Interface and TuneFab Screen Recorder:

Step 1. Connect your Guitar and USB Audio Interface to your Computer.

Step 2. Put on your Headphone and Test your Guitar.

As USB audio interfaces enable to bypass the built-in sound card to give a great result, users are required to listen to them by headphone because the sound will not come out of the existing computer speakers.

Step 3. Install and Launch the Recorder

After the installation, activate TuneFab Screen Recorder and you will see the main interface.

Main Interface

Step 4. Click "Audio Recorder"

Click the "Audio Recorder" to get into a new interface. And then adjust the volume of "Microphone" and "System Sound".

Audio Recorder

Step 5. Start Recording

Get ready to play your guitar and Click "REC" button. Don't forget to review the sound you have recorded before saving it.

Start Recording

Note: After recording, please click "Save" so that your recording files can be saved to your destination file folder.

Method 4. Microphone for Recording Guitar

Using a microphone is another option to record the output of your amp (in the case of electric guitarists), or your acoustic guitar.


• Use it either as a USB or a standard mic

• Compatible with both PC and Mac operating systems

• Easy to use it, just insert and play so you can get started really quickly

• Excellent value without a requirement to purchase any additional hardware


• High budget

And also, TuneFab Screen Recorder will be the perfect part of this really neat one-stop solution to record guitar on your computer. Don't forget to download it on your PC.

For real ease, here we introduce the USB mic and its clear instruction to you.

Tutorial of Recording Guitar with Microphone and TuneFab Screen Recorder:

Get ready to play your guitar and Click "REC" button. Don't forget to review the sound you have recorded before saving it.

Step 1. Connect your guitar and USB mic to your computer.

Note: When choosing a mic, don't forget to buy the suitable one with stand or small desktop stand which works like shock absorbers.

Step 2. Listen to the track and test the guitar or your voice through your headphone.

Step 3. Run the TuneFab Screen Recorder. Click the "REC" button and start recording.

Step 4. After recording, pause it and review the sections you have downloaded before saving it.

Note: Using microphone is particularly good for the vocalists who want to record over backing tracks are from the microphones which have a headphone output because you can listen to the track while you are singing along and gain the perfect recording effect.

With all the above guitar recording solutions, you can try the perfect one depends on your situation and need. And no matter what method you want to try, TuneFab Screen Recorder is the most effective recorder freely to help you get high-output quality guitar recordings! These are all the really useful guide to record guitar on PC for listening. Enjoy your guitar recording!

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