Audacity Makes Guitar Out Of Tune

I have Fender Mustang LT 25 amp using USB into computer, and put an MP3 song in audacity to play along with the song to record as a guitar cover. But when I do it sounds terrible, I’ve never heard anything like it, the recording comes out with the guitar sounding so flat, it sounds terrible, I can’t put into words how bad it sounds, it sounds like a guitar that way out of tune, even though it’s in perfect tune.

I’ve tried to attach mp3 file to show you how bad it sounds, really bad sounding.

How do I fix this?

Try changing the Audacity project rate to 48000Hz, (from the default of 44100Hz).

[ This will not fix your attached mp3, the suggestion is for future recordings]

I changed to 44100 project rate hz, it did not fix the issue.

The USB-recording-device properties may have an “advanced” tab, where sample-rates options are shown …
The shown sample rate should match your Audacity project rate.

[[The USB-recording-device properties may have an “advanced” tab, where sample-rates options are shown …]]

Sorry but I’m not sure what you are wanting me to click on, my pc is windows 8.

The USB-recording device properties of what?

I’m not sure what device you meant, but, I clicked on microphone properties and set to 48000 HZ, and also there is internal aux jack mustang properties advanced is on 48000 and cannot be changed. Those?

You sent me a picture of a microphone, so dunno…I’m not using a microphone, it’s guitar.

One possibility…

The USB device (guitar amp) and your soundcard have their own clocks (oscillators) to generate the 44.1kHz or 48kHz sample rate. They will never match perfectly but usually they are “close enough” and sometimes they are far-enough off to cause a noticeable pitch or timing problem.

This is somewhat common with regular “cheap” soundcards, and you won’t notice if you record and play-back on the same soundcard. The problem shows-up if you record with a USB device and play-back on your soundcard or when two different musicians collaborate, each using their own computer.

Normally, I’d blame the regular soundcard but I assume the MP3 plays by itself at the correct pitch? …I assume you tuned your guitar using a guitar-tuner, NOT to match the MP3? …Tuning to match won’t work because you’re recording and playing-back at slightly different speeds & pitch.

In your case maybe the clock in the guitar amp is “off”, or maybe it’s something else…

DVDdoug what do you suggest? Buy another amp? what?

I’m not 100% sure it’s the amp… “You never really know what the problem is 'till it’s solved.” :frowning:

And guitar amps with USB are not that common so you don’t have a lot to choose from.

There are lots of [u]USB audio interfaces[/u] with guitar/instrument inputs. (If you wanted to hear the actual amp at the same time you’d need a Y-splitter.) If you get a good interface it should have a good clock and you can use the same device for recording and playback so the clocks will match (but again, we’re not sure it’s a “clock problem”).

And/or if you like the actual sound out of your amp it’s common to stick a microphone in front of the amplifier, connected to an interface. The Shure SM57 is a popular choice for amplified guitar). Pro studios often record electric guitar both direct and from a mic.

Assuming you’re using a laptop you can try recording from its built-in microphone. Of course, you’ll have to use headphones for the backing-track, and you may not get acceptable quality so it’s probably not a good permanent solution.

However the guitar is attached to the computer, (USB, line-in, etc), will have properties …
recording devices properties (advanced tab).gif
If those properties cannot be changed, ensure Audacity is set to the same (e.g. 48000, not 44100).
You may have to close then restart Audacity for any changes to take effect.
[ As it’s Windows :frowning: , maybe even have to restart the computer ].

I just want to say what an absolute waste of time it was coming to this forum and getting no answers that fixed anything. And then ending up with a scarlett solo that I was unable to use, I like how when you are looking for help nobody has any answers, so you are simply let on your own, I am so tired of having guitar related issues and nobody can ever help me!

We are all volunteers trying to help…

Did you eliminate the regular soundcard from EVERYTHING? i.e. Are you still using your soundcard for the MP3?

If you eliminate the backing track and record & play-back through the Scarlett does it stay in-tune?