im having trouble recording my guitar

My friend has recently bought a new interface which allows us to record in stereo, this is kinda all greek to me but just so you know…

I currently use a gibson hummingbird, which unplugged plays fine, through my marshall as100d sounds fine…HOWEVER…when i DI or line out my amp, through the mixing desk and into audacity, the recorded guitar parts sound absolutely terrible! its hard to describe what it sounds like, buzzing, no range, crunchy, almost as if i was playing a guitar made completely of plastic with nylon strings! it doesnt seem to pick up any expression (upstrokes, muted strings etc) just a big horrible chunk of bass and treble mashed together.

of course i thought it was my guitar, so i had the pick ups adjusted. this didnt make matters any better.i changed the way i played, thinner pick, sound hole blocker, no pick at all, i messed around with the amp settings, bass, mid, treble…ALL TO NO CHANGE in this horrible sound picked up on audacity.

I naturally still beleived it was my guitar, maybe dead strings, bad pickup, bad set up…but then listening back to other recordings where i KNOW i have used other guitars, maybe 2 or 3 other guitars, i can still hear this horrible buzzing/plasticy sound.

Like i said, unplugged, my guitar sounds amazing, plugged into the marshall, it sounds fine…its only when i record on audacity that when played back the guitar sounds horrible!
WHAT COULD THIS BE??? audacity???

another thing to mention would be that frequently when recording, our bassist plugs in through the second channel of my amp, so there are 2 instruments being played through one amp, that is connected to the mixing desk, then the interface, then audacity. and the bass is picked up fine.

I am so confused!

any help appreciated…

through the mixing desk and into audacity,

You left out a lot of critical stuff there. You used analog audio cables between the mixer and the Mic-In of your Windows laptop, right? You can’t do that. Most Windows laptops have a super sensitive connection (pink? red?) for connecting a delicate, sensitive microphone. The signal from your guitar or mixer is massively powerful compared to that and you are overloading the connection.

You can plug that stuff directly into a Mac or a large deskside PC, but not a Windows Laptop. Some laptops can be adjusted in the setup panels to accept that (consult your instructions), but we usually send people off to buy a UCA202 USB sound adapter.


A couple of possibilities:

You could be recording at much too high a level. The recorded waveform should have peaks up to about half of the height of the track. The waveform should not be too close to the top or bottom of the track when you record.

You could be overloading the audio input on your computer. If you are plugged into a “Mic” input this is very likely. A “Line out” signal is about 1000x bigger than a microphone signal.