Musicians, how do you play/record guitar in Audacity?

_Audacity version: 2.05
OS: KDE Mint 17.3 “Rosa”, on Lenovo G585 laptop
Instruments: tenor guitar, G# Guitar, soprano uke, bass guitar (all electric)[

Guitar interfaces available:

Behringer Guitar Link CGU102
Ion Guitar Link

Hello all,

Musicians recording regularly in Audacity, I could do with your help.

For recording electric string instruments in Audacity, on my regular laptop, a preamp, an audio interface, or a usb line-in audio adapter is required.

  • Behringer Guitar Link CGU102: KDE Mint recognises Guitar Link, but I can’t make it communicate with Audacity.
  • ION Guitar Link: effect in KDE Mint as well as in Audacity unknown.

If you have previous experience with these Guitar Links and have thought of some way of turning these Linux-compatible, I’d very much like to hear from you.

I may need a USB Line In audio adapter. Those I have come across online have been fitted, without exception, with a line OUT[put (green ring) and a microphone INput (red or pink ring). I couldn’t find any with a genuine LINE-IN option (blue ring)

Useful suggestions, comments and ideas regarding the topic above are very welcome, too.

Veerstryngh Thynner

You might consider the larger units like Behringer UM2. That one will connect to a rock band microphone like the Shure SM58, higher end broadcast and studio microphones (with Phantom Power) and has Line-In and Instrument-in. But the most important thing it does is provide Zero Latency Monitoring so you can listen to yourself and the old tracks you made last week in Overdubbing/sound-on-sound.

It’s mono, so if you need to produce stereo out of the gate, you need something else and it won’t connect to lower-end “computer microphones.” Please note that people buy stereo units only to find that they can’t overdub because their instrument is stuck on Left hand side of a stereo show and they can’t stop it. These units can’t switch like a mixer can.

I think the Scarlett Solo will do that, as well.

I get stuck every time I do this, but Audacity doesn’t have a 2.05 and the latest version is 2.1.3. Linux people have weird versions.


  • if the headphones output on your laptop has been equipped, like mine, with a combo jack, you may be able to use it as line input, too! Consult your system’s manual.

We’re not excited about combo jacks. Too many users show up on the forum wondering why their live music recording is distorted and it’s a safe bet they plugged their SomethineSomething into the socket on the side of their laptop without checking first. OK, now you tell a beginner-user what’s wrong. I’ll wait.

This business of adapting one connection to a bunch of different jobs is also why that socket doesn’t do microphones very well, either.


This is a test clip from my UM2. It’s a live (ratty) microphone and I’m listening to each track and me in real time and in sync as I record—three layers.

In music, that would be drums, bass and lead guitar, recorded one after the other.


Here. I just did a three-way perfect overdubbing session on the picnic table using exactly what you see in that picture. Click the picture. No wall power and you may be able to hear the jets going over. The AKG microphone is a public address microphone handy for testing.


a three-way perfect overdubbing session on the picnic table

By “Perfect 'Overdubbing,” I don’t mean it’s ready for Lincoln Center, I mean I hear a perfect mix of my live voice and the backing tracks as I perform. That’s really hard to do if you need that. You can’t, for example, listen to the computer, even if you have all the adapters.

That goes for any instruments you plug in, too.