Problem with recording electric guitar. Please help!

After searching the internet on how to record an electric guitar with audacity for hours I became desperate. There are plenty of tutorials on where to put you microphone in relation with the amp. But i don’t have a microphone! I want to record sound by jacking my guitar into my BOSS GT8 Guitar Multi Effects Processor, and from the processor straight into the computer microphone jack-hole thing. But i am unable to pick up any sound whatsoever from the cable. The laptop I am using has a built in microphone that records the faint sound of me angrily bashing the guitar strings with no proper results. How do i get audacity to not record with the built-in microphone and to actually record the sound coming through the cable? I am using Windows 7 and Audacity 1.3 Beta (Unicode). All help is very much apprechiated.

It may not be a good idea to record from the amp to the mic port unless the mic port is tolerant of stronger line-level signals or can be switched to line level stereo. Check your computer manual and see this draft page in the Audacity Manual. Consider a USB interface to connect the amp to instead.

If you decide to risk blowing the mic port by connecting the amp, you will need to choose the external mic port as recording device in the Devices tab of Audacity Preferences. If you do not see the external mic input there, click here for instructions about going to “Sound” in the Windows Control Panel. Follow the instructions to show the disabled inputs then enable the external mic and make it default device. Then you can select the external mic in Audacity Preferences (“Microsoft Sound Mapper - Input” and “Primary Sound Capture Driver” should select the external mic as well if you made it default device).

If you still don’t see the internal mic, open the control panel for your sound device and look for “Separate all input jacks as separate input devices”.


There was no mention of impedance in that draft portion of the audacity manual.
I suggest you use a DI box (Direct Injection) to match the impedance levels.

Bear in mind that he is plugging into a PC mini-jack input, so even with a DI box there is still the problem of matching a balanced XLR output to an unbalanced mini-jack input. A better solution might be to buy an external USB sound card that has a dedicated guitar input (with a 1/4" jack socket).