Question I need some help recording two inputs into left and right channels

torveo

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I'm not sure if this is the right subforum for this, but this seems like a place where people would know. I've got a mic and a guitar that I need to record at the same time. My soundcard can't use the Line in input and the mic input at the same time, but it does have left and right channels. I would like to have the mic on one channel and the guitar or another. That way I can apply different gain and FX on each. Is this possible? Is it as simple as just buying a certain stereo Y cable? Thanks in advance.
 
I'm not sure if this is the right subforum for this, but this seems like a place where people would know. I've got a mic and a guitar that I need to record at the same time. My soundcard can't use the Line in input and the mic input at the same time, but it does have left and right channels. I would like to have the mic on one channel and the guitar or another. That way I can apply different gain and FX on each. Is this possible? Is it as simple as just buying a certain stereo Y cable? Thanks in advance.
It's possible....but you need to find the right adapters and I did a quick look...and I didn't come up with anything really "off the shelf" as a solution.....but it can be done.
 

MadsModsat

Commendable
The problem is, that a microphone requires a pre-amp, which means you can't run it through the line-in on the motherboard through a splitter, without any kind of pre-amplification. The motherboard mic-in has a built-in pre-amp, and the stereo line-in doesn't.

Also, the "line" signal from the guitar, and the line-in on a motherbaord is not directly compatible, so you can't connect a guitar directly to the line-in on a motherboard, it simply wont work without an audio interface between the guitar and the PC.

The best solution for your requirements would be a 2 channel USB soundcard, which has built in pre-amps for a microphone and also accepts a signal from a guitar.

Something like this dual input soundcard or this (or similar) would be adequate, and the inputs can be set to microphone or line-in, and it accepts both unbalanced and balanced line signals

For recording software, you could use something like Audacity, which is free, and allows you to record the guitar and the mic on seperate tracks, so you can use different effects on each channel

EDIT:

Apparantly someone has invented this (guitar) line to USB adaptor since I last checked. It is a lot cheaper, and does the job of a di box / line driver (on the cheap), but doesn't let you record vocals (mic) at the same time, unlike the USB sound card.
 
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torveo

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Here's something that might work.
https://www.amazon.com/Hosa-YMM-261-Stereo-Breakout-Cable/dp/B000068O5H/

Read the questions/answers and the reviews at the bottom before buying. It may or may not work out for you.
Going to do a little bit more research, but that seems to be exactly what I was looking for and for 5 bucks too. If it really works that will be amazing. Thank you!


The problem is, that a microphone requires a pre-amp, which means you can't run it through the line-in on the motherboard through a splitter, without any kind of pre-amplification. The motherboard mic-in has a built-in pre-amp, and the stereo line-in doesn't.

Also, the "line" signal from the guitar, and the line-in on a motherboard is not directly compatible, so you can't connect a guitar directly to the line-in on a motherboard, it simply wont work without an audio interface between the guitar and the PC.

The best solution for your requirements would be a 2 channel USB soundcard, which has built in pre-amps for a microphone and also accepts a signal from a guitar.

Something like this dual input soundcard or this (or similar) would be adequate, and the inputs can be set to microphone or line-in, and it accepts both unbalanced and balanced line signals

For recording software, you could use something like Audacity, which is free, and allows you to record the guitar and the mic on separate tracks, so you can use different effects on each channel

EDIT:

Apparantly someone has invented this (guitar) line to USB adaptor since I last checked. It is a lot cheaper, and does the job of a di box / line driver (on the cheap), but doesn't let you record vocals (mic) at the same time, unlike the USB sound card.
I appreciate your thoughtful input. I bought FL Studio years ago and I've been using that to do the splitting, at least in theory. I can set mixer channels to take input from the soundcards input channel 1 or 2 or both. So theoretically, if that splitter that gardenman posted works the way I hope, I could set the first mixer track to take input from channel 1, and the second track from channel 2. Then convert back to stereo and apply different FX to each because I don't want chorus FX and compression on my voice, and then send them both off to the output. I've never been able to test this because my line in and mic use the same ADC. Whichever one I use, the other goes silent : /

I'm a little bit confused about the line-in compatibility though. What do you mean by "wont work"? Because the Line in definitely does take the signal right off the guitar pickups. It's so low level that you can't really hear it when checking "Listen to this device", which might be what you meant by wont work. But I just crank the gain up in my DAW and it comes through fine except for a bit of white noise, which could also be what you meant by wont work since its hardly ideal. A high pass filter gets rid of the majority of it though without hurting the guitars higher tones too much though. This is (almost) entirely alleviated if I use my fender amp and connect its headphone jack to the line in which is what I do most of the time, unless I want to use a VST amp plugin in the DAW for something different. On the flip side, I have used the mic input for the guitar as well and it works too, without needing any additional gain but still having a bit of noise, which makes sense considering what you said about the pre-amp. I should note that I'm using a Sound Blaster RX/5 PCIe card which is why the noise isn't too bad, even though its kind of crap (I seriously cant get over the single ADC thing...). The onboard sound card is effectively unusable since it has such bad noise even on the output, and the input is 3x as bad! That being said I definitely still wouldn't use this method for professional recordings since the noise can get pretty bad if Im going for a metal tone with the VST amp. I have to make heavy use of noise gating which sucks, but this is only to play music with my friends in our TeamSpeak 3 server since we can't get together to do it in person with the pandemic going on. Right now its either mic or the guitar which makes communication a little hard. That's why I'd love to be able to talk and play without needing to disable the line-in every time I wanna use my mic. Oh how I miss the studio. And everything else too. Can't wait until this show is over : (


Thanks again for your help, guys.
 
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MadsModsat

Commendable
Usually the audio quality suffer in different ways, when you have to use extreme amounts of gain, but it sounds like it is a non-issue in your case, so you can just ignore that part of my post.

I’d be surprised if you manage to get good recording quality when using the mic through line-in with no pre-amp, but you never know, I’ve been surprised plenty of times before
 

torveo

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Usually the audio quality suffer in different ways, when you have to use extreme amounts of gain, but it sounds like it is a non-issue in your case, so you can just ignore that part of my post.

I’d be surprised if you manage to get good recording quality when using the mic through line-in with no pre-amp, but you never know, I’ve been surprised plenty of times before
Yea I agree with you about the mic being unusable on the line in. Im thinking i'll have to stick both on the mic input and forget about line-in in this case. I will definitely look into getting a real audio interface like people have suggested so I wont need to toy around with this janky noisy setup anymore. But until then I'll just have to live with it.
 

torveo

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Okay, so I have an interesting update. After some research I found what seems to suggest that the Sound Blaster Audigy 5/RX is actually capable of recording two inputs like I expected it too.

See this taken from the official manual:


That leads me to to believe that the card should be totally capable of using both inputs at the same time. Unless it feeds them both into the same ADC and just mixes them together, I shouldn't need to fiddle around with left and right channels to do what I want to do. So I guess my question now is, why am I not able to record both at the same time?

Its either this


Or this


Stereo Mix is always disabled since I don't really use it.

Also, in FL Studio I dont have the option to record from Mic at all when using the Creative ASIO drivers. Line in L/R is the only input selectable. Though, I'll ask about that on the image-line FL Studio forums instead of here.

I'm going to hold off on buying a preamp / audio interface for now since I usually run [Guitar --> Amp in jack] and then [Amp headphone jack --> PC Line-in jack], and that feeds line-in at the standard line level anyway.
 
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hang-the-9

Titan
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I've recorded guitar from the amp out to a computer, never got it to sound good. I find an amp modeling or fx pedal that connects through USB interface works better or going through a an actual mixer with mic and other inputs. The guitar always sounded way too sharp and buzzy and distortion was very bad sounding, like it was cliping, going directly into a line in to a computer. If I turned down the gain it ended up just being muted not sounding much better.
 

torveo

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I think might be because you had the output volume too high. You gotta have it really low or else that happens. I set my amp volume knob halfway between 1 and 2, especially when using the overdrive setting. In the DAW its still showing peaks going up to +1, +2 dB. Gain (I think this is how it works? Im kinda new at all this) is the level of the signal going into the tubes, output volume is the level of the signal going out to the headphone jack/speaker. Not to be confused with input volume if your amp has one (Mine doesn't so its nice and simple for me). I always set mine so that general playing peaks to around plus or minus 2 dB in the DAW and it sounds great, basically the same as the amp itself.

Doesn't really matter now I guess since you got a sweet interface but maybe somebody else will come across this and it will help them.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I think might be because you had the output volume too high. You gotta have it really low or else that happens. I set my amp volume knob halfway between 1 and 2, especially when using the overdrive setting. In the DAW its still showing peaks going up to +1, +2 dB. Gain (I think this is how it works? Im kinda new at all this) is the level of the signal going into the tubes, output volume is the level of the signal going out to the headphone jack/speaker. Not to be confused with input volume if your amp has one (Mine doesn't so its nice and simple for me). I always set mine so that general playing peaks to around plus or minus 2 dB in the DAW and it sounds great, basically the same as the amp itself.

Doesn't really matter now I guess since you got a sweet interface but maybe somebody else will come across this and it will help them.
When the volume got turned down the sound turned out more muted, no clipping but it was sounding like the guitar was playing behind a sheet. Really for recording to a computer an actual audio interface and mixer is the best thing to use since you can control the input levels after the source more. You may want to check out a cheaper modeling pedal and see how it works for you. They are fun to play with and getting a used one won't cost much. Digitech RP255 is pretty easy to find used, it's what I have, not the best out there but cheap and has a expression pedal on it for wah or other effects. Can record though USB so you don't need to mess with the computer audio inputs and going from the amp headphone out or something. Pretty sure it was well under $100 used. I also have a Digitech Trio Plus which is great for recording and practice due to looping and the band backing music. If you do a bunch of playing on your own that is a great tool to have.
 
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