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I am in need of a very basic audio interface (preferably internal) to plug my guitar into my computer.

Right now, I have a rocksmith cable and it does connect my guitar to my PC perfectly fine, I can play with "Guitar Rig 5" but it does cancel every other sound coming out of the computer. So, I can either listen to something or play the guitar, not at the same time. I think this is a limitation of my on-board sound card(chip).

I know there must be a lot of external and quite expensive solutions to this but I am only looking into the most basic and cheap option (under 100$).

My PC is quite powerful (32G ram, SSD, a very solid motherboard etc) so I don't think I have any other limitations.

Thank you for the suggestions.

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closed as off-topic by Richard, Dom, Jason W, Lee White, Dan Hulme Jul 30 at 7:39

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking recommendations for equipment are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – Richard, Dom, Jason W, Lee White, Dan Hulme
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i would recommend the mbox mini. OR if you ONLY want to use guitar, get an apogee jam which will allow you to use USB instead of audio port. both are external but you need a preamp. the apogee JAM is just a tiny box that connects to your guitar line. i don't know anybody who uses an internal audio card to do sound recording –  Grey Jul 29 at 4:01

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Right now, I have a rocksmith cable and it does connect my guitar to my PC perfectly fine, I can play with "Guitar Rig 5" but it does cancel every other sound coming out of the computer. So, I can either listen to something or play the guitar, not at the same time. I think this is a limitation of my on-board sound card(chip).

Are you using Windows and ASIO drivers? Because ASIO has that limitation, unless you use an ASIO multi-client. See here: How to make ASIO work with multiple programs: how can I listen to Guitar Rig plus something else through the same interface?

You might be able to fix the issue without buying a new interface.

I am in need of a very basic audio interface (preferably internal) to plug my guitar into my computer. (...) I know there must be a lot of external and quite expensive solutions to this but I am only looking into the most basic and cheap option (under 100$).

Do not go internal. (unless you have another important reason to do so, other than the price)

1) External interfaces are more flexible.

2) Cheap internal interfaces tend to have severe noise issues.

3) External can be as cheap as internal

You can get an external for as cheap as $30 USD (I wouldn't recommend that one, though). The cheapest internal at sweetwater is at $179 USD.

You can still get a not-terrible-interface with instrument (1/4" TS) input and/or mic/line combo input for under 100 bucks.

For example, the Behringer U-Phoria UM2 gives you combo mic/line input and an instrument input, preamps, and phantom power for $50 USD. I think the downside is that it might be able to record at 16 bits only (which is very common in that price range), but if you don't mind recording/playing at 16 bits instead of 24, that's not an issue.

For 10 bucks more, you can get a Lexicon Alpha: 2 ins (mic and instrument) with preamps and phantom power for $60 USD, and this one can record/play at 24 bits.

(this 24 bit thing is specially useful while recording)

From there you have countless options all the way to the 100 bucks limit. Look for something with an instrument input for your guitar, that can record at the very least at 24 bits and 48kHz, that can handle something that you might want to implement in the near future (mic, maybe a free DAW included, maybe more than 2 outputs, MIDI in/out, etc).

Go to a page like seetwater, and visit their external audio interfaces section, and filter by price from $25 to $100 USD. You'll see several options for under $100.

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1  
agreed, internal audio cards had their day in the 90's. every professional setup i've seen now is using something external. it needs preamps. and plugging an analogue high impedance cable into a computer chassis hosting a flurry of other electromagnetic nonsense is sure to invite a dirty signal –  Grey Jul 29 at 3:56

When I first started recording my electric guitar on the computer, I had an old Soundblaster Audigy SE which you can pick up for about $30 from the Creative store. I plugged

  1. the guitar into the amplifier
  2. the guitar amplifier's 1/4" jack into a 1/4" > 1/8" adapter
  3. the adapter into the Microphone-In (or any available line-In on the sound card -- usually the ones which are not black or green) on the sound card.

I would then go to the computer's sound options (Control Panel > Sound), and ensure the recording mic/line-in is enabled and working. I'd then test it out in the applications I used to use (which was Cool Edit Pro / now Adobe Audition). It used to sound really muddy, but it worked and was tons of fun to jam with and try recording stuff!

Here's a picture of the SoundBlaster Audigy SE (which boasts the following On-Board Connectors:

  • Line level Out (Front / Rear / Side / Center / Subwoofer) or Headphone Out
  • Line In / Microphone In / *Digital I/O
  • Aux Audio In
  • Supports SPDIF Out for Stereo Digital Speakers or SPDIF In/Out with Creative Digital I/O Module (sold separately)

Audigy SE

And here's a picture of the adapter:

1/4" > 1/8" Adapter

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