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I just wanna start learning the electric guitar (EG) as my first musical instrument and I have no knowledge about music. As I understood, I should buy an amplifier to play EG. I am wondering if it is possible to replace the amplifier with software, an app on iPad, and buy a bit more expensive guitar? If it is possible, I would be thankful if someone can explain how to do this.

Note: I have an amplifier to listen to music, "Pyle PT1100 Hybrid Amplifier". But, I don't know if it can be used for playing guitar or not. If it works, I would be thankful to know about it.

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    It's possible but doesn't make much sense IMO, because you'll only save maybe $40 compared to an amp+fx modeler like Zoom G1 Four or Mooer GE-100. And depending on things I cannot list, playing through the iPad can have an annoying latency. The saved pennies won't make any difference to how good a guitar you'll be able to buy. Jul 27 at 16:32
  • If you have access to a PC, then search for ASIO in the search bar, there is a lot of information about setting up a PC to act as an amp simulator to at least test the process for almost no money. music.stackexchange.com/search?q=ASIO
    – Yorik
    Jul 27 at 17:49
  • @Yorik you still need an audio interface to connect the guitar to the PC
    – ojs
    Jul 27 at 18:01
  • @ojs no, you just need line in, an 1/4-1/8 adapter, and free software. Not ideal, but it gets your foot in the door and then you can target equipment upgrades, such as a purpose-built audio adapter.
    – Yorik
    Jul 27 at 18:05
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    @Yorik the problem is that we know how electric signals work, what ASIO is and unless you have direct reference to something different, that the "not ideal" is probably same as "worse than just playing the guitar without an amp"
    – ojs
    Jul 27 at 19:11

2 Answers 2

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The speakers in an iPad are remarkable for their size, but not really capable of dealing with an electric guitar! And there's no easy way of getting the guitar signal into an iPad. It CAN be done, but remember this is Apple. The adapter won't be cheap!

Initially, you just want a basic amplifier and speaker. Google for 'practice amp'. Get one with a headphone socket. The neighbours don't need to hear the horrible noises a beginner guitarist makes! Have fun!

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With iPad is possible, but not free. For decent guitar input you need an audio interface with instrument level input, and if your iPad doesn't have USB-C and the interface doesn't come with Lightning cable, you need the misleadingly named "lightning camera adapter" that is actually a generic Lightning to USB2 adapter.

You also need an amp modeling app, which may be bundled with the interface or bought separately. The free versions that come bundled with audio interfaces are typically limited to few amp models and effects and charge extra for larger selection. On the other hand, because iPad has a lot more processing power than the tiny processors in multi effects and entry level modeling amps, the modeling can be better.

Finally, you need wired speakers or headphones. Bluetooth, AirPlay and others have too much latency to be useful and the built in speaker doesn't really cut it. iOS itself has well designed audio system and can have latency around 10 milliseconds, similar to standing three meters away from the speaker.

That being said, I have iPad, iRig HD, AmpliTube and BiasFX and in my opinion it can sound convincing and playing with effects can be fun for a while, but I have found that a small practice amp is more fun to play.

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