2

I was about to buy either Behringer UCG102 or Rocksmith Real Tone to get my guitar cheaply and quickly connected to the PC and I was wondering if it wouldn't be better getting an external sound card for about the same price. Of course, I know I won't get professional sound from any of these cheap options. I just want to use Guitar Rig with an acceptably low latency/noise and maybe record some amateur things.

Is there any significant difference between cheap sound card and the kind of USB-audio concerter linked above? My knowledge about audio is rather poor, so simple explanations are highly appreciated.

  • Have been using a UCG102 with an i5 based laptop (dual-boot), with my Strat clone for about 4-5 months now. In the Windows partition, I use Amplitube with ASIO4All driver, and the latency is around 10-12ms (so hardly noticeable). On the the Linux partition, I use Rakarrak and guitarix with Jack, and the latency is again low enough not to notice. This is for my hardly-trained (musically) ears. – icarus74 Jan 22 '16 at 11:56
  • The one major difference is with powered external USB cards - their signal to noise ratio is dramatically improved – Doktor Mayhem Jan 23 '16 at 0:03
1

USB-to-guitar cables and external USB sound cards are basically the same thing in terms of how they work - they are both USB audio interfaces, just in a different physical shape.

The feature that guitar-specific interfaces will (or should) have in common is a high-impedance input suitable for a guitar's output level, which is necessary to get a good sound when you are plugging your guitar straight in. Some non guitar-specific interfaces may have this too, as well as stereo line-level inputs that would be useful if you ever want to record from another source.

Whatever interface you choose, you want to make sure it has a low-latency (probably ASIO) driver that will work with your audio software (Guitar Rig in this case).

Although it's not a particularly helpful thing to say, there can be some unpredictable results when some devices/drivers just don't seem to get on with some computer hardware - so if there's any way you can somehow try before you buy, that's always a good thing.

1

As I understand it, a Guitar-USB interface basically is an external soundcard. I think any cheap USB-based solution will suffice and you can still choose which device (USB Vs on-board soundcard) to use for recording and playback.

Certainly my iRig just shows up as a regular sound device, as does my USB mini-mixing desk.

1

Both are affordable recording options. However I would recommend the Behringer interface as it allows you to monitor in real time with close to zero latency. That could make a huge difference if you're recording on a average computer that doesn't have the speeds to process the guitar input and play it back through your speakers for monitoring.

0

When I first started with using Amp Sims, I had an old core2duo circa 2005 and realtek HD on the motherboard (circa 2005) audio using the line in.

I used ASIO4ALL and had about 10-15ms latency. The problem at the time was that a background process would kick in and it would cause the audio to pop occasionally. Note that I found in my case that forcing the Realtek drivers to 96k actually lowered my latency. I suspect that chipset was downsampling to 44k/48k.

I used FREE vsthost software ( http://www.hermannseib.com/english/vsthost.htm ) to host the Amp Simulations, and I used FREE simu-analog VST ( http://www.simulanalog.org/guitarsuite.htm ) for decent pedal/amp sims.

So the only thing I had to pay for was a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch adapter for my (noisy) audio cable I pulled out of the cable snake-pit-box in my closet.

Total price: about 2 bucks

Once I got that all in place and I played around a bit, I then upgraded as possible or where I felt a lack of features.

All this was on a desktop. I tried this on a cheap laptop at the time, but it was not suitable. I expect anything made in the last 3 years is probably going to be satisfactory.

I am currently using a stealthpedal (but not the software) for the midi pedal and sound card features.

The main advantage of using a separate device or add-in card with its own ASIO driver is that you can still use the onboard audio for e.g. youtube or media player(s).

Make sure whatever you choose has a native ASIO Driver.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.