So here's my setup right now. My electric guitar is connected to my amplifier using the standard 1/4" jack cord. The amplifier has a 1/4" headphone socket at the back, and I connected it to a USB sound card using another 1/4" jack cord with a 1/4" to 3.5mm adapter. The end with the adapter is then plugged into a USB sound card and the USB sound card is plugged into my computer.

In short, electric guitar --> amplifier --> adapter --> USB sound card --> computer.

I'm using Audacity to record, and the input setting is set to "Microphone (USB Audio Interface)" which I'm assuming is the USB sound card. I tried to record, yet the sound card did not pick up anything.

Link to the specs of the sound card I'm using: http://www.cdrking.com/?mod=products&type=view&sid=13986&main=154

Can anyone identify what's wrong with my setup? I tried plugging in the sound card into different USB ports and it's registered in Audacity, it really just doesn't pick up anything. I'm just starting to get into recording and don't have much experience with this side of music. Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    We need to know WHAT USB audio interface you have.
    – Laurence
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 13:18
  • press Ctrl + p in audacity to open your preference. You'll find the interface option. Check if your sound card is in the list.
    – ebere
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 21:34

1 Answer 1


The "USB soundcard" is not exactly the hottest thing to be had. It has a microphone input and a headphone output: those are Skype quality. I presume that you plugged your amp's headphone output into the microphone input because otherwise you trivially cannot hear a thing.

Now the levels of the headphone output are not exactly compatible with microphone input levels here, and the microphone input will likely carry "plugin power" that the headphone output will not be overly happy with (basically, if it has electrolytic output capacitors, those will likely be reversely biased which is pretty bad news for their longevity).

However, if anything I'd expect the headphone levels to be higher than what the microphone input expects. So you should be hearing something.

You might want to do yourself a favor and get yourself a proper USB sound card with proper microphone inputs (those have XLR inputs, not 3.5mm phone jacks) and possibly a DI box for getting from amp to USB sound card.

Line inputs on such a soundcard are usually 6.3mm phone jacks but not stereo connections (like your headphone socket) but rather balanced connections. That's not straightforward to wire properly either without a DI box in between.

Does your amp really only have a headphone output?

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