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Connect input from electric guitar and pc to headphone

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Long story made short :

Have electric guitar and headphone amplifier Vox ac30.

Have pc.

Want to be able to listen to both.

 

Supposedly something like this would work:

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-RockStar-3-5-mm-Headphone-Splitter/dp/B0017PG8KS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1339233262&sr=8-2

 

However I have some concerns about audio fidelity / quality from such a device.

Is there a better alternative that wouldnt break the bank ?

post #2 of 12
http://www.rane.com/note109.html

They do not sum inputs.

You will need to feed things in a chain; does your guitar amplifier have a line output and does your PC have a line input?
post #3 of 12
Well there are several options to do this.

1. Use the line out of the AC30 and feed it directly in to the line in on a soundcard/ ADC or what have you. This is the most simple way of doing this and with some software can result in reasonable sound quality. Now the problem with this is that my AC30 doesn't have a line-out. It does have an effects loop which can be used as one, but it's not exactly ideal. Yours might have one since there are several versions of the AC30. So to sum up what you need for this:

- A cable going from the amp to the computer.
- A soundcard or ADC with some kind of line in and preferable the ability to amp the signal further.
- Recording/ enhancing program.

Cost: Relatively cheap. Software can be pricy, but you can start with free programs and think about getting a neat one later on.
Sound quality: Reasonable depending on the soundcard/ ADC/ software used. I always think line-out sound a bit off. Not great, but surely something that works.

2. Stick a mic in front of the amp. Use a soundcard/ ADC with pre-amp to get the signal in the PC. The sound quality of this is noticeably better than the previous one. Depending on the mic/ soundcard etc. The main drawback is that the amp will still be audible to you, the neighbors and who ever else is nearby. The mic might also pick up sounds from outside like barking dogs, screaming children and other unwanted noise. Not cool. Will take more recording time to get a good recording which is 'noise free'. So the things you need for this:

- A mic. (or 2 mics)
- A soundcard or ADC with a preamp If you're using condenser mics you will need phantom power.
- Recording program. Not much enhancing needed really.

Cost: This can get a bit expensive. A good mic will set you back at least $50 unless you can get a second hand one somewhere. Two mics will cost more (obviously). A neat soundcard which takes a common XLR input can be had from about $100 I think. (look at the prices of things like the EMU 0204 for an indication) I believe the 0204 does have phantom power, but I'm not entirely sure about it.
Sound quality: Pretty good depending on the concentration of screaming children and barking dogs in your vicinity.

3. Make an isolation cabinet. Best option by far aside from having an actual studio in your house. Look at this video to see what I mean. The best option is to DIY one. You can buy these in some stores but they're generally pretty darn expensive. You can either make one to fit your entire amp or build one with just some speakers and a mic or two in there and use the speakers outputs of the AC30. You would need:

- A isolation cabinet. Preferably DIY I would say. Not very hard to make, not all that expensive. If you buy one it's not cheap.
- A mic (or 2) As mentioned before. Can be expensive.
- That same soundcard / ADC mentioned in method 2. Can be expensive as you like as well.
- Recording program.

Cost: Pretty high to be honest. This is going to set you back at least $250 and likely quite a bit more.
Sound quality: The best of the three options. For as far as sound quality goes this option is the best aside from building an actual studio. Even then it might be just as good.

4. The last option I would like to mention is recording binaurally. This is head-fi after all. See LFFs blogs for more info on it. If you actually plan on doing anything with it I'm sure he doesn't mind if you send him a PM for more information.

Hope this helps you a bit.
Edited by EnOYiN - 6/11/12 at 9:15am
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

We are talking about Vox AC30 headphone amp.

So it does not have a speaker or cannot output to a speaker.

Or even if it could, I wouldnt use a speaker because this is for practice sessions that can be done at midnight.

 

Someone said something about Behringer mixers. Can they do the job ?

post #5 of 12
You're talking about this, right:
http://www.voxamps.com/customclassic/ac30cc/
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ahh, no. Those are the real deal.

Mine is the 30 dollar tiny headphone amp :

http://www.voxamps.com/amplug/

post #7 of 12
Okay, I see what you want to do now. You can't use a splitter for that (you can't sum two+ sources in that manner) - see the Rane note for an explanation. It also includes a schematic for a proper summing network, but it'll be equal loudness from each side; just use the PC's mixer (see the next block) and have more control. It's also easier.

Feed the Vox into your PC's line input, and adjust it's output so you don't get clipping. Adjust the line input level on the PC's volume mixer along with whatever else you have (wave, MIDI, etc), and then feed the PC into your headphones or (if the headphones need it) a headphone amplifier type device.

Alternately, they mention an "aux in" jack on the thing, to hook up other devices, but I'm guessing that's treated as a line in and you're supposed to "mix" the volumes with the controls on the amPlug/Guitar as well as the volume control on the source (it sounds nasty/inconvenient is my point).

If you just want the guitar and don't need the PC, unplug the PC from the loop, and use the Vox "as intended" from the guitar, and if you don't need the guitar into the PC, I'd either mute the input or unplug it (preferably both, actually). And I'd turn the little thing off to save on batteries.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

So the Rockstar thingy doesnt actually work for this ?

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-RockStar-3-5-mm-Headphone-Splitter/dp/B0017PG8KS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1339233262&sr=8-2

 

The consumer review said :

"After minutes opened I connect my guitar amplifier headphone output and a MP3 player with a backing track. The result was simply great for the price."

"Much to my surprise, this thing can serve as a joiner. I am using this badboy to join the three connectors of my 5.1 surround sound system and through a couple other cables I have it hooked up to my HDTV."

However, they also said : "I noticed that when I plugged more than 2 devices into it, I lose stereo sound on all ports."

 

Anyways, it seems like it could work but I think I might as well invest in something a little bit better.

I am quite hazy on how mixer, preamp and modeling amplifier work and what they are supposed to do.

Someone mentioned that what I need is a mixer, something cheap from Behringer would do he said.

Would this work : http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-502-XENYX502-5-Channel-Mixer/dp/B000J5UEGQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1339473379&sr=8-3

?

 

Thank you for the instructions, being a lazy bummer I want to try a canned solution first even if they are pricier.

However, if its necessary I will try your suggestion out.


Edited by malignant01 - 6/11/12 at 9:50pm
post #9 of 12
Ah, my apoligies. I seem to have missed the 'headphone amp' part. The behringer will work for what you're trying to achieve, but it will still require a soundcard will a line-in to connect it to your computer. You could also try to find a mixer which can be connected directly to your pc. Those will likely be a bit more expensive than the behringer, but might be worth it depending on what soundcard you've got right now.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Alright. I guess I'll take a look at some of those mixers.

 

The soundcard I have right now is just the onboard Realtek one.

Thing is, I do not require recording.

Pretty much all I want to do is to be able to use my headphone to hear my amp-ed guitar and still be able to listen to youtube video / incoming Skype call / Facebook message notification from my PC.

 

I saw a youtube tutorial on using one of those mixer, it certainly look like it is geared toward those who want to record. For now I'm gonna try to learn more about all these amp,preamp and mixer stuff.

 

Thanks for all your help.

post #11 of 12
You can use the PC as a mixer, if it has a line in. It probably does.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Just want to mention that I managed to connect the PC sound output to the headphone amp using a male-to-male  stereo audio cable that I bought from Radioshack months ago.

I was just cleaning my room and found this cable still in pristine condition. Incorrectly bought it when I needed a headphone cable and never returned the thing. Finally found a use for it.

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