How to Connect a Guitar to your computer to record and play along with music, M-Audio Jamlab

How to Connect a Guitar to your Computer

to Record and play along with music using the M-Audio Jamlab

by Tom Bushong

Do you play an instrument? Do you have a computer? Recording or practicing your instrument on a computer is actually a very simple thing to do. A USB audio interface and software can turn your home PC or Mac into a nice home recording studio. You'll be able to record, edit, practice, and master whenever you like.

Let's get started.

I'm going to start with how to connect a guitar to a PC using the M-Audio Jamlab.

The Jamlab is a great little connectivity device from M-Audio. It's a small USB interface that is portable and has two external jacks. One 1/4 inch for your instrument and one 3.5mm stereo for headphones or external powered speakers. (we'll discus that later since it is the only way to hear live signals from the instrument) Various manufacturers make quite few different interfaces, some with multiple inputs, but for our example today, we'll just stick with the Jamlab.

Don't plug the Jamlab into your USB slot yet!!

Load the software first.

Click 'continue anyway' through the windows logo testing error. It's OK.

Once you have installed the Jamlab drivers, the GT Player Express software and examples and samples, it'll be a good idea to reboot the system.
Once you are back in windows, plug the Jamlab into an open USB port. It doesn't matter if it is in front or back.

Plug in headset or external powered speakers. You will have to use a headset or external powered speakers plugged into the Jamlab in order to hear the audio live, unless you save the track first. The Jamlab is a separate audio interface and does not tie into the soundcard directly.

Plug your cable into both the Jamlab and the guitar. You can use any 1/4” male to 1/4” male guitar cable, but of course we suggest the RAMROD cable. (OK, it's a shameless plug, but it really is an excellent cable!)

The RamRod

Open the GT player express software and play along with your favorite tracks at variable speeds, which is nice, to slow down those tunes you want to practice, or you can record into any production software you wish to use and edit at will. There are drum samples, modeling effects, some MP3 songs to jam to and a track player that let's you plug in and rock out to your favorite songs.

That'll be all for now.

We'll see you for the next installment

Thomas Bushong