There are numerous times that I don’t want to plug-in an amp. The majority of those times, I’m just too damn lazy. But on other occasions, I might be trying to learn a song and want to listen through headphones while I play along.
During these times, I tend to put up with the various poor quality amp simulators on my computer (whatever comes built-in to Logic 9), and run my guitar straight into my mbox.
Granted, that’s a pretty simple setup, but it’s more gear than I want to have piled up on the couch. Remember, I’m really lazy. So I decided to try one of the generic guitar>USB cables that Amazon has for under $15.
I spent no more than 10 seconds researching this purchase. I searched “guitar to USB” and picked the cheapest one with over a 3 star rating. I had no idea what o/s it would work with, or how it would work at all. As the photo shows, it just has a thick USB end, which I assumed contained the analog>digital converter.
To my surprise, it only took another 10 seconds to make the thing work. I fired up Logic, plugged the USB end in my computer and the 1/4″ end in my guitar. Set my audio input to something that had USB in the name and I was off.
Does it sound good? No. But that’s the Logic amp modeling’s fault.
Is it noisy? Kinda The connection on the 1/4″ side doesn’t seem terribly secure. Probably a bad solder job. If I don’t bump the cable it’s quiet. I might have to tend to that.
Would I record with it? Probably not. There’s a lot of latency from this thing. Normally I don’t touch the i/o buffer settings (I think default is 256). For this, I had to set it to the lowest value (32). Even then, I could still perceive a bit of a lag. But it’s certainly not a problem for just practicing where perfection is not critical.
All and all, not bad for the cost of a few packs of strings.