Guitar To Audiomulch

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Alexander87oclock's picture
Joined: November 19, 2012

Okay so I'm super new to this whole software music design so don't laugh at what might seem like a rediculous question to you.

I've been looking everywhere to find how in the hell you plug your guitar into the software. If anyone can give me some insight on this it would be greatly appriciated. Like I said before, I am a complete NOOB about this kind of stuff so maybe a simple direction on where to get some compatible interfaces with the software would be most helpfull. 



Ross B.
Ross B.'s picture
Joined: April 11, 2009

Welcome :)

I'll try to give you some insight without overwhelming you (but sorry, this is a little long):

If your computer has a microphone input it might be as simple as finding the right cable to connect between your guitar and the computer. This may not work very well... but I thought I'd mention it. One step beyond this would be if your computer has a line level input and you have a mixer or pre-amp that works with your guitar then you can just plug that in and it should work pretty well.

That said, standard audio hardware on computers is not always great. Also, on Windows you will have to sort out special drivers like ASIO4ALL to get low latency (low delay) when processing real-time input. (You'll need ASIO drivers on Windows anyhow, but all music oriented gear comes with ASIO drivers).

The next step beyond trying to use your computer as-is is to buy an audio interface. These used to be called sound cards when they were inside a desktop computer. More often than not they are now external boxes that connect to your computer via firewire or USB. Even if you have a desktop computer you might want one of these external interfaces since modern PCIe "sound cards" mostly come in two flavours (1) consumer gaming hardware not really suited for music or (2) pro-grade multichannel cards probably beyond what you need to get started. That's just my opinion really, there might be something in between -- but that's even less likely if you want an input for your guitar...

You'll probably want an audio interface that has an input suitable for direct connection to your guitar (sometimes called a "Hi-Z" input). Some only have line-level inputs for connecting synths, DJ gear etc. This may or may not work well with guitar. Some also have microphone preamps so you can plug microphones straight in... that can be handy. The alternative to an interface with a guitar-ready input is to have some separate pre-amp box thingy (I know nothing about that but it's probably a good "serious" option).

I recommend that you use an interface that you can both use for input (plug your guitar in) and output (plug your headphones or sound system in to) since this will usually give the most stable operation. Trying to use separate audio interfaces for input and output is asking for trouble (eg using an external interface for your guitar but outputting through your computer's built-in output). It's not usually a big deal since most interfaces provide both audio input and audio output.

To give you an idea about what's out there you could flip through a catalog like this one:

I'm not specifically recommending sweetwater but I sometimes check their catalog as a representative retailer.

There are a huge number of products out there but you should be able to narrow things down by price and features. Features include:

  • Compatibility with your computer (USB vs Firewire + different speeds of each)
  • Compatibility with your operating system (are drivers available? do you need them? - often on Mac, interfaces are "class compliant" and work with Apple's drivers out of the box)
  • Number of input and output channels (Stereo is probably enough to start with but multitrack recording interfaces are common)
  • Certain types of inputs/outputs (Hi-Z for guitar, Mic Preamps, separate headphone output, digital outputs, RCA vs Jack vs Balanced inputs and outputs)

You could also ask for specific recommendations here once you know what you want and what you are prepared to spend.

Some additional random advice:

  • There are huge variations in hardware and software (driver) quality between manufacturers.
  • Drivers (software) are very important. They can affect the stability of your computer and may also determine how low you can set your latency/buffering in AudioMulch and other software.

Because of the two above points I recommend that you do your homework unless you are happy to take a risk on some unknown gear and are prepared to get rid of it if it doesn't work out. Unfortunately trial and error is sometimes the way with music technology. Personally I base my decisions based on experience, recommendation and manufacturer reputation.

  • Read reviews, ask for advice and recommendations. 

Gear Slutz is a good forum if you would like some platform-neutral advice

Sound on Sound is a reputable magazine, they review audio interfaces all the time

There are certainly some people in the AM community processing guitar through AM. Hopefully they'll tell you what they use.

I don't play guitar but I process live sources from microphones sometimes. For your interest, here's a brief rundown of my personal experience with audio interfaces/brands. Take with salt. :- When I had a desktop computer I used an ADAT optical based interface (Frontier Design WaveCenter, then an RME Digi96) with outboard converters. I was using/needing multichannel input/output at the time.  Once I started using a laptop I often used a Tascam US122 (mk1) which is a cheap but useful stereo USB interface with Hi-Z inputs, mic pres, and a great design -- but the drivers for the mk1 don't work properly with recent Windows systems so sadly it's not so useful to me any more and I need to upgrade, for that reason I'm probably wouldn't recommend Tascam. These days when I need a multichannel interface I often borrow a MOTU Ultralight -- I have been very close to buying one for a while. Most of the serious people I know use RME gear. I've deployed RME in commercial setups before and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, but I find it difficult to justify the price given my requirements and features (for everyday use I prefer something compact to a rack unit with 8 channels+ of i/o).

Whatever you buy make sure that you find at least one person who can assure you that the drivers are good and that it runs rock-solid with low latency on the operating system you intend to use.

Once you've got all that sorted out, you might also have questions about tuning your system for low latency, especially if you're on Windows. Feel free to ask when the time comes :)

Sorry about the length, I hope that helps.


Alexander87oclock's picture
Joined: November 19, 2012

Exactly what I've been looking for. Very in depth on concise. No worries about the length I am just glad that there is someone out there willing to help a noobie like myself. Personly, I've been using Pro Tools LE 8 for about a year now and the way I get my guitar recorded is Amp---->mic------> Mbox Interface so I knew that some sort of interface would be necessary to what I'm used to for recording; I just didn't know where to start. Having said that do ANY sort of interfaces work with Audiomulch? Or is there some sort of specifics I need to know before buying any ol' interface? For example, i've had my eye on Avid's Eleven Rack for quite some time but I know with Avid and Degidesign they don't like to be cross compatible with other softwares, if you will. Also, there is the FireworX by TC Electronix however, that is 1600$ I don't have. I think for starters though the Tascam US122 (Mk2) looks like something for what my needs at the moment. Until I actually start playing Live gigs... Which is the ultimate goal of using AM in a live setting with a band.


Much appreciated


Ross B.
Ross B.'s picture
Joined: April 11, 2009

Hi Josh,

It's possible that you can get your mbox working with AudioMulch, it may depend on which mbox you have.

If you're on Windows (are you?) you need to get hold of some ASIO drivers for your mbox. For mbox 2 there are some links here: But as you say, Digi gear doesn't always play nice. I don't have any specific info on mbox support in AM but if you can get ASIO drivers you should be OK. Once you've installed the ASIO drivers you need to:

  • Go to the AudioMulch settings: Edit > Settings... 
  • Select the Audio Driver page
  • From the Driver Type popup at the top select ASIO
  • Then select your mbox (or whether device you're using) in the Device popup
  • You should then check the Audio Input and Audio Output pages to make sure the channel assignments are set up to your liking.

If you're on Mac OS X you should be able to go to the AudioMulch preferences (AudioMulch > Preferences...) and select your mbox for input and output on the Audio Driver page. Then check the Audio Input and Audio Output pages as for Windows.

> Having said that do ANY sort of interfaces work with Audiomulch?

In general yes*. On Windows you want a device with ASIO drivers -- the gaming interfaces won't have that. Beyond that there are variations in sound quality, driver stability and latency (delay/amount of buffering needed). Driver problems can lead to audio glitching or even your whole computer crashing (as with my US122 GRRR) so I can't really emphasise this aspect enough. On Mac, if the device works with CoreAudio it will (should) work with AM.

* I should point out that AudioMulch is a small operation and we don't conduct in-house audio interface hardware compatibility testing. If you do encounter a problem we would like to hear about it. That said, I have rarely seen or heard of problems except in very specific or obscure scenarios. Drivers are designed so that sound cards all look more or less the same to software like AudioMulch. On top of that  we share the low level code that talks to drivers with a number of other products (it's an open source project I started many years ago) -- that broad coverage and widespread usage pretty much ensures large scale compatibility. That's the idea anyhow.

> Or is there some sort of specifics I need to know before buying any ol' interface?

On Windows it needs ASIO drivers. On Mac it needs to claim to work with Core Audio compatible software (ie work with everything other than/as well as ProTools).

I don't have any experience with current generation Avid/Digi gear so I can't comment. Maybe someone else can. Obviously if it is known to "not play well with other software" then it may not play well with AM either. Hard to say.


Alexander87oclock's picture
Joined: November 19, 2012

Hey Ross,

Ah okay... It's starting to make more sense now. Yes I am on windows 7 64 bit. Here my specs:

AMD Anthlon II X2 245 Processor 2.90 GHz

4.00GB DDR Ram

NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT

So All in all nothing special. It was built my a good friend of mine a while back for mainly Pro Tools and some casual gaming. I will try out the ASIO Drivers for my Mbox 2 mini and see if I can get it to work and obviously to more research on different interfaces. I really do appreciate the time you took to give me some insight in this wonderful new world of music technology... And I will definitley keep in touch for more great answers and feedback... THANKS A BUNCH ROSS!!!!



Alexander87oclock's picture
Joined: November 19, 2012

*** Update

Hey Ross,

So I just tried my Mbox 2 mini with AM and it actaully works!!!! I can hear myself through my moniters with AM and the signal is good through Sound in and Sound Out. However I can't seem to record myself or at least here the playback... Any Ideas?

Ross B.
Ross B.'s picture
Joined: April 11, 2009

> So I just tried my Mbox 2 mini with AM and it actaully works!!!!


> However I can't seem to record myself or at least here the playback... Any Ideas?

This is a bit too vague to you what your problem is. It depends what you are trying to achieve. I would start by connecting some effects between SoundIn and SoundOut and check that that is all working as expected. (Try an SDelay or a Flanger)

You should be able to record using the SoundOut contraption. Or you can connect a FileRecorder.

If you still can't get what you want please explain exactly what your patch is, what doesn't seem to be working, and what you'd like it to do.


Babaluma's picture
Joined: June 24, 2009

Ross said: "The alternative to an interface with a guitar-ready input is to have some separate pre-amp box thingy (I know nothing about that but it's probably a good "serious" option)."


I know a bit more about these, and use one with Mulch, so will explain my setup.


My guitar goes into an Avalon U5 active DI box. A regular DI will take an instrument/pickup signal, and convert it into a mic level signal for feeding to a mic preamp. The DI box changes the impedance, and the type of signal (unbalanced to balanced). You could go direct from guitar to mic preamp, but it doesn't usually sound very good due to the impedance mismatch. The Avalon U5 I have also has a load of other bells and whistles, the most important ones being 30dB of gain, a very nice passive EQ,a headphone out, and a line level out. These things mean you can go directly to your interface from the U5 without hitting a mixer or mic preamp first, and it sounds fantastic. It's very much a high end way to do it, but the results are great. It also has an amp out, so you could record an amp with a mic at the same time on two different tracks etc.

frankjack904's picture
Joined: March 14, 2016

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