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Post new topic How to play both guitar & computer Mp3 tracks in headphones?
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Author Topic:  How to play both guitar & computer Mp3 tracks in headphones?
Dale Lee


From:
Down Yonder
Post  Posted 7 Mar 2019 2:43 pm    
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I have Mp3 tracks on my computer hard drive. I want to plug my guitar into the computer so I can play along with the tracks and hear both in my headphones plugged into the computer. Is there a way to do that? Do I need a need a USB Audio Interface device?

Thanks in advance for any guidance.
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Bill Moore


From:
Manchester, Michigan
Post  Posted 7 Mar 2019 5:57 pm    
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Probably the simplest way would be to get small usb mixer, plug that into the computer, then plug the cord from your volume pedal into an input on the mixer. Plug your headphones into the mixer, then adjust the levels to suit you. Some small mixers will have built in effects, but you can use effects between the volume pedal and the mixer.
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Dale Lee


From:
Down Yonder
Post  Posted 7 Mar 2019 8:12 pm     Thank you!
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Thank you, Bill Moore. That is a great idea. I sincerely appreciate your help. Do you (or anyone) know a specific USB mixer that would be good for this? Maybe someone who has done it before?

Are there any other ways to do this?
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
3rd Rock
Post  Posted 7 Mar 2019 9:59 pm    
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You're in luck in that the USB mixers available for interface with computer are many.

Depends on how much you want to spend and how good you need it to be.

Something good and inexpensive would be this:


About $100 for this.

A basic mixer, may be more than you actually need for inputs, but things are bang for the buck these days, you can use this without having to upgrade for a while.

Check out the video:
https://youtu.be/f6CGh_E7eIs

There may be a slight learning curve if you're not already versed in this type of device but some time we all have/had to get over the hump and digest the new technology. It's not that complicated and there is a lot of help all over the net.

A simple connect would be to use your headphone out of your computer (buy a simple cable *pictured below* with a headphone plug on one end and 1/4 inch plugs Left/right on the other ends and send it to the mixer, to two channels on the mixer *your choice* 3 and 4?* or the line-in inputs, plug in your guitar to the mixer and you should be hearing both your Mp3 and your guitar out of the mixer through your headphones. Don't forget to pan your Mp3 channels hard left and right taking note of which plug is for the right and the left so you can hear your Mp3 tracks in stereo. You will then be able to raise or lower the volume of the Mp3 track in relation to your guitar even EQ-ing all with the 3 band EQ to taste.



There should be other interface tricks with this but you would have to dive into the operating manual to see what they would be. The above video gives hints on using USB out of the computer to hear tracks through the mixer.
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Bill Moore


From:
Manchester, Michigan
Post  Posted 8 Mar 2019 6:03 am    
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I have an Alesis Multimix 4 usb mixer. I have had for a number of years and it works just fine. Here is the newer version at Musicians's Friend. This one has built in effects, mine doesn't, so I use effects going into it.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/alesis-multimix-4-usb-fx-4-channel-mixer-with-effects-usb-audio-interface?rNtt=usb%20mixer&index=5

You don't really need more channels for what you want to do, so the cheapest usb mixer, any brand, would probably work for you.
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Jim Pollard

 

From:
Cedar Park, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 8 Mar 2019 8:06 am    
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Another way to do this is with an open source software called Audacity. www.audacityteam.org/download/
You would drag and drop your mp3 file into audacity, and go to edit -> preferences -> recording and in the Playthrough section check Overdub and Software Playthrough. This is most effective if you are coming out of something like a POD or Vox Tonelab sort of interface because you can use cab simulation and run it straight into the computer via the line/mic jack.
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Dale Lee


From:
Down Yonder
Post  Posted 8 Mar 2019 10:10 am     Thanks to all.
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Thanks to all. This information is very helpful, especially the specifics on equipment and cables.

Just to see whether I understand, does this sound correct for the mixer method? The signal paths are:
-Guitar to mixer,
-Mp3 to mixer via headphone jack on computer and splitter cable,
-mixer to headphones.
-USB connection to computer is not used.

For the Audacity method does it go like this?
-Guitar to Pod (or other USB digital interface)
-Pod (or other) to computer via USB, using Audacity. Audacity plays the Mp3 and I can play over it.
-Computer to headphones via computer’s headphone jack.

I have read that Audacity has some latency. Would that be a problem when using that method? If so, would another DAW such as Cakewalk have lower latency?

Thanks for your patience while I belabor this subject.
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
3rd Rock
Post  Posted 8 Mar 2019 10:56 am     Re: Thanks to all.
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Dale Lee wrote:
for the mixer method? The signal paths are:
-Guitar to mixer,
-Mp3 to mixer via headphone jack on computer and splitter cable,
-mixer to headphones.
-USB connection to computer is not used.



Yes, this is basically a monitor mix using your cpu as an mp3 player combining your guitar and music tracks to feed your headphones.

You could use your cell phone as well as mp3 source.

You should still investigate the USB options to get an idea of what is possible.
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Rich Gibson


From:
Pittsburgh Pa.
Post  Posted 8 Mar 2019 12:25 pm    
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I think you may find it easier to go out of your computer into a multi effects processor,.
Almost all of them have a aux in that allows you to run an 1/8 stereo jack from your computers heaphone or audio out into the processors aux in.
Then simply plug in your guitar and use the headphone out on the processor.
That way you can get a good sound on your steel and experiment with new ones etc.
I got a digitech rp360 for 80$ on Reverb works great.
There’s a bunch of other options even cheaper.
There are ways to go into the computer and use the amp sims in GarageBand or other amp sim apps while listening to mp3s but I found it much easier to use the multi processor
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Stuart Tindall


From:
England, UK
Post  Posted 8 Mar 2019 1:10 pm    
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Some good advice here https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=341968&highlight=headphones

Stuart Very Happy
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Michael Hill

 

From:
Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 9 Mar 2019 1:17 pm    
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I play with headphones sometimes. My setup uses a Mackie analog mixer.

PC audio out to mixer stereo channel in.
Pedal steel to Revelation preamp to mixer mono channel in.
Mixer has a headphone out.

The mixer main outs go to a power amp. When I'm using headphones, I just turn the main out all the way down.
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Dale Lee


From:
Down Yonder
Post  Posted 10 Mar 2019 1:59 pm     What I did.
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Just for closure, I did as Rich Gibson suggested. I found an old "Behringer V-Amp 2" that I had forgotten about and hooked it up like he said. It works fine for what I was trying to do.

Thanks to all for helping.
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