Learn how to record your electric guitars today with the instructions in this post. The Digitech GNX4 audio interface provides an easy and fast way to record your GNX4’s audio output over a USB connection with your Apple Mac running OSX or a PC running Microsoft Windows 7 or 10. We’ll use the free software Tracktion Waveform version 11 to capture our guitar tracks.
04 June 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers
Skill Level: Beginner
What is a USB Audio Interface?
Without spending too much time here, an audio interface is a piece of equipment that provides a means to record your guitar or microphone as a digital sound into your computer. Audio interfaces come in many price points and offer varying levels of features. A typical interface connects to your computer with a USB cable and sends its audio over that USB connection. Many models will offer two direct inputs for either guitar, microphone or other instrument inputs with 1/4” cables. You can also use a headphone jack on the interface to hear the audio directly, without any latency.
The GNX4 has a USB interface built in, so it is already capable of sending its audio output to your computer easily. For Mac users, there isn’t any need to install drivers because it’s CoreAudio compliant. For Windows 7 and 10, you must install the Digitech drivers, located on the Digitech product page, before you’re able to use the GNX4 as an interface.
The GNX4 offers two channels of USB audio, each having a stereo pair available. Through its configuration options, you can customize which sounds and effects are sent out on the USB channels. A typical configuration I use is to send the full effects out on 1/2 and I send the mono dry guitar signal on 3/4. This setup allows me to hear the full amp, cabinet and effects on channel 1 and I also have the dry, unaltered sound on 3/4 so that I am able to re-amp it in my DAW if desired. See my previous post about configuring your GNX4 to send the dry guitar signal.
What You’ll Need to Get Started
- Tracktion Waveform 11 Free
- Digitech GNX4 connected to your computer via USB
- Windows drivers (available from link above), if using Windows 7 or 10. Macs do not need any drivers.
Steps to Record with the Digitech GNX4 Audio Interface
- Install the GNX4’s Digitech drivers, if using Windows as your operating system.
- Make sure your GNX4 is connected with a USB cable to your computer
- Power on your GNX4.
- Make sure your guitar cable is plugged into your guitar and the GNX4’s guitar input jack.
- Open your digital audio workstation (DAW) software and create a new project. We are using Tracktion Waveform 11 free in these steps.
- Open your DAW’s Settings page. Set the Input Audio source as the GNX4 USB 1/2 channel, Set the Output Audio source as your computer’s speakers or studio monitors.
- Latency is always a factor with external audio devices. Configure yours as low as your operating system will allow. This part may take some time and patience to get correct, so make a note for yourself for future recording sessions.
- Switch back to the project window. Create a new track. Set its input source as “Input 1”. To the right of the Input 1 setting, click the red arrow to enable recording. Finally, verify that Live Input Monitoring is enabled so you can hear your guitar playback.
- Press the R key to begin recording your guitar signal.
- Press the space bar to stop recording. If you’ve done things correctly, you will see the audio waveform of your signal that was recorded to the track.
- Press the W key to rewind to the beginning of the track.
- Press the space bar to audition your recording.
Where To Go From Here
As you gain experience recording guitars, you will want to get into the habit of recording a signal with all your effects along with a track of just the dry guitar signal. Having the dry signal is a great safety net and also allows for re-amping and using a copy of the source signal in new and creative ways.
To record the dry signal, see my previous post on the topic.
Now that you can configure Waveform 11 to record your GNX4, here’s to your success as a home recording artist. Have fun recording, and take the time to make multi-layered parts with different guitars or your guitar using different pickup switch settings. Using your Digitech GNX4 audio interface will be a great way to record your progress and also help with getting all those parts played correctly before you release your tracks.
If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.