playing a backing track and recording ONLY the guitar


First of all, I just discovered Ardour by accident (in a Youtube comment I think) after messing around for too long with Audacity (which is a great program itself though)

BTW I noticed that chromium notified me that your SSL certificate has expired. I also noticed that the forum registration process just sent me back to the ardour main page (just saying in case a dev is reading this)

Here’s my question, first of all my setup:

Linux mint 12 with gnome 3
Ibanez S-Series guitar
cheap sound card
Vox Amplug Metal
AKG headphones
some cables
some planet waves adapter thing

The vox amplug is connected to the guitar using a regular guitar cable and some planet waves thingy used as an extension (because the Vox amplug will not fit directly into my Ibanez guitar, because the input plug of this guitar is sinked into the guitar body, and the plug of the Vox amplug is too short!)

Then there’s another cable which goes from the green output plug on the front of my PC, back to the Vox Amplug (to feed the backing track into my headphones)

The output of the Vox amplug goes into a 2-way switch cable, with one line going into the red Mic port of my soundcard on the back of my PC, and the other line going straight into the headphones so I can hear the backing track coming from the computer and hear my playing at the same time. All in all it’s a weird setup but it works.

Here’s my problem:

  1. I want to listen to a backing track in Banshee (some ogg files) on my headphones (solved)
  2. I want to be able to hear my guitar playing on the same headphones along the backing track (solved)
  3. I want to mix my playing over the backing track, so I can send/upload the full overdubbed song for demo purposes (solved, this is simple with Audacity)
  4. I occasionally want to record ONLY the guitar playing, to analyse the quality of my playing style without having the original backing track running.

Using audacity, I was able to play back the backing track while playing guitar at the same time, without any latency etc. That works great. Also recording works great, using the Overdub option of Audacity, it’ll simply record whatever is playing on the computer. However, I cannot record ONLY the guitar - Audacity will always mix the backing track into my guitar track. For demo purposes it is great, but I really want to analyse my playing.

My question is, do I need to purchase a new sound card and/or a mixer/interface, or can I solve this in software / with Ardour? I also would like to know if this setup is too weird, for example I still get a lot of noise recording with Audacity, I’m not sure if this has to do with a cheap sound card and/or Audacity and/or too much funny cables.

@Midnatt1709: This should be simple enough. If I understand your question, you need to put your backing tracks in Ardour, then create a new, empty track for the guitar. Arm only that one for recording (click the ‘R’), hit play/record, and go for it. That’s pretty much how it works for any DAW. Play with the mute/solo functions on each track too and you should have it figured out in no time.

@Which soundcard to purchase:

  1. The one that has enough input and outputs. On the 3rd milenium we are are not mixing or splitting anymore. I mean everything goes to the computer, the computer computes, and issue the outputs.
    If you have more than one guitar or earphones and loudspeakers, why not more input and outputs to left things plugged all the time, it depends the budget.
    Don’t forget inputs for microphone if you want to leave comments while recording, or for a metronome if it is external.

  2. The one that has BALANCED input and outputs to avoid some 50 or 60Hertz noise. Of course with balanced wires

  3. Take firewire (or usb with a world clock) external sound cards if you are subject to work with friends. You can record together while staking the boxes to make more inputs and outputs. The firewire has a synchronization protocol.

I am curious to know how Audacity can get rid of the noise by a magic trick. As an example basses are tuned BEADGC (regular) or F#BEADG (exotic), the 50 hertz is around the E