Hardware matters?

Bill and I recorded ourselves playing our guitars yesterday. We used my Dell Inspiron 1100 and Audacity for recording software. We used the line in/mic jack on the laptop. My Fender Princeton 112 Plus has a Preamp Out, so we used a 1/4″ male-to-male cable and added a 1/4″ female to 1/8″ stereo male adapter. (I don’t know if I stated that correctly.) We were able to record just fine from one amp. The way we did it was record one track of myself, then he’d listen to my track with some headphones (earbuds, actually) and record himself simultaneously.

When he was recording at home with his Dell desktop machine, the two tracks wouldn’t line up. He says they did on my laptop, so now he’s ticked with his computer and really wants a new one.

What’s the difference between the two? The way I see it, I don’t think my laptop would be any better than his computer. Perhaps it was the software he might’ve been running in the background? I know my laptop hard drive is probably 5400 RPM, while his desktop is a 7200 RPM. Sound card, perhaps? I believe both of ours use integrated stuff. I just don’t know what to make of it.

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan is a Community Guardian at Automattic. He's also a photographer, card magician, and cat whisperer. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Blythe for the sweet photo!)

2 thoughts on “Hardware matters?”

  1. I’d almost guarantee it’s either the sound card or the software. A friend and I were doing the same thing, having the same problems…Honestly don’t remember how we got around it, but we did it without replacing any hardware. In the meantime, my advice would be for him to play along to your recording, but record to a separate track. Then use some music editing software to combine the tracks and snyc them correctly.

    OR…doesn’t your amp have two inputs? Why can’t you both play at the same time into the same amp, then have the one output from the amp go to the computer for recording?

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  2. I must’ve not explained it thoroughly, but yeah, we did record separate tracks, and he did play along to my recording. They seemed to sync ok.

    My amp doesn’t have two inputs. I guess I didn’t want it to happen like that anyway, in case one of us can’t lay down the track properly, the other wouldn’t have to keep playing over and over again. 😉

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