I know there are countless topics on this but I’d ask again but hopefully in a condensed manner to get all the answers in one topic.
I’m a beginner guitar player and new to all this recording stuff
Katana MK11 Ex Amp
Mobile phone - Android
Guitar Pro 8
Want to do video and audio recordings of myself to check my progress and see where I need to improvement in my playing of songs, chord changes and strumming.
I’ve also set myself a goal of in 2025 to do a live set of me playing my guitar to friends and family, to show my progress. This might be an outdoor live set. I’ve roped a friend to do the singing of the songs.
I have a Windows laptop but willing to purchase a MacBook Air for Garage band if required…
So my questions.
- Do I just need a Scarlett 2i2 4 gen (two input) to connect my guitar into which then connects to the Garage Band to record the audio?
- Using my Android phone which I’ll connect to the Mac to record video for analysis of my playing - I know I might need OBS studio for the video or is there another way to do this?
3, Does Garage Band allow you to import backing tracks e.g. I’m busy learning ‘Sunshine of your Love’ by Cream. Can Garage Band play the backing track while I’m recording the audio to make sure I’m in time with the backing track when I play it back?
Or would I have to have Guitar Pro 8 playing the track?
Or is there a much simpler way of doing the above?
Future - 2025
4. When it comes to doing the live set in 2025 will e.g. Garage Band be able to play the backing tracks of the songs via my Katana Amp as I do the guitar and my friend sings or this that a whole new topic of equipment and software?
I appreciate I’ll need a proper mic for the singing.
I might never play a live set again so I don’t want to go down another rabbit hole of expense - I’d prefer to spend the money on a new guitar(s) LOL…
I’m new to all this recording stuff, so my questions might be stupid or unrealistic but it’s the only way I’ll learn going forward.
I think I might be able to answer some of my own questions from above.
PS: I have a tripod for my mobile phone…forgot to mention.
I found this video
Which explains quite a lot and maybe if I understand correctly, I can maybe do this setup…
- Purchase a Shure MV7 Podcast Kit (to use without Roland Go:Mixer or 2i2)
- Purchase a Roland Go:Mixer Pro X (you have a loopback function on device to play backing tracks from phone at same time - so also has input for a mic for singing and headphones)
if there is a better alternative to the Roland - Let me know
Connect guitar to Katana
Connect Roland Go:Mixer Pro X to Katana Line out
Connect Android phone to Roland Go:Mixer Pro X
With Backing Track:
It seems you can do the backing track also via the Katana but slightly confused on how to do this…
Guitar - Katana - Backing Track - Roland Go:Mixer Pro X - Phone
Any thoughts will be helpful and this seems to be a cost effective way in the beginning
A quick holding statement as its getting late. You have a Windows laptop, so you can get Reaper far cheaper than buying a Macbook just to get Garageband. Individual licence is $60. You’ll be able to connect your 2i2 to Reaper in the same way.
Others will suggest freeware DAWs that run on Windows. So I;m off to bed and see what develops.
you already have the bare minimum. your laptop probably has a camera - I’ll assume that for now. you only need to buy something if you want make improvements to how your process flows.
The katana has USB out, and you can set that as the audio source on the laptop for the recording (remember to hook up the USB cable). point the laptop camera at you and start recording. This should sound ok once you get the audio level adjusted to a good loudness. This is reasonable for just getting a video of yourself to study. Should work fine for a reasonable AVOYP to post in the forums too if you want.
You can improve the video by trimming the stuff at the beginning and end, like turning on/off the recording, before you post.
I haven’t used the recorder that comes with the Windows OS, so I don’t know how user-friendly it is (or isn’t). Folks that do this often probably have a clean process they can recommend, but most I have seen include additional hardware and software. Pay attention to the freeware things folks suggest here. Some of those are pretty good (ardour and audacity are two I use)
No… and yes!
The Katana has a USB audio interface and this can be used for both recording and playback. But (and here’s the kicker), it only really supports audio playback to headphones. Which isn’t going to be any use to you for your performance use-case.
However, you can connect an audio source to the Aux input and that will play via the Katana speaker (why they didn’t allow the USB playback for this is beyond me).
So, you could connect, for instance, your laptop audio output to the Aux input of the Katana for backing tracks or, if you have a headphone output on your Android (or a USB adaptor) you can play the backing tracks from your phone.
Another option for phone playback is to get a Bluetooth receiver (around $20) and plug that into the Aux input of the Katana, and playback via Bluetooth.
@rachelcoles you’ve got a few different things that you are trying to prep for and they require different things to a degree.
- Recording yourself to check progress
- Preparing/Performing a live performance
- Recording yourself with backing tracks (which might go into point 1).
For recording yourself to check progress at a basic level you can do that with your phone. Just use the onboard camera and record yourself. Given the state of phone technology it’ll be more than adequate not just for checking yourself but even for posting up some tracks e.g. here, for others to provided feedback on.
In some respects you could keep it simple for recording against a backing track as well…just play the backing track through your laptop speaker and record on your phone.
In terms of performing live @stitch has covered the option for using the Katana which will probably work for now for you. Have you considered what your singer is going to use? If you’re playing electric then unless you are playing very quietly they’ll need to be amplified as well? So a microphone and small two channel speaker/pa setup ideally. If they’ve got access to those then you can put your backing track through it.
In terms of recording yourself “properly” using a DAW e.g. reaper, garageband. Then traditionally you don’t record all tracks “live” but lay them down one after the other. So you could load your backing track on to one “track” on the DAW, then you record your guitar in another “track” and finally your vocal (if you are doing one) in another. Then you can mix and master as necessary. As others have said unless you are recording a vocal then you can use your Katana’s built in audio interface to get your guitar into the DAW. Your only real requirement for an audio interface at this point is if you want to record a vocal using a decent microphone as it doesn’t sound like you have one.
I’ve no pertinent info to contribute.
But I just wanted to thank you Rachael @rachelcoles for posting this question.
I’ve got my own troubles with recording myself. So this was a real good thread for me to read.
Thanks to all for the comments. You all are helping everyone (at the very least, me too) imho.
Did some tests…
Used my phone camera to record video and played the backing track via the laptop
The quality of the video was good including the backing track - Just needed to fiddle around with placement of the camera to get a good angle to see chord changes and strumming. When played back on laptop can see everything clearly. The backing track is slightly quiet but that’s fine
Used the camera on laptop - terrible quality as my laptop only does 720p and the sound was horrible - So we’ll give this option a skip.
Aux port on Laptop and Katana - I’ll try that, just need to get an auxiliary cable as that sounds like it could be worth a look into especially around playing the backing track @Majik
I have Bluestack installed on my laptop as I have the JG App and I find it easier to use on a larger screen practicing songs. Saying that, I tried to video record myself on my phone while practicing a song from the App on my laptop and it died… My laptop is 7yrs old and I noticed it was using all 8GB to run Bluestack… Maybe this is a good excuse to get a new laptop anyway LOL
For now, I think using the phone to video record myself is perfect. Can watch back on the laptop and see where I need to improve. At the moment, everywhere LMAO - I sounded S*&%T but only been playing for 3 months so we’ll get there.
The live part, I’ll investigate that more as I have 18 months before that actually happens…I’ll buy equipment required over time and then it won’t be a huge outlay in one go.
So, any suggestions for a shopping list to get me going…?
On a positive note, my nail colour looked good on video LOL
Thank you all for your input and as @HappyCat said, all your help is invaluable and without it, we’d not be able to improve and enjoy playing guitar
I’ve found ‘PC audio out to Katana aux in’ config to be great for my own general use. Whatever audio I run on the PC gets sent to the Katana (e.g. YT, mp3, Justin’s lessons, the JG App, backing track, GPro). I can then play along using headphones or pull the headphone cable and play through the speaker. I tend to use the later config more when I’m playing along on an acoustic. I do recordings for my own use with this config, but I also have a DAW, a Scarlett and a mic when I want better audio quality and more capabilities.
Great goal for 2025! You’ll have fun in 2024 working towards it.
Hi Rachel @rachelcoles and a thank you from me for starting this subject. Like Jim @HappyCat I’m having an “interesting” time having recorded my first attempt at a song yesterday using iPhone as the recording device. Sounds horrible (me, not the equipment) but sure it will improve with practise. I have followed some advice from Clint @CT and imported the file from the iPhone into iMovie for editing etc. Not used anything like this software before so another learning curve…Anyway keep us posted on your journey.
Hi John @JohnnyW
Glad you found the post helpful and got to record yourself and play it back.
As I mentioned, my nail colour good better in the the video than my guitar playing but we’ll both improve in time.
I’ll keep you posted on my future progress.
Justin has a pretty good lesson on home recording, which I found very helpful when starting off with it.
The only thing I’d say is not quite right is his PC DAW recommendation is Audacity, but he admits in the lesson he doesn’t know about PCs. Whatever comes with an audio interface is fine. Reaper is also fine.
Stick with iPhone recording until you want to level up. Honestly there are so many ways to do this. The mac side of it is WAY easier than the PC side (there is no equivalent to garageband) so if you’re thinking of getting a mac laptop that is definitely not a bad way to go.