Playing real instruments to your favourite GH tracks

May 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Latest news, Real instruments, Tutorials

We were recently sent an interesting email by one of our visitors telling us how to record your favorite Guitar Hero tracks for playing along with your real instruments, what better way to show the effect Guitar Hero is having in turning fans of music games into real musicians!

Before we get started we should point out this is not a tutorial on unlawfully coping music for distribution in any way, this is another way fans of the game who own their own copy can use the content on that disk to play the game in a different way. To use this for any other purpose would be unlawful and we do not do not condone it.

What you will need before we start:

  • Tv, console and Guitar Hero game disc (works with Rock Band also)
  • The instrument you wish to have DEDUCTED from the final track (i.e. if you want to record drumless tracks for playing with your real drumkit, as we will here, then you will need the Guitar Hero drumkit controller)
  • PC with a audio input port (see below for more details)
  • 3.5 mm audio cable (go to Amazon store)
  • Copy of the free audio editing programme Audacity

Setup your equipment as you usually would but plug the 3.5mm cable from the headphone socket on your TV into the line in on your PC (a great visual tutorial for setting up your PC to record from an external input can be found on the Audacity Tutorial pages) and set Audacity up to record from that input.

Start the game and go into the practise mode (so you don't get the crowd noises) choose the song you want and start it up. When the song is about to start pause the game, start Audacity recording and then unpause the game and leave it. If you do not hit any of the notes what you will be recording is the original track without the drum track on it, allowing you to play the drum part on your kit in the garage or wherever it is. This works perfectly well if you are a bassist, guitarist or singer that would like to practise your favourite songs from the game on your real instruments!

To clean up the audio you record have a look at some of the Other Audacity Tutorials for improving your recordings.

Westone Spectrum DX

July 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Real instruments

If you're like us then you not only play the plastic but also have a few real instruments hanging around the house too.

I personally use an 80's Westone Spectrum as my main axe which gives me Fender-like sound for a decent price. Now some purists might argue the toss over this but I'll just say that I've owned 7 Stratocasters in the last 10 years and they have all been blown away by the last Westone. Not that I don't like Fenders (hey I've had 7 - remember?) but the action and general playability of the Westone just suits me down to the ground.

Sound quality is bassy at first but tweak those DiMarzio Humbuckers and you can emulate a Strat for a fraction of the price.

I have owned quite a few 'vintage' Japanese guitars - Matsumoko (who made the Westone until the factory burnt down), Ibanez etc to name a few - and find them very good, quality bits of kit. Because it didn't cost much to start with, I now have it on very cheap musical instrument insurance and everyone is happy, including the wife.

You can pick these up now at auction for silly money, sometimes cheaper than a crappy squire copy, and I guarantee you'll not be disappointed.

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Drop me a comment if you do get one and become a convert!