And they say, this doesn’t exist!?
We went to JB Hi-Fi, specifically the music section of the store and asked the sales assistant: “Um, would you have a 1.4 inch jack to USB cable?” I hesitantly asked, voice muffled by my cloth face mask.
Sales assistant draws a blank, then I reframe my question: “Um, do you have a cable which goes into my guitar, which then plugs into my computer via USB?”
More looks of confusion, then leads us to a locked display case, pointing at an Audio Interface box thingy, priced at over $150.
I try to clarify again: “It’s just a cable, 1.4inch musical audio jack into USB.” Even includes hand gestures of a finger going into a hole made by my clenched fist……
“Sorry, I don’t think something like that exists.” Was his final response. To say the least, I felt pretty silly, it was like asking a pet store owner if I could buy a unicorn for my child……….
And that evening as we caught up with family for the first time (this was the first weekend after the Sydney lockdown lifted), when I was telling my brother-in-law what we got up to that day, recounting this JB Hi-Fi incident. My bro-in-law also asked:
“Really? Something like that exists? I’ve never heard of one before.” And, No, I’m not still talking about the unicorn-Pet shop analogy. But it seemed that the consensus was that, this instrument to USB thingy didn’t exist!
But it was the greatest sense of vindication! The feeling of “I told you so!” when I found the product of my imaginations after some mad Googling.
The ‘USB Guitar Link Cable’
I found it on Precision Audio’s web-site, priced at $19.00 Australian before postage + handling. What it could do, and at its price!? It really seemed too good to be true!
And after a week in the hands of Australia Post, it arrived and here is my user’s review of the Unicorn of the cable world.
First impression was that it resembled an old-school computer mouse. It was larger than I had anticipated it to be, I thought it would just be a two ended cable and that was that. But no, it has a fist sized plastic body, which has 2 ports, one for audio in, and one for audio out. It has two scrolls, one for audio out volume control, the other allows you to switch between ‘high’ and ‘low’. And a LED light which illuminates (very brightly) when the USB end is plugged into your computer.
The cable is plenty long at 1.4m, and it’s literally plug and play! No power required, and no installation needed.
And the other brilliant thing is that it is both PC and Mac compatible, although the demo software which it comes with on a mini disc (Guitar Rig) is only compatible for PC users- however Apple’s GarageBand enables you similar (and probably better) functions and features of Guitar Rig. Not to mention, who has a disc drive in their PCs anyway?
So now we can plug our guitars into the USB Guitar Link Cable, and the sounds from our instruments come straight out of our computer’s speakers. Click on record in GarageBand, and in a matter of seconds you’re manipulating and editing your audio tracks.
And the cable’s use isn’t limited just for guitars, you can plug any device with a 1.4inch jack, so in went our electric piano keyboard, the Roland Hand Sonic, and on the out audio end, we plugged in DJ headphones or our Amp. It’s really that easy and versatile!
Some negatives, when the scroll is rolled to ‘High’, there is some feedback, a hum or a hiss which was kind of annoying. But if you rolled the scroll tuner to ‘Low’, the unwanted sound immediately goes away.
Is the recorded sound ‘studio quality’? I hear you ask. Yeah, unfortunately it isn’t. And at $19.00, you probably didn’t expect it to be? The result of the recorded sound, just isn’t as clear or poppin’ as it would be in person.
**Note: Since purchasing this cable, we have seen other products selling online for $50+, so if you really want a better sound/outcome, I’m sure the more expensive product will give you a better result. But for the amateur, or just to prove a point that ‘this thing really does exist!’ The $19.00 USB Guitar Link Cable serves its purpose.
So it had to take an unbranded Chinese company to produce a direct Guitar to PC cable, so thank you unnamed Chinese company for achieving the seemingly impossible!
If you want to check out the USB Guitar Link Cable, sold through Precision Audio (located in Sydney), click HERE! Strum away my friend, strum away!