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Testing and setting your audio input (Version 7)

Now that you have your "Line Input" checked in the Recording Control panel lets make certain that you are getting sound into the computer. Make sure you at least have a connection from your amplifier to the "Line Input" on your sound card and that your amplifier is turned on. If these two things aren't done, you won't get a thing. With your volume pedal all the way down just hit a string or strum the guitar. Your "VU meter" panel should light up like this one on the right. Don't worry about the slider control on the "Line Input" recording control panel. That will flash randomly just letting you know that the input is active, regardless of wether you play any thing or not. We are intrested in the VU panel. I need to explain a little about the recording difference between analog and digital. Not heavy but just enough to get your feet wet with a little knowledge.
If you wanted to record in an analog type of environment and using a VU meter, you would want to set your input level so that it would be in the red portion of the meter and above the zero. Digital recording is different and if you try to set your level so that it exceeds the zero mark on the VU meter, you will get nothing but distortion because the digital signal will be clipped at any thing over zero. With this in mind, here is the best way that I have found to set up the input level.
Set your volume pedal so that it is fully on (all the way down). Next pick any string group as hard as possible without breaking strings or just strum accross all the strings and look at where the VU meter goes to. Now turn the volume control for your amplifiers "Pre Amp" or "Line Output" up or down untill the level in the VU meter is just below the zero. If you set up your input level this way you will be less apt to over drive the input of the soundcard because you have set the output on your amp so that it can't exceed the zero mark. We are now ready to record so lets go to the next screen.

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Testing and setting your audio input (Version 10)

Since this is the same as in version 10 there is no reason to give you a screen shot as all I'm doing is explaining the VU meters and showing you what to expect with them and how the digital recording process works. The next 3 screens will not have a screen shot as they are so identical as to what to expect and what you will see that you can use the version 7 help for this.