Lesson 37

Recording Line Inputs

Often you will have a signal that is already at line level, and you want to record it into the daw.
This is easy to do, but there’s a right way, and a wrong way of doing this.

Most electronic instruments have a pair of line outputs for a left and a right. When you use both outputs, it will provide a stereo output, meaning the left signal is different from the right signal to give it a wider sound in the stereo field. Most will also have a mono option, so if you only want to use one channel and not have any stereo separation, you would use this output.

While a microphone or guitar signal need to go through a preamp to be boosted to line level, the outputs from these electronic pieces of gear are already at line level. You can even use a headphone output, with a splitter to separate the left and right signals into separate cables (check out lesson1.11 on cables) , and this will also provide a line level output.

To record this line level output, simply plug it into a line input on the interface, which is normally a balanced 1/4” input. That’s the important part, because that way it won’t go through any preamps which are not necessary.