There are many ways to record electric instruments at home directly for re-amping or software processing. Are you surprised? So let’s see them.

1. Guitar - HI-Z input - Software Monitoring

Recording guitar at home Hi-Z input

This is the simplest setup and the cheapest. Just put your cable into your sound interface and insert some emulation plugin for monitoring. But your computer-drivers-soundcard setup has to be fast enough for maintaining low latency for comfort playing.

2. Guitar - DI Box - Mic or Line input - Software Monitoring

Recording guitar at home with DI Box

Why do I need DI Box if I have the Hi-Z input in my card? So... Hi-Z inputs suck. Not all of them, but even in my RME UC, it was not so good. Causes may be different but the fact is that an external DI Box often sounds better. And the sound isn’t the only problem, it isn’t a rare situation when Hi-Z inputs can’t handle hot instruments.

I often record myself and I connect my Radial JDV directly to my ADC’s line inputs. My active basses and this ultimate device are damn hot so I don’t need another layer of amplification before converters. Check your setup and find what works better in your particular situation.

3. Guitar - DI Box - Mic or Line input - Amp in parallel

Recording guitar at home with amplifier

Latency isn’t a problem anymore and you can use your beloved home combo. But if your DI Box doesn’t have a buffered active output (and they rarely have), you face the impedance problem and a minor signal losing. Also, when you listen to what you recorded, edit it, etc. you must use plugins anyway.

4. Guitar - (DI Box) - Mic or Line input - Amp in series

Recording guitar at home with amp in series

The DI Box is optional here.

You can connect your “monitoring” amp to the DAC’s line output, the absolute majority of modern sound interfaces can send the signal from its inputs to the outputs without latency. Be accurate, it’s far hotter than the signal from your guitar so attenuate it. Digital attenuation sucks and this setup may produce a lot of noise but you could try it.

5. Guitar - (DI Box) - Mic or Line input - Re-amp device - Amp

Recording guitar at home with re-amper

A device for re-amping solves the problem with the amp connection. You can monitor through your amp now and nothing will be lost.