How to Turn a Laptop Into an Amp

Written by frances todd
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How to Turn a Laptop Into an Amp
Using your laptop as a guitar amp allows you to record your music. (guitar image by Bosko Martinovic from

Turning a laptop into an amp can give anyone, from beginners to experienced musicians, their own home studio. It can allow you to record your own music without the need for expensive equipment or professional software. Instead, you use your guitar and link to play and record directly to your computer.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Computer with a USB port
  • Electric guitar
  • Amp guitar cord
  • USB guitar link cable

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  1. 1

    Buy a link cable. Shop around online or in local music stores for a guitar amplifier that works with computers. These are usually called "USB guitar link/link cables." These are different from regular guitar amps since they are made specifically to work with computers. The link is a small device with a cord that attaches to the USB port on your computer.

  2. 2

    Connect the link to the computer. Once you've bought your link, plug the USB cable from the link into the USB port on your computer.

  3. 3

    Connect the guitar to the link. Plug your guitar into the corresponding jack on the link. The guitar port should be marked with a picture of a guitar or the word "guitar" to differentiate it from the headphone jack.

  4. 4

    Set your levels. You can adjust the volume and levels on the link or download software to adjust using your computer.

Tips and warnings

  • Using your laptop as a guitar amp allows portability and eliminates the need to drag a heavy amp around.

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