View Full Version : Connecting your uke directly to your PC

Nicu Pascu
05-18-2010, 10:55 PM
Hi everyone, I looked around and I didn't find anything about this.

I want to connect my uke straight into my PC. I have a Kala KA-STE with a built in shadow active pick-up with an equalizer. When i try to record by plugging it into the Line-In port or Mic port there is a lot of background noise. I tried pluging it into an acoustic amp and it sounded perfectly clean with no noise whatsoever so my question is: is the noise coming from my sound card or my pick-up? do I need to put something in between my uke and my PC and if yes what is the cheapest equipment that would make the noise go away?


05-19-2010, 06:24 AM
Yes, you'll need something in between. The acoustic amp is "tuned" to hear your pickup. Line and mic inputs are not. The impedance and levels are way off and you have no way of controlling tone or volume. I'd try any one of the Zoom acoustic pedals, and even better, feed that pedal output into something like a cheap Behringer mixer. The output of the mixer can be adjusted to give you the proper levels you need to record cleanly. If you can only afford one, go with the mixer first. Essentially you have to "condition" the raw pickup signal to make it work with your inputs. The amp already has that built in which is why it works and hooking up directly doesn't.

Doug W
05-19-2010, 02:22 PM
We record through a mixer as Dave describes above. Just retired a Behringer mixer after quite a few years of service and bought a little Mackie 402-VLZ3. It is so quiet that it doesn't seem very spectacular, but being quiet when not recording is one of its jobs I guess.

As far as your sound card, if it is an older computer and has onboard sound, it may also be part of the problem. Newer onboard sound cards are better (sometimes).

I tried pluging it into an acoustic amp and it sounded perfectly clean with no noise whatsoever
Does your acoustic amp have a line out?

05-19-2010, 07:06 PM
Ooh, good idea! Line out can also be close enough to "headphone out" to be useful to you. Let the amp do the dirty work of cleaning up the signal, and set your amp headphone signal level so it doesn't max out or clip your sound card input. Programs like Audacity have level meters you can use to check this.

Nicu Pascu
05-20-2010, 12:38 AM
Thanks for the quick reply guys, I will be looking for a mixer then. The amp I tried my uke on is not mine, I was thinking about buying one but I reached the conclusion that I don't really need one right now, I just want to be able to record my uke trough my pickup. Thanks again.