This christmas I picked up a copy of the game Rocksmith. This half-game/half-tutor allows you to connect a real guitar to a console or PC and is basically Guitar Hero with a proper instrument. Unlike Hero all the time you invest in getting better at the game actually builds real musical skills, rather than just coming away from it a highly talented coloured button masher.
You supply your own guitar and the connection is made by the Real Tone cable which is supplied with the game. Inside it is a Hercules board which converts the analog signal from the guitar into a USB digital stream.
But not only can this game provide a leg-up getting the motivation to learn, but the Real Tone cable also allows amp modelling sims to be used outside of the game. This is not something that is advertised by the game manufacturers but with a free driver, a little fiddling and a copy of Guitar Rig or Amplitube this is pretty easy to do. And a standard interface for connecting guitar to PC will cost around $100, so Rocksmith really is giving you some excellent value beyond what is already a great game.
The driver that is needed is called ASIO4ALL. This is because a standard audio interface has both input and output, but the Real Tone cable is input only. In order to keep latencies low amp modelling software take exclusive control of the audio interface and they expect to only have to use one for both the incoming and outgoing sounds. ASIO4ALL is needed to work as a ‘bridge’ so that the Real Tone can be selected as the input but a different device selected as the output (for example your motherboard sound chip). I didn’t find ASIO4ALL super intuitive to use, so I will devote the rest of this post to explaining how mine is configured to get the sound working properly in Guitar Rig 5.
Once ASIO4ALL is installed fire up the amp modelling suite and select ASIO4ALL as the audio device.
Whenever a program starts using ASIO4ALL a little green triangle symbol appears in your system tray. Clicking this brings up the ASIO4ALL configuration menu. Here you should see your standard PC sound card (probably with a highlighted green symbol next to it indicating that it is the active selection) and your Rocksmith USB Guitar Adapter (which will probably not be selected). Expand your PC sound card entry by hitting the + and exposing the inputs and outputs. What you want to do is arrange it so that it looks like mine below, with your PC sound card output selected, your PC sound card input deselected and the Rocksmith USB guitar selected.
This might take a little bit of fiddling to select them in the right order – ASIO4ALL has a habit of going all-or-nothing, but trust me it is possible to do it if you find the correct order of operations.
Once this is achieved go back into Guitar Rig and make your input and output selections. These can be found under the Routing tab. You want USB Guitar Adapter as input and your PC soundcard as output.
While all this is going on I like to have the metronome going, because that way it’s really easy to tell when the output is correctly configured. If you can hear the metronome and when you strum your guitar you get sound then all is good!
If you strum your guitar and you see the input VU meter move then you know that output is a problem. If you can hear the metronome but when you strum the input VU does not move then you know that input is a problem.
Lastly, sometimes I have experienced some clicking and clipping using the Real Tone cable in this way. Often just opening up the ASIO4ALL config menu makes this go away. Certainly I don’t experience this problem all the time.
This is a different issue to simply interference on the analog side of the cable – which this set up can suffer from (like any guitar setup). Running the cable too close to your PC, power cables and other electrical devices can impart a hum. Either have a go at moving the cables around, or do as I do and simply slap a virtual Noise Reduction pedal into your onscreen setup!
(UPDATE: here’s a look at a proper dedicated audio interface)
Really useful man! Start playing in just a few minutes. Thx!
Thanks very much for this, I’ve got my guitar connected up to the PC and Guitar Pro 5 is working great, no need for the Line 6 TonePort any more! However…I’m suffering from LOTS of input lag… any ideas?
I’m not sure about this but some of the settings on the right of the ASIO4ALL window might help a bit with this. If you have a slow PC that doesn’t help aswell.
Thanks man! awesome. And here go a tip. Close the Asion windows after doiing the configs to the changes take effect.
i’m haveing a problem selecting the rocksmith guitar in the audio and MDID settings.
as soon as i chose the rocksmith guitar in the device tab my guitar rig 5 crashes and i get this message.
Guitar rig 5 has encountered a major problem and has been terminated.
a crashlog file has been created at following location :
c:\user\…\Documents\nativie instruments\guitar rig 5\crashlogs\2013-07-26 12_42_41 – guitar rig 5-mini.nicrash
Please provide this crashlog to the native instruments technical support.
and i’m useing a rightsmith cabel so i dont think it’s very wice to contact the support =P
How about using the guitar rig cable for
Took me 2 minutes to set up. Thank you!
Thank you so much! Works like a charm!
amazing guide! It totally worked for me! Thank you!
Hi! Thanks you. I’m Very happy for your information.
Thanks a bunch! If I had to try and figure this out on my own, I’d have poked my eyes out.
I know that feeling!
Great, many thanks!
Is it possible to play other sounds like youtube as well as guitar sounds using this. I noticed that you can only hear guitar sounds. All other sounds are muted. Any way to fix this?
thank you very much greatings from Paraguay South America!
my asio options with native’s guitar rig are lacking (no details underneath ‘realtek HDA’, ie inputs/outputs to enable/disable), + Rocksmith / Realtek are mutually exclusive – pick one, t’other is unselected.
using asio 2.12 (x64) + RS2014 standalone… retrying as vst
edit re asio probs, I changed device (rearoute) & back, and was able to configure correctly 🙂
Just found this and it works a treat for Amplitube and Overloud TH2 – many, many thanks for the guide, with your help I had it done in 5 minutes. Rock on \m/
Wow, thanks for the info — after a wasted morning trying to find a driver for a Lightsnake USB cable (which you can’t get unless you have the CD, it turns out) I trashed that one and started to look into using my Rocksmith RealTone cable with Amplitube instead. I already had ASIO4All installed, and so getting this set up was so easy thanks to this post!
Awesome! Thanks a million times
Thank you very much from Van Dammage! Vas Very Helpful.
Thanks you for this sir, you’re the only one able to address and answer my issues.
super easy, works perfectly, thank you!
I have this same setup (GR5 w/ RealTone Cable) on my laptop (i5-560m @3.1GHz, 8GB RAM, Windows 10 Pro x64) and I get less than 20ms latency with ASIO-4-All, with both interfaces set to 256 samples, all other settings default. I’m curious to know if using a better audio interface will improve audio quality and drop latency?? Like the PreSonus AudioBox iOne??? Does anybody know?
Work great. Thanks for sharing, by the way, is there any way i can still hear my computer’s sounds while using guitar rig with asio4all?. I want to play a song in the background but for some reason it’s muted. After closing guitar rig everything goes back to normal though. Is there any option on asio4all’s settings so I can use guitar rig and still hear a youtube video in the background for instance?
Thanks a lot! Worked! Really useful article!
Thank you so much for posting this!! 2019 and still highly useful!. Btw the ASIO4ALL config menu no longer has the plus signs in the settings when configuring the inputs and outputs, just clicking the wrench icon on the bottom right will bring up all the options.