Plug Your Guitar Into Your Computer With A Snake


In keeping with this week’s theme of music / audio related reviews, I wanted to tell you about a nifty product for geeky musicians. It’s SoundTech’s LightSnake. At first glance you might dismiss this $40 10ft long cable as a regular old 1/4 inch phono style guitar amplifier cord. Look a little closer and you notice that one end has a USB connector and the other end is split to allow for a 2nd 1/4 inch connection.

The LightSnake is an easy way to plug your instrument into a PC or Mac so that you can record your masterpieces using compatible software packages such as Garage Band, Sound Forge, and others. No longer do you need a sound card for input as this cable will let you record digital quality sound at 16 bit 48/44.1kHz.

Here you see the split 1/4 inch connector. This allows you to plug your instrument into an amp so that you can use it as a monitor while you record music through your computer. Also included with the cable is a 1/4 to 1/8″ adapter.

When you plug the cable into a USB port, it glows Green to let you know you’re all set to record. The light blinks as data is transferred through the cable. I used this cable with my Mac, Garage Band and a guitar and was impressed with the results.

I actually have 2 of these cables. One I bought myself, and one that SoundTech sent to me. Reply to this post with some info about your inner musical geek and I’ll choose one of you to receive a brand new unopened LightSnake. I’ll pick a random winner sometime on 4/15.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • kristoffer tan April 11, 2007, 11:31 pm

    i’ve been into digital music ever since i got my hands on an awe64 – i’ve used the free MIDI composer software that’s bundled to punch in all sorts of music, from self-created nonsense to digitized version of choral pieces to aid learning. i’ve got an sblive now and a prodikeys keyboard which has been helpful with music creation – though i wish i had more time to do that these days!

  • Dave Dietz April 12, 2007, 12:35 am

    I have just started to learn how to play guitar. My wife plays 12 string (among other instruments) and I would love to be able to play along on occasion.

    Currently I just use a 1/4 to 1/8 inch adapter cable run into one of the inputs on my sound card, but this does have certain drawbacks…. 🙂

    Since I primarily practice right in front of the computer (found some decent online tutorials on how to play) this cable would be an ideal addition to my current setup. 🙂

    Plus, I am a gadget hound and having one of these would allow me to count the guitar as a gadget. Plugging it in via an audio cable is one thing – turning it into a USB device is something entirely different!

  • kristoffer tan April 12, 2007, 4:44 am

    oh did i say that i also looove playing the guitar?

  • Scott April 12, 2007, 11:39 am

    A dear friend of mine does these great Beetles-esque duets with his 8-year-old daughter using Garage Band. (He’s McCartney and she’s Lennon–perfect since she’s such a wonderfully wise, old soul for a third-grader.)

    He’s struggled to get the guitar right through his amp and a less-than-perfect soundcard setup. This cable would be a perfect gift!

  • Jules April 12, 2007, 1:14 pm

    Wow. Awesomeness! Now I will be able to record my guitar playing straight to my laptop! ^_^

    Problem is, now I’ll have to persuade my boss to let me touch one of his 12 guitars, since I only have an acoustic. Eh. .__.

    Cheers for the heads-up, Julie! D’you know if SoundTech exports this outside the US?


  • Adrienne April 12, 2007, 3:32 pm

    Hi Julie,

    Thanks for reviewing another excellent product. I do not play the guitar but my girlfriend does and the Snake would be a wonderful addition to her music/Mac setup.

    Keep up the awesome reviews!


  • Julie April 12, 2007, 7:41 pm


    I would think you could find the LightSnake through various retailers. I know Amazon sells it for one…

  • Jules April 13, 2007, 4:58 am

    Thanks for the info, Julie! 🙂

  • Rick Julien April 13, 2007, 10:02 am

    Rick from SoundTech here.

    Please e-mail me if you are looking to find the LightSnake internationally. We have many distributors set up or in the process of being set up.

  • MikeC December 29, 2010, 6:58 pm

    Hello Julie:

    I would like to record using a mic with 1/4″ plug straight into usb port. Is this possible? analog to digital without an interface? Or

  • Rob Tillotson December 30, 2010, 8:00 am

    @MikeC Nope, can’t do that without some kind of interface. You might be able to get by just using the mic jack on your sound card, but otherwise you’ll need some kind of interface (and for ‘pro’ mics you definitely will, because they need power as well as an audio connection).

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