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Using your acoustic guitar with Rocksmith


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I just got my acoustic guitar connected to Rocksmith, and I did it pretty cheaply, so I thought I'd share what I did.


You need two pieces of equipment:

  • An Acoustic Pickup
  • A PreAmp

There are a wide variety of acoustic pickups available, and you can spend quite a bit of money if you want to.  Many are hard installed into your guitar, and require cutting a hole in the cabinet.  The instructions on most of these suggest that you take it to a local guitar shop to have them do it for you.  I wasn't interested in this...  I also wanted to keep this on the cheap, and have something that was removable.


Therefore, I purchased an HDE® Guitar Pickup Acoustic / Electric Transducer at Amazon for $17.  It's removable, connecting to the soundhole of your guitar with little clips.  It has an output cable (male) that dangles from your guitar.


The signal coming from the pickup is weak, so you need to amplify it.  Again, looking for a cheap option, I purchased a Behringer PB100 Preamplifier/Volume Booster at Amazon for $25.  You can buy a power cable (it doesn't come with one), but it can also run on a 9V battery.  I set the gain at about 40% (maybe 45%) to balance out feedback and still have the game detect your notes.


Plug the cable from your acoustic pickup into the IN of the PreAmp, plug the RealTone cable into the OUT of the PreAmp, turn it on, and you're ready to go.  Works like a charm!


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Update: the pre-amp chews through 9V batteries like mad (even when not in use, it seems).  I purchased a Behringer PSU-SB Power Supply General Purpose DC 9V Power Adaptor for $10 - much better.

You already bought the adapater, but for future reference most guitar pedals stop draining battery not when you turn them off, but when the input and output cables are unplugged.

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You already bought the adapater, but for future reference most guitar pedals stop draining battery not when you turn them off, but when the input and output cables are unplugged.


Yes, much like the active electronics in a bass guitar will stay on until you unplug the cable.

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Does your pickup work with nylon strings?  (Not sure if its just a mic or an actual metal coil pickup.)  I'd like to use RS with my classical guitar.

Nope - read how pickup works... Anyway you need to use metal strings...

Otherwise you should use micro or piezoelectric sensor (hope that's correct english name of it ;) )

Feel free to edit my CDLCs, use tones etc.

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For the first 6 months or so that I had Rocksmith, I had my bass but no electric guitar.  I mainly stick to bass, but when I first got into actually making customs I wanted to test the guitar parts before releasing.


I did some web searching and read about people playing the game with an acoustic guitar and a normal microphone.  The caveat was that they were using a no-cable crack generally used by people who have pirated the game and don't have a realtone cable.  I use the realtone cable with my bass, but I figured I'd try the no-cable crack and see if I could get the game to recognize my acoustic guitar.


Using that, I took a standard old desktop computer mic (set as the default recording device in Windows) and just taped the small mic inside the sound hole of my guitar.  I ran the (small) cable out of the hole and into a pink mic input on my PC.  Fired up Rocksmith 2014, and switched to lead and loaded up a song.  It tuned up just fine.  The note detection in songs was a bit iffy compared to using my actual realtone cable in my actual electric guitar now (which I have since brought here to Thailand from the US), but it did work more than acceptably for my testing purposes.



Using the no-cable crack is definitely a gray area.  In my opinion, if you bought the game AND have an actual realtone cable, there is no need to feel guilty about using the crack because either A) you want to plug in something like a mic'd acoustic guitar or even play a woodwind or brass instrument through a mic (for session mode, say), or B ) your realtone cable got broken or damaged (say because you went through an amp first, or pedals or whatever) and don't feel like buying a replacement.


With a decent mic, I think that input method would work fine even for pretty accurate note detection.  The mic I used when I was testing it was a complete piece of junk, and it still worked at least OK.  But for the record, I did legitimately buy the game + cable, and even bought an extra cable for multiplay opportunities, so I haven't used the no-cable crack for quite a while (since I got my electric guitar here).


BUT, considering how well things worked with a cheap mic plus the no-cable crack, I wonder about the possibility of using a proper mic and a 1/4" barrel double-female connector to couple the male lead of a mic with the male lead of the realtone cable.  I don't have that kind of barrel converter to test it, but it seems like that might work fine.


Milkman Dan

My YouTube channel  (bass playthrough videos)

My Customs Download Folder  (my customs)

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