Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wireless Rocksmith! This Rocks

The other day I was browsing the Ubi/RS forum and got into a discussion about the RealTone cable and how to protect it from damage.

A couple of people said they plug their RealTone cable into the OUT side of a pedal and leave the pedal clean. Then they plug their guitar into the IN side of the pedal. This seems to work and saves wear and tear on their RealTone cable. The RealTone cable can stay plugged into the pedal and be hidden safely out of the way. This also reduces the risk of damage from, say, sitting on the couch and bending the cable sharply.

For a while I've had a similar idea but never thought about using a pedal for that purpose. I was going to use a 1/4"F to 1/4"F extension adapter. Then I got to wondering whether I could do this same sort of thing using a wireless (cordless) transmitter/receiver.

Well, I can! And, I have. You can, too.

Yesterday I was hanging out at the local GC and spent quite a long time talking myself out of buying a couple of used amps that I don't need but really wanted. I was in a buying mood and had to find something to take home. That's when I remembered that I've been wanting to try using a wireless system with Rocksmith just to see if it would work. As luck would have it, they had a nice basic system on sale for $79.99. So, I bought one of those.

They also have guitar cords on sale this weekend - 2 for $10.00! Ironically, although I was buying a cordless transmitter, I couldn't pass up cords at that price. I bought two cords while I was at it.

Set up was a piece of cake. Really just plug-and-play. I plugged a power adapter in and hooked it to the receiver. Plugged the RealTone cable into the receiver (the other end was already in my XBox USB port). Pulled up the antennae and set them at an aesthetically pleasing angle, and that was it on the receiver side. The transmitter (guitar side) requires a 9v battery, not included. Fortunately, I had one lying around. The battery goes in easily - the battery cover doesn't screw in place or anything and the battery itself just sits in the compartment. None of those old 9v battery connectors to deal with. There's a battery saver selector switch inside the battery compartment area which you can probably just leave in the factory position until you feel like reading the directions later. Put the cover back on the transmitter battery compartment, turn on the unit, slip the clamp over your belt or strap, plug the 1/4" plug into the guitar, and you're rockin'.

The transmitter power switch has three positions: OFF, LO, and HI. I had to use HI to make things work. Also, there's an output level adjustment on the back of the receiver which you may need to adjust. I started out with that knob turned all the way up to the highest output. RS didn't really like that; a message came up and said I was a little "hot" and that I should turn down the volume on my guitar.

The results were not necessarily ideal. It seems like it's a little harder to hear my guitar over the backing track. However, I have not tried adjusting the backing track volume in RS yet. That might cure the problem. And, it's not a huge problem as it is now. I could hear myself but just not quite as well as I could hear myself before.

The freedom of not having that damn cord under foot all evening was great! I've gotten so accustomed to dancing around a cord that I caught myself still swinging my leg around wildly a few times before I moved from one spot to another.


  1. Make sure the volume on your guitar is up. It sounds like you have another volume control in the signal chain, now. You may also want to try it with w/ever guitar has the highest output (hottest) pickups.

    Note that from the little Analog to digital converter box on the RTC to the 1/4 inch plug is just a standard instrument cable. IF you wore out the plug, you could just cut it off and solder on a new one.


  2. LOL! I've never been able to solder. I can weld. But, I cannot solder. So, cable repair is definitely not something I do. (Fortunately, I do have access to some very talented - and certified - soldering people.)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Not sure why Kyle deleted his question, but he originally asked for a link or the name of the wireless unit that I use. I suppose I should have included that info in the post. Not sure why I didn't. . . (I might have been trying to avoid any impression that I was shilling for a particular company or product, which I'm not!)

      Anyway, I got an Audio Technica ATW251 wireless system ( I chose this one for one reason and one reason only: it was on sale for a very good price when I was looking for a wireless unit. I think I got mine for about $70. Still using it over a year after I wrote this. I've been through a handful of batteries, but the unit itself still works great. I don't gig with it. Mine sits on top of my home theatre amp next to the XBox and never moves. So, I don't know how this unit would hold up to live performance use, possibly with other wireless systems nearby. I only know that it works for my purpose which was to cut myself free from the Rocksmith RealTone cable.

  4. sorry for deleting my comment man, i accidentally did lol. But anyways, thank you for replying. I ordered the same wireless system a few days ago, i haven't received it yet.