Originally Posted by cfsporn
I always plug my basses directly into my computers (Macs and PCs), and I can always hear myself. I can try my Sansamp, but since the problem only occurs with my active basses (my Lakland, Fender, Aria, Squier, and Ibanez are sound fine), I doubt that is the issue.
Tomorrow, I will also try getting all new batteries.
Two things here. The input on the computer is not made for a high impedance source. It's made for a low impedance source. So it's loading down your passive bass, which reduces the level. I'd bet it's also making it dull sounding.
The active basses have low impedance outputs and can drive the input on the Mac stronger, which is causing the issues. I can easily clip the input on my iMac with an active bass.
If you don't think it's a problem, then explain why none of your active basses are working? I'll bet you money if you take them and plug them into a real amp they will work fine.
I've been using Macs to record music since about 1995. They do not work well when you just plug a bass into them. This is true of PC sound cards too. They aren't made for that. That's why there are audio interfaces on the market.
You can get a USB audio interface pretty cheap.
I'd give it a try with your Sansamp between the bass and the Mac. Also, don't crank your tone controls all the way up on the bass.
Apple actually started removing the audio inputs on the new mac Book Pros, since everyone uses a USB or Firewire interface.