Best interface for recording direct bass

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Nicholas Smith, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. Nicholas Smith

    Nicholas Smith

    Apr 10, 2019
    Hello folks,

    I’m trying to decide whether I should purchase a Focusrite Scarlett or Clarett interface.

    I’ve been using a Roland Quad Capture for years but fancy something higher end.

    Any ideas would be most useful.

  2. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Honestly, any modern interface designed by a reputable company is made to be as transparent as possible. There isn't a big difference between them.
    I've used a Focusrite Scarlett Gen 2 for about 2-3 years to record bass and guitar. No issues.
  3. Nicholas Smith

    Nicholas Smith

    Apr 10, 2019
  4. Nicholas Smith

    Nicholas Smith

    Apr 10, 2019
    Thank you! Very helpful!!!
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  5. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I agree, most any modern interface will give you a good clear tone for bass.

    You can consider some other treatment in the form of using a good DI or preamp in front of the interface. I use a REDDI DI on everything I record. Fantastic tone (for over $700, yeah it better be!...:D). I've recorded through an old Edirol interface, an X32 and lately, a Presonus SL64S and the 32R, as well as others that I'm not aware of, being just the session player. I get the same awesome tone in every case.

    If you don't want to use a DI/preamp in front of the interface, there's some killer plug-ins that are tailor-made for bass. Someone makes an Ampeg plug-in that I haven't personally used, but it sounded great on the recordings I heard. I can't remember who makes it. Ampire, maybe?

    Good luck.
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  6. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    I use the scarlett i818. It's great.
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  7. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    I've recorded bass direct into my Presonus Audiobox USB with much success.
  8. Abington


    Dec 25, 2007
    BC, Canada
    I'd agree that I've found all reasonable quality modern interfaces to work pretty much the same for recording DI bass. If you want to spice up your recordings I would echo Geri O above and suggest a high quality DI/preamp. The REDDI suggested has great reviews, as does the Broughton P15 - I use a Tech 21 VT Bass Di and I find it gets a good sound as well for less dough.
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  9. Nicholas Smith

    Nicholas Smith

    Apr 10, 2019
    Thank you all!
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  10. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    As stated, you're not going to hear a lot of difference in the recorded sound of your bass from one interface to the next... a preamp might be a better buy.

    What's your budget? What don't you like about the sound you're currently getting?
    NEBADON2000 and DJ Bebop like this.
  11. Lowfader


    Jul 11, 2004
    The Clarett interface is better than the Scarlett interface. Your recording chain is only as good as the weakest link. To me, room treatment should be the first expenditure, if it’s a home studio, then an interface, monitors, etc. Are you recording just a bass guitar?
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  12. I use a cheap focusrite 2i2 and I’ve tracked in some high dollar studios in the past. Agree with some others that there’s not a huge difference between what a lot of the name brand affordable ones sound like compared to much more expensive ones. And it’s hard to justify spending like $1000 on an interface for such subtle improvement in performance Over one that cost $150. Even little upgrades for example the next model up from the 2i2 does have midi. And that might be useful for some people but the keyboard I have in my studio has its own USB Out so even that feature was kind of pointless for me.
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  13. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    I got this horrible thing that's, like, the first of the current breed of usb audio interface, and even it sounds as good as anything else.
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  14. andare


    Oct 4, 2016
    Buy the best you can afford. The Scarlett 2i2 is what I use. It's ok, not very loud, but for DI bass it works. My problem has always been getting a good tone once the audio was recorded. I could never gel with amp sims. Now I use the DI from my Rumble and it sounds exactly like the sound coming from the cab in my room. This saves me a lot of time.
    Once you mix the song all bets are off and one interface or another doesn't make too much of a difference. At the end of the day what counts is how well you know your gear.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  15. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Sanjay C’s Youtube channel has excellent coverage of all things regarding small studio recording. Suggest you pay it a visit.

    ahbradot, MonetBass, Phaidrus and 2 others like this.
  16. Bullitt5135


    Nov 16, 2010
    SE Michigan
    I use a Steinberg UR22 – works great for me.
  17. N4860


    Mar 28, 2017
    Waterloo, ON Canada
    I use an Antelope Audio Orion Studio Rev2017 and it sounds great and has room to record the whole band when needed, if that is of any interest to you. I highly recommend it and it has built in effects that you can use which don't take any computer processing power to add.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  18. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    I’ve had a Clarett 2Pre for a few years and it sounds great. I have a Motown DI going into it for some warmth. I don’t use any plugins or fx for bass but it comes with a whole bunch of stuff, eq’s, compressors etc. As everyone says it’s worth investing in a pre of some kind to add some color to the dry tone. Brainworx Ampeg plugins sound nice if you like an amped tone.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  19. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I like my focusrite Scarlett. I use a window 10 PC with no driver issues and good sounding recordings. - full disclosure, my needs are basic, so I don’t do anything complicated.
  20. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I think there are differences, namely the quality of the preamp. I don't have wide enough knowledge to make a true recommendation, but I use a UA Apollo Twin, and I am very happy with it.