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cheap bass with DI

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by mrzjuve, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. mrzjuve


    Dec 28, 2016
    Hi everybody !
    I have a cheap samick bass guitar with which have recorded at my homestudio . But I wasn't satisfied . I just plugged my output xable from the bass gear direct to soundcard . now I think a radial J48 ( my bass is passive ) can help a lot . Do you thibk it would be helpful ? by noise or tone or anything you think it could help . I'm going to buy one .
    my pick ups pick sound a little noisy I think . It has some buzz or white noise I think on it
    thank your answer
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i think most instruments can be noisy if the signal chain isn't 'set' correctly for that particular instrument. i've recorded lots of different basses over the years = each instrument comes with it's own peculiarities/needs. if you notice those same problems/issues when plugged into an amp: you might want to change instruments for recording, but if it sounds good through an amp: you may want to examine your various recording/processing levels and settings to see if you can eliminate or reduce the issue(s) you describe. also: headphones can help/make you notice some of what you describe. what the instrument sounds like 'in the mix' is probably more important than what it sounds like isolated.

    my .02! good luck!

    and welcome to TB! :thumbsup:
  3. mrzjuve


    Dec 28, 2016
    thanks ! no , i dont hear any noise at my amp . but whenci record without di box but direct to soundcard , i hear a dead sound . i thought it can be helped by a good di box like j48 . will it help u think ?
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i can't be entirely sure without knowing your whole recording setup (even then: just a best guess without actually being there). but: when i'm recording into my home studio setup: i go direct (no DI box) and there are no problems unless i have some of the gain stages and/or effect processors set outside their 'optimum' settings. for instance: you might try setting everything to 'normal' (unity) and then record --- you can always turn the bass part up or down after the recording. it may not be ideal, but it might help you locate/understand where the 'problem' is. i would do this before i invested in a piece of equipment. for example: turn down the input volume, any EQ, and turn off effects until after you record.

    it sounds to me like some/most of your issue is related to the settings in your 'signal path' (even if your instrument isn't ideal).

    hope this helps you: good luck! :thumbsup:
    mrzjuve likes this.
  5. mrzjuve


    Dec 28, 2016
    thanks ! I should add I hear a noise when I don't touch strings . actually when i touch my gears , noise goes ! what the hell is this ... i don't know
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    you have grounding issue: it's not uncommon with guitars and basses. i'm not familiar enough with your instrument (its pickups and electronics) to make specific suggestions, but: if you know how to check your ground wire (usuall under the bridge and it must make good contact with the bridge) it might be resolvable. or: simply keep your hands on the strings when you record a part. or, as a last resort: different pickups might help.

    i'm surprised that no one else has chimed in here, yet: but they will. hang in! :thumbsup:
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    What's your "soundcard"? Most audio interfaces these days have high impedance inputs for guitars and basses, a DI box is not needed. If you are expecting an expensive DI box to magically improve the tone of your recordings, I would say that's highly unlikely. I never use one at home, I plug straight into the interface and it sounds fine.

    Noise with passive basses is common, usually because of poor shielding and grounding. Sitting in front of a computer and monitor is only going to make it worse.

    Any time you are in contact with a grounded part (strings. bridges, tuning machines) the noise should diminish...totally normal.
    leonard and mrzjuve like this.
  8. mrzjuve


    Dec 28, 2016
    you so much ! very helpful !
  9. mrzjuve


    Dec 28, 2016
    thanks !
  10. project_c


    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    If you have light dimmer switches in your house, turn them off and try again. I have a similar problem with some passive basses and it's down to bad wiring in my house.
  11. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    The noise could be caused by electromagnetic interference from other electrical devices picked up by the pickups.

    If the noise disappear whenever you touch the strings or other metal objects of your bass, that would be the case.

    And if this is in fact the case it can be solved by shielding your instrument.

    A cheaper and easier temporary solution to the problem is to do what I do:

    I use a single regular electrical insulated cobber wire, peel off the insulation in both ends, attach one end to the jack plug that goes into my instrument (mine is screwed on, so it's easy to insert the wire in the thread of the jack plug's joint, otherwise you can solder one on) and then make sure the other end touches your skin (I just fix it between my skin and the opening of my pants around the waist), it's not exactly comfortable, but for shorter sessions of home recordings it works well for grounding the electrical circuit of the electronics in your bass and removes the unwanted noise that comes from interference with other electrical devices.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
    mrzjuve likes this.
  12. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    FYI - a Radial J48 requires phantom power to operate. Unless your sound-card is capable of sourcing 48VDC, a J48 WILL NOT work at all. I don't think a DI is the solution to your problem, anyway. Several other posts have addressed that already.
  13. leonard


    Jul 31, 2001
    You need a high impedance input for your bass if it is a passive one. Cheap basses often sound good if they are set up well and have new strings.
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Sounds to me like you'd be much better served with a preamp to give you some tonal options and control.
    Or you could look into plugins.
  15. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    If your bass has more than one pickup, solo the one that is closest to the neck. See if that helps.
  16. mrzjuve


    Dec 28, 2016
    on record you mean ?
  17. mrzjuve


    Dec 28, 2016
    a j/p
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah check out some YouTube videos on shielding/grounding your bass. That should take care of the noise.

    Welcome to TalkBass!
    mrzjuve likes this.
  19. leonard


    Jul 31, 2001
    Yes. On tape and on a gig.
  20. Just curious....how do you plug a bass directly into your soundcard?

    I can't do that on my current two year -old desktop pc.. as far as I know...

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