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Connecting amp head to computer?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Seejay, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Seejay


    Feb 24, 2012
    Norwich, UK
    Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here goes.

    I'd like to do a bit of recording onto my computer. I usually use my friends audio interface to directly plug my bass into his computer, however, I really like the sound of my amp head.

    Is there any way I can directly plug my amp into my computer? Amp head is an Ashdown ABM500 if that's any help.
  2. Not safely no. Only way to get the sound of your amp and cab is to mic it.
  3. Walpurgis


    Oct 16, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    If the head has 2 1/4 inch outputs, put one into your cab and one going from the head into the interface. If your head has an XLR out, use an XLR female to 1/4 inch male into your interface. It would help to know what kind of interface you are using as well.
  4. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Not 100% if it's a pre/post switch option, but your Effects Send on the back should be able to plug into your pc interface and work just fine if it's post EQ. Watch how high your gain is though, the interfaces can be pretty sensitive to input levels sometimes. That should give you the tone without having to do a lot of plug conversion.
  5. LoTone

    LoTone Clean as an Entwistle... Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Quebec, Canada
    You could always go through a mixer.

    Line out/XLR out from the head into the mixer. Then, mixer out into the computer through an audio interface.

    I have done it before.

    -- LoTone
  6. If you do, you'll be buying your friend some new electronics.
  7. Mehve


    Jun 2, 2012
    Kitchener, ON
    :meh: Any 1/4" output designed to drive a cab has NO business sending a signal to a computer.

    The pics that google provides seem to indicate that the amp has a 1/4" lineout jack on the front. Also, quite a few computers these days have 1/8" inputs for sound, and 1/4-1/8 adaptors are pretty easy to find. Get that hooked up, and you should be good to go.
  8. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    Completely off the subject, but actually exactly on the subject:

    When I was in college, there were some lab rats that had been used in neurological experiments that were going to be "sacrificed." They had electrodes into some kind of pleasure center in their brains. So, being somewhat into experiments, I offered to rescue them and keep them as pets, more or less. My idea was to run the electrodes the other way through a really big amplifier and find out what kinds of noises would come out of rat brains' pleasure centers when they were doing different things. Unfortunately for science, music, and the rats, they were goners before I got to 'em.

    But, chances are it would have been a case of exploding heads. Kinda like what would happen if you plugged a really powerful amp head into your computer. Then again, I'm a luddite who thinks a 1/4" jack going to a cabinet is pretty much just that. All this adapter stuff is a mystery.
  9. DerTeufel

    DerTeufel Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Wildomar, CA
    I go from the DI out (post-EQ) on my head to the XLR input on my M-Audio Fastrack USB interface and it works fine for me. If your DI out is pre-EQ, you'd be better off going straight into the interface from your bass.
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC

    I fried the audio interface of my notebook computer with a signal taken directly from a speaker output. And...

    I really know what I'm doing, with decades of professional experience doing electronic measurements, and...

    I was being really careful
  11. heynorm


    Oct 21, 2010
    Omaha, NE
    I'm reminded when my roommate hooked up his stereo receiver/8-track combo to my bassman's speaker output in the late 60's. Not sure what he was thinking. Lots of smoke in the apartment. Flaming, charred stereo thrown out, Bassman still going today.
  12. Razzmatazz


    Oct 23, 2011
  13. mulchor


    Apr 21, 2010
    St Pete, FL
    The Ashdown has DI out, switchable to be post-EQ. Use it.
  14. Hmmmm - the ol' smoke test huh? Put it up on YouTube will ya?
  15. I would like to resurrect this one if possible...

    I am trying to go from my MB115 xlr out (with XLR female to mono 1/4") into my USB beringer Guitar link interface - > into guitar rig soft.

    I hear the signal fine, but it produces the constant high pitched noise on the background! Even if the combo is off, i can steal hear it. It only disappears when i unplug the combo form the outlet, or turn off Guitar Rig soft.

    Any ideas? Faulty cable? or... Maybe i need to use XLR -> stereo 1/4"? XLR is not meant to go directly go to guitar link? .. When i just plug my guitar in there, it works fine.
  16. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    You are going from balanced to unbalanced. XLR is not stereo. It is balanced. Normally the 1/4" connector with two rings is TRS, not stereo. Does you audio interface accept balanced inputs?
  17. There really is a very limited info on the input that interface takes:

    Guitar in:

    Connector : 1/4" TRS
    Input impedance high : 250kU
    Input impedance low : 400kU

    This is actual link to the manual - http://www.behringer.com/assets/UCG102_P0198_M_EN.pdf

    That is about it.

    I will exchange the cable tomorrow, just in case that it is faulty (which i highly doubt).
    My friend is going to bring his amp and we will test it's xlr out as well.

    On the side note, if this is in fact guitar link's fault, please let me know what is the reliable USB interface that CAN take balanced XLR signal.

  18. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I run an XLR out of the DI on my head (Eden E300T) into a mixer, then out of a the mixer into my interface (Focusrite Scarlett 2i2), then a usb into my computer, monitored through a pair of M-Audio studio monitors. It works very well. Just make sure the interface has a Line level/instrument level switch. If the interface is instrument level only it will not work.

    Make sure you start with the gain and levels on your input channel all the way off, so you don't sent to hot of a signal to the interface.
  19. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I suspect it is only designed for instrument level unbalanced input.
  20. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I had this same problem when I was using an M-Audio FastTrack, when recording on Audacity. The problem was that audacity was trying to record in stereo, and the FastTrack only had one XLR input (left) and a 1/4" Line/Guitar input (right). The high pitch was coming from an open left channel.

    My new interface has two inputs, so I can come out of both outs on my mixer into both channels on my interface. It works quite well. If your doing any serious recording I suggest getting a mixer, it doesn't have to cost a lot. I use an Alto ZMX862, they are 70 bucks new at GC, and does everything I could possibly need it to. It is also a good idea to invest in a decent interface. For $150 I have a good recording interface, which also serves as a much better playback device than what is built into my computer.

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