Extremely Low Bass Volume when using Scarlett 2i2 & GarageBand

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by SemiDriven, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. SemiDriven

    SemiDriven Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Recording newbie here.

    Having an issue hearing my bass when playing / recording via Scarlett 2i2 into Garageband.

    Equipment:
    iMac
    GarageBand
    Scarlett 2i2
    Nektar Impact LX25+
    Zoom B3 (optional)
    PJB BigHead (optional)

    I plug my passive bass direct into the 2i2 (instrument setting) and via headphones can barely hear the bass whether playing along to a composition or recording a bass line.

    I've also tried using an XLR cable from a B3 into the 2i2. Same weak, low volume sound. Ditto using PJB Bighead into the 2i2.

    I've tried adding a track in GarageBand using both Real Instrument as well as Electric Guitar and I'm not impressed at all with the anemic bass sound I'm getting from either track setting.

    I'm obviously overlooking something.

    What am I missing?
     
  2. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    What’s your input level look like in your DAW? This will be represented as -#dbfs.
     
  3. SemiDriven

    SemiDriven Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Barely registering. I've tried cranking the gain on the 2i2 but the DAW input level stays the same. And it doesn't matter if I have the INST button pressed or not.

    As far as I can determine, I've got everything hooked up right and I don't believe I have any bad connections (new stuff). So I'm a wee bit puzzled by this.

    All of this is through the headphones. When I turn on the external speakers, I get the same result with one exception. As I turn the monitor volume up on the 2i2, I get feedback. Then I see the input levels rise! :woot:
     
  4. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    If you’re turning up the input gain on the preamp feeding into the AD and you don’t see an increase in the DAW then you have a clear indication that something is wrong. If you crank the gain on the Focusrite can you get it to clip?
     
  5. SemiDriven

    SemiDriven Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Cranking the gain on the Focusrite causes the Focusrite knob level to clip (green-yellow-red) . However, that doesn't really register in the DAW -- a very slight bump in the input level. So yeah, something is not right.
     
  6. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    If the Focusrite is clipping that means that the AD is trying to exceed 0dbfs on the digital side, which it can’t do. If that’s not sending a signal into your DAW that pegs the meter, there’s definitely a problem on the digital side of things.
    1. Have you installed all of the current Focusrite drivers? If so, try uninstalling and then doing a clean reinstall.
    2. Is your system’s OS compatible with the Focusrite driver software and hardware? Most notably did you upgrade to Big Sur already? If so, revert back to Catalina until all the manufacturers say they’re compatible.
     
    pit lenz likes this.
  7. SemiDriven

    SemiDriven Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Good advice -- thanks!

    I've got an older iMac - running High Sierra 10.13.6 (don't think this is the issue).

    I'll focus on uninstall/reinstall of the Focusrite drivers in the coming days.
     
  8. SemiDriven

    SemiDriven Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Uninstall/reinstall of the drivers did the trick!
     
    DirtDog likes this.
  9. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Success!
     
    SemiDriven likes this.