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First time trying to record with laptop

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by MichaelT, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. I want to be able to push a "record" button and forget about it while I jam for a couple hours at home. I have a simple HP laptop (model: 15-f113ca) with a headset / mic slot, USBs and HDMI. My amp (BG250) has a balanced output slot with pre and post EQ direct out. Also, my bass is active (SR305DX).

    What would I need to be able to record my bass (bass with my effect pedals ) on my laptop without spending much money?

    I was thinking that I just need a wire, either to go from my amp's DI out into my laptop via small mic slot or USB slot (I dunno...I've seen guitar to USB instrument cables recently...) and download some software like Audacity.

    Any budget minded ideas are appreciated, thanks.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I use the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, very happy with it, basically just plug and play. I use freeware Audacity for the software. Not too tough to learn.
    Luke19Boarder likes this.
  3. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    As bholder says, but more specifically:

    Bass > pedals >amp/DI out> usb audio interface (eg. Focusrite Scarlett) > usb into computer > recording software (e.g Audacity).

    How long you can record is a function of how much disk space you have available and whatever WAV file size limits the software might have (2GB?) - but that should get you close to three hours of stereo recording with standard settings.
    bholder likes this.
  4. twinjet

    twinjet AJ, you're the MAN! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    These are pretty inexpensive. Best route, good sound quality.
  5. Ulf_Hansson


    Apr 15, 2014
    +1 on the Focusrite stuff. Even if you could do with something even cheaper for just storing a jam session, the "real" interface will allow you to grow and do nice sounding mic recordings later on.

    One question: what are you going to use this for? Recording and listening back to a band practice is great, as is analyzing execution of some bass exercises, but storing a couple of hours of jamming? Would you have the time to listen back to that? Or what's the purpose?
  6. When I'm just jamming at home alone and I come up with a cool riff, I have to place my phone in front of my amp and start recording a memo in order to record my riff. There are some issues I have with this...... it sounds horrible when I have any effects on. Sometimes I forget the riff I was just doing by the time I take out my phone and place it to record myself. It would be easier for me to set up my computer to just record myself.

    Also because I often have to play with headphones later at night and there's no way I can record myself then if I happen to come up with a cool riff. I don't want to use my phone's voice memo to record my bass anymore
  7. Ulf_Hansson


    Apr 15, 2014
    OK, I understand. So you'll only need to go back when/if you stumble on something cool sounding.
  8. You got it. So I don't want to be spending much money on some equipment for this purpose.
  9. I've been meaning to get a home studio setup, but for the meantime I just record myself with my phone camera. That way if I forget the line, I can just watch my fingers instead of dealing with bad audio quality.
    I agree with the Focusrite, that's what my band uses to record. Sounds good.
  10. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
  11. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Look for used USB audio interfaces also.
    As with a lot of electronic gadgets guys tire of them
    and they can be had for 1/2 price.

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