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Good Audio Interface for Bass

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Paul Jackson, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. Paul Jackson

    Paul Jackson

    Mar 27, 2015
    I'm new to recording. Any suggestions on a reliable Audio Interface and software to record Electric Bass? Would like to record using a Toshiba Core I7 Laptop running Windows 7.
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    While I don't use mine as an audio interface, a ZOOM B3 is an excellent investment. It's a great multi-effects unit, that can also be used as an interface. Comes with Cubase LE software, which will give the capabilities to do anything you want with recording. One of my first interfaces was one of the early model ZOOM effects units, and it worked great. I did the recording in the link below with that, and Cubase LE.

    $200 and LOTS of bang for your buck. If you buy it now at musiciansfriend, you can get it for $170 w/ the Presidents Day sale 15% off.


  3. Im in the same position as OP. More specifically, I want to run my own effects and possibly a preamp into an audio interface. I've also got an active bass that I use pretty often. I keep reading that some audio interfaces have more headroom than others. For a real hot signal like mine, anyone got any suggestions?
  4. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    I'm also new to all those "Audio Interface" things but here is my opinion.
    I've got Presonus AudioBox USB on sale for $79. It came with Studio One that I upgraded to Studio One v.3.
    It has SO MANY EFFECTS that otherwise would have required me to spend HUNDREDS of dollars.
  5. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    Although I like the Zoom B3, I think you should invest in a cheap sound card that lets you record in 24 Bit 96 Khz (as that is the standard for professional studio recordings), which most sound cards will let you (For example the already recommended Presonus).

    And although most sound cards have build in preamps, they are usually not very good, so I would advice you to invest in a small cheap preamp as well (personally I just use the Behringer Tube Ultragain MIC 100, which is exstremely cheap, but works fine (I admit that I always got the EHX Black Finger optical tube compressor in front though))

    Most sound cards also come with some sort of DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that will allow you to do multi track recording, here I will advise you to download Reaper though which is n exstremely well made free DAW.

    Why I recommend this over the B3, is that it will allow you to record stuff from other sources than bass, and in a higher quality as well, which you eventually might find useful.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
    Beavisplaysbass likes this.
  6. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4. I use it with both active and passive basses. It's a USB device, and can be either 1.0 or 2.0.
    It sounds great, has input pads and MIDI through, comes with some extra software, and can be gotten pretty cheaply.

    Google Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 info

    There is also a 2i2 model, with less bells and whistles, which is less expensive.
  7. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    For PC I use the Steinberg CI2 and Cubase Artist. So far it meets all of my needs.
  8. Jayhawk


    Sep 6, 2006
    Kansas City
    The Focusrite Scarlett Solo is awesome & inexpensive for individual recording.

    Video is a bit cheesy, but it's gets the point across:
    villis and 40Hz like this.
  9. Ulf_Hansson


    Apr 15, 2014
    I can also recommend the Focusrite and Presonus interfaces suggested above. They can be found second hand for next to nothing and tends to have stable drivers for both Win and Mac computers. I used to have an M-audio interface which sounded OK but the USB drivers were never updated. The Presonus stuff sounds and works great.
    DinoRock and 40Hz like this.
  10. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    For me it begins and ends with the Focusrite Scarlet series. Incredible quality and bang for the buck. And they come in a range of sizes. I use a 2i4 and it's more than adequate feature-wise for what I want to do at home. One of those boxes and the included software suite will handle anything a home recording project might need to start with.

    If you don't have good headphones, grab a pair of Sony MDR-V6 Studio phones for about $80 street. You won't regret it. They're perfect for the studio and they especially shine for use with electric bass.
    bholder likes this.
  11. There isn't a good audio-interface for bass. There are only good and not soooooo good audio-interfaces. What do you want to invest? And besides audio-quality, what are your preferences?
    Do you want to record more than 2 tracks at a time? Do you need a headphone amp that can power higher-impedance headphones? Do you want to use it with an iPad or smartphone, too?
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
    FantasticFour likes this.
  12. Amplified


    Jan 19, 2014
    Apogee, Universal Audio.
    Michael4bass likes this.
  13. DinoRock


    Mar 26, 2015
    New York State
    I agree wholeheartedly w the Presonus gear, both hardware and software. I would recommend spending the extra coin and getting the Presonus Audiobox 44VSL from the start. You get virtually no latency, which makes playing a ton of fun. Easy to go from passive to active basses or other instruments based on different inputs.

    The plug ins that come with the software are great. Over time, I have done software upgrades to the Pro version of software plus some key add-ons (EZDrummer, Melodyne, Ampeg SVX emulation, and tons of free effects, etc). I use an inexpensive Win7 system. My out of state recording partner uses the same setup on a Mac.

    I've done 4 CDs recently w this set up and I've been quite happy with tone and ease of use. The external reviews on the bass have been excellent. I also do a bunch of virtual studio work (email my tracks - DB exchange actually) and the engineers have been very happy.

    We have a small subset of tunes (8-10) on SC if you can handle their reduced quality. Just follow the links.
    Whousedtoplay likes this.
  14. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    I'm waiting for a nice discount/sale offer from Presonus to upgrade Studio One v.3 Artist to Pro.
    It's always on my list.
    Badwater likes this.
  15. DinoRock


    Mar 26, 2015
    New York State
    Yes. Based on my experience, I would encourage you to wait. I did almost all my upgrades when they sent really good upgrade offers out.

    I got very lucky. I originally picked up the USB 2 and it came with Artist, Melodyne, and EZDrummer. All intro versions. All for $100 some years ago. Upgraded all to pro over time w offers. Couldn't have gotten luckier or been more happy when I moved to building up a solid home studio to do my work in terms of exposure to terrific software. Last thing I did was go VSL w Line and Inst inputs. I leave 1 cable in to one of each so I can bounce from passive to active easily, which also leaves 1 of each open for mics or keys or whatever.

    You can see the PC, the 44VSL w a cable in ch 2 (Instr) and ch 3 (Line) that come out on the left leg of the amp stand. Pic was not taken with PC setup in mind, but it's there, so....
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
    Briton, FenderB, Felix1776 and 2 others like this.
  16. jfn77


    Apr 23, 2013
    Helsinki, Finland
    Waiting for the Gallien-Krueger Plex preamp, should work as an USB audio interface as well. Should be out this summer. Now if that doesn't work well with bass then nothing will. :D
  17. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I've been using an M-Audio, M-Track Plus since Christmas of 2014 without any issue. That being said, Presonus, and Focusrite also make some decent stuff that doesn't break the bank.
  18. OhulahanBass


    Nov 6, 2008
    Boulder CO
    I have tried several...I'm a bit slutty:)

    Stay Away from:
    Worse one I tried was the presonus Audiobox. This was the model 6 years ago. The pres were not great and ether the pres or conversion lost my low freqs. The second worse was the new Roland UA interface, expensive, noise and bad latency and the only gear I ever sent back out of disappointment.

    Great Bargain Under $250:
    Native Instruments Audio 6. Sounds great, same converters as the more expensive boxes, decent pres. Less loss of lows than the Presonus. But I still felt there was something being lost in my signal, never with anything other than bass, though my bass signal gets the most attention. You can snag these new for less than $200. Used for close to $100. They are built like tanks.

    The Best I tried for $700-1000
    Universal Audio Apollo Twin is an amazing sounding unit. It is the first AD conversion that sounded like me. No losses. It also has DSP internal with amazing algorithms that model all kinds of vintage and modern gear in both digital and analog realms. Not just modeling digital and analog gear but actually controlling things like impedance to match the variable impedance behavior of the modeled preamp, compressor... It's like having a studio in a tiny but heavy and NASA spec fealing unit. The software interface can however be confusing. Oh, and don't forget that the latency is super low. But not as low as my top choice!

    My favorite so far is the Focusrite Claret 8pre. Crystal clear preamps plus, if you want to add a bit of sparkle they have the air mode which is lovely. Converters on par with the Apollo but there are 8in and 10out!!!! Also, latency is so damn fast you can run your bass through all your software effects in real time. You have to double check and see if they offer windows support yet.

    If you don't need all that connectivity than you can go with the 2pre for $300 I think.

    That is my experience, I would advice against the really cheap ones like the presonus. Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 would be my starting point.

    Grumry, cheu78 and jmattbassplaya like this.
  19. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    What a beautiful studio! Now I know why YOU really needed Studio Pro.
    Just a question.
    When I started programming the drums with Studio Artist, I would find a drum set and start recording either via the MIDI keyboard or in the Piano Roll window.
    Usually, my first track would be the Hi-hat.
    Next, I would simply "Duplicate" the Hi-hat track and record the Kick. After that, I'd "Duplicate" the Kick track for the Snare, etc., but...
    Even though, I had separate tracks, I could not edit - volume, tone, etc... - them through the console because they were created by "Duplicating" the same track.
    What about EZDrummer?
  20. DinoRock


    Mar 26, 2015
    New York State
    I come from the old days of programming Roland drum machines. Slow and very painful. Just like you are describing.

    EZ Drummer (and I'm sure most other drum systems), gives you lots of options for getting something there simply and quickly, while giving you the flexibility to tweak until your heart is content. I typically start w a prepackaged rhythm, add their prepackaged fills, etc. Build it up and edit as I write and/or record.

    If I know what I'm doing with the song, it only takes me a few minutes to get the drums down - and you have incredible control over mic placement, kits, swapping in/out particular drums/cymbals, related instruments (wood block, tambourine, etc). I've been really happy.

    If you are thinking about it, I'd recommend checking out some YouTube videos or going to their Web site for tutorials. Also, have a listen to tunes that have been constructed by folks who use it.

    For me, the combination of Studio One Pro, Melodyne, and EZDrummer has been key to letting me have fun being creative and doing what I like to do - write, record, do some indie work, do studio work for others while minimizing travel, etc.
    Whousedtoplay likes this.

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