How not to record bass on to the computer

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by 2BitBassPlayer, Aug 27, 2001.

  1. I was playing around with cubase a while ago, i don't realy have the right equiping to record anything. So what i did was got my cheapo Danelectro headphone amp, pluged a mono mini jack cable from that to my sound card. It did work, but it sounded horrible.

    What does everyone here use to record, i saw yamaha midi interface that pluged into the computer through usb cable. Would somthing like that work to record bass/guitar onto the computer?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You can't record audio, e.g. bass, with a midi interface.
    Midi data is not audio data, but controller data for synths, FX units, etc.

    USB audio interfaces like the Midiman AudioSport Duo and Quattro can be used.

    But experience shows that using USB while doing audio recording can cause glitches and other disturbances.

    A headphone amp sounds bad anyway.
    Use the line out of a bass amp and connect it with the line in of your soundcard.

    This is a good site with tutorials
  3. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    If your not doing anything serious, you probably only need something like a fostex or tascam 4-track. I've seen a tascam for as low as $40, but the fostex is a lot better, IMO. Well, i guess you may need a mixer. Other than that, go to a damm studio for $$$ an hour, or be friends with the studio owner.
  4. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    I've had great luck on a budget using an ART Tube MP as a pre-amp for bass. It is actually a tube Mic preamp/phantom power supply, but it works really well for bass, too. I got mine new for around $90, but I'm sure you could find one used for about half that. It gives a nice warm sound to a passive bass.

    The bonus is that if you ever decide to shell out for a low end condensor mic like a Rode NT 1, you can also use the Tube MP to power it and warm up the sound.
  5. I'll second lineing out from the amp. make sure you put it in the blue line jack; the red mic should work, but it's staticky and is overgainy.
  6. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Davey0 is right: use the "line in" on your card, not the "microphone" input.
  7. dytakeda


    Jul 18, 2000
    I'm trying to get suggestions on the best way to bring my bass' signal up to line level. I've read so far: a tape deck, a EQ pedal, a line out from the bass amp (I tried this and didn't have much luck).

    Actually, what I tried was the Effects Send from a SWR WM12. Does anyone know if that's line level?

    Anyone have preferences for what to use to bring the signal up to line level?
  8. Try taking the line from your amp, runing it through a 1/4-1/8 converter to get it to line level.
  9. dytakeda


    Jul 18, 2000
    That's what I tried, but it sounded bad.
  10. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    See my suggestion above about the ART Tube MP. Also, I don't think the effects send is what you want to use as your out.

    When recording directly into the computer, you also need to ensure that each level is set properly, from your bass volume, to your amp/preamp, to the main computer volume, to the line in volume. You can easily end up overdriving something along the way if you mess up. Try playing around with your volume levels throughout the chain.
  11. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    And for heaven's sake, when you get a decent setting, WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING so you don't have to spend two hours tweaking the NEXT time you plug in.
  12. If i record on my computer heres what i do. I Plug my bass into my Sans Amp Bass driver DI, run an XLR cable out of that, into an xlr=1/4" adaptor, than a 1/4"=1/8" adaptor, than into my line in. I have GREAT bass sounds. No distortion, nothing but pure bass. Some things you may want to check out...

    -Is the signal your sending to your computer "line level"? (are you going from a "line out" or "xlr out" jack, or just plugging yoru bass strait in?)

    -What are you using to record these bass sounds? I found a computer based 4-track thats free from the internet. Its really neat, and worth having to record your sound.

    -Are you watching how hot the signal your sending to yoru computer is? There is a volume controll for the "line in", make sure its not turned all the way up. You could just be distorting the input.

    As said before, dont use the microphone input, unless your pluging in a microphone WITHOUT a preamp. This is because most microphones on computers are passive, and need a +20db boost, so there is one built in as a preset, therefore, if you send in a line level, it will automaticly distort, unless your signal is super low.
  13. I've tried recording directly off my bass into my mixer which then goes into the line in of my soundcard, it's clean but doesn't have an authentic sound. So then I bought a bass amp and put a mic up to it and put that into the mixer, amazing difference in sound and tone, you actually get the sound and tone you hear into your recording. but then you end up pissing off your neighbors :bassist: oh well...
  14. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    For me: bass -> SansAmp for a little amp-like honk and grit -> mixing board for levels and monitoring -> M-Audio card in PC
  15. The Effects Send from your SWR WM12 should be perfect! It will give you the control over the gain that you need and also enable you to use the EQ. When you say that it sounded bad - what do you mean? If it was distorting then maybe you had the gain to high. Try turning down the Gain knob on the SWR WM12.

    I take the Effects Send out of my SWR SM900 into my sound card and I usually set the gain on the amp to about 8 - 9 O'CLOCK (relatively low). E-mail me if you have any questions,... the SWR WM12 should sound really good.