My practice rig (no amp) + ideas for people living in tiny spaces

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by pharoeste, Aug 12, 2022.

  1. pharoeste


    Jul 19, 2022

    Hi, everyone! I thought that it would be good to share with the world my practice rig since it took me a long time to make it work and it can help others.

    I live in a TINY apartment and every time that I wanted to practice I had to set up all the cables, laptop, take the bass out of its case, etc. and, after practice, put everything away.

    As you might be thinking already, this was very discouraging to practice. I was dreading had to prepare all of these things just to be putting it away after a practice session (1 hour).

    Ideally I wanted to have these options:
    1. I want to play just for fun: so just plug my bass into an "amp" and play without worrying about practicing seriously;
    2. I want to practice: meaning that I would have a video lesson playing, practicing with a metronome, learning a new song, practicing scales, etc. This is serious practice;
    3. I live in an apartment so it CAN'T be noisy, meaning that I can't without headphones.

    All pictures here:

    In this picture, you can see my solution that I'll explain in detail below:
    1. I have my bass connected to a booster pedal;
    2. The pedal is connected to an audio interface;
    3. The audio interface is connected to my laptop;
    4. Headphones are connected to the audio interface.
    This setup covers the three requirements that I listed above:
    1. I can play casually (just sit on the sofa, turn the computer on and play whatever I want);
    2. I can practice: move the computer to a table. This is not a problem since I have a 3 meter long cable connected to my bass;
    3. I can practice or play for fun using headphones.
    Further explanations

    Why are you using a booster pedal?

    I've tried just using the interface several times. The reason is simple: the interface is not loud enough for a bass. I need to REALLY crank up the gain and volume up to hear anything on a decent volume.

    What is your equipment?
    • Bass: Fender Jass Bazz MIM;
    • Audio interface: Scarlett Solo;
    • Booster pedal: Clectro-harmonix LPB-1;
    • Headphones: Audio-technica ATH-M40x;
    • Laptop: Macbook Air or Macbook Pro.
    Final thoughts

    Well, that's it. I'm open to suggestions, constructive criticism or even compliments. :)

    Thank you for reading this!
  2. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Using a similar setup myself...but no booster pedal and a Presonus Audiobox instead of a Scarlett.
    Same headphones too!

    I'm lucky in that I do have the room for my bass combo too, but in fact I've almost never used that since I got the audiobox.
    pharoeste likes this.
  3. bwildt


    Mar 21, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    I have a similar setup for when I need to be quiet, except that my computer is a desktop in my basement "studio". Bass to Scarlett 2i4 to computer. In addition to phones, the interface is hooked up to a rack amp and pair of Alesis Monitor One speakers. I have a couple bass amps and cabs nearby for if the wife is out of the house and I want to hear some amp goodness.

    Having a computer in the rig is great, because I can play along with the music on my computer or online. This is also my recording computer (Reaper).
  4. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    A headphone amp with aux-in is a simpler cheaper option if you don't need to use a DAW. Vox Amplug for example.
  5. basseux


    Jan 10, 2010
    Vox Amplug is awfull, and it's expensive for what it as at 50€.
    I started with that to play with headphones.
    You shoudn't use that unless you want to play in a camping, your garden or in the woods.

    Then I got a two preamps and realised the issue was the lack of cab sim.
    So I got a Torpedo Cab M.
  6. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    There are better headphone amps, sure. An amplug or similar may not sound great, but it's a heck of a lot cheaper than all that gear just to practice. You could even get a more expensive headphone amp that sounds better than the amplug and and spend less than that whole getup. Just pointing this avenue out as a simpler cheaper option for those interested.
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    my setup has more 'stuff' but it's no more legitimate. a competent input, a reliable output/reference = golden! ;)

    good job! you have a system that works and lets you accomplish what you want! :thumbsup:
  8. Nuage420

    Nuage420 smile Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    I use a fender mustang micro at work. It plugs into bass and headphones into it. I can play tracks from my phone via Bluetooth and practice all I want. USB, battery power, Bluetooth, no cables. Hours of use between charges. Don't waste money on the box amplig when these are on the market. I had the amplig for years and it was good enough to use but never that great. The mustang micro is fun and has some basic effects and amps to mess with.
    basseux likes this.
  9. Nuage420

    Nuage420 smile Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    Prime P1 _MOOER Audio

    I kinda like this too, but the mustang wins for freedom to roam wirelessly. This would need to go n a pocket and you'd have cables dangling all over.
    basseux likes this.
  10. Nuage420

    Nuage420 smile Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2014
  11. JC BASS 91

    JC BASS 91

    Oct 22, 2021
    SW Missouri
    I'm OLD school if I want to do "quiet" practice. It still does everything I need it to do, even after all this time.

    Attached Files:

    Nuage420 likes this.
  12. Nuage420

    Nuage420 smile Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    JC BASS 91 likes this.