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New to recording - looking what to buy

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Reflective, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. Reflective


    Sep 6, 2009
    I have not recorded my playing before. I'm not hellbent on making absolutely sounding amazing tracks. I would really just like to be able to plug my bass into my computer, so i can listen to myself and record while I play. I would also like to be able to listen to and/or record other things on the computer simultaneously.

    Can anyone recommend some good items to buy for me? If they are pieces that will continue being useful as I advance in my recording experience, that's even better.

  2. What kind of money are you planning to spend and what do you have for a PC?
  3. SidMau


    Sep 3, 2012
    For plugging into a computer, I'd say: Apogee Jam and a Mac with Garageband or Logic
  4. I recommend the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface and you can download Audacity or KRISTAL software for free until you're ready to upgrade and then I recommend Acoustica’s Mixcraft Pro Studio 6.
  5. Reflective


    Sep 6, 2009
    Thank you for the responses! I currently have a lenovo laptop I'm using. Getting a new computer is not likely in the near future, and its more unlikely that i will get a mac.
  6. I have been using Cakewalk SONAR for years. I find that it's friendly to use and does a good job.
  7. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Cheapest: You literally plug your bass into the mic in of your PC using and adapter cable. This may not get you the best signal, and depending on the active/passivness of your bass it might not handle the signal. but it is a cheap start.

    Better: a consumer level USB audio interface with a built in preamp. They vary a lot in price /quality /features. Bheringers are cheap (around $50) but not highly regarded for quality -however unless it's broken it would do the job. Decent ones (Focusrite, Tascam, M-Audio) start at $100-$200, and "pro" quality ones just go up in price from there.

    If you have another $200-$300 you might want to pick up a bass specific outboard preamp , like a sans-amp or similar.

    Audacity is the best free Audio software.
    Reaper is the most affordable 'real' multi tracking app ($60 for personal use license) but you can d'load it and try it out for free.
    Both are recommended.
    Audacity is stripped down and may be easier for first time users.
  8. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    i really like using the Line6 UX2:


    it comes bundled with Ableton Lite recording software, which is very easy to use, though it has limitations compared to things like Logic**. however for a fun, simple, plug-and-play recording interface it's great and you can get good results with careful use of the mixing/post production tools.

    you also get the Pod Farm amp/FX modeling software, which does what it says on the box.

    ** just re-read the website, it's compatible with Logic etc if you want to upgrade yr software. neato.
  9. Andy_D


    Nov 28, 2009
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Lots of options out there. I have a dedicated interface, but my Zoom B3 also doubles as a USB interface. I have tried it, mostly out of curiosity and found that it does a credible job. So look at your existing gear and see if any of it, particularly some of the Multi Effects units have the ability to double as an interface. And as mentioned previously Reaper is a good low cost high performance DAW option. I use it and it has all the power and function that I as non-pro user will likely ever need.
  10. Ender_rpm


    Apr 18, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    If you go Focusrite, spend the extra couple bucks and get the 2i4. The -10db pads on the inputs really make it a lot easier to plug in and not overdrive the preamps. But if you have an outboard processor/preamp (POD, pedal, etc) it may not be as much of an issue.
  11. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Subscribed :ninja:
  12. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    PC or Mac?
  13. For basic demo stuff that i don't plan to make public i use a pod hd bean connected to my laptop and i use Reaper recording software which you can download for $40. The pod has 1/4 and xlr inputs so i can hook my rig to it and use it like an interface or just plug right into it and use the ampeg model. I use cheap headphones either my turtle beach USB powered headphones or some sony headphones that cover my ears. Headphones plug into pod and the pod takes over as my computers sound card. Pod connects to laptop with USB.
  14. Give a try to the Steinberg UR22 with 2 built in mic preamps and a dedicated Hi-z input on channel 2 (for basses and guitars), it also includes Cubase AI, a scaled down version of acclaimed Cubase. IMHO it's a bargain.
    If you need more channels I suggest to check the Zoom H6, I'm using it with very good results, it has 2 built in condenser mics, 4 mic preamps/line input, so you can record 6 tracks at the time. you can connect it via usb to a pc and drag the tracks to the pc for editing and final mixing. or you can use it as a audio card connected to your pc. it connects also to an Ipad via the Apple camera connection kit. it has metronome and tuner too. The audio quality is good, IMHO. It's a swiss army knife, really.
  15. Joebarnes


    Oct 4, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    Here's a youtube video from Graham at therecordingrevolution.com

    Its on the 5 key Home Studio components.

    I honestly get a very decent sound using an old computer, a Alesis iO2 Express USB interface and the Cubase 5 LE software that came with the interface.

    Then, once you're more interested in recording, go back and listen to the 5 minutes to a better mix tutorials on Graham's website. I learned more from those mixing tips than anywhere else. (no, I'm not in any way compensated by the website)
  16. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Do any of the 2-4 Audio Interfaces come with USB-3? Also, which ones come with Pro-Tools (light) if any?
  17. Anything from TC Electronic.

    Great AD/DA┬┤s
  18. Kosko


    Dec 12, 2005
    I'd like to second Reaper as the most affordable (or free) DAW interface.

    I've also always liked Presonus products for high-quality affordable interfaces. I started on a firepod and now use a StudioLive for the whole band. I would absolutely recommend their USB line as well.
  19. Kosko


    Dec 12, 2005
  20. soopington


    Jan 19, 2014
    IMO I would be very conscientious with Presonus; I haven't had the best experience with their hardware. I had a scratchy pot problem that was a painnnn, a buddy of mines has the same problem with his unit to this day. However I will say their customer service is pretty good if something does happen.

    I've heard good things from Focusrite..M-Audio is pretty reputable. I'd go in that direction first

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