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Newbie Recording bass tracks

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by littlebooner, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. littlebooner


    Jan 27, 2012
    Kelowna, BC
    I am currently trying to use my practice set up to record my bass on a few tracks for some friends. I import the song (.wav format) my friends send me and set up the click in audacity. This all works great. I can record my bass no problem, but it records at a lower volume (I have the line 6 input volume maxed in audacity.) I have two questions:

    1. How do I adjust the input to have a higher gain in audacity? I've been told it's best to get the input to be as high as possible without clipping and distortion? I've tried putting a compressor or amplifier effect on it post recording and don't like what it does to the tone of the bass.

    2. I have an XLR to 1/4" chord. To warm up my sound and try avoid using an amp emulator, I'm considering doing a line out from my amp to the line 6. Does going from XLR out to a 1/4" input into the Line 6 affect the quality of signal?

    I should add that I am trying to accomplish providing my friends with the best signal possible to work with. I am not that great with editing and recording and will be letting them do most of that portion. Although, I wouldn't mind learning how to improve my bass tone when recording.

    Here is my set up:

    Line 6 GX
    Custom bass Active with Aguilar OBP-3 preamp and DCB pickups
    Hartke HA 5500
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Try the line out. I had similar problem with XLR adapter.
  3. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    The way to record the bass is do it like you're doing it, with the volume on the interface and audacity as high as possible without clipping. In fact with digital you can go about 10 db lower volume because with most digital software you have a lot of headroom. I don''t know about the audacity software, but most DAW software, you increase the playback volume of the bass track in the mix once the bass track and other tracks are done recorded.

    IF you're monitoring yourself playing the bass, and the bass volume is low, turn down the volume of the other tracks in the Audacity software.
  4. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    Regarding question #1 it depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you want volume increase the volume in the mix after you record the track. If you want overdrive or distortion, you'll need to experiment with your software plugins or distort the bass with a FX pedal before it goes into the interface.
  5. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    For question #2. The Pod line 6 interface you're using has a 1/4" input for instrument signal. Thus to get the best sound use a 1/4 inch instrument cable to plug your bass direct into the Pod Line 6. It will give you the cleanest sound to work with in the mix. If you want to add FX to distort your sound, add a pedal before the interface will work best. Or, get to know your Bass amp Plugins.

    Learning how to mix is not easy, and learning how to get a good sound out of a bass amp plugin is not as easy as tweaking a real FX pedal. But once you develop an ear for the EQ adjustments in the software, you'll be able to create presets to make EQ and FX plugins work very good.

    Anyway, hope this helps.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  6. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    For starters, plug into the 1/4" input. The xlr input is expecting low impedance and your bass is a high impedance signal.

    Second, if you are recording at 24 bits (or even 16, really) there is no need to have the recorded signal be as loud as possible. With analog that was a good practice to get the signal above the noise floor.

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