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Plugging bass directly in to the computer for effects and better sound quality?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by bassman90, Oct 30, 2010.


  1. bassman90

    bassman90 Guest

    Oct 25, 2010
    I want to be able to plug my bass guitar into my computer, record it (maybe add a few effects) and then run it to my camcorder. How can I do this? I'm getting the jack converter to plug my bass directly in to the PC. What software(s) will I need for the recording and effects? Do you need the camcorder model number thing?

    peace
     
  2. Samsound

    Samsound

    Sep 28, 2010
    There are two problems you will run into with running directly into your standard PC soundcard. Biggest is latency. When you try to monitor your bass thru the effects, there will be an audible lag, which will drive you nuts and make it difficult to play.
    The other, which will vary, is sound quality. The A/D convertors in most consumer soundcards are very cheap. They're geared towards typical home PC uses - play games, skype (which uses lower bit and sample rates), and things like that. Aside from jitter and all these other seemingly nebulous things to you at this stage, some are just really noisy.

    Really you'd want an audio interface with better hardware designed for musicians
     
  3. bassman90

    bassman90 Guest

    Oct 25, 2010
    Hmmmm.....okay. I've seen people on youtube do it with Adobe Audition and get a pretty nice tone. Any idea how they do that? Like this guy:
     
  4. Samsound

    Samsound

    Sep 28, 2010
    All I see in that vid is a guy on the bass and the corner of a laptop. Can't tell if he's using an interface or what. You'd have to ask him what he's using.

    Certainly try it straight into the laptop, just giving you a heads up on what you may encounter. BTW, what kind of speakers were you using to listen to that vid? I'm on my iPod ATT, so I didn't bother trying to listen. Will check him out again later.
     
  5. bassman90

    bassman90 Guest

    Oct 25, 2010
    In the description he says: Playing a groove on a natural colored Squier Vintage Modified Jazz bass. The bass is plugged directly into a Dell Inspiron laptop, run through Adobe Audition 3.0, then sent directly out from the laptop to a Kodak Xi8 camera.

    I was listening on just a fairly good pair of normal computer speakers.
     
  6. Samsound

    Samsound

    Sep 28, 2010
    As for the camcorder piece, there's a few ways to do it. Two I am familiar with:
    1. Run the cam. Record yourself with ProTools, Sonar, Live, Audacity, Reaper, etc.
    Import video from cam to PC via FireWire.
    Sync audio and video using Premiere, Windows Movie Maker, Sonar, etc.
    Export movie and upload to site.

    2. Connect output from computer to line in or mic in of cam. Run cam and play. Import video to computer via FireWire. Don't bother editing your video, because no one else does (we enjoy watching you stare at your computer for 15 seconds before you start to play). Upload to site.
     
  7. I have tried recording via the 1/8 jack on the computer. It did work but did not sound very good, simply a direct connection. You really should invest in an Interface. Line 6 makes a real good one (a few different models). good luck
     
  8. Samsound

    Samsound

    Sep 28, 2010
    From that description, he's using the second method. My bit on the editing was tongue in cheek, and not directed at his video - there are many others out there that exhibit that lack of attention to detail.
     
  9. Samsound

    Samsound

    Sep 28, 2010
    Listening now on my DAW. While the bass itself sounds relatively fine, I can say that there is some severe hi-end roll off here. The cymbals and snare sound very muffled. Could be that was intentional to highlight his bass playing. Or, he may have done that to cut down on high frequency noise from his "rig".

    Also, I've got an 85Hz room mode here that makes the bottom end on any recording sound a bit weaker than it actually is. This video has a very strong bottom here, which means his recording is actually too bottom heavy. Again, he may have mixed it that way by design, or by ignorance. [Note: by ignorance, I mean "not knowing any better", not the derogatory sense of the word].
     
  10. bassman90

    bassman90 Guest

    Oct 25, 2010
    I think importing the video and syncing would be easier for me. I'll do that. As for the sound.....I'm lost. I'm just a beginner so...I guess it sounded fine to me. But I want the best sound as possible, so tell me if this would work.

    1. I'll get the Ampeg SVX.
    2. Run my bass through that and record, wearing headphones and listening to the original track on my iPod, adding desired effects and what not, while video recording.
    3. Save audio file.
    4. Import video file.
    5. Sync, add original song (I'm probably gonna be doing covers), and edit with my trusty video editor. So that would be 2 audio tracks (my bass and the original) and a video track.

    And now the $1000,000 dollar question or questions....I can record with the Ampeg plug in, right? And how do I do that? Plug my amp to the computer, or plug my bass to the computer? Does my amp have to have 2 inputs? Or should I use the line in thing?
     
  11. Gintaras

    Gintaras

    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    I have a friend that has been using audition with a Line 6 UX2 with good results.
     
  12. Samsound

    Samsound

    Sep 28, 2010
    And my participation in this thread has ended.
     
  13. regardless of what software you use it does not address how you "get" your bass into the computer. If you have a bass with very strong active pickups you can use a 1/4 to 1/8th jack adapter and just bang it on in there.
    What almost always sound better is to use a firewire or USB audio interface that has instrument level inputs. The Kontrol 1 has these as does most MOTU and Focusrite gear.
    What sounds best just about every time is use a DI box plugged into he mic input on a sound card. This will capture the widest freq range and the most detail.
    Either way you do it, careful with your levels! Try and keep it well under clipping. Shoot for -8 to -10dBfs.
    Me I use an ART digital MPA or a Summit 2BA221 into a MOTU 828MKII (with BLA!). I actually re-did the bass parts for my bands last cd from home because the recordist did a cruddy job n the bass.
     
  14. bassman90

    bassman90 Guest

    Oct 25, 2010
    Hmmm....I think I'll check out a USB interface.

    Dude, I was joking.......damn.
     
  15. Samsound

    Samsound

    Sep 28, 2010
    You can't record with just a plugin. A plugin plugs into an audio host. Several have already been mentioned. There are even free ones you can download legally. For that matter, there are also free amp sim plugins. Check out KVR audio.
     
  16. bassman90

    bassman90 Guest

    Oct 25, 2010
    Is Audition a audio host? I have that already. So would this work? :

    1. I'll plug my bass into Audition.
    2. Run my bass through that and record, wearing headphones and listening to the original track on my iPod, adding desired effects and what not, while video recording.
    3. Save audio file.
    4. Import video file.
    5. Sync, add original song (I'm probably gonna be doing covers), and edit with my trusty video editor. So that would be 2 audio tracks (my bass and the original song) and a video track.
     
  17. bassman90

    bassman90 Guest

    Oct 25, 2010
    If I got the SVX could I somehow plug that into Audition? Oh wait, on the Apple site it says: Supported Plug-in formats: AU, VST, RTAS (under requirements). Does AU by any chance mean audition? Bear with me I'm just a beginner.

    http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/audio/ampegsvx.html
     
  18. bassman90

    bassman90 Guest

    Oct 25, 2010
    Hmmm...I've done a little further research and found a guy saying this on a different forum.....please decode:

    Re: Recording Amplitube...
    Post by Domenix on Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:26 pm
    Hi.
    I use recording in this way.
    I start my "recorder", Adobe Audition 3, and also my virtual amp AMPEG SVX.
    On the virtual amp I choose my favorite settings about sound and I save it.
    I start recording. The WAV file created is only a flat sound without the virtual amp.
    On the track I set the effect choosing my Ampeg SVX.
    Now I can listen what I have recorded with the right effect.
    I think this is the right and logical way to proceed, because so you can change effects when you want and there's no need to play and record again.
    I see you use Audacity. I had a lot of problems trying to set up SVX effects into Audacity.
     
  19. GOX42

    GOX42

    Sep 28, 2000
    rising sun indiana
    I plug mine into a 1/8 jack from the 1/4" cable..I use sony's acid software and the only problem i've had is distortion and low volume ..I do use sony's sound forge to beef it up after the fact and to eq and bring the volume back up and from there I add any effects I want, the whole thing maybe cost me 100$ and this was when that software was new (acid 4.0 and sound forge 5.0) mind you I have low volume because I have to turn the bass down to prevent distortion...
     
  20. bassman90

    bassman90 Guest

    Oct 25, 2010
    Hmmm...okay. I think I may have a copy of Acid buried deep in my computer. I'll definetly try it.
     

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