1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Practicing with my computer- what is the best way.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Droot, Apr 10, 2010.


  1. Droot

    Droot

    Dec 29, 2006
    Hello all,
    This may have been asked before but I have not seen it so here goes. What is the best way to hook up to your computer to practice quietly. I have tried a number of ways and have yet to find one I like the sound of. (1) I have a Tapco 4x6 that has great sound but has way too many cords and requires feeding thru a secondary program to work. (2) I have a personal headphone amp, Pocket Rocket for bass, less cords but tends to get bumped into causing crackles and the sound is somewhere between fart and skinning a cat. (3) The Zoom 708II bass pedal, sounds OK but not great, runs on batteries so it is portable enough, few cords needed. (4) Boss GT-10B pedal, great sound, very versatile, way too many cords and too big for a quick setup at the kitchen table. (5) Line 6 Bass amp, FANTASTIC bass sound, MP3 feed sounds terrible off my computer line out, full of static and electronic noise.

    So these are what I have and what I have tried so far. Can anyone recommend to me a setup that is A) Small, B) quick to setup, C) Has few cords, input and phones preferably D) and most importantly, SOUNDS GOOD.

    Thanks for any help on this one.
    DRoot
     
  2. Droot

    Droot

    Dec 29, 2006
    Interesting, another work around device. Thanks for the input, let's see what else comes up.
    DRoot
     
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I use either an M-Audio USB converter or a PreSonus firewire converter. Both do extremely well.
     
  4. I do quite a bit of practice at home with headphones. Here are a few methods:

    1) Cheap amp with external in. I have a little 20 watt amp that has an input designed for a CD/Mp3/Computer. You need a 1/8' stereo to RCA connectors. The amp is sort of largish, but many manufacters make small ten watt amps that are perfect for what you are trying to do. Downside is that you have to plug it in the wall.

    2) M-Audio Fast Track USB. Great little versatile box. Practice, Record (pretty good quality too!), whatever. Need your computer to use it though.

    3) Small 4 channel mixer. Cheap. Really handy bit of equipment to have around the house too. I use my little Behringer mixer for all sorts of stuff. For practice, I plug my bass direct in to channel 1, the computer/iPod into channel 2, mix and go.

    FWIW: I bought a decent set of headphones. You don't have to spend a lot of money on them, but buy decent quality. I use mine for practice, mixing audio, and recording. The ones I have now are $30 Radio Shack specials.
     
  5. bassalo

    bassalo

    Jan 23, 2008
    CT
    Well if one has a Mac, all you need is Monster's iStudiolink cable. GarageBand software that comes with the Mac does all I need including effects, customizing your sound, amp modeling, and instument or iTunes track playalong. Once again, Apple FTW!
     
  6. MonkeyBass

    MonkeyBass

    Mar 22, 2009
    Denver, CO
    The Line 6 UX1 is pretty slick. You can set up the output of the computer to go through the UX1 via USB cable so it's really clean. Then use the iTunes volume to blend in with the bass signal.
     
  7. Stealth Plug....1 cord. USB plugs into your computer and one into your bass. You can use your computer speakers OR headphones for playback. Simple and quiet.
     
  8. 4Strings46

    4Strings46

    May 7, 2008
    Arizona
    I have a small 4 track Tascam that I use with 1/8' stereo to RCA connectors to connect to my sound card. I use Sony sound forge and guitar pro for the mixing. I also use Finale for advanced composing and then mixing the sound files I create into the mix. You can add a whole orchestra to your bass mix. :)
     
  9. Droot

    Droot

    Dec 29, 2006
    Thanks for the replies. This stealth unit intrigues me, I will need to look into it. I was also considering modifying an old practice amp to use as a headphone only unit (the speaker is garbage anyway). Thanks for all the others too. If anybody else has a great way please feel free to jot it down for the rest of us to see.
    Thanks
    DRoot
     
  10. Billy K

    Billy K

    Nov 5, 2009
    North Bay Marin
    Wow I am also intriqued by this unit.Seems to be head and shoulders over anything the above posters recommended.The softwear that comes with it is unbelievable.Is there a negative out there?
     
  11. Droot

    Droot

    Dec 29, 2006
    Sadly that was what I found when I looked into it.

    Another suggestion I had gotten was to convert an old practice amp to a simple headphone only amp. The problem I run into is that I get a lot of noise from my computer outputs. Anybody know how to get around this?

    DRoot
     
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    dude - it's 100 bucks for the MAudio USB box - that the way to go. Easy and high quality.
     
  13. Interesting. I have had mine for 2.5 years and use it almost every night. Now I do have a Macbook Pro that I use it with. However I did for a while use it with a Vista laptop and still never had any issues.

    The only thing I use it for is practice and nothing more. That is the whole reason I bought it though.

    My .02


     
  14. Droot

    Droot

    Dec 29, 2006
    I am looking into the USB interfaces with some optimism. I am not sure which one at this point so a little reviewing is in order. The MAudio USB seems good, but the Tascam 100 looks good too.
    DRoot
     
  15. sleepytime

    sleepytime

    Nov 10, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    I hate computer peripherals. If you can score a used Digitech GNX4, that is a good option. It's what I use for late night practice. It has amp and cab models, and an extensive range of FX, though I don't use the FX. The B15/Portaflex model sounds pretty good. You can load mp3s onto a memory card (you can also record to the card). The sound is clear as a bell through headphones or studio monitors.

    You can pick one up for about $200 on ebay, and the things I listed only scratch the surface of what it can do.
     
  16. Droot

    Droot

    Dec 29, 2006
    Thanks for the reply. I already have a Boss GT10-b multi pedal that also sound fantastic when used as a practice unit. My problem is that I really want something smaller and with less cords to fool around with.
    DRoot
     
  17. dukaruk

    dukaruk

    Mar 12, 2008
    Saint Louis, MO
    My practice time is from about 10-Midnight most nights. I keep as quiet as possible so I don't wake up the baby/wife.

    Here's what i use:

    Line6 GX :

    http://www.music123.com/Line-6-Line-6-Pod-Studio-GX-with-Pod-Farm-250006-i1427099.Music123?source=ZWWRWXGB

    I have my earbuds give me one signal and a set of over ear headphones for another.

    I have changed back and forth on which signal. Lately I have been using the earbuds for the bass signal because those headphones are shorter. The over ear go into the computer to play music from itunes.

    edit: I have only ever had two problems with this unit. If I leave it plugged in long enough (days/weeks) it will stop responding and I just reboot the computer and all is good. Similarly, I have rarely seen it track slower than realtime, but it has happened. Reboot and all is good. (the first time this happened i spent hours trying to figure out why i was out of time when trying to record a bassline) These issues could just be my computer too.
     
  18. sleepytime

    sleepytime

    Nov 10, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    Guitar cord, power cord, headphones. How can you get simpler than that? Battery power would eliminate the power cord, I suppose.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.