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Problems recording bass

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Acrimonus, Sep 24, 2010.


  1. Acrimonus

    Acrimonus

    Jan 18, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I've tried hooking my bass directly up to my computer with garbage results, I can't get it loud enough. I use an Ibanez GSR 205. Is there a (cheap) way to get around this?

    Also, I have a USB recorder, however along with the horrific delay (unbearable, it's half a second), if I turn the bass up to an appropriate level it is BADLY overdriven. It sounds ok coming out of the output from the USB DAC (and there is no delay there either) but if I hear from the computer what is coming in from the DAC it is delayed is very overdriven. Is my bass just too hot for this DAC? Any (again, cheap) options to get around this? I'm a new bassist, I don't want to spend large amounts of money into bass equipment until I'm better and know this is what I want to do.

    I would prefer a solution to the first issue rather than the second though, recording directly through my sound card (Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1 sound card, pretty good piece, very recommended on places like overclock.net in their audiophile section), instead of just letting it sit there and go to waste!
     
  2. MonkeyBass

    MonkeyBass

    Mar 22, 2009
    Denver, CO
    Cheap? How much?

    Recording equipment = $$$$$
     
  3. Acrimonus

    Acrimonus

    Jan 18, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Cheap enough to hear sound that mostly intelligible, tone doesn't matter, I'm a beginner, I just want to hear noises that don't crackle or are overdriven (unless specifically looking for overdrive!)
     
  4. MonkeyBass

    MonkeyBass

    Mar 22, 2009
    Denver, CO
    Well, I'm not sure about the cheaper gear. You might get a better answer from someone else here but I'd say start by googling a 1 or 2 channel USB interface.

    Another option is the Line 6 Tone Port stuff. They're pretty cheap and great practice tool as well. Probably $200 or so, maybe less. I'm not sure.
    http://line6.com/podstudiogx/
     
  5. Acrimonus

    Acrimonus

    Jan 18, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Preference would be non USB interfaces first, I'd like to exhaust those options before I go into USB.
     
  6. Etienned

    Etienned

    Jul 16, 2010
    Montréal
    My amp's DI goes right into my computer's mic input.
    (xlr -» mono 1/4 -» 1/8)
    Audacity gives me decent recordings, good enough to hear what I need to work on. I just pay attention to the recording volume to avoid clipping and distorsion, but otherwise, its fine and fun.
     
  7. Acrimonus

    Acrimonus

    Jan 18, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    The DI from the amp bypasses the amplification right? Not the same as taking the headphone out and plugging it into the sound card right? Heh.

    Could I use a stand alone DI box to the same effect? Is the bass's signal at too high of an impedance for the sound card to pick up at a decent volume therefore using a DI would fix it?
     
  8. Etienned

    Etienned

    Jul 16, 2010
    Montréal
    Not really.
    On a pjb briefcase, volume knob does not affect the di output , therefore I do not have to bend behind my amp to unplug the speakers for some stealthmode practice late at night or while my wife is studying. Plugging headphone in does not disable the speaker. So I turn the volume to 0 on the amp, and use the comp to mix the bass with the metronome and backing tracks.
     
  9. DoubleD

    DoubleD

    Jul 23, 2009
    Southern Indiana
    If your amp has a headphone out, you should be able to run that into the LINE-IN on your computer (NOT Mic in) and capture with audacity.

    Or, as someone else suggested, use the DI out on your amp to a High to Low Z converter (to get 1/4") and a 1/4" -> 1/8" adapter. Plug that into your computer (probably via LINE-IN but if it's a low signal you could use mic in).

    Or, you could get a cheap Yamaha MG102C mixer (should be able to find one used for under $80. http://cgi.ebay.com/YAMAHA-MG102C-1...718?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a1e92bd6

    I recommend that last option as you can add more stuff later with a mixer and it all runs via stereo RCA jacks into the line-in of your PC. If you need effects, get the MG102CX version, for about $20 more.

    We use a MG12/4FX (older version of the same mixer) to record our whole band during practice.
     
  10. Acrimonus

    Acrimonus

    Jan 18, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Would this not damage the sound card? The sound card line in is supposed to pick up line in level power, not a headphone out on an amp!

    My amp doesn't have a DI out :( Cheapie little Fender rumble 30.
     
  11. DoubleD

    DoubleD

    Jul 23, 2009
    Southern Indiana
    Yes, you are right about the signal strength from the headphone amp. You shouldn't damage your soundcard, but it will be too strong of a signal. My brain must have farted when I was thinking through that.

    Just get a mixer and run direct into the mixing board, or get a cheap microphone and mic your amp.
     
  12. lowfreqgeek

    lowfreqgeek

    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    You won't likely find "cheap" and non-USB together in one product. If you're concerned about latency with the USB, I can tell you that something like a Line6 Toneport won't be an issue. The audio is monitored directly so there is no delay. If you monitor through your DAW, then that's another story...
     
  13. jimmyjames77

    jimmyjames77 Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Just West of Chicago
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    To record into your computer 1st you need a good sound card. Most sound cards are good for output but poor for input. Try a M-audio sound card. Then you need a good mixer. I use a Tascam tape deck as my mixer. It has 3 band eq with sweepable mids.

    How I record is First I go into my pedal board, then into a combo amp, then into the tascam mixer then into the m-audio sound card.

    This is what it sounds like.

    http://www.3dentourage.com/425/eb0-1.mp3

    http://www.3dentourage.com/425/Marshall-guv-2.mp3
     
  15. DoubleD

    DoubleD

    Jul 23, 2009
    Southern Indiana
    Yea, I'd just get a cheap mixer. The yamaha MG series is pretty good, especially when you can pick a small one up for about $60 on ebay.

    You'll find lots of uses for it.
     
  16. MonkeyBass

    MonkeyBass

    Mar 22, 2009
    Denver, CO
    Yes, there is no latency with the Toneport.
     
  17. Acrimonus

    Acrimonus

    Jan 18, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't understand how this would be a possibility. USB is a laggy interface especially when you have lots of other devices connected to it. I have a desktop mic, power hungry keyboard, bandwidth hungry mouse (3000 dpi IR), with all of these things my overhead on the USB controller is huge.
     
  18. Acrimonus

    Acrimonus

    Jan 18, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    You is not a speakin' Engrish anymoar.

    Clarify? I don't understand what this means. Do you mean monitoring the bass through the computer's audio system with the input from the bass going into the USB audio interface?

    If that's the case I can get non laggy response playing the bass through my tascam crappy little USB interface too, however both the latency when recording (If I am playing along to a backing track from the computer) is prominent and also the volume of the bass from the recording perspective is extremely limited for some reason. If I turn it up to a level that is decently audible I get huge overdrive.

    I use http://www.tascam.com/product/us-100/specifications/

    is my bass (GSR-205) too hot for this interface?
     
  19. Headphone level is suitably close enough to line level that it should go into most decent line inputs ok. As long as the line input goes 'low enough', (ie has enough headroom on input). If not, a 'pad' in line with the input will sort that out for small money.

    A modern USB device should be able to get very low latency, low enough to work with at least, even with a lot of other usb things plugged in. However you need to SET the latency to be low, on the drivers control panel. Sometimes with some soundcards it defaults to quite a high setting, leading new users to think that there interface is 'high latency' when really it is just a settings issue.

    regarding lowfreqgeek's post, yeah 'non-usb' is geting into the 'not cheap' realm. You CAN get some cheap PCI interfaces if your computer has a free pci slot but otherwise it will be a firewire interface, thats where money starts to increase a bit. I'm not familier with a toneport but if lowfreqgeek is correct in his statement then it means this -

    The toneport features hardware monitoring, ie a way to send the signal IN to the speaker OUTS, WITHIN the interface. Like a hardwired 'thru' that can be turned on (kinda like true bypass on pedals, but with different implications). The alternative is 'software monitoring' where the computer program is in charge of what-signal-goes-where entirely. with a software monitoring solution you are always going to have to deal with the latency of your setup (the computer takes time to process the signal in and signal out info), though this can be gotten VERY low with decent setups.

    The big issue with latency is getting monitoring latency low. Ie, what you hear back while in record. This is important to be able to play happily while monitoring off of your setup and even little latencies can be a big put off to the discerning performer.

    The other forms of latency are very easily fixable, and normally down to an option in the program somewhere. If you can monitor ok (ie when ou play there is not that bad latency listening back), but the tracks are shifted when you listen back to them then it sounds like you have accidently de-selected 'adjust for record latency' in a preferences menu somewhere or similar. I'm pretty sure all programs have this option these days as its so fundamental, and by default it should be ON.

    As for levels/distortion, thats a little trickier. define 'listenable level'. You can record quietly and then turn your speakers up, thats a listenable level! getting the finished track to a simialr-to-CD level is a whole diferent process and not one to worry about when you are recording the raw tracks. If you can get the meters hitting 2 3rds of the way up the scale without distortion then that is fine. If the audio distorts even when the soundcard's input meter is showing a tiny level then that shows mis-match somehwere, quite possibly the bass is overloading the line-amp. In that case a DI with a pad on it (most have one) going into a mic input is the solution, and is the normal 'tried and tested' way to record direct bass anyway!

    Its difficult to tell whether your issue is a real fault or just a case of getting used to 'how to record'. remember all the level controlls on the way into the computer are nothing to do (really) with how 'loud' you hear your bass, they are about getting a good healthy signal to the computer. If your bass is too quiet when tracking but the input signal is good, then you simply need to adjust the volume of the stuff that is on OUTPUT, ie turn your speakers amp up!
     
  20. Acrimonus

    Acrimonus

    Jan 18, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Lots of good information there, I thought I read things that were relative to what I was looking for in the recording 101 sticky but apparently I didn't get everything! I did not know recording programs had compensate for recording latency. I was trying to match them up manually!

    Also, if you click the link that I put to the interface that I use (US-100) in my previous post, I have to turn my basses knobs WAY down, nearly all the way, just a touch up from minimum. And on the interface I have the middle knob balanced all the way to the left for input so everything I hear is from the bass and nothing I hear comes from the computer and I have the output knob on the right all the way maxed to up the volume that goes to my headphones as much as possible. It's extremely quiet, as in barely audible. If I turn up the input knob on the device past like the second notch or turn my bass up (or a combination of the two) I get nasty distortion because apparently the input is way over 0dB and over the maximum. However I cannot HEAR the bass clearly because it is so quiet coming out of the interface! Any thoughts?
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Mar 5, 2021

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