Quick tips needed by noob

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by bammax, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. bammax

    bammax Guest

    Feb 1, 2012
    Here's where I'm at right now. I read through all the stickies and did some searching but didn't find quite the info I needed.

    I want to do some basic recording just so that I can keep track of changes made to my bass such as string changes or pickup changes. It's really just a way to monitor things as I go along modding so I know if the changes helped or hurt the sound. I'm trying to do this on a shoe string budget (under $100 if possible) and don't need anything fancy, but it has to be accurite enough to pick up on small changes such as changing string types from steel rounds to nylons. So here's where I need some major "pointing in the right direction" sort of info.

    Should I go from bass to mini-amp to line-in on the pc card, or should I go from the bass to one of those $40 usb interface things (Alesis GuitarLink 1/4-inch-to-USB Cable) and let it do the ampping for me? Or do I still need to use an amp with the usb thing since it's a passive bass? Or should I find an actual audio card made for recording and install that into the pc so that I can plug in directly? I'm thinking I know the answer and that it's going to be pricey, but maybe I'll get lucky and someone can find me the cheap way to accomplish my very basic goals.
  2. I'm thinking that most of those options would work for you. I'd go with the interface. Just take a chance with something. Or read some reviews on whatever you want to buy and how you want to use it.
  3. darius8

    darius8 Guest

    If your doing this just to record single bass tracks, the Alesis GuitarLink is good. Use that free Audicity software too.
  4. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    +1, although I'd replace Audacity with Reaper. It's a significantly better program for the same price.
  5. bammax

    bammax Guest

    Feb 1, 2012
    Would it be worthwhile to go with the M-audio Fast Track mkII instead of the Guitarlink? I'm trying to avoid running a pre-amp until I can save up enough for a good small amp. I figure this seems to have the built-in preamp plus a mic hookup and stuff so maybe it'll serve me for a longer period than just the guitar connector would. Am I overthinking this?
  6. Yup, I'd go for the interface. All the above you have mentioned are essentially very similar.

    They are all a preamp for the bass (but a recording amp, not to be confused with one that goes before a power amp in an amplifier!) that goes into a converter to make it ready for the computer.

    The long and short of it is the PC soundcard is not a good little preamp and the converters are bad and may well be laggy (though that can be fixed with a third party driver often).

    The Guitarlink is probably no more a budget preamp and converter than the one in the fasttrack, and it comes with an amp sim software to help your bass sound more like a recorded amp. This is just a free gift, and you can buy the amp sim software at any point (there are lots of choices from cheap to expensive)

    The extra cash for the fast track is most likely paying for the better routing options, extra inputs and the mic pre. So you are getting more features basically.

    Don't worry passive or active doesn't come into it, both will be fine with any of the options!

    I'd go for the fast track, not much more cash, more options for playing around with stuff later on down the line and you get Pro Tools SE with it IIRC which is pretty limited compared to proper pro tools but still very good. Or you can just download reaper and use it with that!