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Recording Bass into Cubase SX

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by damo2576, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. damo2576


    Aug 9, 2004

    I'm new to bass and recording into Cubase, though not to Cubase in general.

    What I want to do is plug my Bass into my soundcard.

    I presume I need a DI box? My bass is passive, my soundcard is an Audiophile 24/96 - the audio ins are RCA so I need an XLR to RCA cable to run from the DI to the sound card?

    Does anyone have any experience of latency I can expect, my pc is p4 3.2, 1gb ram etc, sound card is midiman audiophile. Should I be able to run insert effect in Cubase with that spec?

    Does anyone have any experience of how a clean signal will sound routed through Cubase and out of monitors (Alesis M1 Mk2 Actives)? I guess the freq response is low enough? I expect it to sound better than my orange crush practice amp?

    Also any pointers on how to actually set up cubase to record, input settings etc would be gratefully received - ive never done that before.

    Wow. Sorry for the rambling post, I'm trying to get everything sorted in my head before I buy the DI box.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Hey! We have very similar setups so i should be able to help.

    Firstly, a 24/96 is almost latency free, it's the analogue/digital converters in the soundcard that 'create' the latency (unless your running LOADS of effects in cubase) so you should be fine.

    Depending on how high a quality you want you might not need a DI box. If your just recording to show friends or practice to etc. then you could probably get away with coming out your amps line out and into the cards phono inputs. Otherwise a DI box would be best.

    DI box's are fairly cheap and provide a usable clean sound, however they can loose some of the 'impact' of the bass sound because your not actually moving any air. most/allot of studio engineers mix a DI form the bass with a mic signal. If you can afford a mic this is the way to go but it's not vital to get a usable sound for your own purposes.

    My set up is as follows and I can get a good bass sound out of it -

    trace amp with DI out + Rode NT-1 condenser mike + sure sm-57

    going into 1, 2 and 3 of a little (were talking £30) mixer

    mixer main out going to soundcard, recording into cubase.

    Aim to get the level you record at as near to 'the red' as possible withput it ever going into it, cubase is very easy to record in, make sure the delta asio driver is selected as your input source in vst inputs and your sorted. you should hear sound as soon as you press the 'pre-fade' or 'monitor' button on the track youre recording on.

    good luck!
  3. damo2576


    Aug 9, 2004
    cheers for advice! DI box just arrived, will let you know how i get on!


  4. damo2576


    Aug 9, 2004

    Got it all working, but for some reason the sound I get out is very low - where can I adjust the level for input? Within cubase I can only find the mixer faders - is there on for input? Or within the delta control panel the faders are already at max?

    Any ideas? I think I am missing something. Never recorded audio in cubase before so any pointers would be helpful!


  5. damo2576


    Aug 9, 2004
    by the way I am plugging my bass straight into di box then into soundcard - do I need to plug phones out of amp into di box perhaps?

    ideally i dont want to use amp at all? can i amp signal within cubase?


  6. To be honest mate I can't help you there, my amp has the DI built in so I just come straight out of that and it's usually a good level. Are you going bass-DI box-Soundcard because if you are then theres no point at which your signal is being amplified, hence low volume. You could always set a shortcut in cubase for 'normalize to -1db', so whenever you record something you can quickly bring it up to the optimum level, although if it's a VERY quiet signal your getting it may introduce a bit of hiss.

    Try going bass-amp-di box-souncard. If your amp has a line out socket, it may not be perfect but it should still be good and also amplified.

    If you can't get a satisfactory sound like this it may be worth investing in a little mixer, i got mine for about £30, and as well as being useful it should bump your signal up a bit, ie, go from DI box-mixer-souncard.

    hope that helps!

  7. damo2576


    Aug 9, 2004
    Yep, I'm going bass-DI box-Soundcard. Hmmm, makes sense why sig is low.

    Tell me, how do I "You could always set a shortcut in cubase for 'normalize to -1db'"????

    Thanks for quick reply!

  8. Normalize is a function where the the waveform is analyzed, and then amplified (within the program) so that it's as loud as it will go without any clipping or distortion. found under audio/process it's like 'gain' but it doesn't let you amplify it too much, because instead of telling the program how much to increase volume your telling the program to keep increasing volume untill...

    normalize to -1db means it will make the loudest sound get to -1db before clipping (which occurs past 0db), at -1db you have a bit of 'headroom' should you add effects afterwards that increase the volume.

    If you're going to be doing it allot then go to file/key commands, select normalize in the processes list and then type the key you want to use. now you can just click on a waveform and press your key of choice and it will normalize it!
  9. Regarding the input level not being very hot, do you not have any control over the input gain on your soundcard? Either on the card itself or with windows volume control?
  10. I'm kind of a novice at recording but I've had pretty good results running a bass into a DI then the DI into a $60 Behringer mixer.
  11. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    BTW, you likely wont get a great sound going DI from a passive bass. In my own experiences, using a mixer with a pre-amp, or a Line-Out (not headphones out) from an amp will utilize your Pre and get you a strong enough signal to record clean. Going DI, the signal is pretty weak and you might get muddy tones from it.

    BTW, we use the same mixer as the above poster, little $60 Behringer.

    You can hear clips in my sig to my songs. I just leave the EQ flat so I dont get any tone shaping from the mixer, but use the pre-amp built in to get the signal boost needed. Passive basses tend to put out about 1mA, as opposed to a Pre-Amp signal or Active bass producing about 1A.
  12. I had a similar problem with my setup except that I was using the line out from my amp (ashdown) direct to the sound card (Audiophile 24/96) I resolved it by using a small mixer (mine cost me £50) it works like a dream now
  13. I have had similar problems.

    Solution, running my active bass with everything set to full. Or better solution was to run my bass into my SWR amp and take a FX send into the sound card. I could control the volume with the gain on the amp. Check out www.benlegge.biz for the results.

    I don't think you need a D.I. for your set up. What you need is a preamp,..... either one in your bass (active electronics) or an external one (like you amp) or something like the Sadowsky (http://www.sadowsky.com/pages/framesets/fs_preamp.html).
  14. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    In the control panel for your midiman card should be an input level control. I can't remember the mixer in sx (I use sx2) but there are input level controls in cubase on the left side of the mixer. If you are getting a pretty clean signal that normalize thing will work, it will also amplify noise if there is any though.

    The mixer and amp DI that poeple are talking about act as preamps. That will give you more control over your sound precomputer (eq and such). Either that or you can use a preamp designed for bass (I use a sansamp). Be careful though, especially amp direct out are not always that quiet.
  15. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    I have a Layla 24/96 soundcard (8 channels) and front-end it with a Focusrite Octopre, which has 2 'super channels' that provide instrument inputs. I got mine with the ADAT option for $750 on Ebay.