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Recording your Bass and Guitar via XLR

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by RumbleMan3, Jul 11, 2018.


  1. RumbleMan3

    RumbleMan3

    Apr 14, 2018
    Australia
    I have a focusrite scarlett 2i2 interface. I don't want to mic up my cabs and they say you can use the XLR on your amps for speakers or for recording to an interface. Bass amp is a fender rumble 100 and Guitar amp is a fender champion 40.
    Is it alright to record XLR to XLR is that what they are designed to do?
     
  2. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    That’s what it is for. DI our of your amp to the XLR input of the Scarlett. It’s all very straightforward.
     
    RumbleMan3 likes this.
  3. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    you may have to pad the level down.
    they make xlr to 1/4" cables as well.
     
  4. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Your Fender Rumble 100 has an XLR line out. Use a mic cable to connect this to your interface. You can also just plug your bass directly into the Scarlett with a 1/4" cable.

    The Champion 40 does not have any line level out that I'm aware of. The only output jack is a 1/8" headphone output. You could use a 1/8" to 1/4" cable to run into the Scarlett. Here is a brief article about using a headphone out to feed a line input. Headphone outputs used as line outputs for line level gear | Sweetwater The other option would be to put a DI which can handle speaker level inputs between your amp and speaker (or in place of the speaker). As the speaker wire is hard wired on the amp end, this would take a bit of DIY to make work. The other guitar option is to record direct and then use amp sim plugins.
     
  5. RumbleMan3

    RumbleMan3

    Apr 14, 2018
    Australia
    i thought so, and thats what ive been doing! But i told my mate about me recording and stuff (and he has done recording and MIDI and all that stuff in the past, so he has a bit of experience) and he said "xlr to xlr... might not be the best idea..." and never told me why. I thought it didnt matter, thats what they were designed to do. So i thought i might ask you guys to see what you guys do. :thumbsup:
     
  6. RumbleMan3

    RumbleMan3

    Apr 14, 2018
    Australia
    oh. thats odd i thought i saw an xlr out on my champion?...
    ...
    on the other hand maybe i didn't! :smug:

    so i guess that takes care of that...

    yeah i heard some people plugging their guitars and basses direct into the scarlett via 1/4" and playing thru amp sims on their computer? how does this work and how do i record it aswell?

    thanks
     
  7. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Typically you record your guitar direct into the box. Due to latency, it is better to just record the direct signal. Then you can adjust the amp sim when you're mixing. Once you have the tone dialed in for the mix, you can use your DAW to render that track, which will give you a WAV file with the amp simulation. Paste it into a new channel and use it just like any recorded track. You can also not render the guitar until the final mix is rendered, if your computer has the processing power and RAM to handle everthing. Other plugins you are using will have some effect on this.

    The big problem with this is not having a representative sound while recording. If you're recording something that has a cruchy guitar sound, and you're listening to a clean guitar track, it may effect your performance. Trying to monitor the amp sim while playing live can have latency problems, which makes it awkward to play. You could record a direct signal, but monitor from your headphone out on your amp. Or take the headphone out into the second channel of your interface. Try a few experiments and see what is best for your workflow.
     
  8. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    Plug your 1/4" into the Scarlett. Set the input of a channel in your recording software (aka DAW) as whichever input you have your instrument plugged in to. Record and monitor enable the track and you should be able to hear your instrument.

    You might want an amp modelling software. Positive Grid Bias is popular, but not so cheap. There are plugins that are available for free. Just Google "guitar amp model plug in" and there are quite a few that are free. It just has to work with your recording software--depending on whether you're on a Windows or Mac machine and what software you're using, you'll need either the VST, AU, AAX, or possibly RTAS version of any given plugin (read more about plugin formats here).

    Once the plug-in is installed, you instantiate it on the channel that your bass/ guitar is on. You'll be able to hear the difference instantly. Now, it is of note that setup this way, you will be recording the instrument sound dry, but it is essentially played back through the amp modeler--any changes you make to the amp model will change the tone until you bounce the track.
     
  9. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
  10. Aloe

    Aloe

    Apr 10, 2016
    Ukraine
    Scarlett indeed has a nice DI. You can try to record both just in your audio interface, as well as through your amp's DI. And then just see which of them you like the best. (you may need some EQ and compression in your DAW and that's ok)

    I had a Fender Rumble and it had a decent DI. It was always post every knob on the amp, that part required some attention to set it up. I believe, bass to this song was recorded from my Rumble 100's DI.

    I have a bunch of DIs, but Scarlett's built in is very nice, as is the Rumble's one. Find out, what works better for you since you actually have two of them.

    P.S. by Scarlett's DI I don't mean actually turning on the `inst' mode on the channel, for me it works better to plug an instrument without changing the channel to `inst'. However, if your instrument is passive, try both options.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  11. Aloe

    Aloe

    Apr 10, 2016
    Ukraine
    they indeed do, but it's almost every time not the best thing to do. xlr is balanced, instrumental cable is not.

    so xlr-to-xlr and 1/4-to-1/4 cables are nice, but when you want to convert balanced signal to unbalanced without a DI in between, you'd likely be not satisfied.
     
  12. Aloe

    Aloe

    Apr 10, 2016
    Ukraine
    well, an amp sim is not something you definitely need when recording bass direct. sometimes a touch of EQ and compressor will do it. guitar guys tend to like amp simps more than bass guys, but I record my guitars direct and that's it.

    you may want amp sim if you need some character overdrive or something like this, but one can record his basses and guitars directly. and then apply some amp/cab simulator or even re-amp it (play back the signal to amp and record it back).

    some people like amp sims in their amps/pedals or in software, some don't. important is: what sound are you chasing and how can you get it. this said, I did not like any digital amp simulator I did try (I had units from Fender, Yamaha, Line6 and Zoom), going direct is better for me. I have a digital pre-amp though, but sometimes use it, sometimes not.
     
  13. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    that's isn't quite correct. 1/4" cables do come with both balanced and unbalanced connectors. one can also send a non differential signal via XLR. maybe in your experience it hasn't been good "almost every time", however XLR to TRS 1/4" is a common cable.
     
  14. Aloe

    Aloe

    Apr 10, 2016
    Ukraine
    I know that. However, it does not seem like OP's bass guitar provides a balanced signal (although those ones exist as well, but they typically use XLR), so I don't think this is relevant.

    Also true, but the OP has both XLR balanced and 1/4 unbalanced inputs, a XLR balanced DI out from his amp and a 1/4 unbalanced on his bass guitar, so I don't really think, a XLR to 1/4" adapter is a good advice in his case anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
    rufus.K likes this.
  15. rufus.K

    rufus.K

    Oct 18, 2015
    SoCal
    fair enough
     

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