Soundblaster card

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by seanieb, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. Hey guys. I just hooked up my computer with the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS card. Does anyone have experience recording with this soundcard? It has ASIO inputs: line in, aux in, and midi inputs. It came with Cubasis. I think it is the free version. I have been messing around with it, trying to learn what it has to offer. Anyways my question is, what is the best way to record my bass? Should I run it from the line out thru my head? And is Cubasis any good or should I find another program to record with? Thanks!
  2. Cubasis is some pretty good sound software from what I hear, but I have no hands-on experience with it. And I have no idead about the Audigy 2 ZS.

    As far as recording your bass, alot of studios simply run the bass' instrument cable directly into the audio interface of the computer, or from the line out of the bass head. Not very many bother with micing the bass amp. I think this has to do alot with the lack of distortion that basses traditionally use (as opposed to guitars); distortion doesn't sound very natural coming directly from the guitar head as it does coming from the amp. Anybody else care to pitch in the reasons for typically recording directly from the bass?
  3. VS


    Jun 6, 2002
    Mountain City, Tennessee
    Discounted Gear: Peavey
    I don't care for recording directly from the bass or a balanced line out personally. True that recording through a microphone into a mixer and then into the sound card may be a pain to set up(and much more expensive),but I think the amplified sound is worth the hassle. -Luke
  4. HooBass


    May 27, 2003
    I quite liked Cubasis -- It was my "I wanna pay no more than entry level, have multiple audio tracks, and a MIDI sequencer all-in-one" software. It served me well. The manual, though thin, was good enough to explain what wasn't obvious just looking at the screen. I got a Steinberg card with my Cubasis software (it all came bundled and was called "Project Pack" or something like that). Note I only record one source at a time, so I'm set as long as there's very little latency when recording, the ability to play back a bunch of audio tracks simultaneously, and ability to sequence MIDI.

    I had problems with latency at first but that was my own doing, it turns out. I had my Steinberg Project card as input and my Soundblaster as output.

    It's plug-in friendly. I didn't like the fact it didn't come with a ton of "better" plug ins, but then again I paid what I consider very little.

    RE how best to record the bass -- definitely search around on this site. You’ll find a variety of folks with experience. From my recollection of their views, you'll see a lot of folks suggesting running direct AND mic'ing a cabinet *simultaneously*. This would be to get the best of both worlds, and to mix the two later. I have had considerably difficulty getting what I consider good tone going direct (actually via a POD), but have made headway recently by getting a different bass and just going through a cheap mixer where I adjust the EQ a bit.

  5. I have tried micing my cabinet, but I didn't like it much. I couldn't get a sound I liked. I have an old POD that I could dust off and use as a DI, I suppose. I haven't really messed with it much to know if I can get a good tone from that. My GK head has an XLR line out, does that work the same as a DI? I haven't really tried it yet.
  6. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Pretty much. Every head has a slightly different line out arangement. Some allow you to go pre or post preamp, some allow you to alter the signal strength. All give a balanced output the same as a Di would. Certainly worth a try.
  7. Well I tried running through the line out on my amp, and it works good except that I am getting a buzz. My bass has active pick ups so I don't know if that is part of the problem. Or it might be the XLR cable I am using...
  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I hate diagnosong buzzes. There's too many possible causes. I'll go through the main ones quickly.......

    Does the line out have a button that says something like "Ground Lift". A DI will certainly have one.

    Try a new cable.

    Are you feeding the cable phantom power? If so turn if off.

    Make sure there arent any other devices pluged into the same circuit that may drain a lot of power. At a gig, lights would be the prime suspect but at home, it could be any of your major appliances.

    This one's a bit out of left field - one of my basses buzzes in the studio (it's active). I can cure it by turning and facing 90 degrees from my original position. I'm sure I need to fix up the shielding but it's an old bass that's not worth the trouble.
  9. Yea I realized part of the buzz was taken away when I hit the ground lift button, but there was still another buzz. I tried running the amp through a mixer and then into the computer and that eliminated the buzz. Thanks for all the help guys. Now I am just having trouble with keeping the volume at a steady level. I don't have a compressor or anything like that, unless there is something built into Cubasis.