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Suggestions for practicing with a laptop

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by rainbownorth, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Hi guys,

    I've been doing a bit of research as to how this would work, as my current setup has wires everywhere. It's just not practical to run a full cab in my house, especially when there's 5 other people in the house, and I have to pack my rig up each week for practice anyway. I'm thinking about using my laptop with something like band-in-a-box (which I've heard good things about but never used), and some sort of hardware that I can use to connect my guitar to my computer. The less cords, the less hassle, the less money spent, the better. Any suggestions for hardware? It has to be available in New Zealand is the only proviso. And I'm willing to fork out a little more for something that is good, reliable and/or portable.

    Surely someone will have some input, I know it's probably been asked before, but products get discontinued all the time, so I figured it would be worth asking again for a fresh answer.

  2. Swipter


    Sep 7, 2009
    If your bass head has a headphone jack, get a Y connector and plug it in to the laptop headphone jack. Run one stereo male/female cable to each side of the Y. Use s 1/4 adapter to plug in to your amp headphone jack. Plug your bass in to your amp. Plug your headphones in to the other cable going to the Y adapter.
  3. Swipter


    Sep 7, 2009
    Make sure you get stereo cables for the Y and a stereo Y if there is an option. If not you will only hear sound in one ear. Don't ask me how I know. Radio Shack has the cables.
  4. Sweet! That's an easy fix. I was thinking this would be a hellishly expensive solution. I did not think of this. And yes my head is a Streamliner 900 with a headphone jack, so that'll work pretty well.
  5. Ideally, if I could, I would remove the head altogether and plug direct into the laptop. Is there anything that could allow me to do that?
  6. Perhaps a small basic pre-amp? I'm not sure but if you have an active bass the output may be sufficient to drive the laptops audio inputs. Try it, if it doesn't work or is not loud enough you need a pre-amp.
  7. Yeah all of my basses are passive.
  8. if money is tight and you have a little diy blood a cheap usb powered pre could be fashioned
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
  10. That one does look very simple two fingers, thanks! I'm not well versed enough in electronic DIY to manage making a pre to be honest bassmeknik. The desire is there, just not the knowledge ;)
  11. Thanks bigjohn! Theres no reviews of it on either site. I assume you guys have tried/owned it? Any problems? Or generally pretty reliable?
  12. Swipter


    Sep 7, 2009
    Would a preamp pedal work? I have an Eden WTDI. That is powered. I wonder if something like that could work into the cable thing I said before.
  13. The closest I have that could work is a tech21 vt bass amp modeler. It's great, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work that way. Although apparently it is safe and compatible at more than just line level.
  14. Zillion ways .... Korg pandora.... Line 6.... Vox amplug...Recording interfaces.... Small mixers.... All cheap
  15. Swipter


    Sep 7, 2009
    I also have this thing called a pocket rocket that I bought when I was trying to learn to play electric guitar. It plugs straight in to your bass, has a headphone jack (1/8 inch) and aux input. The aux is designed for an MP3 player, or such. I will be using this with my iPad, headphones and a 1/8 inch stereo cable plugged and my bass to practice with YouTube. That is about as portable as you can get.
  16. Swipter


    Sep 7, 2009

    Here is the link. Mine is like 12 years old so it looks a lot different.
  17. Ok so there's a lot of options. I guess it would be good at this point to refine what I'm looking for. I want to be able to play either backing tracks or covers through a laptop with a single pair of headphones, so all signals coming through a laptop. I dont have an ipod, and Im not going to shell out for an mp3 player. So direct to laptop would be ideal, or bass>phono/preamp>laptop, something like that. Which probably means the first couple of suggestions were closest to the mark.
  18. Look for a digital interface. An M-Audio fast track will take one cable from your bass and then a USB cable to your laptop. It will be used as a soundcard (meaning you won't have to worry if yours is good) and should come with Pro Tools light. Then you can set it to monitor. You will probably need headphones with a quarter inch jack, but this is the fastest solution to what you want with the least amount of hassle. If you want to play over backing tracks or covers, you just need to have that file and then you can open it in pro Tools and play over it.
  19. Yeah I pretty much had figured this would be the best idea, based on feedback from this thread. The line 6 pod studios are fairly easy to find here so I may end up with one of them, probably the GX or UX1.