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What does your bass sound like when plugged straight into a computer?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by b4nny, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. b4nny


    Aug 24, 2008
    Bellevue, WA, USA
    The reason I'm asking is that mine doesn't sound spectacular pre-EQ and I want to get something to compare it to—a frame of reference. Are basses supposed to sound good when recorded straight from the pickups, no DI box, with no effects at all? Please post clips along with the type of bass. No EQ, no compression, no reverb, just the bass!

    Here's my Squier Jazz bass.
    As I said, I don't think it sounds that great, but I don't know if it really should. (GR flatwounds and pickups wired in series rather than the traditional parallel)
  2. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    it sounded bad, like it had dead strings or weak undefined pickups i guess
  3. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    In a word, no.

    A line-level input is typically about 10 Kohms, an instrument-level input on an amp is more like 1 Mohm. The pickup can't drive a low impedance well - the inductance of the coil is a high impedance at higher frequencies, so it blocks the high frequencies and lets lower frequencies through. That's why amps are designed to have such a high input impedance. The load impedance also affects the resonance of the pickup, and that resonance is what gives a pickup a distinctive tone. Mess with that and it will sound "like it had dead strings or weak undefined pickups."

    Get yourself a small tube preamp that has an instrument input. Keep an eye on the TB classifieds and you should be able to pick up something in the $100-150 range. If you're lucky (and I don't see it first) you should be able to get an ART Tube Channel, with preamp, compressor and EQ.
  4. keyofnight


    Jun 3, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    That sounds like a lot of digital clipping to me. I would give you a file, but my sound card has instrument level inputs so it isn't a good comparison.
  5. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    wimpy wimpy wimpy (as in not enough signal)
  6. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Sounds like the bass played on a keyboard (to me). Clipping definitely is there. I'd upload a clip of mine, but many ears have bled enough.
  7. eloann


    May 14, 2012
    I no longer go directly in the computer, but I used to for quite a while. You can take a look at my covers : http://www.youtube.com/user/eloann - the gear is in the descriptions (though I forgot to mention a Vox amplug on a couple vids)
  8. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    I have a Lightsnake - USB -> 1/4". Does not sound impressive.

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