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What Exactly Do You Need For Recording?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Mr Cheese, Apr 14, 2021.


  1. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese

    Nov 8, 2019
    New York, USA
    What do you need to record your bass? I'd like to start recording, and I'm getting a computer for it. I know you need a DAW, (I've looked at Cakewalk, Reaper, and Garage Band) but beyond that I'm lost. An interface, a di...both? A mic? What exactly do you need, and what are your recommended products for recording bass? (Looking for an option that won't leave flies in my wallet.) I get 15% off any item over $49 at GC, but it only lasts a few more days, so I'd like to get one of the pieces needed to record soon.
     
  2. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    The only thing you need is a way to get the signal from your bass into your computer. Most consumer interfaces will do that just fine. Just plug your bass into the instrument input on the interface and you're set.

    The only reason to put anything between your bass and the interface is if you want to change the sound. You can put an FX pedal, a bass preamp, or a full SVT with a mic. Unless you have a good sounding room (treated with bass traps, broadband absorption and/or diffusers, I'd avoid micing an amp. The sound you get will be much harder to work with, and it won't sound like "your amp" anyway.

    For interfaces, Audient, Motu, Focusrite, Presonus and numerous others all make good sounding units that are reasonably priced.
     
    TomB, Bonsist, LBS-bass and 9 others like this.
  3. AceOfBassFace

    AceOfBassFace

    Jun 23, 2019
    Toronto
    I recommend Reaper for sure - inexpensive and very easy to use. Logic is great for Mac, and comes with hundreds of high quality plugins - both effects and instruments.

    I found an external pre-amp to be almost essential since a dry direct bass signal is kinda uninspiring to play. I'm using a Tech 21 VT-Bass DI. However, if you don't mind recording with a dry signal, you can easily add effects and eq in your DAW.

    Some decent headphones and near-field monitors, while not essential, will really up the enjoyability factor, and improve your final product. Same goes for acoustically treating your recording room.

    Do you have a budget in mind? Would help for gear recommendations.
     
  4. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    @Mr Cheese I’m not a whole lot further down this road than you are, but I’m getting somewhere. @Frank Tuesday is correct that all you need is an interface, unless (I have found) you’re using an acoustic guitar pickup; even if you aren’t, though, you’ll probably want a preamp and/or DI for tone shaping. Since I am recording acoustic guitars using a pickup, I need something to get a usable signal, and have settled on the @tech21nyc SansAmp Para Driver DI. This one little box really does it all on an ordinary 9v power supply. Para Driver into interface into Reaper, and I’m sounding like a band. You can go a million ways with recording, but this seems like a great way to start.
     
    LowActionHero and Mr Cheese like this.
  5. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    Yup. So unless you want to dive into plug-ins right away, you’ll want some sort of preamp and/or DI.
     
    RyanSaranich, LBS-bass and Mr Cheese like this.
  6. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese

    Nov 8, 2019
    New York, USA
    So your saying I should get an interface and a DI?
     
  7. I’m a big fan of the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, you can get them new for like $150. Great quality and it actually comes with some additional software, I believe Pro Tools LE and Ableton, but could be wrong.
    I use an AxeFX for my main audio device (interface) but still use the Focusrite for anything requiring a mic. My wife just bought one for her voiceover work as well.

    I’ll preface this by saying that I’m a huge Apple/Mac fanboy, due to years of working with PC’s that would die or need troubleshooting randomly. It’s been 14 years on a Mac and *ZERO* problems (just don’t update OSX’s unless you HAVE to!). Others have had wonderful experiences with PC’s and hats off to them.

    That said, if someone were to ask me where to start with a DAW, I’d point them towards GarageBand, which is just a stripped down version of Logic. I was blown away when I opened it over the weekend while setting up my wife’s studio. I used to use it before I went to Logic and they’ve done quite a bit of work on it since then. It’s remarkably intuitive and has some basic plug-ins that you can use to start showing yourself the ropes. If you really enjoy it, it’s a breeze upgrading to Logic and you won’t have to start fresh, learning a new DAW.

    The GREAT thing about recording direct is that you can tweak all your tones after you record them. There are tons of amp sims out there, I was using Amplitube 4 before I got my AxeFX, but I’d open 2 tracks, one for the amp sim and one for a DI, record them both at the same time and then tweak to taste. Until you print (bounce) that track with the sim on it down, you can tweak it anyway you want, change amps, add effects, etc. Until then, it’s a regular DI.

    Building a studio was the best thing I ever did for myself as a musician. I learned more about myself as a musician as a result and had no clue I was capable of writing full songs on every instrument until I actually did it. If I’m not at work, I can be found in my studio until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.

    Have fun, man!!
     
    TomB, 31HZ, noeinstein and 3 others like this.
  8. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    Absolutely an interface (I have the Presonus, but I have nothing to compare it to), almost definitely a DI. I tried the MXR Ten-Band EQ and had things sounding okay, but the Para Driver just made everything so much easier.
     
    Mr Cheese likes this.
  9. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese

    Nov 8, 2019
    New York, USA
    Sorry for all the questions (I'm a complete noob on recording) but what cords do you need for the interface and DI? And what order do you plug in? Is it bass into interface into DI into computer?
     
    12BitSlab likes this.
  10. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    Hey Doc!

    Here is what I recommend.

    1. Watch this youtube video series:
    2. Buy a Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen, $120
    3. Buy a microphone: SM58® - Dynamic Vocal Microphone - Shure $100 ( I have a few)
    4. Get a decent set of headphones -or-
    5. Invest in some decent mixing monitors (Look at Presonus Eris for example) $100
    6. If you really want better vocals or acoustic recording get a decent condenser mic:
    Download a DAW (Reaper is popular and fine. I use Pro Tools)
    Dive in and have fun! It is a rabbit hole. I live there now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
  11. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    I just edited my post to add that you need good headphones and/or near-field monitors.
     
    Mr Cheese likes this.
  12. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    You don't need a DI in addition to the interface. I've recorded my basses going directly into my interface (Presonus USB) with good results. But as you get more into the recording process, you may find you want a DI to go between the bass and the interface.
     
    Basslice and Mr Cheese like this.
  13. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese

    Nov 8, 2019
    New York, USA
    Thank for the tips! Greatly appreciated, I'm starting to understand it now. By the by, I'm Mr. Cheese, you must be thinking of Dr. Cheese.
     
    Basslice likes this.
  14. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    You know, I haven't used a DI as I think the preamp in the Focusrite is great. At least for my ears. At some point I'd like to try a decent standalone DI, but so far haven't found the need.
     
  15. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese

    Nov 8, 2019
    New York, USA
    Would you say I should get the solo USB, or the 2i2 USB?
     
  16. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    For the setup I described above, you need the following cabling:
    1. Unbalanced 1/4 for instrument (i.e. bass)
    2. XLR microphone cable ($12)
    3. A mic stand ($15)
    If you buy a set of monitors you will need (at a minimum)
    1. A set of balanced 1/4 TRS cables (left, right and subwoofer if you buy one)
     
    Mr Cheese likes this.
  17. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    Ah, the Presonus has no preamp. The Focusrite sounds like a really good buy.
     
    Basslice and Mr Cheese like this.
  18. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    I have both - you don't need both, but I bought the 1st gen 2i4 years ago. Here is the rub, if you ever think you will need two XLRs or two instrument recorded simultaneously, the Solo will not do it. The Solo is great, but has one XLR input and one 1/4 input. The 2i4 and 2i2 have XLR/1/4 inputs that can take either.

    So if you are say recording an instrument and vocals at same time, the Solo will do fine. If you are miking and instrument and want to mic vox at same time you need the 2i2 or better. Really depends.

    I have been tracking constantly with the Solo for the last few weeks and have not run into any problems.

    Sorry I thought you were the Doc at first. In any case ,I have seen you around here on TBL plenty too!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
    Mr Cheese likes this.
  19. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese

    Nov 8, 2019
    New York, USA
    So no DI needed if I get the Focusrite?
     
    funkinbottom and Basslice like this.
  20. Mr Cheese

    Mr Cheese

    Nov 8, 2019
    New York, USA
    Ok, looks like I'll go w/ the solo. Don't really need to record 2 things at once yet.
     
    Basslice likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 6, 2021

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