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XLR output into Computer

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by DaPhotoGuy, Oct 8, 2004.


  1. DaPhotoGuy

    DaPhotoGuy

    Jun 15, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    I have CakeWalk Sonar 3 software. I want to record my bass from my XLR out on the amp. What is the best interface into the computer other than the built in sound card that will accept XLR or 1/4 balanced for under $100 (if such a thing exists).
     
  2. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
  3. tried it...

    you have to have the amp cranked up pretty good

    and anyways, the "Send" jack if you have an effects loop is a better way to go direct from the preamp to the computer.
     
  4. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    I might have misunderstood you. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Use the amp as a signal booster, or only as a tone shaper, or both?
     
  5. DaPhotoGuy

    DaPhotoGuy

    Jun 15, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    Only using the amp to shape the tone.
     
  6. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Okay, then XLR out on amp -> microphone preamp (either standalone or in a channel strip on a mixer) -> line in on sound card is a good way to go. You should not need to crank your amp at all.
     
  7. DaPhotoGuy

    DaPhotoGuy

    Jun 15, 2004
    Omaha, NE
  8. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Two things come to mind about the object you linked to:

    * It doesn't have preamplification. You're going to need that in some part of your signal chain.
    * The cheaper it is, the bigger the risk that the object is crap.

    Is $50 really too much money for you? The Behringer will work fine, you know.
     
  9. DaPhotoGuy

    DaPhotoGuy

    Jun 15, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    It's not the $50 that concerns me. It's that I can't figure out why I need to go from a Bass to my combo amp (which has a preamp already) to ANOTHER preamp before going into the computer. Doesn't my combos 6 band equalizer and such give me all the sound shaping I need? Should I just go from the amps 1/4 line out to the sound card line in? Should I use the 1/4 effects send into the sound card line in? I just took a guess that the XLR out was the way to go but maybe I'm wrong. I'm new to recording so please forgive me for asking stupid questions.

    Right now, the interface to the computer is my sound card. I had heard that the USB interfaces gave you a much better sound than any sound card can.

    So I guess I have TWO questions. WHICH output should I use from the amp and what is the best computer interface (USB or sound card)?
     
  10. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Depends on your amp and where in the circuit the XLR output is, and whether it has a level control. Many amps have XLR DI outs that bypass the tone controls and gain. Others have XLR or 1/4" line outs, or a post-pre effects send, that send a line level signal that has the tone-shaping of the amp.

    A pure DI does one thing- balance the signal for long transmission lines and convert impedence so the high impedence instrument signal can interface with the low impedence input of a recorder (your computer in this case). In your case, the impedence change is crucial, but the balancing isn't.

    A pure preamp does one thing- raises the signal from instrument level to line level.

    Some active DIs do both. Some amp preamps do both. But not all do.

    So, what amp do you have?

    USB interfaces don't sound any better than sound card ins. Just make sure you use the Line Input on the sound card, not the Mic Input.

    Don't spend a dime yet.
     
  11. DaPhotoGuy

    DaPhotoGuy

    Jun 15, 2004
    Omaha, NE
  12. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Use the rear panel 1/4" line out to your sound card, using an adapter to make the connections (1/4" to 1/8" or 1/4" to RCA depending on the sound card).

    That's all.
     
  13. DaPhotoGuy

    DaPhotoGuy

    Jun 15, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    Dang, that's it? I figured some other fancy schmancy hook up would sound better. All right, I don't have to spend any $$$. :D
     
  14. I run my Bass into SWR SM 900 and then out from the FX send and into the 1/4 inch input of the sound card. Works great. All the EQ I need, plenty of gain and the amps adjustable limiter is in the signal chain.
     
  15. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Well, there certainly are some fancy schmancy ways to get sound into your computer that will sound a lot better than the average soundblaster card, but for a serious improvement, it'll take pretty serious $$$$.