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Unread 05-23-2012, 08:51 PM   #1
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Recording bass through computer

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum

So I wanted to post some bass covers on youtube and I saw some people using audacity (audio recording software) to record the bass. I was wondering how I could do that and what I woupd need. (Cables, adapters, etc)

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Unread 05-23-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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Depends on the quality of your sound card, really. In any case, you can run a cable from your bass straight to the computer. All you need on the other end is a 3.5mm (headphone) adapter.

Not sure how well the quality will turn out. It's okay for fiddling, but I've never messed with it enough to tell you whether you'll get anything fantastic or not.
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Unread 05-24-2012, 12:22 PM   #3
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You can get a basic USB audio interface for pretty cheap. I've got two, one cost $60 and one was on clearance at Best Buy for $25.
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Unread 05-24-2012, 01:04 PM   #4
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Skip Audacity and download Krystal Audio Engine It's free, like Audacity but more features and a better GUI.
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Unread 05-25-2012, 11:14 PM   #5
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I don't like comparing Kristal to Audacity, as Audacity excels as a quick tool for waveform editing and for doing some last minute file conversion, normalizing etc- I wouldn't consider it a DAW really, although you can of course kinda fake it. Whereas Kristal is simply a limited-feature DAW.

If you have no plans to get into recording anything more than bass covers for youtube, Audacity is super easy to learn and will probably work just fine for you. Kristal works too, but if you ever outgrow it (16 tracks and 2 fx per track goes away quickly in the big world of recording), you'd have to upgrade and get used to something completely new. Which is why I'd say Presonus Studio One Free might be a better choice for something free yet flexible. I think the designers of Kristal were actually involved in the creation of Studio One anyway.

If you can invest some money in your software, on the cheaper end I'd recommend Mixcraft (easy to use, similar to Apple's Garageband) or Reaper (more professional, along the lines of Cubase and Pro Tools).


As for hardware, anything you get under about $300 will all sound about the same- in the "very cheap" department, the Lexicon Alpha will decently give you the sound of your bass with little latency for a mere $60.

Now, as for making "the sound" of your bass good in the computer, it really depends on what your specific needs are. If you have a Sansamp pedal or something similar, you should be just fine- just use the 1/4" out into an instrument input, or the XLR out into the pre if you have one. If it's just your bass straight into the interface, you may want a virtual amp sim in your software if you aren't totally happy with the dry direct sound you're getting. Mixcraft, Reaper, and I believe Studio One all come with these built in. Also you'll get stuff like modulation, distortion, EQ, dynamics, etc with just about any software.

Well I guess that's all I have to say, sorry if that was long-winded, I tend to go crazy about this stuff because it's what I do and I love doing it! hope this helps some way.
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