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Problems when recording a bass guitar Answered

 Hi, I have experienced some difficulties trying to record my bass with my computer. I get a okay result at first, but when after a while the sound gets more and more weak. It gets weaker, but still gives some peaks where the sound is stronger. Happens with every mic I've tried, even with straight input. Could it be the soundcard?
Trying to upload a soundsample.

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jim5150jvc
jim5150jvc

7 years ago

I stumbled onto a a way to record bass the other day that made me very happy. I was aiming for a 60's sound. The trick was tape compression from the reel to reel analog recorder that I used (Tascam 32 @ 7.5 inches per second speed). No vacuum tubes, all solid-state. I just used a Pod 2.0 with no effects and made sure that the needle jumped well into the "red zone" on the Tascam's input as I played the notes. Then I simply played back the recording into Audacity on it's default settings (with no digital clipping of course). I used a $100 Ibanez 3/4 scale "Mikro" bass with La Bella flatwound strings, with just the middle P-bass pickups and the tone rolled-back slightly. I tried the Jazz-pickup setting also, but it's pretty noisy. I also used a thin guitar pick. While I was recording it and monitoring it on headphones, the strings sounded all buzzy hitting the frets, and the tone was pretty thin. But the tape compression did something to the sound that I was very much happy with. Tape hiss is basically un-noticable to me.

The Behringer Ultra-G GI100 DI box is supposed to be really good for recording bass. It's only 40 bucks, so you can't beat the price.

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Henell
Henell

11 years ago

 I use audacity, but the problem also accures with other programs. Usually I record with an external mic from the amp. I've tested the internal mic, and a slightly better one.
No idea about my soundcard, a regular laptop model i guess. 

The strange thing is that it starts out pretty nicely, and then gets worse. I would understand it if it would be bad from the beginning.

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LucDaRocka1
LucDaRocka1

Reply 10 years ago

audicy is great for bass recording with da wha

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caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

Reply 11 years ago

Maybe a slow laptop that has trouble keeping up with the recording? Maybe some sort of compressor/limiter to boost the signal of the mike.

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gmoon
gmoon

11 years ago

Could be happening at the sound card (or the driver), rather than the mic.

We have a laptop that has primitive "compression" or "limiting" built-in (dynamic compression in the audio sense, not file-size compression.) And our video camera does the same thing.

Might be what's happening to you. The card or driver is dynamically adjusting the input when you "slap" the bass, and a peak (or a series of peaks) is triggering the change. It's "helping you," by preventing clipping of the signal peaks.

I've never been able to disable it on the laptop. One possible solution would be to lower the input levels--don't let the peaks get high enough to trigger the primitive preemptive limiting. You can always "normalize" the file, or run it through a "smart" compressor later to increase the apparent volume.

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caitlinsdad
caitlinsdad

11 years ago

For those home-recording pros to help you out I think they need to know:

What software are you using to record music?
Is the bass amplified and are you just trying to mike the sound coming out of the amp, or is that line out direct into the computer?
What sound card do you have - is it integrated into the motherboard - or do you have a USB input box?
Are you just trying to use a computer microphone - maybe it doesn't have the range or sensitivity for live recording - just chat voice.
Recording is touch with input levels, they may need to be adjusted manually or automatically with hardware and software.

Good luck.