Interfacing my bass, PC and Amp... noise :(

Ok, so I’ve been trying to hook the bass up to an audio interface to record bits & pieces, but running into problems with noise on the signal :confused:

Using Roland UA-4FXii I’ve had lying around for a while, connecting to the amp Blackstar Unity 60

Getting noise while I play running either:
bass > amp > line out > DAI line in or
bass > amp > DI out > DAI XLR (with or without ground lift, makes no difference)

Tried getting a DI box, so I can run
bass > DI box input > ‘thru’ out > amp & Low Z XLR out > DAI, but it’s still no better (again, with or without ground lift, makes no difference)

Still there slightly with the bass connected directly to the instrument input on the DAI (although that kinda defeats the purpose of an amp, cos then I have to go back to headphones :joy:)

So IDK… I don’t think it’s the bass, because there’s no difference using either the jazz, or the p bass :man_shrugging:
Even tried a ferrite ring on the usb cable (long shot, but hey, was worth a try :man_shrugging: :smile: )

Interference? Fault somewhere? Time for a better audio interface? I’m at a loss here :smile:


Maybe I’m not understanding this correctly, but the point of a DAI is that you plug your bass directly into it. To hear yourself play, you use headphones or connect a set of (monitor) speakers to the line outputs. Adding an amp to the equation is only going to mess things up.


I’m with @Mike_NL on this. If you want the ‘sound’ of your amp in your recording. You could use amp / cab simulations within your DAW to create that sound.

Or like I do use a multi effects processor (Initially a Zoom B1 and now a HX Stomp to colour the signal from the bass into the DAW.

My Focusrite DAI has 1/4” out jacks so If I want I can record the bass and listen via my bass amp. I don’t know if the line outs in your DAI will work for that.


There shouldn’t be any reason for not using the DI built into your amp. Using an amp with a DI out is a common practice for having stage monitoring and going out to a PA system. Introducing a DAI into the equation is the newest part of this kind of setup.

I wouldn’t say there is any reason someone would need to go to headphones or monitors unless they were playing along with something (backing track, click track) from the computer the DAI is attached to. Because if you connect the computer to the AUX in on your amp and then connect the DI, on the amp, to the DAI, you’ve created a circle that can cause problems.

Whether you use your amp, monitors, or headphones is more about convenience and workflow than anything. Im trying to head off the idea there is only one way to do all this.

As for the sound samples posted above, I couldn’t hear any noise, just the bass notes. But both were pretty quiet. I had to turn all the way up to hear anything.

Can you describe the sound you’re hearing?
Did you try both DI outs on the amp?


idk, I figured connecting to the DAI was basically the same thing as a mixer for a PA, just with less knobs :smile:

just want to be able to practice without having to wear headphones all the time :joy:

the weird kinda hissing noise as a string is played

yeah, both the same :confused:

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I’m guessing that you want to monitor what you’re playing through your amp speaker but also record into a DAW?

I would have expected this to be fine as long as the DAI input is genuinely set for line level rather than instrument level.

I can hear the noise on your recordings and to me it just sounds like there is a little background static being generated by your rig and that’s being amplified when recorded.

A noise gate might help, or even just adjusting where in the signal path you apply gain to maximise the signal to noise ratio.

When you connect your bass just to the amp can you still hear the hiss if the master vol is turned up?


yep, exactly this :+1:

sounds perfect just playing directly through the amp.
there is a bit of hiss while not playing if I as the master volume gets close to halfway and above though

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Both DAIs I have used (old FocusRite and Current Roland Octa-Capture had/have some level of hiss coming on the outputs. This hiss is either non-existent or non-noticable in recordings in my DAW.

I think it is just the nature of the circuitry for monitoring, it ain’t silent.
I might reckon if you go up in price and start spending a ton of money on a DAI and monitors or whatever, that hiss gets less and less to nil.

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yeah, it wasn’t an expensive DAI (confused as to why they seem to be on reverb etc. for more than like twice what I paid :face_with_raised_eyebrow:),
nor the DI tbf (but that was just to try, if it worked, cool, if not, ah well :smile:)

guess I could probably try the line in on the GoXLR Mixer too though

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Some careful gain staging might help to maximise the signal relative to the background noise.

If you’re not already, I’d start by running the bass at full volume to maximise the signal.


Couldn’t you just run your bass into your DAI then run the output into the amp? Seems like you’re over complicating things :man_shrugging:t2:

A nifty troubleshooting technique is to pick a volume knob and turn it up and down. If the noise goes up and down too, the noise is upstream of the knob in the signal flow. If the noise stays the same, it is downstream of the knob.

The pickup level knobs on the bass count as a volume knob.


yeah :confused:
I opened it up too, out of curiosity, and annoyingly found a couple of issues :sob:


Yikes. Easy fix with some tape though.

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it’s buggin me now, to the point I might see if I can do an exchange after work tomorrow

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This isn’t reccomended. I don’t understand all the technical reasons, but you can end up with other problems when creating that loop.

The suggested setup of bass to amp to DAI is a pretty typical configuration.

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Buy a pair of monitor speakers, hang them off the DAI, and sell the amp :slight_smile:

Hey, worked perfectly for me. YMMV.

+1 to this, boosting the signal right at the start of the signal chain can make a big difference. My setup used to be bass → pedals → amp → headphones, and it was fairly noisy. Then I bought a preamp pedal with an adjustable input gain (EBS Micro Bass 3), and it eliminated almost all the noise.

sheesh! that ain’t cheap! :smile:

same kinda thing, but a bit easier on the wallet? :smile:–mxr-bass-di-m80-preamp?gclid=Cj0KCQiA_P6dBhD1ARIsAAGI7HAbJiod5jMpdYTgGan5fiBq6-UOTfxZC-Wo2V8Vc2Rb0qPyqg4WHeMaAu7BEALw_wcB

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Not familiar with that one, but looking at the controls, looks like the gain knob only affects the distortion circuit (might be wrong though).

What you are looking for is a clean boost. The cheapest one I can think of is the tc spark mini, it’s EUR 63 at thomann. (And you’ll need a power supply as well.)