Playing along to music with Head Phones

Hi Bassists, when I practice I like to play along to music, I’ve been doing this with music playing from my PC and head phones coming from my amp. I adjust the volume of the head phones so I can hear the music coming form the PC speakers. What would I have to do so that I’m getting both my bass and the music coming from my head phones?




Hi @Browndog, what amp do you have?


Hey @Browndog,
There’s a few solutions that might exist:

  • check if your amp has an AUX-IN that you could use to feed the music from your PC into and use the amps headphone jack.
  • get a Vox amPlug 2 Bass Headphone Amp
  • get a Digital audio interface (DAI) to connect your amp to your PC

Well, that’s the ones that came to my mind for now :wink:


Hey Guys, my amp has an AUX-IN, so its as simple as plugging a CD player in to that and I’m good to go! Thanks for the help


Exactly! Have fun!


You’ve received some good replies to help with your situation. I bought a cool little Fender Rumble 40 bass amp for practice and use the aux-in line for an iPad or laptop and the headphones out line jack to listen while I practice. Good luck.


Ah nice to find a related thread to my personal brain storm here…

I ordered a sweet sweet amp (finally!) this weekend and I have been drooling over all the photos, manuals and reviews these days… Last night when I went to bed with all these in my mind a simple fact just hit me! The darn amp I ordered does not have either Aux in or headphone out!

What it has is a Line Out (XLR Output). With independent volume control.

My ampless rig is:
-Vox Amplug 2 Bass
-Zoom B1 Four
-Focusrite Scarlet Solo

I imagine if I connect the XLR output to my DAI it is already great but what if I want to benefit from all the nice patches, drums and loop functionalities of Zoom B1 Four ?

The manual of Zoom B1 Four indicates to connect the pedal “before” the amp. Wouldn’t everything else go through the EQ and tone settings of the amplifier then ?

Is it better to have the Direct Out of AMP to Zoom B1 Four with a XLR -> TS jack ?

My ideal would be using the Zoom B1 Four like a mixer in all this profiting from the AUX in , integrated drums and the Looper…


No. Think of the B1four as a pedalboard. The correct signal chain here would be bass -> B1four -> amp -> DI out -> DAI.

This is nice because you get all of your effects, and still get to use the EQ on the amp as a final EQ. Plus you get the tone coloring from your amp’s preamp. You generally want those after the effects.

Some amps also have a pre/post switch on the DI out that lets you bypass the amp EQ. This is useful if you need to EQ your amp weirdly due to the space you are playing in but do not want that going out of the DI. But for recording, it’s the opposite of what you want - you want to be able to take advantage of your amp’s preamp and EQ.

So the sticky question here is the Aux In. And what I would do in this case is not use the Aux In on the B1, but rather use the monitor out on the DAI for this and plug your headphones into the DAI. Your computer can use the DAI as a sound card for playback.


It does have the post/pre EQ thing and I feel %100 what you say here! That is cool…

Yeah it is as sticky as it gets! Hmm the loops will be working on the bass input cleanly this way I gotta see about the drums…

Recently I upgraded my android phone and this time over my DAI is functioning fine connected to the USB-C so this will give me a lot of mobility actually…


Thanks a lot @howard !

Then I should get XLR -> TRS balanced audio cable probably huh? I don’t know when I will ever be playing in the wild world outside but sometimes noise from my PC is driving me crazy. I can literally hear my mouse moving through the headphones…


Can’t you just run XLR in to the Focusrite? It has an XLR in on the front.


Ahh. Nope, you can’t, not on the Focusrite.


On the user manual it is suggested everywhere that the XLR input is intended for a microphone…

I don’t own a microphone at the moment but I am hoping to get one for when our babies grow up a bit and wanna jam with the old man at not so near future…

Well that settles it !

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Same seems to apply to the Presonus Audiobox. However I think that the same exception listed on the Focusrite page does apply:

*DI Boxes can also be used as they are designed to lower an Instrument Level signal to a Microphone Level

I use the XLR out on my SansAmp Bass Driver DI with a -20dB adjustment and it seems to work fine :thinking:

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@Fahri What kind of amp did you get?

@eric.kiser oh it’s definitely something excessive for my home use… It will arrive today and I’m looking forward to post it on the “Show us your amps” thread… Don’t want to jinx now :slight_smile:


I totally approve of excessive. I’m looking at a second Hartke LH1000 because that’s what excess is for.


One for each ear, I like how you think!


Ok I think I figured out what my problem is… These are the two outputs of the amp

TUNER OUT unbalanced, max. voltage 2 Vpp
LINE OUT balanced XLR, max. voltage 20 Vpp

If I connect Tuner Out to the Focusrite sound is loud and clear without any early clipping problem. However this output is pre-eq so I cannot benefit from any modeling.

If I connect Line Out to Focusrite I cannot turn on the gain knob on DAI more than 1/4 otherwise it clips but even the volume knob is at maximum headphone level is not so high.

So maybe the problem is the voltage levels…

I am thinking that I might need to get one of these in ear monitor setup or a cheapish mixer like this

I am not sure if the mixer would have the same problem as the DAI though…

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I wanted to limit the amps on headphone conversation to one thread so linking to @Paul 's message on the Show your amps thread

I am using a balanced XLR to TRS cable to connect to Scarlet and keeping it on the “LINE” mode.

The sound level is significantly different between “Direct Monitor” and when I turn on Ableton Live Mixer but even there it is not crazy high volume. (I am not deaf of course but if I have to max to volume just to hear something normally I don’t get convinced)

My Focusrite Scarlet Solo only has one gain knob and one volume knob. As I said on the previous message I cannot get the gain higher than 1/4 without clipping the signal and the volume is all the way up.