Recording Hardware "Beginner" Setup

Hi!

I know there are some threads about recording, but what I am kind of missing is the review like “best beginner bass amp” and “best beginner bass”. There are videos like that, but they tend to get all technical and rarely anything costs less than 100$. It might just be that this is the case, but what components do I need for a good “clean” recording and how much money do I have to put in before it makes any sense to put any money in at all? A reference point for information would be okay too, but the one video I saw posted in this forum was kind of informative, but not helping me at all in making a buying decision. It was like “here are the possibilities.”. Without going into any detail of the differences or how much one at least has to spend. Could be that my thought process is wrong on this and there simply is no relatively cheap “starter” setup. Let me know.

Currently I’m recording with my Yeti Blue USB microphone which is a condenser mic, but was made for vocals so It’s not ideal.

I plan on going to a music store soon to inform myself, but it couldn’t hurt to ask what you guys think beforehand.

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I’m actually planning to start a YT channel called “Bass on a shoestring”, which would go into stuff like that.

Question for ya: does your amp has a “line out”? because in that case, you’ll be recording for under 10 euros – just connect the line out (which is usually a preamp out) to the line in of your computer, install a free program like Audacity and hey presto! you’re recording!

It won’t be optimal, but it’s firmly in the “good enough for now” category, and a couple steps up from using a microphone.

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@juli0r check out this thread, if you haven’t already. Lot’s of good information on there.

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@peterhuppertz
Unfortunately it just has a headphone jack, no line out. Good luck with the channel. Looking forward to it although I might not have a use for it anymore then. But as I said - I think it’s a niché that’s missing. At least the “start here” video in which one doesn’t get overwhelmed.

@PamPurrs
Thanks for the info. I didn’t read that thread because I literally have no clue and just found threads with the “recording” keyword. I will have a look.

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Bummer.
That does mean that, if you want to get beyond microphone recording, you’ll need a DAI (Digital Audio Interface). These are available from around 50 euros and upwards from there. They will generally work better than hooking up to the line-in of your sound card, though.
I have no experience with these yet. Others should be able to tell you more…

The moment you’ve got the signal in your computer, @pampurr’s link is relevant – it deals with what to do with this digital input.

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I use the Zoom U-22 DAI and have a Zoom U-24 on order from Guitar Center. I’ll be selling the U-22 on Ebay.

@Howard also has a Zoom U-24. DAI’s are discussed at length in the thread I posted (and some other threads). You just have to scroll down a bit to get to them.

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Thanks for the info.
I got that from the thread, but in this I wanted to focus on the hardware. The software options are important too, but as you say - first I have got a input before I can do anything with it.

@PamPurrs
Good of you to mention. Since the first posts were about the software part I didn’t read it entirely. I’ll have another look.

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I’m dipping my toes into the recording thing, too. I have some friends distant from me that collaborate on music stuff that they’ve asked me to get involved.

I’ve just ordered the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96. My amp doesn’t have a direct out, but it does have a headphone output (Rumble 25, cheap used purchase).

I’ll experiment with a TRS cable from the headphone out to the input on the Audiobox. If that doesn’t work, I can attempt recording directly into the interface.

I also have a backup possibility, A little amp kit I bought from parts express, which I may be able to use as a preamp. Waiting on some flux from amazon so I can start soldering.

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Now that I have the correct keywords to use for my search I also found the kind of videos I was talking about. They are by Sanjay C, not about bass specifically, but home studio in general. He’s not as likable as Josh is, but the information seems good at first glance.

He also mentioned the Audiobox you ordered in his Budget DAI review. Unfortunately the U-22 wasn’t part of it. I’m intrigued by those DAI with midi output for gaming reasons. Or combining practice and gaming.

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Yeah, the midi thing was a consideration because my main collaborator is coming from a midi heavy place. Plus, I use a drum machine as a metronome.

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The Zoom U-24 that I ordered has Midi, as does the U-44. The U-22 does not.

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Yeah, I use the MIDI out on mine to control my drum machine from Reaper.

Incidentally, MIDI will be one of the several things that will rule out Audacity for people, so you’ll also want to think about a more capable DAW if you want MIDI. Lots of good choices. Macs are covered with Garageband and Logic. For PC (and Mac) I like Reaper, but there’s plenty of good ones. A lot of people love Ableton.

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What kind of computer are you using? Mac or Pc?

I’d recommend an audio interface in the Behringer line. I have the UMC 202HD and the UMC404HD. Both work seamlessly on the Mac with its core audio, and you can easily start in GarageBand. No drivers required. You can plug your bass right into the input with a 1/4” instrument cable. You’ll be recording in no time. Plenty of amps/tones to choose from in garage band.

On the Behringer web page there are plenty of drivers for PC. Also I think the folders have audacity for free and some effects as well. I’m not as well versed in the windows setup but it can’t be that bad…

A good set of headphones will be clutch too, and hopefully some cable length so you can be more than a few feet from your computer and interface. You can always get an extension headphone cable on Amazon.

A lot of the interfaces on the market right now are at a premium price as demand is high with folks isolating, recording, and playing music online. Some of them are $50 to $100 more than they were 4 months ago.

Hope it helps.

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People seem to like those a lot. I think @Gio was recommending them as well?

Absolutely. And you can get fantastic studio monitors for less than people think - the Sony MDR-V6/MDR-7506 and the AKG K240 are among the most popular and common studio monitors for DJs and recording studios in the world, and both run $100 or less. You don’t need to spend $500 to get into the range of great studio-grade headphones, and you hit diminishing returns really quickly.

I went a little more expensive for my Beyerdynamics but they didn’t break the bank either, at like $140 or so.

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What I do is run my instrument line ins directly in to the audio interface, and run one of the audio interface outs to my amp (in my case, a headphone amp, but I think this should work for your practice amp as well.) Looks like the PreSonus has line out on the back as well, this might work for you too. Recommend experimenting with very low volume levels :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the feedback guys and gals.

I’m a windows user, but really am not worrying about the DAW part right now. Although it might actually affect the buying decision from what I’ve heard, because of the provided software with the hardware.
Yeah, the Behringer UMC 404HD or the Zoom U-24 is what I’m currently deciding between.
Also I found that Behringer produces a single cable with a built in A/D converter so with that cable one can directly connect the bass guitar with the computer. Very interested in experiences with this one.

Edit: Removed info that’s in a new post. Summary of what I learned.

I already got Sennheiers headphones from when DM (Deutsche Mark, old German currency) still existed. They are excellent in the Hi and Mid range, but the bass is a bit disappointing. That’s something for later. The Sennheiser should be enough for me for now. Still: a good point - it’s part of a good home recording studio, too.

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Okay, that one puzzles me.
Why would you need a DAI to do that? I would think you would plug the bass straight into the amp, and then use the DAI to convert the mic output to digital…?

But hey, I’m stupid. Can anyone enlighten me? :no_mouth:

Also: I just learnt you’re German. I suppose you’re familiar with Thomann?

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Nope, from Cologne so I usually go to guitar center (= Beyers music center) or music store.
Ofc I know OF Thomann, but wasn’t there. Also the shops are closed due to corona.

As far as I got it most of the people recording bass for youtube and stuff like that do the hybrid solution. You actually record both - the DI output and the Amp output and put them over each other. Seems to be the best sound.
So you get DAI sound from input 1 and recorded mic sound from input 2.

Scott from Scotts Bass Lessons and a guy from a video from Reverb said so and the demos also sound like it when they compare it in the videos.

You could also just apply an amp and cab sim to the recorded sound through the DAI and skip the miking and probably get a similar effect. It certainly wouldn’t sound flat. There’s lots of amp/cab VSTs out there, some good free ones too. Of course this requires a DAW that works with them (i.e. not Audacity.)

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Ah, the days where I had a music shoppe I could just hop into close by…
I’ve done quite a bit of shopping at Thomann, but exclusively online.

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