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Thread: Bass...tracking approach

  1. #11
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    I plugged my passive bass straight into the interface and set it for INST. Raising the gain to 9:00 puts Reaper's meter at roughly -18dBFS with -12dBFS peaks. Headphone volume is not great but sufficient as monitored through the interface blended @ 50/50. The waveform was relatively small.

    Switching it to Mic/Line and leaving other settings the same reduced the waveform to a virtual straight line and almost no signal on the meter. Almost no sound in the headphones.
    Failure - - the path of least persistence
    And, uh, oh - hire a decorator to come in here quick, 'cause... DAMN.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    I belong to the Rob Aylestone school of tracking bass: one cable straight into interface.

    Sort out verything else once it's recorded.
    I would note that this greatly depends on your interface, because the quality of the direct signal can vary greatly from one to the next. If the sound is not that great with the interface's instrument input, then what's wrong with trying to use something else along the way to get a better sound?

    When I plug straight into my Tascam US-1800's instrument input, I can get a good level without a problem on a passive or electric guitar/bass. But the tone compared to when I run through my WA-273EQ into a line in --- even with the EQ set totally flat and not much preamp gain on the WA-273EQ --- is night and day.
    famous beagle

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    Quote Originally Posted by famous beagle View Post
    When I plug straight into my Tascam US-1800's instrument input, I can get a good level without a problem on a passive or electric guitar/bass. But the tone compared to when I run through my WA-273EQ into a line in --- even with the EQ set totally flat and not much preamp gain on the WA-273EQ --- is night and day.
    Funny, I haven't noticed a meaninful difference between the Instrument input on either my US1800 or US1641 and that from a pedal into a line or even microphone input. It just works and sounds fine. What difference do you actually hear?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
    Funny, I haven't noticed a meaninful difference between the Instrument input on either my US1800 or US1641 and that from a pedal into a line or even microphone input. It just works and sounds fine. What difference do you actually hear?
    The instrument inputs on the interface sound a bit as if they have a blanket over them compared to going through a preamp and into a line input. I recorded a test to check if I was imagining it or not. I played a part into a looper and then recorded that via the Tascam instrument input and then again via the WA-273EQ ---> Tascam line input. I'm not saying the WA-273EQ always sounds better---that's a subjective thing---but the difference is significant, wouldn't you agree?
    Attached Files Attached Files
    famous beagle

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    And here are some with the neck pickup
    Attached Files Attached Files
    famous beagle

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    Ooops ... posted the wrong WA273 tracks. Those went from the WA-273EQ into the XLR pres on the Tascam.

    Here are the ones that went from the WA-237EQ into the balanced line inputs on the Tascam. (They sound pretty similar to the XLR version.)
    Attached Files Attached Files
    famous beagle

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    Wait a minute .... Scratch the looper bit. After listening and checking my project, these were not recorded with a looper. I played the parts live back to back each time. So the performances aren't identical, but I tried my best to play it the same every time. I didn't monitor anything as I was playing. This way, I was only hearing my unplugged electric sound each time and wouldn't be influenced by what I was hearing.

    So, it's not as scientific as it could have been (I used the looper on another test I did later), but it's still adequate enough I think to demonstrate the difference in sound between the two methods.
    famous beagle

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    Well I’ll check those later, but of course playing through a looper isn’t the same as connecting the passive pickup direct to the unit. I mean, they’d theoretically be about the same if the input impedance was the same, but you’d be kind of testing a different thing - how the looper sounds connected to the different device, not the instrument itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
    Well I’ll check those later, but of course playing through a looper isn’t the same as connecting the passive pickup direct to the unit. I mean, they’d theoretically be about the same if the input impedance was the same, but you’d be kind of testing a different thing - how the looper sounds connected to the different device, not the instrument itself.
    See my reply above your last message. I was wrong about the looper. I didn't use it on this test; each example was played back to back. (I had used a looper on another test and mistakenly thought it was this one.)
    famous beagle

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by famous beagle View Post
    See my reply above your last message. I was wrong about the looper. I didn't use it on this test; each example was played back to back. (I had used a looper on another test and mistakenly thought it was this one.)
    Yeah, I got that. Sorry. Was just kind of pointing it out for those who might not realize.


    Edit - @famous beagle - Yeah OK I listened to yours and did my own, and I'm going to take back some of what I said. There IS a noticeable difference between connecting direct to the Instrument input and going through a pedal first. I found that there was no difference when running through a pedal between input 11 (the first straight line input) and input 9 (the one with the button) when the button was in Line input position OR the instrument position aside from the ~9db of gain that the instrument button gives, but there was that same noticeable difference that you observed between all of them and just straight in. I'm convinced that this is all about input impedance, though. The instrument input of the US1800 is a 700KOhm, which is quite a bit less than the 1M input of most pedals. When one considers that many amplifier inputs are around 500K, though, well which one is "right"?
    Last edited by ashcat_lt; 09-09-2020 at 22:05.

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