Optimizing bass guitar?

Optimize your system for ultimate performance.

Moderators: khz, MattKingUSA

User avatar
tramp
Establlshed Member
Posts: 1173
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:13 am

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby tramp » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:01 am

For better peak control you can use the osciloscope. Put it on top of the rack to visualise the input signal. You properly need to select a bigger buffersize (in the menu) to visualise deep bass signals.

bazsound
Establlshed Member
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:46 am

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby bazsound » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:58 am

Jimi-James wrote:emarsk--That is a really good idea. I'll do it the next time I have someone in here with me.
bazsound--I'm not sure, because the knobs on my bass aren't labeled. Should I just try turning them all down and turning up the gain on the computer? If it's going through Guitarix, should I turn up the pre-gain more or the post-gain?


It should be pretty easy to find the volume control and it will be a quick way of seeing if you are overdriving your input stage.

I agree with others that the sound you are hearing will be a combination of whats coming out your speakers and what your hearing acoustically.

I use my internal sound card (shitty onboard motherboard sound) and get good results but i use my tascam wav recorder as a preamp as it has a level meter and peak light so you dont overdrive stuff. If you go straight into the computer you can sometimes have problems if you are using an instrumnet that has a high output.

Also another thought. are you using the Mic input or line input. I would use the line input instead of the mic input. you can always manually connect the inputs to your track so your only using 1 side of the input (line is stereo) so that you only get the side that has signal and the other that has nothing isnt connected.

emarsk
Establlshed Member
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:50 pm

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby emarsk » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:25 pm

bazsound wrote:Also another thought. are you using the Mic input or line input. I would use the line input instead of the mic input. you can always manually connect the inputs to your track so your only using 1 side of the input (line is stereo) so that you only get the side that has signal and the other that has nothing isnt connected.

He's using a M-Audio Delta 1010LT, so the inputs are mono. And depending on how you set the jumpers, the first two inputs can be set to be just like the other six ones, or more sensitive (more gain). If in doubt, use input 3 (but if you use a DI, you'd better use one of the XLR inputs).
Don't lower the volume on the bass, keep it on max on the instrument and set the 1010LT gain instead. Otherwise you'll just get a worse signal to noise ratio for no good reason.
Please, avoid some common spelling errors:
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling

User avatar
Jimi-James
Establlshed Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:27 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby Jimi-James » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:08 am

Alright, I picked the Orchid Micro for my DI box and plugged it in and messed with guitarix's Ardour plugins. Right away, I noticed using a DI box made my bass's sound infinitely more, I guess, "present" in my computer rather than distant, and so so malleable by the effects at my disposal. For now, I've settled on the default 12xa7 amp with a Charisma cabinet, and I'll continue to use the tips posted here to improve my sound as I go. I'm also uploading how my bass sounds now in case anyone has more or more relevant tips. I also have yet to try out those actual bass cabinets, so I don't think this sound is too final.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

DepreTux
Establlshed Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:36 am

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby DepreTux » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:15 am

Just one question since it hasn't been asked:

Did you try lowering the capture volume in alsamixer? On my souncard, anything above halfways distorts heavily. This is on an onboard card, but my bass has a high output too.

You can always amplify the signal again within your software, in my case I use alsa modular synth.


Cheers

User avatar
Jimi-James
Establlshed Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:27 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby Jimi-James » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:18 am

I haven't tried that. I figured 0.0 gain should be fine, but hey, maybe I'll like the sound better with something negative.

bazsound
Establlshed Member
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:46 am

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby bazsound » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:53 am

You should awalsy adjust the gain to suit the incoming signal. The less gain you need to use the less noise you should have.

Its always good to start with the gain all the way down to infinity, then bring the gain up until you have a good signal without any clipping.

1 gain setting doesnt suit all signals.

You should be able to use ardours meters to judge the signal, keep it in the green. Yellow can be OK but you definatly do not want red. you may want to change the meter type so you can see the peaks aswell as you can have a good signal but there are quick peaks that are not registering on the meter and could be causing clips.

artek
Establlshed Member
Posts: 107
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:37 pm

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby artek » Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:42 pm

Jimi-James, how do you power your dibox?

User avatar
Jimi-James
Establlshed Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:27 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby Jimi-James » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:28 am

Through a phantom power box that I originally got for my condenser mic. I don't remember the brand (don't have my equipment with me right now), but I know it's the right voltage and it seems to work fine.

artek
Establlshed Member
Posts: 107
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:37 pm

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby artek » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:39 pm

Through a phantom power box that I originally got for my condenser mic. I don't remember the brand (don't have my equipment with me right now), but I know it's the right voltage and it seems to work fine.

I like more sound of 1_Selection and 2_Selection than Bass-23.1.
Sound on Bass23.1 is very noisy, especially in low end.

User avatar
Jimi-James
Establlshed Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:27 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby Jimi-James » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:35 pm

That's probably because of the Guitatix settings I applied to it. The difference is my bass's signal is much cleaner and more. audible now, so that when I change my Guitarix settings the difference is as dramatic as changing to a different bass and amp. Before, in Selection 1 and 2, that was the only sound I could have no matter what my settings were, and there was no way to make it loud without making it very fuzzy and monotonous.

bazsound
Establlshed Member
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:46 am

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby bazsound » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:44 am

Phantom power is useually supplied buy a desk, or some interfaces can supply phantom power . Its 48v. Power runs down the xlr.

Active boxes are usefull in certain situtations. I tend to need to use them on certain types of acoustic picups that sound really thin on passive boxes. Ive had quite a few cellos and violins that sound terrible on passive boxes. But also on acoustics and ukes aswell. its dependant on the type of pickup they use.

On a bass though, ive never had a problem using a passive.

An active DI can also give a stronger signal.

On passive boxes ive sometimes run into an issue of cold signal which ended up using alot of gain.

If your interface doesnt have phantom power you can get a Preamp that will supply phantom power. Seems like a good excuse to invest in a nice tube pre-amp.

User avatar
Jimi-James
Establlshed Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:27 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby Jimi-James » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:20 pm

Well, yeah, my M-Audio card doesn't have phantom power, hence why I bought a phantom power box that I plug into it. I'm avoiding pre-amps because so far, I've been able to do everything a pre-amp could and more with just my card and the hardware it takes to make the signal great (namely a dibox and phantom power). Once I start relying on pre-amps and the like, I'm moving closer to having to change my sound on the analog end of things rather than inside my computer, and while that's a fine and much older/tried-true method, it's also hundreds of times more expensive and bulky, and I'm a college student making music as a hobby.

asdplayer
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:49 pm
Location: Turin, Italy

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby asdplayer » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:05 pm

Yes, it looks like you have been overdriving the interface input. And I think it doesn't hear exactly like "overdrive" effect because only the ADC is overdriven, not the physical analog amplifier. It doesn't happen on your guitar because guitars generally have lower output power than basses. This happens because lower frequencies carry more power, so the strings can affect more the magnetic field of the pickup on a bass. So, lower the input signal. Use the volume knob on the bass, or a preamp volume if you have any. Then you can raise the volume in any other stage (gain settings in guitarx, mixer volume, speaker volume, better the first). Regards.

PS sorry for edit, I'm not good at English.

bazsound
Establlshed Member
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:46 am

Re: Optimizing bass guitar?

Postby bazsound » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:42 pm

asdplayer wrote:Yes, it looks like you have been overdriving the interface input. And I think it doesn't hear exactly like "overdrive" effect because only the ADC is overdriven, not the physical analog amplifier. It doesn't happen on your guitar because guitars generally have lower output power than basses. This happens because lower frequencies carry more power, so the strings can affect more the magnetic field of the pickup on a bass. So, lower the input signal. Use the volume knob on the bass, or a preamp volume if you have any. Then you can raise the volume in any other stage (gain settings in guitarx, mixer volume, speaker volume, better the first). Regards.

PS sorry for edit, I'm not good at English.


different preamps react differently to over driving them. Some will sound nasty and almost like digital distortion, some will be pretty sublte and others will act almost like compression will no other audible distortions until you really over do it.

Depending on the quipment it was usefull to over drive certain channels for the effect, like getting a snare drum to crack more or guitars to cut through a bit more.

But now in digital gain staging is generally keep it around the -18dbfs area (sort of equivelant to 0db in anologue) this gives you enough signal and plenty of headroom.


Return to “System Tuning and Configuration”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests