Old 08-13-2019, 10:34 PM   #1
BrandonBass77
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Default Need help recording certain bass

Hi all,

I have a Yamaha TRBX305 bass guitar (see attached pic, red bass 5-string) that I play on quite a bit. I'm relatively new to using Reaper and have run into a bit of a snag.

This bass is the only one I own that I had bought new. I've noticed that when I record my other 4 basses (all bought used and thus have some mileage, one is even a white version of the same model as attached), I have no issues with setting levels and recording into Reaper with no clipping in the transients. However, when I record with this red bass in particular, it seems that despite how low I may adjust my input levels as well as the volume knob on the bass itself and how gently I play, I still encounter issues where the bass appears to be clipping as I record. Again, none of my other basses do this.

I use a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for my interface with my bass recording always running into Input 2 with the switch right below set to "Line" (see attachments)

Would anyone have any suggestions for what I could do for this? Would love to make awesome recordings with this bass and I love using Reaper.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg TRBX305 red, 5-string.jpg (48.2 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.jpg (30.7 KB, 16 views)

Last edited by BrandonBass77; 08-13-2019 at 10:35 PM. Reason: Failed to upload Scarlett 2i2 upon initial posting
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:00 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by BrandonBass77 View Post
Hi all,

I have a Yamaha TRBX305 bass guitar (see attached pic, red bass 5-string) that I play on quite a bit. I'm relatively new to using Reaper and have run into a bit of a snag.

This bass is the only one I own that I had bought new. I've noticed that when I record my other 4 basses (all bought used and thus have some mileage, one is even a white version of the same model as attached), I have no issues with setting levels and recording into Reaper with no clipping in the transients. However, when I record with this red bass in particular, it seems that despite how low I may adjust my input levels as well as the volume knob on the bass itself and how gently I play, I still encounter issues where the bass appears to be clipping as I record. Again, none of my other basses do this.

I use a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for my interface with my bass recording always running into Input 2 with the switch right below set to "Line" (see attachments)

Would anyone have any suggestions for what I could do for this? Would love to make awesome recordings with this bass and I love using Reaper.
You are inputting a bass - the switch is set to line instead of instrument. This may well be the problem as you are inputting an instrument...
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:29 AM   #3
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The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 first generation is known to clip with modern instruments. It's input is too sensitive.

You could try a passive attenuator in front of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2?
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:39 AM   #4
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I think line setting is actually more clipping-resilient than the instrument one (discovered it having a shitty 1st gen Scarlett for a day), just impedance mismatched.

If other possibilites fail, check if the strings don't hit the pole pieces in humbuckers. I used to own kinda-predecessor of this bass (RBX375) and it was the exact thing that happened - strings hitting the pickups sounded like clipping. Solution - lower the pickups or slap some electrical tape on the magnets. Or play less heavy-handed

edit: I see you tried playing light - but still, bass strings bend surprisingly far even played light. Also, check the battery
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:47 AM   #5
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It has active PUs so line in won't be mismatched FYI. Good call on battery as it may be more depleted in one bass.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:52 AM   #6
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It has active PUs so line in won't be mismatched FYI. Good call on battery as it may be more depleted in one bass.
Oh, didn't know that. So there's more differences than just having too many knobs
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:06 AM   #7
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Oh, didn't know that. So there's more differences than just having too many knobs
hehe yea... For impedance "matching" the source of the signal just needs to be at least ~10 times smaller impedance than what it is plugging into (some prefer higher than 10x). Passive pickups have really high impedance in the loose range of 5-15k ohms which is way too big for a low impedance input (aka line in) but once it goes through a preamp like the active pickup circuit, the impedance is only a handful of ohms (in the double digits or less) which keeps us far enough below the line in impedance.

Stomp boxes are the same so if you had a stomp box that uses a buffered (not true) bypass, you can use it while bypassed to allow a passive bass or guitar with a line in.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:01 AM   #8
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as well as the volume knob on the bass itself
Are you saying the knob on the bass doesn't go down to zero?


I've never seen a bass (or guitar) attenuator. When I search I only find attenuators for the "speaker-side" of the amplifier. You can get microphone/XLR attenuators, but then you'd need a DI box. (If you already have a DI, that might be a good solution.)


If you can solder it's easy to build an attenuator (two resistors to make a voltage divider or a pot, plus the connectors and case/housing).


Otherwise, your best option is probably to get a different interface with a knob that does turn-down to zero.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:49 AM   #9
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Are you saying the knob on the bass doesn't go down to zero?
The OP should probably explain this since volume knobs on guitars are already voltage dividers shunting to ground as you turn it down. The other potential issue is throwing dividers like this at signals like this are likely to create RC filters in the process.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:34 PM   #10
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The other potential issue is throwing dividers like this at signals like this are likely to create RC filters in the process.
Yeah... I hate attenuating a signal "for no good reason", especially if it's going into a preamp to be re-amplified. But, sometimes you have to or it's the lesser of two evils. And, any noise on the guitar-side of the attenuator will be reduced along with the signal so it's not always a terrible thing to do.


And, the fact that it's an active bass means you can use lower-value resistors so it can be more immune to noise pick-up than a regular guitar signal.


BTW - I would trust the clipping indicators on the Scarlett. If it's not showing clipping it's probably something else that "sounds like" clipping.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeekat View Post
I think line setting is actually more clipping-resilient than the instrument one (discovered it having a shitty 1st gen Scarlett for a day), just impedance mismatched.

If other possibilites fail, check if the strings don't hit the pole pieces in humbuckers. I used to own kinda-predecessor of this bass (RBX375) and it was the exact thing that happened - strings hitting the pickups sounded like clipping. Solution - lower the pickups or slap some electrical tape on the magnets. Or play less heavy-handed

edit: I see you tried playing light - but still, bass strings bend surprisingly far even played light. Also, check the battery
This ended up being the trick! I put some electrical tape over the poles and recording now is going so much better! Funny how it can be the little obvious things like that. Thanks a ton! 🤘😄
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