I've been playing the bass for a few years now and want to start recording some of my songs. I've also just moved cities and am trying to save on space/money/number of belongings, so I'm a bit unsure as how to proceed here.

Do I need an amp if I'm going to be just practicing / recording what I play? I have a set of headphones with quarter inch plugs already, and I most likely won't be trying to play any gigs while I'm in this city. Would the interface give me all the capabilities I need for those two things?



If you are talking bass guitar only, I'd say that would work fine. An audio interface has outputs for both headphones and your computer (USB for example). So you can record and/or hear yourself play.

For guitar (and possibly bass) you'll most likely want some effects (amp simulation, distortion, reverb, ...). In that case you'll either need to put a pedal between the guitar and the interface, or use a pedal unit that has interface capabilities (such as the Line6 HD500X). (Alternatively, you can create these effects digitally in your DAW, but that might give too much delay when listening to the processed signal).

  • Luckily, the basic workflow setup is virtually free using open source and free software, so the OP can test the waters without any investment. Further reading: "vst host amp sim asio asio4all". If it works, then the OP can start looking for the important bits to upgrade. – Yorik Feb 5 '16 at 18:13
  • Thanks! Just bought a Focusrite Scarlett interface. I have a distortion pedal - will the effect work well when piped through the interface? – king_geedorah Feb 5 '16 at 19:20
  • @king_geedorah Nothing for it but plugging in and trying! However, the distortion might sound raw because there's no amp behind it. You can always try to put a Cabinet IR plugin in your DAW, these can be excellent cabinet simulators to make your "head/pedal tone" sound amazing. – FDM Feb 12 '16 at 7:25

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