I am using Audacity 2.1.3 in windows 8.1.My question would be if I could plug in my Washburn Bass directly to my PC to record in Audacity.I do not have a preamp set up and i would like to create live bass tracks in Audacity.Another thing,will directly plugging in a Bass guitar damage my PC??
It’s not ideal.
The signal level of your bass will be massively higher than a microphone signal, so it is likely to massively distort if you plug into a mic input. There is a risk that it could cause permanent damage - ie destroy the mic input, so I’d not recommend trying this.
If your computer has a “line” input, then you may be able to use that, but the level may be rather low (opposite problem to the mic input) though this is very “hardware dependent”. You would of course need a special lead to convert from 1/4" jack to mini-jack. Note that the mini-jack socket is not very physically strong, and it may be soldered directly onto the mother board, so you would need to always be very careful to avoid putting physical stress on the socket. A better way to do this would be to make a box with a 1/4" jack socket, and a mini-jack lead. Plug the box into your computer and plug your bass into the box (with a standard 1/4" instrument lead). If the box is reasonably heavy, or screwed to something secure, then it will protect you from ripping the mini-jack socket out of your computer, and has the convenience that you don’t then need a special lead.
On playback - the bass will sound terrible playing on laptop speakers and probably sound pretty bad on small external computer speakers. Small speakers don’t handle bass well.
Thank you so much.Your input has helped me a lot.Thanx once more.