Simple Setup Question About Using Current Hardware

HI!

I’m using an old Dell t1700 workstation with 32g ram running Windows 11. Disk space is not an issue. I downloaded the latest version of Audacity (3.2.1) last night.

I’m a musician. I simply want to be able to record a few tracks to share ideas with members of my praise team at church.

In my 50+ years of playing bass I’ve never recorded anything. I’m about to start the tutorial to see if I can record more than one track. :slight_smile:

So, I’m clueless.

That’s my intro.

Now, I’m trying set up my equipment for recording. I have my bass guitar, an acoustic guitar (no pickups), and an USB mic.

I could record everything with the mic, but I’d like to connect the bass to the PC. And the only way I have to connect my bass to my PC (without having to go to the store) is to connect it through my amplifier and connecting the amplifiers phone-out jack to my PC’s line-in jack. But I worry that that connection may overpower my line-in jack on the PC. Should I use the mic-in jack instead?

All help appreciated.

Marshall

And the only way I have to connect my bass to my PC (without having to go to the store) is to connect it through my amplifier and connecting the amplifiers phone-out jack to my PC’s line-in jack.

Is “phone output” a headphone output? (The regular 1/4" guitar input is often called a “phone jack” because that type of connector was originally used on telephone switchboards.)

You CAN connect headphone-out to line-in. The signal/voltage levels are about the same. The main difference is that a headphone output is capable of driving a lower impedance load and headphone outputs always have a volume control whereas not all line-outputs are volume controlled.

And … I assume you have a desktop/tower computer with a regular soundcard and line-in? (Most laptops only have mic-in and headphone out.)

Hey, DVDdoug!

Thanks for replying.

Correct. It’s a headphone out jack on my amp I’m wanting to connect. After posting this I found that my aux cable won’t reach the back of the PC (Yes, a tower), so I’m wondering if the Mic-In will work as well. I’m using a USB Mic, so I don’t know if that might cause a problem.

Marshall

The mic input will “work” but a line-level signal is about 100 times stronger that a line-level or headphone-level signal so you may get distortion and the mic preamp in a soundcard is often a little noisy. You won’t damage anything (except maybe the sound). …You might even like bass with distortion.