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Problems Recording Bass with Onyx Blackjack Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 16th September 2011
  #1
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Problems Recording Bass with Onyx Blackjack

Hello! I am new here and jumping right in with a question.

I am a total newb. My experience is with playing live and recording in a studio with an enginner. After doing a ton of research here, I decided to pick up a Mackie Onyx Blackjack for home recording (trying to make demo quality music). I also bought SONAR X1 LE, which seems to have been a bad choice as it isn't working with the BJ. So for now, I am using Audacity.

I am getting a strange rattle/clipping on my bass tones (Example: http://mikefugazzi.com/files/Rattle_Demo.mp3). It is NOT there in monitoring through speakers or headphones. It ONLY occurs on playback. I have spent hours trying to figure out that cause with no luck. I realize this clip isn't amplified enough - I recorded it with my gain way down in effort to try to limit the rattle.

The format for the music is very much like Son of Dave (SON OF DAVE - YouTube). I am using two channels...one for vocals and one for instrumentation. Where this becomes confusing for others is that I play harmonica, beatbox, and sing bass lines with an octave pedal all into the same mic (see above YouTube...I try to do it the same way).

So channel two is an SM57 that runs to my looper/effects (Line6 M13) and then to the Blackjack. I have tried using a Tech21 Sansamp Blonde as an amp emulator/DI, but that makes the bass rattle worse.

To summarize, all the instrumentation is on one track and done live using looping. Nothing clips on the BJ. Nothing clips in Audacity. I try to record "silently" and monitor with Sennheiser HD380 headphones, but I also use my PA monitor (QSC K10) for playback when I can.

I have tried every possible combination of gear and settings possible to try and figure out why this rattling sound occurs ONLY on the bass lines I sing into the bass octaver, why it gets worse with the Tech21, and why I can't eliminate it. It has happend on the beatboxing lines - just the bass drum sounds - but that was easily remedied by adjusting the gain on the BJ. When I use this rig live through a PA, I have no bass rattle at all.

I am total newb, and I can't find any info specific what makes that sound. Do I need something inline between the rig and BJ? Is the BJ faulty? I am totally stressed about this!!! Thanks for any advice. I do want to be really clear, though, that I've tried recording the bass parts separately, using different octavers, changing the mix, changing the eq, changing mics, changing my mic technqiue, singing lines at different volumes...
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