fatgleeson
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2011
563 IQ
#1
I want to buy a DI box for recording bass on my PC with my active Squier vint mod Jaguar and I've been looking at this Sansamp: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/tech-21-sansamp-bass-driver-di

Everything I read about it seems to say its a great piece of kit but it's a little pricey for what I want to use it for, considering the features it has other than DI. There is also a big issue with it apparently removing the mids. Perhaps someone has experience with using one for recording?

Before the Sansamp I had been looking at a Presonus Audiobox:
http://www.thomann.de/ie/presonus_audiobox_usb.htm

The Audiobox obviously doesn't have as much tone manipulation as the Sansamp but it does the job of a DI box fairly well from what I hear.

I guess I'm just thinking out loud here... The Sansamp can (hopefully) give me that great tone I want but the mids issue is putting me off. Would it be possible to get an EQ pedal and use that to boost mids before/after the Sansamp?

Maybe someone has an alternative setup for recording that they could share with me? Note that my amp is a piece of crap and I can't buy a new one now - i want to hold off until I can afford a decent one. I'd appreciate any advice you can throw me here
JustPhil
Not beautiful
Join date: May 2007
195 IQ
#2
A (much) cheaper alternative would be a Behringer V-Tone, it's a blatant attempt at copying the SansAmp but it does it quite well. Just be gentle with it since it's made of cheap, horrible plastic.

Video comparison
chatterbox272
Registered User
Join date: May 2011
1,237 IQ
#3
You've picked two completely different pieces of kit there. One (the Sansamp) is a DI box, used for converting your signal into a balanced mic level signal so it may be run through a mic input (e.g. for PA, recording, etc.), and in the case of a sansamp adding distortion.
The other (the audiobox) is a recording interface. Used for, well, recording! It allows you to plug in either an instrument or a mic and recording into a DAW on your computer.

So the question is, what are you actually after? A DI box or a recording interface?

If you're after an interface, don't buy the Audiobox, it's not worth the money. There's a sticky in the recording forums about them but the one that's always recommended is the Focusrite Saffire 6/Scarlett 2i4 (same thing but slightly updated).
If your after a DI box then I'd give the Behringer BDI21 a serious look, I'm yet to hear a comparison where it didn't sound better than the sansamp (even on the blind test over on Talkbass).
fatgleeson
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2011
563 IQ
#4
Quote by chatterbox272
You've picked two completely different pieces of kit there. One (the Sansamp) is a DI box, used for converting your signal into a balanced mic level signal so it may be run through a mic input (e.g. for PA, recording, etc.), and in the case of a sansamp adding distortion.
The other (the audiobox) is a recording interface. Used for, well, recording! It allows you to plug in either an instrument or a mic and recording into a DAW on your computer.

So the question is, what are you actually after? A DI box or a recording interface?

If you're after an interface, don't buy the Audiobox, it's not worth the money. There's a sticky in the recording forums about them but the one that's always recommended is the Focusrite Saffire 6/Scarlett 2i4 (same thing but slightly updated).
If your after a DI box then I'd give the Behringer BDI21 a serious look, I'm yet to hear a comparison where it didn't sound better than the sansamp (even on the blind test over on Talkbass).


Nice answer. Yeah I know they're not the same thing but can they be both used for recording or am I wrong about that? What I want is something I can plug my bass into and record to my PC. Does a DI box allow me to record while also giving me the tone control? Thats really what I want. Or am I misunderstanding what they are used for?

Also is this the Behringer you mentioned? http://www.thomann.de/ie/behringer_vtone_bass_bdi21_analog_modeling_preamp.htm
If so then you just saved me about $200 compared to the Sansamp

Edit: Thanks for the video JustPhil, the difference is like night and day! If its possible to record with that like: bass >> BDI21 >> PC, then I'll definitely get that, or would I need an interface before the PC in that setup?
Last edited by fatgleeson at Jan 18, 2013,
chatterbox272
Registered User
Join date: May 2011
1,237 IQ
#5
Quote by fatgleeson
Nice answer. Yeah I know they're not the same thing but can they be both used for recording or am I wrong about that? What I want is something I can plug my bass into and record to my PC. Does a DI box allow me to record while also giving me the tone control? Thats really what I want. Or am I misunderstanding what they are used for?

Also is this the Behringer you mentioned? http://www.thomann.de/ie/behringer_vtone_bass_bdi21_analog_modeling_preamp.htm
If so then you just saved me about $200 compared to the Sansamp

Edit: Thanks for the video JustPhil, the difference is like night and day! If its possible to record with that like: bass >> BDI21 >> PC, then I'll definitely get that, or would I need an interface before the PC in that setup?

You're misunderstanding. To record you need an interface. You can go Bass -> BDI21 -> Interface -> PC but if you're only using it for recording then you can just use the TSE Audio Bass OverDrive (TSE B.O.D.) plugin which is free.
fatgleeson
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2011
563 IQ
#6
Quote by chatterbox272
You're misunderstanding. To record you need an interface. You can go Bass -> BDI21 -> Interface -> PC but if you're only using it for recording then you can just use the TSE Audio Bass OverDrive (TSE B.O.D.) plugin which is free.


Not sure what you mean. I can use the plugin instead of the BDI21 to affect my sound after recording? I'll still probably get a BDI21 anyway along with an interface to play around with, considering how cheap they are. Thanks for your help btw, I know very little about this
Zaqq
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2011
1,014 IQ
#7
There is also a big issue with it apparently removing the mids.

You can get a Sansamp Para Driver, basically the same thing but for bass, electric guitar, acoustic, etc, and with a full mid control. And guys are right, you need an audio interface, to which you can plug your bass through a Sansamp.
FatalGear41
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Join date: Oct 2009
1,381 IQ
#8
Take a look at Hartke's VXL Bass Attack:

http://www.samsontech.com/hartke/products/accessories/pedals/vxlattack/

This pedal is criminally underrated. It has numerous great tones available, and it sells new for about US$100.00.
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MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
Join date: Oct 2009
3,411 IQ
#9
Think the EQ this way: Because there's no midrange knob, it's the same as if the mids were always at 12 o'clock. So if you want more mids, just turn both treble and bass down. And if you want less mids, turn both treble and bass up.
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Ziphoblat
The Enigma
Join date: Jun 2010
390 IQ
#11
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Think the EQ this way: Because there's no midrange knob, it's the same as if the mids were always at 12 o'clock. So if you want more mids, just turn both treble and bass down. And if you want less mids, turn both treble and bass up.


Just so you know, this isn't how the vast majority of EQ's work and is definitely not a good approach. Cutting lows and highs has a completely different effect tonally than boosting mids. The Bass Driver to my knowledge has an inherent mid scoop, so the more you blend in the affected tone (ie, utilise the pedals tone shaping) the more you lose mids, and there is no way to compensate for that with the pedal alone being your only source of tone shaping.

If you're looking for tone shaping in the form of a pedal check out the Sansamp VT Bass... the standard model has no DI but any half-decent audio interface will have 1/4" jack inputs anyway.
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Last edited by Ziphoblat at Jan 22, 2013,