1. There is a small buzz when I DI my bass. It's a Washburn somehing-or-other. When I mess with the tone knobs I can get the buzz to go away but I can't get any highs from the bass. Is this just a problem with the bass or am I doing something wrong? Can I just gate it out?

2. Shielded Vs. Non-Shielded Cords. How can you tell the difference? I have a few cords that I've had for a while and I am jot which is one or he other.

3. What is a preferred decibel level of a dry input?
Fender Telecaster w/ Dual Gibson Humbuckers
Ovation Celebrity Acoustic/Electric
Fender Frontman 212R
Old Too Young (Folk/Bluegrass/Punk)
The Orange Line (Stoner Metal/Punk/Alternative)
1. It sounds like a grounding issue on the bass, bad wiring or both (cheap guitars and basses have all sorts of fun issues like that). You could gate it but it'll still affect the bass when its not gated (while you're playing). If you know what you're doing, fix the bass yourself, otherwise take it to a shop, shouldn't cost more than $40 to fix.

2. All my shielded cords say right on it that its shielded.

3. Depends on whose playing & how much mixing you plan to do. I typically track everything so that it hits about 12db (which is where most volume faders in most DAWs start hitting yellow) but doesn't get much higher than that. This gives plenty of headroom for mixing and allows the occasional loud note without it clipping.
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