So I want to record some bass and perhaps guitar. Got a Laptop with only Mic-In: 16bit 48kHz.
I know it’s not optimal, but for the time being I won’t be having anything better soon. Perhaps I’m already over spoiled with devices, cmon, years ago 16bit48kHz and home multitracking with digital efx etc was only a richboys dream.
I am not going for Pink Floyd sound - think bedroom-punk, diy-pop, poor-wave something like Sleaford Mods seem to be doing.
I got Zoom Four B1X Multipedal and some other Beringer drive and fuzz.
So… should I compress the signal before mic-in. Could I use the Laptops built in mic amp?
If it’s coming out of that Zoom or Behringer, sounds to me like it will be Line level, so you want to be plugging that into a line level input, not a mic. Mic input has very low impedance so you’ll just get nasty distortion. Maybe check if it is a dual input type?
Ultimately, for a few $£ You might be better served with a small usb audio interface? £30-40 will get a decent one (like decent, not crap for the price).
as stated youre going to have issues running a line level signal into a mic input but thats not to say it cant be done. especially if youre not fussed with fidelity
youll likely find running a normal volume in will be heavily distorted. the answer to this being, just turn it down (a lot) on your fx pedal. this will reveal a fair bit of noise but you might be able to find a workable balance.
but yeah a usb interface is the real solution here.
if youre dead set minimal you can get inline interfaces that are integrated into the lead itself. but a decent little box with dedicated hi-z guitar / mic / lin inputs is well worth the space n dosh
Alway better to add the grungy distortion after the fact imo rather than at the input. Some inputs sound good when driven, like on analogue mixers, but rarely a cheap DAC on a laptop. Do consider an interface, you should get better latency and performance from it also.