How to best utilize Laptops Mic-In input for recording bass\guitar

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 :wink: 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?

Thanks in advance! :+1::pray:

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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).

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I have only one port - for TRRS jack - I use Y-splitter to separate Mic from Line-out. In Windows audio settings, for Mic,there is general volume from 0 to 100, and gain from 0dB to +20dB.

I guess ill just figure out through diy. Perhaps USB interface is not a bad idea, yet I want to keep the setup as minimal as possible.

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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

oh right maybe give that a go?

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.