Virtual Effects and Amp Sims with Audio Interface recording

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by rydin4lifebass, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. I've made a few posts recently about recording my bass into a Zoom B3 unit, into my Fender Amp, and then using the XLR out on the amp into a Tascam DP-008 unit to record. I then take those tracks and manipulate (apply limiter, nomalize, etc.) in Audacity.
    If I were to record directly into an audio interface and then into my PC I have two basic questions:

    1) Does my soundcard need to be upgraded or can I just plug into USB and be good to go?

    2) The effects on the Zoom unit are easy to work with, but I'm not familiar with effect and amp sim plugins on the computer. Right now I use Audacity because it's free. How do virtual effects and amp sims work when recording directly to a computer. I'm guessing that I would need a more intensive program to do the simulation and recording in one. Is that correct or how does that work? If you have any instructional videos on this or recommendations, it is greatly appreciated.
  2. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Audacity will load VST plugins

    Realtime VST can take some CPU power. Simples ones are fine. Many amp sims are coded to be low CPU load and realtime.

    Still, It's always best to record a straight raw track.
    Then add effects in the DAW, Audacity in this case. In this case it's not realtime but the DAW will account for latency. At least every daw I use compensates for VST effect latency without having to change anything.

    And you can always "re-amp". That is loop it back through the Zoom to add effects after you've recorded it raw.
  3. Mcgiver69


    Sep 28, 2005
    Sound advice right there, the problem with using the B3 sounds is that if for some reason you don't like how your sound came out you'll have to re-record everything but by just recording your raw sound and then taylor it using plugins you'll have the ability of coming back and change things up.
    If you are used to Audacity try Tracktion (version 6 is totally free and fully feature) it has that simple screen that will feel very familiar to you.
  4. Thanks @seamonkey and @Mcgiver I'll have to check the VST plugins and the Tracktion software. I'm not familiar with either honestly.

    I just did a quick Google search and it looks like there are a variety of free and paid instrument and effect plugins. Do you have any recommendations on where to find plugins for bass specifically?

    I'll also check out Tracktion (does that load plugins like VST as well?)

    Thanks again guys!
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  5. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    Depending on the interface. Some like the Presonus audiobox doesn't need a computer sound card to operate. You just plug the instrument line into the interface and the interface sends the recording signal to the computer via USB cable. Also, your monitors and/or headphones connect directly to the interface for monitoring and playback.
  6. Mcgiver69


    Sep 28, 2005
    Yes Tracktion is completely free and you can use third party plugins, unlimited tracks, etc...
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