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Guide: Re-Amping with external sound card/audio interface

imrecs

Inspired
I thought it was possible to record both the DI and effected/wet/stereo signal simultaneously via USB. Am I wrong? I haven't tried this yet though was planning on tracking this way (USB - fully wet + DI at the same time, so that in the mix phase if a tone I chose needs some tweaking I have the option to do so).
 

rickgk

Experienced
Are you sure it's actually sending them all and recording or is it just during monitoring that the guitars seem to sound like crap? Reason I ask is that I mute the original wet track because there is going to be some latency between the original and the re-amp during the re-amp take and it creates phasing issues as well as the levels are jacked up because you aren't mixing at that point (and you shouldn't be jacking with your levels while you record anyway). In my case it's not sending the original wet back into the AxeFXII even though at times it almost sounds like it from the monitors.

Now if you are in fact sending everything back to the AxeFXII and it's recording then you've got to go into the track routing and make sure that you are not sending the other tracks to the digital output....and you may have to check with your interface to make sure that it's not doing it behind your back as well. The only track that should be sending to the AxeFXII's digital input is the dry track and that should not be sending to the master/parent output.

It's definitely sending anything that is not muted back for reamping and of course sounds terrible.
I mute the wet track but want to listen to the bass and drums but it's sending those back through as well.

I am using reaper with an Mbox 2 and notice that there is no option to send to spdif outputs, I'll have to go back over this and figure out what is up. If anyone else uses a similar setup and has got it running ok in the mix then please chime in.

Once again if i mute everything but the dry track it reamps no problem, but i really want to do it in the mix.
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
Check the routing matrix in Reaper. If you are going to be able to do it then it will be in there.
 

rickgk

Experienced
Check the routing matrix in Reaper. If you are going to be able to do it then it will be in there.

Thanks Shasha I will check that out.

Also what is the usual method for aligning reamped tracks that have delayed? Sorry for all the basic questions, I'm a bit of a noob at this.
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
You can calculate the latency difference and use a plugin in Reaper to compensate for it, but its never as precise as just nudging to align them in my experience. It seems to vary between sessions. I suspect it has to do with clock drift or something.
 

GotMetalBoy

Power User
Thank you. This is great. I have to admit I hesitated to click the link when you first posted bc I thought I may get Rickrolled haha. I really like the layout of your guide, especially the colors. I'm dyslexic but found it really easy to read.

It would be really cool if FAS could add the SPDIF settings to Axe-Edit bc you'll definitely be at your computer when recording and re-amping. I wonder if USB ground loops can cause noises thru SPDIF? I sometimes get USB ground loops but I don't think I've ever had USB and SPDIF connected at the same time. I'll have to try connecting both sometime this week.
 

DukeOfPrunes

Experienced
I've been working on this the last few days through PM with forum member rm60 and while it may need some refinement, I figured that it was good enough to post at this point. Basically its how I do it and it works....that doesn't mean that I left something out. :)

Now the reason that I'm doing this is because since Cliff added the ability to sync to external digital clocks this is a much easier process and is accessible to a lot more people who may have had clock jitter issues before. The biggest challenge with using an external sound card is that using anything other than digital for the dry signal in my experience has led to noise because the dry signal is so low that there just isn't enough SNR to keep from picking up hum. Basically when I would re-amp all analog you could hear a distinct difference using the same patch. This way uses digital for the dry guitar signal path and analog for the fully effected wet recording. And it works fantastic; you can't hear a difference.

The reason that this is a good idea? Because I can leave my monitors connected to the computer's sound card which has a lot more inputs and features then the AxeFXII's onboard USB sound card (which does work very well, but is only for the AxeFXII to record).

So rather than type up the process I figured that pictures and instructions would work so here it is.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Hi shasha, thanks for the informative chart. The link appears to be dead; is it possible to revive it?
 

ivar

Member
That's terrific, Shasha!

I used to have my main input from RME via AES but RME doesn't have Humbuster technology so I always got in addition little hum.

Your method works perfectly, just reconnected everything et voila!

Thanks a million!
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
For those looking for perfect alignement, you can use this one loop of 500hz sine wave :

http://we.tl/1GyED58hfq
http://www.ahjteam.com/upload/2008/500hz_sine_for_alignment.wav

Put this wav in front of the DI-signal and use it for alignment, works like a charm.
Using SPDIF, I get an audible shift so this is very useful to align perfectly.

(wav found on Ultimatemetal.com, provided by ahjteam)
I forgot to mention (been really busy), but Rob (rm60) and I were discussing this through PM while working on putting this guide together. It's the one thing that I've struggled with for a while (besides the clock issues that are fixed now). He said something so brilliantly simple that I experienced that light bulb moment.

Basically he said that he just re-amps all the tracks (even the original take) and that way you never have to worry about alignment because all tracks will be recorded with the same amount of delay. Sure you've got to do it one more time, but unless you're dealing with 50 tracks and a 20 minute epic song it's not going to add that much time to your project....plus you are already re-amping so it's not like you're going to be doing something off the wall here. I'm not saying that it's the only way to do it, but once you start nudging and calculating offsets and crap you have time invested and no guarantees.....this way will always work.

I was actually kind of embarrassed that I didn't think of it because it's such an easy solution and after he told me its a pretty damn obvious one. :encouragement:
 

DukeOfPrunes

Experienced
Link works here. Maybe the server was down for a bit; try it again.

ok thanks, works now, probably some firewall issue at work.

I am also currently trying to use spdif and syncing the clock while using 2 audio interfaces, so hopefully this will be helpful.
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
How would that then sync to say your midi drum tracks etc?
Are you talking about re-amping everything? I haven't seen an issue with it because we're talking about milliseconds and it's more about phasing issues then actual timing. If you record the first take (dry and wet) and then re-amp and play the two wet tracks together you will hear it. If you mute one at a time you shouldn't hear enough delay to be out of time with the drums.
 

Kaldeth

New Member
Thank you so much for this Shasha! Although, I tried this and I can't seem to get it to work. I am using Cubase 5 with a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 and I have all of the proper cables for all the hook ups in your guide but I think I am just getting a little confused with what you mean when you say "Source: Digital input (L) / Destination: Digital output (L) for the dry track being reamped. Does anyone have any experience with my DAW and audio interface and can explain what these two sources would be labeled as? Also, are you saying that for the destination, I need to make a mono output buss routed to Digital output (L) and send the dry track to that?
 

WatersDeep

Inspired
The analog cables are unnecessary for the S/PDIF. I connect directly to the AXE front input, then S/PDIF cables in/out to audio interface. In the DAW I create 3 tracks and set inputs right for dry, left for wet and center for reamp. Use the mixer at the last shunt to split the S/PDIF signal with a dry right and wet left. Record dry and wet to tracks 1 and 2. When its time to reamp, change mixer in last shunt to stereo muting the dry path and reamp to the 3rd track in the DAW that is set with input center stereo.

I created a walk thru a couple years back that includes how to setup the DAW which may help you.

http://forum.fractalaudio.com/axe-f...amp-tutorial-sonar-x2-presonus-axe-fx-ii.html
 

EdToShred

Member
I used this technique a while back with the SPDIF. But, took it one step further. You can setup up your preset so that you route the dry signal from the CAB block to output 2 L&R and the wet to Output 1 L&R to get the wet signal. So, you end up recording 5 tracks at a time. It works well. And having that clean out of the guitar track is awesome if you decide you want to reamp later.

Great graphic! Wish I'd had that when I first did it.
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
Thank you so much for this Shasha! Although, I tried this and I can't seem to get it to work. I am using Cubase 5 with a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 and I have all of the proper cables for all the hook ups in your guide but I think I am just getting a little confused with what you mean when you say "Source: Digital input (L) / Destination: Digital output (L) for the dry track being reamped. Does anyone have any experience with my DAW and audio interface and can explain what these two sources would be labeled as? Also, are you saying that for the destination, I need to make a mono output buss routed to Digital output (L) and send the dry track to that?
I prefer using mono for the dry signal since the guitar itself is mono. I always use stereo tracks for the wet because I always have some kind of modulation in my patch and it just sounds better to me to use stereo. Basically I know that I'm not going to end up summing something to mono by accident or missing half of my stereo field. That's just a personal preference.

I'm not real familiar with Cubase, but most DAW's are relatively the same. For the dry track you want to record the digital output of the AxeFXII so you select the SPDIF input of your audio interface. When you reamp you do not want that signal being routed to anywhere else except back out to the AxeFXII via SPDIF output of your audio interface.

However you want to record the wet is up to you. Digital makes sense. Analog works for me. Just make sure that you have the AxeFXII set correctly for what you are routing through it at the time; i.e., if you are using all digital you will have to change the digital output from input1 to output1 when re-amping and back when recording the first dry take.

If you follow WatersDeep method you won't have to do that, but you will have to put a shunt in every patch to make it work.

Just try to think about what you are trying to do with the routing of the signal during each step and what the AxeFXII should be doing at that time. If it's the first take think about how the dry signal is going to get to the DAW. If it's the reamped take think about routing that dry signal from the track it is on to the input of the AxeFXII and how you will be getting that wet signal into the DAW.

If I can ever figure out a good screencap program and get some free time I'll put together a video. I don't have a mic at the house right now other than a headset thing and I'm pretty sure that I can't use two audio devices at the same time in any capture app.
 

rickgk

Experienced
I still can't figure out how to get this to work in the mix, as soon as I try to reamp, any channel that is not muted gets sent back to the axefx including drums etc and sounds awful.
The only way it works is if I mute everything but the dry track, but then I can't hear what it sounds like in the mix.

EDIT: after some more investigation it seems this is an mbox2 limitation with assigning spdif outs, so looks like it's time for a new interface or I'll just try and use the axe2 usb for reamping.
 
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shasha

Fractal Fanatic
I had some time after going to the doctor's office this morning and put together a quick animated GIF on how I use it in Reaper. Just remember that the default input when I create a track is analog from the AxeFXII so I didn't show how to set that up. Just make sure that your wet and reamp tracks are taking the AxeFXII's wet output.

Re-Amping_1_zpstphrxwul.gif
 
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