Getting started with digital guitar plug-ins and audio interfaces

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by pfizer, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. pfizer

    pfizer SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys, maybe you can help me.

    I've been playing with a small lunchbox amp now and I've decided to start saving up money -- right now, I can afford either a really good guitar rig or a really good gaming PC.

    Since I'm really more of a hobbyist, I'm thinking of compromising and giving VST guitar plug-ins a try; I've been told that there's a ton of good-sounding free software out there.

    So now, I'm thinking of getting a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface but I was hoping I could get some help from y'all on how to connect the thing to my PC and basically use my PC as a digital amp rig. I know it connects via USB and I'm planning on using some nice studio monitors as my output.

    I currently have Reaper installed in my computer. I'm trying to figure out if I can use a VST plug-in to just practice and get some nice tones (mostly metal and hard-rock, also some down-tuned djenty tunes); all I see from videos and such is them applying the effects and VST plug-ins to pre-recorded "dry" tracks. I'm looking to be able to record a guitar track as I would a regular amp i.e. with the distortion and the effects and be able to hear it back from my monitors when I play and when I play back what I've recorded.

    Sorry if this is a little long-winded but I've never had any experience with recording and my last attempt with my Yamaha THR10x was kind of a bust; I downloaded ASIOdriver4all and was able to record into Reaper but when I tried to listen to what I had recorded, I couldn't figure out how to get the sound to come out of anything.
     
  2. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Connect focusrite by USB. Select it to be your sound card for both input and output

    Plug guitar into the input. Plug monitors into the outputs of the Focusrite

    I don’t know Reaper, but all DAWs work the same. Add whatever VSTs to the track. Choose your guitar as the input. And you need to enable input monitoring to hear what’s happening.

    You’ll still be recording the dry DI of the guitar. But you’ll hear the signal from the VST live. The VST is then used to process the signal. That’s actually good because you can ‘re-amp’ on the fly by changing the VST settings.
     
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  3. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    ^^^
    pretty much all of that. There are some cool free vsts. Youll need a cab IR loaded like LeCab and some IR's to emulate a guitar cabinet. Theres good free IRs as well but I like the paid Celestion IRs.

    Ignite has some good free Amp sims but there are a bunch out there.

    Regarding Reaper youll just have to go to preferences and VST's. Be sure to set the path that reaper scans for the vsts in the location that you download them to.
     
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  4. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Well, did it work ok?
     
  5. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    What is your budget? Studio monitor sounds great (depending on which ones you get and your room set-up) but it will wont really sound the same as an actual amp. Although if you are used to only using the small (4"??) speakers on the THR10x then it might sounds 10x better. I have had really good results using a very budget friendly set up.

    DAW: Reaper
    Monitors: M-Aubio BX5a's crimson editions but I would suggest getting something better. (yamahas hs5s or bigger depending on your room.)
    Plug-ins: LePou amp sims are killer and can be used for almost anything. I prefer the Mesa rectifier one (don't remember the name off the top of my head) and the LeCab with the seacowlabs IR's. There are tones of packs free for download. Just make sure to run anti-virus as well.
    Interface: Behringer umc22 (it does alright but I will be upgrading soon)

    I also use external pedals to tighten up the tone but I also dry and record a dry track so I can play with the plug-ins to see what I like the best. Hope this helps.
     
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  6. Synllip

    Synllip Cynn

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    For an IR VST I recommend you to check out the Two Notes Wall of Sound, the simulation has so many options and mics and you can tweak it the way you want, also it sounds killer!
    There's free amp VST's like LePou that is worth checking out.
     
  7. pfizer

    pfizer SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the great responses guys!

    I'll definitely do another thread for when I actually get the equipment I need but may I ask where in my PC I can set my Focusrite soundcard for both input and output?

    Around $2K I guess; like I said, I'm building a PC that's going to be both for gaming and recording. At the very least, if I can't get any of the recording stuff to work, I'll still have a gaming rig to drown my sorrows in.
     
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  8. Defyantly

    Defyantly SS.org Regular

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    With that kind of budget you could definitely get a pretty solid rig for what your wanting. Just budget around 1200-1500 for the PC and you will have plenty left over for a good interface (I would look for something better than focusrite) and a pair of decent monitors (Yamaha HS5's or better). Guaranteed that what ever gaming rig you invest in it will be able to handle any type of recording.

    As for your other question. Control panel>Hardware and Sound>Manage Audio Devices. There is a way to do it in reaper as well but I'm not on my home comp so I can explain it very well. Check their website they have tons of tutorials and how-to's.
     

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