Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

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Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by dgrm44 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:37 pm

This is my second try to post here. I am recent user of Cubase, so far I like a lot of things about its workflow. Question, how do users typically work with VST plugins of guitar amp models and track them live....then render down (without using FREEZE or other faster than realtime options)?
I can't easily route a track output to input a new blank track for real time rendering.

Thanks.

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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by Martin.Jirsak » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:26 am

Hi,

The best practice is to record the dry signal. Then you can change all settings while mixing. So you apply the plug-ins to the Audio effect as an Insert effect, while recording. You have to count with the latency then.

Then you can edit it, mix it... In the Export > Audio Mixdown, you can decide to export in realtime or in offline mode (which is enabled by default).
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by dgrm44 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:09 pm

I have to track with Amp Modeling plugin on and my audio interface buffer low. This allows me to hear the amp while recording and get a good recording/performance.

I have used the Audio Mixdown, its a shame that can't hear playback as it mixes the channel(s) down.

Are there plans for Cubase to add feature so that any channel can take any other channel as INPUT for quick recording/bounce? Cubase is first DAW that I have found that doesn't implement this. Thanks.

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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by babaorum » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:21 pm

Are there plans for Cubase to add feature so that any channel can take any other channel as INPUT for quick recording/bounce?
- A quick recording is the mixdown offline.
- You can easily record a track by another one where is the problem ?
- Why do you need to ear the mixdown ? you can ear as often as you want before mixdown isn't it ?
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by planarchist » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:28 pm

dgrm44 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:09 pm
I have to track with Amp Modeling plugin on and my audio interface buffer low. This allows me to hear the amp while recording and get a good recording/performance.
You don't need to have the plug-in on the input channel.

If you put it on the Track you're recording to instead you'll still be able to hear the effect of the plugin whilst recording but can then change the settings afterwards as you've only recorded the dry guitar.
dgrm44 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:09 pm
Are there plans for Cubase to add feature so that any channel can take any other channel as INPUT for quick recording/bounce? Cubase is first DAW that I have found that doesn't implement this. Thanks.
Which version of Cubase do you have (Elements/Artist/Pro)? Not being able to route tracks back in to others is a limitation of the lower versions.
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by dgrm44 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:17 pm

babaorum wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:21 pm
- You can easily record a track by another one where is the problem ?
- Why do you need to ear the mixdown ? you can ear as often as you want before mixdown isn't it ?
How do you easily record a track to another one? In Studio One, lets say I have one track that has Amplitube 4 as insert effect and I have recorded guitar to that track. I can then add a second track, set its input to the first track and record on....click transport record and sit back and make sure I don't hear any pops/dropouts/anomalies during the bounce.

I can't figure out how to easily do this in Cubase. Thanks.

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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by dgrm44 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:19 pm

planarchist wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:28 pm

You don't need to have the plug-in on the input channel.

If you put it on the Track you're recording to instead you'll still be able to hear the effect of the plugin whilst recording but can then change the settings afterwards as you've only recorded the dry guitar.

Which version of Cubase do you have (Elements/Artist/Pro)? Not being able to route tracks back in to others is a limitation of the lower versions.
I think there is some confusion here. I create a new audio track, add Amplitube plugin as insert effect to the track, set record and monitor to ON. Then click transport record. I can then hear the guitar as it goes through the Amplitube plugin while I play/record.

I have Cubase 9.5 (latest update) Pro.

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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by babaorum » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:37 pm

dgrm44 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:17 pm
How do you easily record a track to another one? In Studio One, lets say I have one track that has Amplitube 4 as insert effect and I have recorded guitar to that track. I can then add a second track, set its input to the first track and record on....click transport record and sit back and make sure I don't hear any pops/dropouts/anomalies during the bounce.

I can't figure out how to easily do this in Cubase. Thanks.
Exactly the same in Cubase but you don't need to indicate specific input if you put Solo your tracks (guitar and audio which will record) you'll be able to record only your guitar.
But seriously I don't see the advantage to record in real time it's so simple to render or mixdown and listen after the result ... ;)
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by DaveAbbott » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:02 pm

Hi dgrm44

I hate to bring this up, but when you play the track back, have you remembered to turn Input monitoring OFF, if you don’t you won’t hear a thing. I mention this because it seems you are doing everything right otherwise.

Best Regards, Dave
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by dgrm44 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:31 pm

babaorum wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:37 pm
Exactly the same in Cubase but you don't need to indicate specific input if you put Solo your tracks (guitar and audio which will record) you'll be able to record only your guitar.
But seriously I don't see the advantage to record in real time it's so simple to render or mixdown and listen after the result ... ;)
I don't understand the first sentence? I have outlined two scenarios in this thread, first - recording a guitar track using a VST insert amp modeler plugin like Amplitube....and the second - using a second track to bounce the first track to. With the first scenario the input is my audio interface channel with my guitar coming in via a radial direct box. With the second scenario, the input to the original track would not matter, but the input to the new bounce track would be the original guitar track that I just recorded. Make sense now?

And for your second comment, its a matter of saving time. When I bounce a lot of tracks over the course of a project that extra time adds up.
Last edited by dgrm44 on Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by dgrm44 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:34 pm

DaveAbbott wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:02 pm
Hi dgrm44

I hate to bring this up, but when you play the track back, have you remembered to turn Input monitoring OFF, if you don’t you won’t hear a thing. I mention this because it seems you are doing everything right otherwise.

Best Regards, Dave
Thanks. I figured that one out right away :-) I have seen that behavior in other DAWS as well.

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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by peakae » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:05 pm

If you route your track to a group channel, you can use that group channel as a input for a second audio track.
You can also instead create a Output Bus that is not connected to any output, and use that for output of the first guitar track and input for the second track.
I would not bother, just do a “Render In Place” when you want to commit the changes to a new track.
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by dgrm44 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:18 pm

peakae wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:05 pm
If you route your track to a group channel, you can use that group channel as a input for a second audio track.
You can also instead create a Output Bus that is not connected to any output, and use that for output of the first guitar track and input for the second track.
I would not bother, just do a “Render In Place” when you want to commit the changes to a new track.
I read about the group channel option in another post while researching, the Output Bus option is new but sounds like same amount of work. I hope Cubase will get updated to allow better routing...easier/quicker routing of tracks as inputs to other tracks (common feature in DAWS).

Btw - Render In Place is faster than real time and can cause dropout/pops/clicks/anomolies. I don't trust faster than realtime anymore. Been burned too many times in the past. Thanks.

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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by planarchist » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:07 am

dgrm44 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:18 pm

I read about the group channel option in another post while researching, the Output Bus option is new but sounds like same amount of work.
It may sound like a lot of work but it really doesn't take long to set up (a minute?). If it's something you're going to use regularly you can have it set up in your templates, then it's there waiting for you.
dgrm44 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:18 pm
I hope Cubase will get updated to allow better routing...easier/quicker routing of tracks as inputs to other tracks (common feature in DAWS).
Unlikely this is very high on their list but more likely if you either add your +1 to an existing suggestion (it does come up occasionally from new users so may be there) or create one in the Suggestions bit of the forum.

viewforum.php?f=249
dgrm44 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:18 pm
Btw - Render In Place is faster than real time and can cause dropout/pops/clicks/anomolies. I don't trust faster than realtime anymore. Been burned too many times in the past. Thanks.
RIP shouldn't introduce artifacts, there's something wrong somewhere if it does. I use RIP on nearly all projects on many tracks without issue. One of my favourite features of the program.
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by peakae » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:41 pm

Real time rendering or recording is more likely to introduce artifacts.
Non real-time rendering will render even even if your cpu can’t keep up, it will just take longer than real-time .
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by dgrm44 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:00 am

peakae wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:41 pm
Real time rendering or recording is more likely to introduce artifacts.
Non real-time rendering will render even even if your cpu can’t keep up, it will just take longer than real-time .
We could debate this back and forth. All I can do is go by my experience thus far and when I bounce with decent buffers on my high powered system in real time, I never have any issues in any DAW I use. Thanks.

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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by peakae » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:25 pm

Sure, there is no right or wrong.
Life is just to short for real time :-)
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by dgrm44 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:37 pm

peakae wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:25 pm
Life is just to short for real time :-)
So last night did a test with R.I.P. using EastWest Play VSTi. Cellos ended up having crackles after the render. So....I can spend my short life chasing down the perfect settings within the entire signal chain for this one VSTi track to fix this issue, or I can just bounce in real time and be done with it.

Note that I spent time writing the cello piece, listening to it in context with entire mix, then doing the R.I.P, THEN listening back to it so that I can verify it was a clean render...noticing the crackles that didn't previously exist...undo the render, re-bounce in real time and finally listening again and all is good. My point being R.I.P adds more time as I have to listen to it and verify that it was indeed a good bounce before moving on in the mix.

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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by peakae » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:08 pm

Well, then there is something wrong somewhere.
I do use RIP daily without issues, including EW Play.
When I have had problems, it has been down to using buggy plugins, or using a bitbridge
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by planarchist » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:34 am

peakae wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:08 pm
Well, then there is something wrong somewhere.
I do use RIP daily without issues, including EW Play.
When I have had problems, it has been down to using buggy plugins, or using a bitbridge
+1 to this.

Seriously, if this were me I'd spend some time working out what is causing the problem as RIP is a great feature....makes what the OP is after really quick and easy.
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by strummer » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:08 pm

Maybe I am dumb as f**k, but if you want to record wet, why don't you just put the amp modeler vst on the input channel?
(I don't really understand why you don't just leave the plugin on the track, but I guess you manage huge projects and need to save processing power?)
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by dgrm44 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:44 pm

strummer wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:08 pm
Maybe I am dumb as f**k, but if you want to record wet, why don't you just put the amp modeler vst on the input channel?
(I don't really understand why you don't just leave the plugin on the track, but I guess you manage huge projects and need to save processing power?)
Your not so dumb after all :D You answered your own question. When you have a large project with lots of vst guitar inserts and midi vsti's, then it can help to bounce them down to audio while recording (audio interface buffers are low so that latency isn't an issue while tracking the vst guitars) and later jack up your audio interface buffers and start mixing.

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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by dgrm44 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:50 pm

planarchist wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:34 am

Seriously, if this were me I'd spend some time working out what is causing the problem as RIP is a great feature....makes what the OP is after really quick and easy.
Something else I have noticed about RIP. It doesn't disable the VST plugin or VST instrument. Note that there is a difference between activating/deactivating vs enable/disable plugins in a project. When you truly disable a plugin you gain all the cpu back it was using, this isn't the case when using RIP and deactivating your plugins.

Actually, I am not sure if Cubase allows disabling of plugins....need to research that.

** UPDATE - Alt + Clicking bypass will disable the plugin.

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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by strummer » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:43 pm

dgrm44 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:31 pm
I have outlined two scenarios in this thread, first - recording a guitar track using a VST insert amp modeler plugin like Amplitube....and the second - using a second track to bounce the first track to. With the first scenario the input is my audio interface channel with my guitar coming in via a radial direct box. With the second scenario, the input to the original track would not matter, but the input to the new bounce track would be the original guitar track that I just recorded. Make sense now?

And for your second comment, its a matter of saving time. When I bounce a lot of tracks over the course of a project that extra time adds up.
So, while I'm not really sure if you want to use the tracks you have "bounced" when mixing, or if it's just that you want guitars through amps while recording more stuff, I would suggest that the simplest (and by far least time consuming) way to accomplish a wet and a dry track at the same time is to simply record to two different tracks at the same time. Just create a new mono bus called wet guitar, set the input to the input you normally plug your guitar into, then put whatever amp plugin on the wet input and record both the wet and dry (from your normal bus) at the same time. Even if you take into account the fact that you chave to create two tracks, you'll save a lot of time even if the song is just a minute long:)
That's what I think I'd do.
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Re: Tracking VST Guitar Plugins

Post by dgrm44 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:42 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, but I need to hear the vst plugin while I track the guitars ,then bounce it down to another audio track (which will include the vst guitar effect so its wet, not a dry track) and disable the vst plugin, thus regaining CPU as I track my guitars and midi virtual instruments. I hope that makes sense.

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