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sending audio out of computer?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by newpollutino, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. newpollutino

    newpollutino Guest

    Hi everyone. Sorry if this is an obvious question.. I've just never done this and am getting a bit confused on the best way to do it.

    I'm recording with cubase but I mostly use hardware effects and I also sometimes use a 4-track. I basically want to be able to send tracks that I've recorded in cubase out of my computer and into various effects (such as a spring reverb) and back into the computer. Or I want to be able to send tracks out of the computer and into the 4-track recorder.

    It seems simple but I don't really get how to do it. I'm currently using a tascam us-122 usb interface. it has an 'insert' slot for left and right channels but don't know if they'll let me use this. I read the interface manuel and it briefly mentions the inserts but I haven't gotten them to do what I want. Do I need a mixer to do this or should I be able to do it with the interface? Thanks for any info, your help is greatly appreciated.
  2. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    You need more outputs to do that properly.

    The inserts are no good for audio that you have already recorded into your DAW: these just provide a way to patch hardware between the mic pre-amp and the AD converter while recording.

    To use external hardware after recording audio you would need to route the tracks out to your hardware via one or two spare audio outputs, then back into your software via one or two spare audio inputs... as your US-122 appears only to have two outputs this is not really an option.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    IIRs is right about the inserts and the limitations of the US-122 interface.

    However, you could add outboard effects two channels at a time using the two-channel output capability of the US-122. You would have carefully to line up the latencies of re-recorded tracks with respect to the original playing tracks, but that's not too difficult.

    I don't see a way of getting four tracks correctly aligned to your four-track recorder, though.

    Maybe it's time to think about a new interface with a higher channel count (in and out) if you are likely to be doing this sort of work frequently.
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't this be creating a feedback loop? You would have to do one track at a time and you'd need to be sure enough with your track to commit.
  5. newpollutino

    newpollutino Guest

    Thanks for all of your advice! This is really helpful.

    I now understand that the inserts are not what I'm looking for, since they're for adding hardware effects AS you record something.

    I think sending only 2 tracks of audio out at a time would be fine for now (when I send stuff to the 4-track I'll probably be bouncing it down to 2 tracks anyway), but sadly I can't even get that to work.

    All the us-122 has on its front is 2 mic ins, 2 line ins, and 2 inserts. On the back of the interface there are two rca outputs labeled line out L and R, but I assume those are just for monitoring. Does this mean that this interface doesn't have any way of sending audio out or am I missing something?

    If it can't send audio out then what kind of replacement interface/mixer would let me do this stuff? I'm fine getting a new piece of equipment if it will let me do this. Thanks again for your help, it's greatly appreciated.
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    With the US-122 you have two outputs. Monitor out L and R. That's it. If you wan't more than that you will need to get another interface.
  7. newpollutino

    newpollutino Guest

    But does it make sense to use those monitor outs to send certain tracks to a 4 track or hardware effects? Do I just need to get some rca to 1/4in. cables and plug those in?
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't do it. If you're planning to bring these back into the DAW, you're just going to end up doing more cleanup work. What kind of four track are we talking here? Reel to Reel or cassette. If you're talking cassette it'll be pointless. You'd only be adding noise.

    If you plan on routing to effects and back into the DAW, you'll need to do it one track at a time and you need to pan everything HARD left and right. otherwise you will be creating a feedback loop. So send out right and return left.
  9. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

  10. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    think about it

    hueseph is suggesting to use the stereo out as a two send device

    channel one for the effects send
    channels two for monitoring

    print the effects you need
    then revert back to a stereo mix
  11. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oh, ok. So "one track at a time" means mono. (My DAW has stereo tracks!)
  12. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I read the Jp22 thread today: all I can think of is

    My DAW uses stereo tracks! Ha ha!
  13. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    we can only try to help
  14. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Looks like the misunderstanding is in what is played and recorded. The original suggestion was to play two independent tracks through the L and R stereo out, apply effects and then record the wets to two new tracks. No feedback danger with that route.

    The big problem with the US-122 is that the outputs are single-ended at -10dBV (domestic standard). This may not be enough to drive the outboard effects units correctly unless they can be switched to take -10dBV inputs.
  15. newpollutino

    newpollutino Guest

    Thanks for the clarification boswell.

    So just to make sure i get it: the line out RCA outputs on the us-122 are -10dBV? Is that always the case with RCA outs?

    How can I deal with this? Do I just need an interface with better outputs?
  16. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    But how are you going to monitor? You will need to mute the new tracks that you are recording to because, although you are recording to two new tracks, there is nothing you can do about the fact that they will still go to the main stereo output. Instant feedback loop. Can you record to a muted track in Cubase LE? And, if you can, how do you know that what you're recording is what you want? If this was tape with a physical mixer ok, you could probably get away with it but I'm not so sure you can in software.

    May I extrapolate?

    Stereo out >effects in>effect out>line in>new track in DAW>track to stereo out>feedback loop!
  17. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Of course there is: disable internal monitoring.
  18. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Alrighty. I'll give it a shot when I get home and see what happens. Still aren't you essentially "deaf" editing since you can't listen to the track or to the effect without creating a feedback loop? Unless of course the effects unit has a headphone jack.

    Edit: Actually, after thinking about it, even the headphones on an effects unit would reflect the feedback. You wouldn't be able to monitor at all.
  19. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Alright call me a geek but I had to try. I plugged a short patch cable from monitor out directly into line 1 in. With my monitors taken out of the path of course. With direct monitoring(channel monitor button) disabled.....feedback. Not loud feedback but feedback just the same. when I recorded guess what? Even more feedback. I stand by my original idea that you could do this but only one track at a time. I don't think you could make this work at all if you're trying to affect the stereo bus. Out to an external recorder sure but not back into the DAW with a 2 I/O interface.
  20. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Again I say: disable your internal software monitoring (just as you would if you were using the 'zero latency' monitoring in your audio interface, or an external mixer) and the feedback will go away.

    As far as monitoring the results are concerned: the only possible way would be to split the output of the processor in some way so that it feeds your monitors as well as the interface inputs. If the device has both jack and XLR outs you might be able to use both at the same time. Otherwise you would need a small mixer, or possibly some y-split cables.

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