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Thread: External FX

  1. #1
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    External FX

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    I'm just thinking about the future of my studio set-up here, as I feel ready to step-up the ladder.
    At the moment I do everything on my PC, using Fruity, loads of VSTi's, SoundForge and sometimes Reason. Now, I've often hear that external fx units (especially reverb) are much better then the VST's. So if I wanted to use an external FX unit, how would I incorporate it?
    Would it be a case of getting a siganl out of my soundcard ( an SB Platinum) through the FX then back into my soundcard?

    For this to work, am I better off moving up to Cubase as my sequencer (then I can still use fruity and Reason as plugins)???
    Techno driven web experiments at www.benbrowning.com

  2. #2
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    Yes you can do it

    But there is one problem. Since most normal sound cards such as your soundblaster have only 1 Input and 1 output, you will only be able to send your *entire* mix to the reverb unit, and then get it back into your computer.

    If you are thinking about using external gear with a PC, you will also need to start thinking about purchasing an expensive, multi input multi output audio interface.

    I've been told as you have that external effects "sound better" than VST and DX plug ins.

    I don't believe a word of that crap.

    I mean jeez, it's all zero's and ones anyway. Unless you are running a completely analog setup, which I'm pretty sure you aren't and probably none of us are.

    If you're talking digital effects, plug ins can compete against any external gear in terms of quality.


    the main advantage of *external* reverbs, compressors, and eq's is that you can have them all going in real time, without completely killing your computer's performance. And that advantage is a wonderful wonderful awesome amazing advantage. It just takes a nice audio interface with plenty of inputs and outputs to be able to take advantage of that scenario.


    If I were you, I'd stick to plug-ins for now and just learn as much as you can about recording and working with what you have. you can always upgrade your sound card later

    I'm running Cool Edit pro 2.0 on a 650mhz/384ram PC with a SB Extigy card, so I'm in pretty much the same situation as you, except I'm running a completely miked acoustic drumset through a mixer and into the soundcard's line in.

    I wish so badly that i had maybe a MOTU firewire interface, or maybe an ST-Audio 7.1 setup

    but I don't So I get to have my entire drumset always on just one track. If anything I've learned alot by having to make *damn* sure my mix is correct on the board before going to the computer.


    Good luck

  3. #3
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    and just to make me feel better about my crappy gear

    outboard effects racks result in MASSIVE rat's nests of cables and lots of wiring confusion

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