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A tale of frustration

I think we have all experienced frustration with technology in one form or another and when it comes to home recording, frustration is really never far away. I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent banging my head on a desk, ready to snap due to obstacles in the learning process. This weekend, I absolutely ran into such a situation.

I decided to start doing a new style of video recently because the style I was using wasn’t for me. The walkthrough/screencast style of video seemed easy to me going in but I found out it actually wasn’t as easy as I thought. I did what I thought were 3-4 solid walkthroughs to find out they were all useless so I trashed those and moved on.

It seemed so simple, all I wanted to do was have the audio track in Reaper reflect the changes I was making to the signal chain, impulses, settings and so on. I had seen countless people do this, it seriously couldn’t be that complicated could it? It amazed me that that there was no clear and concise way to do this with ease. There was no one-click answer in Reaper which also surprised me given they improve the DAW daily.

I tried VB cable A and B as well as Voicemeeter with only confused results. I spent a whole weekend trying to get it to work this way feeling like I was basically creating more problems than I was fixing. I ended up having to undo all of that and move onto something else. At this point, I am thinking “holy shit, how is this so hard?”. The more troubling factor was that again, there was no easy way to do this to be found. All I found was a lot of very mixed, multi-step options that seemed needlessly complicated.

I had a software / home recording ninja/friend give me a hand with teamviewer to try and solve my problem. Reaper is not his DAW of choice and he’s primarily a Mac user but after some research he found a way that seemed to work, it was a pain in the ass but I tried it out with the Heavy Pedal video and for the moment the problem was solved. I got up and spent all day making four 15-minute long videos but while editing, I noticed something I missed before. Again, a bunch of videos to the can.

The answer came not long after I had given up for the day. A reader came to the rescue via email. He said he had a simple almost one-click way of doing exactly what I needed to do. At this point me enthusiasm was lacking because twice already I thought I had beaten it but it just turned out to waste my time. However, this one was on the money but it was so simple that I actually felt really stupid.

All I needed to do in Reaper was send the track with the plugins I am working with to another track, right click on the record button and select Record Output. THAT’S IT?!! You have to be kidding me, I have been using Reaper for ten years and I had no idea you could right click on the record button. I don’t really feel bad because DAWs are complex and Reaper evolves so quickly, plus when have I ever needed this function. Nonetheless, after all the wasted time and frustration, the answer was really easy.

Why am I telling you this story? Two reasons really. First because I want to show that we struggle with new gear and techniques just like anyone else and second, because if anyone reading this is struggling or frustrated with an amp sim related issue, we want to help you. (NOTE: If it’s directly related to a developer, always contact them first. Many developers also have Facebook user groups that can provide many answers as well.)

Now that I finally have an easy and effective way to do these videos, you can expect a wave of them in the next while. I truly enjoy doing videos this way and I aim to try and be as helpful as I can while showcasing the best tones possible tones.

Thanks for reading!!

Coach T

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