Category USB Audio Interface

Reamp DI Guitar Tracks From Your DAW with the ARTcessories Dual RDB Interface

In this post, I’ll show you how to reamp DI guitar tracks from your DAW with the ARTcessories Dual RDB interface. If you haven’t tried re-amping your DIs yet, you’ll find a great way to see how your DIs can sound running through varied analog gear. If you’re looking for a different guitar sound, or a way to augment your mix with different gear, re-amping is a great solution.

Before we continue, please realize that much of this content is generalized because each DAW, re-amp box and recording chain is different. What works for me with settings, levels and gear will be inherently different for you in your studio. In this post, I cover what re-amping is and generally how to accomplish it.

17 February 2021 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Tags: #reamp #reampbox #diy #guitar #pedal #amplifier #speakercabinet #cabinet #balancedsignal #unbalancedsignal #TRS #TS #daw

Skill Level: Advanced

What’s Reamping????

If you’re new to reamping, the reamp box converts a balanced, line-level signal into an unbalanced, instrument-level (think dry guitar) signal. For home recording, you can record a dry guitar signal into your DAW of choice so that you have a clean, unaltered source for a guitar track. Using this dry track, you can play it through your DAW, have the audio signal leave your USB audio interface and flow into the reamp box. From the reamp box, the signal flows into an amplifier input, just as if you plugged a guitar directly into the amplifier. You amplifier is then hooked into a speaker cabinet which you mic and then record back into your DAW. With me so far?

A major benefit of reamping is you can do multiple auditions of a guitar track with different amps and cabinets, recording them into tracks in your DAW, allowing you to compare and choose the perfect sound for your mix.

Have a look here at the Wiki article covering the re-amp concept for a lengthier read.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Overall Recording Strategy (Before Re-Amping)

Before we can get started with re-amping, we need to record some dry guitar tracks, also called DI tracks, into the computer’s DAW. Once recorded, the clean DIs can be re-used whenever we want to re-amp them into different amps, cabinets or other analog hardware.

To capture DIs, I use a passive DI box that is connected to my analog mixer via XLR. I pan the channel 100% Left so that on the mixer’s output, the DI is always on the left channel of the signal pair. I always record DIs with the processed signal (that one is panned 100% Right in the signal pair). In my DAW, I use two tracks – one is for the DI only and one is for the processed signal only. So for each track, I have the unaltered DI source and the output source.

So at this point, get to it and record your DI tracks in your DAW. Make sure your input levels are gain-staged correctly and they are not clipping or otherwise distorted. You need quality DI tracks to reamp DI guitar tracks from your DAW to produce quality re-amped tracks.

About Configuring the Re-Amp Signal Chain

After you have some decent guitar DI tracks recorded in your DAW, we can set up the signal chain that sends the DAW output through the USB audio interface to the re-amp box and out to the external amp/cabinet. Typically a microphone would be used to capture the amp and cabinet output back into the USB audio interface to the DAW.

A point to remember here is that the DAW’s output of the DI track will be sent to the USB audio interface for playback. In order to re-amp, the DI tracks need to be converted from the audio interface’s line-level back into instrument-level signals. The re-amp box takes those line-level signals and converts them back to instrument-level so that the signal can be fed into analog gear properly. Without using a re-amp box, the signal sounds horrible and is not able to be used to feed into amps properly.

Depending on your amplifier situation, you may use an actual amplifier or a virtual amp to reamp DI guitar tracks from your DAW. I typically send the re-amped signal to an iRig HD 2 that is connected to my iPad Air 2. My amp is a software solution running on the iPad and the audio is sent out of the iRig interface via an instrument cable that I connect to my analog mixer with another passive DI Box. Using this setup, I do not need a real amplifier, speaker cabinet or microphone to re-create the signal-it goes directly into my mixer and USB audio interface.

Steps to Reamp DI Guitar Tracks From Your DAW

  1. Record your clean guitar DI track(s) in your DAW. Make sure they are gain-staged so that they are not too low or clipping.
  2. Unplug your left side output cable on the USB audio interface and insert the TRS to TRS (balanced) cable.
  3. Connect the TRS cable to your re-amp box’s input. If you have a gain knob on the re-amp box, you may need to adjust its application to ensure the signal entering the re-amp box is not too low or clipping.
  4. Insert a mono guitar cable (TS to TS) into the output of the re-amp box and into the amplifier’s guitar input jack. If you want to use an overdrive, tube screamer or distortion pedal, run the re-amp box output to the pedals first, then connect the pedal output to the amp guitar input.
  5. In your DAW, press play to audition the DI track. If you’ve done things correctly, you will now hear the DI audio coming through your amplifier.
  6. You may need to tweak levels at this point in the playback of the DI, the gain knob on the re-amp box, and so forth. I’ve found this part of the process can take the longest to get matched up.
  7. When you’re content with the re-amped audio, record it to a new track in your DAW with a microphone or another audio interface.
  8. When finished re-amping, disconnect the TRS cable from the back of the audio interface and re-connect your normal output cable.

Summary

If things went well, you were able to feed a DI guitar track from your DAW into a re-amp box and use a different amplifier/speaker cabinet to get a new sound out of the DI. Or, if you have several amps available, you can see which one works best in the mix by recording them all and comparing or combining them. If you’re like me, you also have amp sims on IOS devices that can be leveraged on the cheap to get you close to name-brand gear for pennies on the dollar.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

Build a DIY Reamp Box

In this post, I’ll show you how to build a DIY reamp box from a tutorial I found on YouTube recently. If you’re reading this, you probably know what a reamp box is and why you would need one in your recording studio. You probably also know that the commercially available reamp boxes can easily cost $100 USD. Using some of your own skills and the provided materials list, you can make your own reamp box for around $25 USD. For me, it was not an option to spend so much money on a commercial product, so this post covers what I did to build a reamp box.

What’s Reamping????

If you’re new to reamping, the reamp box converts a balanced, line-level signal into an unbalanced, instrument-level (think dry guitar) signal. For home recording, you can record a dry guitar signal into your DAW of choice so that you have a clean, unaltered source for a guitar track. Using this dry track, you can play it through your DAW, have the audio signal leave your USB audio interface and flow into the reamp box. From the reamp box, the signal flows into an amplifier input, just as if you plugged a guitar directly into the amplifier. You amplifier is then hooked into a speaker cabinet which you mic and then record back into your DAW. With me so far?

A major benefit of reamping is you can do multiple auditions of a guitar track with different amps and cabinets, recording them into tracks in your DAW, allowing you to compare and choose the perfect sound for your mix.

07 December 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Tags: #reamp #reampbox #diy #guitar #pedal #amplifier #speakercabinet #cabinet #balancedsignal #unbalancedsignal #TRS #TS #daw

Skill Level: Advanced

What You’ll Need to Get Started

  • Watch this video on YouTube entitled “How to build a REAMP box and WHY you need one” by Life Harmonic. In the video description, he lists all of the components you will need to order to build the reamp box. The complete list is shown here in Step 1. Be sure to check the video’s comments if you have any questions because several common ones are answered there.
  • An electric drill and drill bits capable of making up to one inch holes. I purchased 2 step drill bit products from Harbor Freight for my cuts. This one is for the larger hole, this one is for the smaller holes.
  • A soldering iron and solder
  • Wire
  • Mounting hardware – screws, glue
  • A workbench vice to hold your aluminum box for drilling
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • 3/8″ wrench
  • 8 mm wrench
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire clippers

Step 1 – Order your components

Here is the list of components you will need to order if you do not already have them on-hand to build a DIY reamp box. Since I didn’t have any supplies, I had to buy everything I needed for this build. I used the suggested list in the YouTube video where possible. I ordered the components in the beginning of December 2020, so the cost may be different for you when you order. I also had to use two different electronics supply companies due to inventory unavailability for some items at Newark. I am in the continental USA and had to pay $9.99 to each company for shipping, and each was received in 3 business days.

SupplierComponentCost (USD)Notes
MouserHammond 1550A case$5.91These were almost $1.00 cheaper at Mouser than newark
Neutrik NMJ4HF-S Plastic 1/4″ Jack$0.98The USA Newark website did not carry these, so I had to order from Mouser
NewarkBOURNS  LM-NP-1001-B1L  Audio Transformer$2.52
MULTICOMP PRO  MCF 0.25W 10K  Through Hole Resistor$0.08
BI TECHNOLOGIES/TT ELECTRONICS  P160KNP-0EC15A100K  Rotary Potentiometer$0.95
MULTICOMP PRO  1MS1T1B1M1QE  Toggle Switch$1.29
NEUTRIK  NC3FAV1  XLR Connector, 3 Contacts$1.61Use size 4 screws for mounting
OHMITE  1101-A  Knob, Round Shaft, 6 mm, Thermoplastic Elastomer$1.27I had to drill out with a drill bit to increase shaft diameter. I used a 15/64″ bit and gently worked the hole a SMALL amount to go just a hair bigger. A 1/4″ drill bit is too much diameter, so do not just jump up to a 1/4″ bit!
STELLAR LABS  24-16213  Audio / Video Cable Assembly, XLR Plug to 1/4″ 3P Plug$7.27Optional if you already have a TRS plug to XLR female cable
Lowes
Southwire 20-ft 14-AWG Stranded White GPT Primary Wire
$5.70
Hillman #4-40 x 1/2-in Phillips/Slotted Combination-Drive Machine Screws$1.28
Gorilla Glue Super Glue Tubes 2-Pack 3-gram Super Glue Clear Multipurpose Adhesive$3.98
Harbor FreightTitanium Coated High Speed Steel Step Bit Set, 2 Pc.$19.9912 Step Bit: (3/16 in., 1/4 in., 5/16 in., 3/8 in., 7/16 in., 1 /2 in., 9/16 in., 5/8 in., 11/16 in., 3/4 in., 13/16 in., 7/8 in.)

11 Step Bit: (1/4 in., 25/64 in., 35/64 in., 1 1/16 in., 13/16 in., 7/8 in., 1 in., 1-1/8 in., 1-7/32 in., 1-1/4 in., 1-3/8 in.)
Titanium High Speed Steel Step Bit Set, 3 Pc.$13.99Six Step Bit (3/16 in., 1/4 in., 5/16 in., 3/8 in.,7/16 in., 1/2 in.)

Nine Step Bit (1/4 in., 5/16 in., 3/8 in., 7/16 in.,1/2 in., 9/16 in.,5/8 in.,11/16 in.,3/4 in.)

Thirteen Step Bit (1/8 in., 5/32 in., 3/16 in., 7/32 in., 1/4 in., 9/32 in., 5/16 in., 11/32 in., 3/8 in., 13/32 in., 7/16 in., 15/32 in., 1/2 in.)
Supply List for Reamp Box Build

Step 2 – Measure your placement for pilot drill holes

You’ll need to mark four (4) initial spots for drilling. After those holes are drilled, you’ll drill two (2) more for the XLR jack mounts.

Starting from the top of the pedal’s face, there needs to be one hole for the XLR jack at 25mm down from the top, 17.mm from the left side. Under that hole will be two (2) holes for the potentiometer at 44.5mm from bottom and 10mm from left, 6 mm from right for the toggle switch. On the bottom of the pedal, we’ll drill the hole for the 1/4″ output jack centered at 13.5 mm from top. 17.5mm from left side.

Step 3 – Drill the holes in the box

I used a 1/16″ drill bit to make all pilot holes. Secure the box in a vice so that you are being safe while drilling the metal.

Drill the holes you marked in the previous step with the small drill bit. Now that there are starter holes, you can use larger bits or the step bits to make the holes to the proper size.

After drilling the four (4) main holes, you will need to drill two (2) pilot holes for the XLR jack. Carefully insert it into the metal box and use your pilot drill bit to find the spots for the XLR connectors and drill them from the inside out.

The XLR hole will need to be 7/8″ or 22 mm. The potentiometer hole is 5/16″ or 8 mm. The toggle switch is 1/4″ or 6 mm. The 1/4″ bottom jack (not pictured) needs to be 1/2″ or 12 mm. Finally, the two (2) XLR jack connector holes need to be 1/8″ or 3 mm.

Step 4 – Install the components

To build a DIY reamp box, start with the XLR jack. Mount it with two #4 screws.

Install the toggle switch and use a wrench to firmly tighten the nut.

Continue with the installation of the potentiometer and the 1/4″ plug and tighten with a wrench to secure them into the unit. You need to clip off the metal tab on your potentiometer if it has one, otherwise it will not mount flush against the box’s interior.

At this point, here’s what your reamp box should resemble.

If you ordered the same knobs as I have listed, you will have to drill them out a TINY amount so that they fit the potentiometer’s shaft. I used a 15/64″ bit and carefully made the button’s shaft hole a tiny bit wider. If you go too far, you can always place a small amount of duct tape on the potentiometer’s shaft to snug the button.

Here is my final build.

Step 5 – Solder the components to build a DIY reamp box

To simplify this post, I did screenshots of the original video since the original presenter filmed it cleanly and clearly.

  1. Solder two wires to the middle and right side of the potentiometer
  2. Glue the transformer to the potentiometer
  3. Connect middle potentiometer wire to Pin 1 of the TS Jack (right hand side pin at top of jack)
  4. Connect resistor to bottom of transformer and wind around the transformer pins. Clip excess resistor wire.
  5. Solder lower left side pin of TS jack to left side of resistor/transformer
  6. Solder right side pot wire to right side of resistor/transformer
  7. Solder Pin 1 of XLR to center of toggle switch
  8. Connect bottom toggle switch to the left hand side TS Jack pin (along with connection you already made in Step 3)
  9. Connect XLR Pin 2 to right of transformer
  10. Connect XLR Pin 3 to left side of transformer
  11. Solder XLR Pins 2 and 3
  12. Here is the final product after all connections have been made.

Step 6 – Test it

Plug L main out of USB audio interface into TRS to XLR cable. May be able to use the headphone jack output as well.

Plug XLR into reamp box

Plug TS into amp

Press play in DAW with dry guitar signal

Adjust level knob as needed. Flip toggle switch to eliminate any ground loops.

Did it work without any noise/interference?

Summary

If yo u’ve made it this far, and you’ve followed all of the steps, you should have yourself a very nice reamp box to use in your studio. In a few hours’ time, you’ve learned how to build a DIY reamp box and are ready to make your recordings shine with limitless amping possibilities. Thanks to the original YouTube author for presenting his creation and answering my questions along the way. Follow his channel and show your appreciation if you can.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

Linux-ReAmp-Launched

Install Audio Assault ReAmp in Linux

This post will show you how to get Audio Assault ReAmp Studio up and running on a Linux installation. I’ll be showing the details on a Debian 10 distro of Linux. If you are more familiar with Windows or Mac, the Linux installation is a bit more manual than you’d expect, but the end result is a great guitar software studio that works as a VST plugin and also has a stand-alone application. Let’s continue to install Audio Assault ReAmp in Linux.

Note: at the time of writing, ReAmp has not been released to the general public, so only those folks who were prior customers or members of the Audio Assault mailing list had access to purchase ReAmp Studio before it’s available to the general public.

14 October 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Tags: #mykmyrs #audioassault #reamp #linux #guitarstudio #guitar #amp #ampsim #cab #speakercab #impulseresponse #irs

Skill Level: Advanced

What You’ll Need to Get Started

  • A Linux distro installed on your computer. I’m using Debian 10 in this tutorial.
  • A USB audio interface for electric guitars. I’m using my Digitech GNX4 Guitar Workstation.
  • For recording, you’ll need a DAW like Tracktion Waveform 11 (pro or free) or Reaper. There are many choices and personal preferences will determine the “best DAW” for you.
  • A downloaded copy of the ReAmp Studio software. Audio Assault packages the Linux, Mac and Windows releases into one zip file typically.

Some Notes Before We Begin

My Digitech GNX4 is still supported as USB audio interface, fifteen years after my purchase. It works in Linux. It works in Mac. It works in iOS. It works in Windows 10. It JUST WORKS.

You will need to set permissions to files and folders manually in Linux. You’ll also need to create launchers manually if you want a shortcut on your desktop to the ReAmp studio. I’ll cover these steps in the instructions, it’s just a fair warning that things will get manual at some point in this tutorial.

Install Audio Assault ReAmp in Linux

  1. Before starting, you may want to update your system’s software using the Update Manager to ensure you have the latest and greatest fixes. In terminal, you can run “sudo apt-get update” and then “sudo apt-get upgrade” to bring your system up to date.
  2. Extract the ReAmp zip file to a folder on the computer. I typically extract it to Downloads.
  3. Open the extracted folder and you’ll see something similar to this image. The Linux install files are in their own folder.Linux-install-file-contents
  4. Open the ReAmp Studio Linux folder. Inside, you will find the components you’ll be working with. In addition, the Audio Assault developers included a text file with Linux installation instructions for your reference. They indicate that there may be an installer made in the future that would make the steps that follow obsolete, so be sure to keep an eye out for that installer in future releases.
  5. We’ll install the ReAmp Studio VST component first. Following the vendor’s installation instructions, we’ll put the “ReAmp Studio VST.so” file into a folder called “.vst”. I put this “.vst” folder in my Home folder.Linux-VST-Folder-Location
  6. Inside the .vst folder, you can see the file is there now and also several other VSTs I have installed. When you run your DAW and want to use this new VST component, you’ll have to re-scan your VST folders and possibly add this folder to the folders your DAW searches to locate VST files.Linux-VST-file-in-folder.
  7. Now let’s install the ReAmp Studio stand-alone application. We’ll also make a launcher so that there is a shortcut on the desktop to access it easily in the future.
  8. We’re going to install the stand-alone in the /opt folder that is a sub-folder of your filesystem drive. Locate the “opt” folder and open it.inux-OPT-folder-location
  9. I made a folder named “Audio Assault” in my /opt folder to make it easier to locate and maintain Audio Assault components.Linux-AA-folder-in-OPT-folder
  10. Open the new “Audio Assault” folder and perform the following actions. Copy the “ReAmp Studio Standalone” file and the “ReAmp Studio Data” folder from the install folder. inux-AA-Folder-Contents
  11. We need to start with changing file permissions so that Linux allows us to read and write as necessary. First, let’s give the ReAmp Studio Standalone” file permission to execute. Right-click on the file in the “/opt/Audio Assault/” location and choose Properties, then permissions. Tick the checkbox “Allow executing file as program”.inux-standalone-execute
  12. Now we need to give permissions to the supporting “ReAmp Studio Data” folder that contains the amps and cabinets and presets within ReAmp studio. You’ll need to run the Terminal application and use the chmod command to assign read and write access privileges to this folder and its sub-folders. Notice that you need to use backslashes when there is a space in the folder name, and forward slashes to separate directory names.
  13. In terminal, run the following commands to set read and write permissions for ReAmp Studio to function properly: chmod -R 777 /opt/Audio\ Assault/ReAmp\ Studio\ Data and sudo chmod -R 777 /opt/Audio\ Assault.inux-CHMOD-for-data-folder
  14. Finally, let’s create a launcher on the desktop so we can try out the stand-alone and verify the permissions are correct for it to run and make audio. Right-click on the Linux desktop and click “Create a new launcher here…”. The Launcher Properties window will show.
  15. Enter a name for your launcher, and click the browse button and go to /opt/Audio Assault and choose the stand-alone file “ReAmp Studio Standalone”. Ensure you click the “Launch in Terminal” checkbox. Click OK and your launcher will now be on your desktop.Linux-launcher-creation
  16. Double-click the the launcher to test out your stand-alone version of ReAmp Studio. You may get a message about JACK server not being started, but just ignore that. The ReAmp Studio screen wll appear momentarily.
  17. You may have to enter your e-mail that you used when purchasing to unlock ReAmp studio. After unlocking, you should see the main window.Linux-ReAmp-Launched
  18. You’ll know that your file permissions are set correctly because you will get a file named “settings.px” in the “/opt/Audio Assault/Reamp Studio Data” folder. If this file does not exist, you will not be able to read or write presets, and you will be continually asked to provide your e-mail address when Reamp Studio starts.Linux-Settings-file
  19. If you’re using a DAW, remember to scan for the VST in the /.vst folder so that it’s available to you for recording and playback.

Summary

ReAmp Studio is a great way to find a unique and varied guitar tone with its offerings of amplifiers, cabinets and the ability to use custom impulse responses. Offering it to Linux, Mac and Windows allows users to have the ability to use the software in a mixed environment capacity, and many guitarists will appreciate that capability when they have to play or record in more than one operating system. I hope you were able to follow well and you were able to install Audio Assault ReAmp in Linux.

Other Linux Tutorials I’ve Written

Configure Guitarix in Linux Mint 20 to Create Your Guitar Tone

Configure Guitarix in Linux Mint 20 to Create Your Guitar Tone

If you’ve ever wanted to figure out how to use Linux to help you get your electric guitar into a virtual amp on your computer, along with your favorite virtual effects, then this starter-level/intro post is for you. Until I wrote this post, I struggled to actually figure out how to configure Guitarix in stand-alone mode in Linux. There are limited videos on YouTube, and the web posts I found were either too vague or didn’t address some of the errors I was receiving. This post was born from the steps I took, and maybe they’ll help you to get Guitarix up and running on your Linux box.

20 August 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Skill Level: Advanced

What We’re Doing Here…

By using FOSS, we are using the Linux computer as an amplifier for an electric guitar. The application Guitarix has an assortment of effects, tubes and allows you to create a guitar tone. This tone can be used for practice, jamming with a backing track or for recording.

If you’re coming from the Mac or Windows world, you’re probably already familiar with the virtual amps and effects that can be used in those environments. Guitarix is very similar to paid audio software, but it’s completely free for the Linux crowd.

The big difference between Mac or Windows and Linux is that Linux requires some small configurations and the use of a few applications to assist in mapping the input and output audio. It really seems more complicated than it needs to be, but maybe my own inexperience is talking on this point. Once I got Guitarix to actually output my guitar’s signal, I was quite happy to say the least.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Some Notes Before We Begin

While I will show you how to configure Guitarix in Linux Mint, I would bet a lot of money that I have missed many, many functional and rational points, due mostly to my inexperience and unfamiliarity with Linux tools . This was my first time getting these components into a working order, and I’m sure there are far more capable folks than I that can set this up better/faster/cooler.

It may be my inexperience with Linux and its tools, but it seems like I have to re-wire the inputs and outputs with Catia every time I open up Guitarix. Maybe someone more seasoned can let me know what I am missing so that I don’t have to reconfigure every time I want to play.

Are there presets available for Guitarix? I’d like to see what it’s really capable of for metal guitar, and presets are always a great starting point. If you know of any, please let us all know in the comments for this post.

I tried to use an iRig HD 2 USB audio interface, but Mint would not recognize it a hardware device. I also tried an original iRig HD USB device, which was also not recognized.

My Digitech GNX4 is still supported as USB audio interface, fifteen years after my purchase. It works in Linux. It works in Mac. It works in iOS. It works in Windows 10. It JUST WORKS.

I configured my audio interface to output a dry signal only since it is a multi-effects unit and I wanted the guitar tone without any effects. For the GNX4, here are the steps.

Steps to Configure Guitarix in Linux

  1. Before starting, you may want to update your system’s software using the Update Manager to ensure you have the latest and greatest fixes.
  2. Make sure you have your USB audio interface connected to the computer and powered on, if necessary.
  3. Open the Software Manager and search for “qjackctl”. If you don’t have it installed already, go ahead and install it.
  4. From within Software Manager, search for “guitarix” and install it.
  5. To assist with visual input and output mappings, visit KXStudio and download and install Cadence and Catia.
  6. While I didn’t have to add myself to the “audio” group on my machine to get my Guitarix working like many internet posts suggested, I added it just in case. From the Mint menu, choose Administration>Users and Groups. The screen for my user showed that I was not in the “audio” group.150
  7. Click the “Add” button and place a check mark beside the “audio” group. When you return to the Users and Groups window, you will see the new group added to your user groups.Mint-Users_Main_Window_Group_Added
  8. Now, let’s take care of getting QJackCtl configured so that we can process our audio input and output properly.
  9. From the Mint menu, choose Sound and Video>QJackCtl. After loading, you’ll be presented with this screen. Using this application, we will configure how JACK handles audio input and audio output for the entire system. I think of this to be like a mixing desk for the entire system where audio can be routed as needed.Mint-QJackCtl_Main_Window
  10. Click the Setup button. From the first tab, Parameters, we’ll configure our input audio source. The source will typically be your USB or Firewire audio interface. Do not try to use a computer soundcard here because the latency is too great and it will not work properly.
  11. I’ve named my Preset “GNX4” and saved it so that I can recall it in the future. Set the Driver to “ALSA”. Check to enable the “Realtime” option. Set your Interface to your audio interface in the list. Set your Sample Rate to as high as your interface can go, typically 44100 or higher. Set your Frames to a value that provides the lowest audio latency as possible. The higher the number, the longer the latency. Click the Advanced tab to continue.Mint-QJackCtl_Setup_Page_1
  12. On the Advanced tab, I selected Monitor, set my Output Device as my computer’s soundcard/speakers and set my Channels to 2 IN and 2 OUT. Press OK to save your settings.Mint-QJackCtl_Setup_Page_2
  13. JACK will start and you will leave it running.
  14. Let’s configure Guitarix in Linux so that we can select a preset and wire its audio to our JACK instance so that we can hear our guitar. Click on the Mint menu and choose Sound and Video>guitarix.
  15. When Guitarix loads, your screen should look similar to this one. We can now wire up JACK and Guitarix using the Catia application.Mint-Guitarix_Main_Window
  16. Click the Linux menu and choose Sound and Video>Catia. You’ll see a graphic similar to the one shown here. Using Catia allows for the visual connection of of audio inputs and outputs and can speed up the creation of the wirings.Mint-Catia_Main_Window
  17. Before continuing, we are going to make several steps to wire the system capture to the gx_head_amp. Then we’ll go from the gx_head_amp to the gx_head_fx. Finally, we’ll go from the gx_head_fx to the system playback. After these connections, we will have our guitar playing sound in Guitarix.
  18. Start wiring by clicking on “capture_1” in the system object. Hold the mouse and drag it to the gx_head_amp’s “in_0” and drop the wire by releasing the mouse. Repeat or “capture_2”.Mint-Catia_system_to_head
  19. Now, let’s wire the amp head to the amp effects. This time there is only one wire to connect.Mint-Catia_head_to_fx
  20. Next, connect the gx_head_fx object to the system playback. Here you’ll wire the “out_0” to the “playback_1”, and “out_1” to the “playback_2”.Mint-Catia_fx_to_system
  21. When complete, your wiring should look like this image.Mint-Catia_Main_Window_complete
  22. If you’ve done things correctly, you should hear your guitar’s output through your computer monitors.
  23. Return to Guitarix and test out some of the included presets to start working with the components to make a guitar tone that’s your own.

Summary

Now that we learned to configure Guitarix in Linux, you should have Guitarix running in stand-along mode, you may want to look into how configure JACK and Guitarix to play along with a backing track for jamming/practicing. There are some videos on YouTube that may be helpful for this kind of configuration. I personally am moving on to try to figure out how to capture Guitarix’s output in my DAW so I can record tracks in Linux. I hope you learned something here today, and if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.

Use a Digitech GNX4 as an Audio Interface in iOS

In this post, we’ll learn how to use a Digitech GNX4 as an audio interface in iOS. The GNX4 will work as an interface in iOS and iPadOS with just about any audio application using the official Apple USB adapter and a USB cable. The best part of the GNX4 being supported is that there is no need for drivers. You read that correctly. The GNX4 is a compliant device and is supported with plug and play by your iOS devices. Let’s get started!

10 June 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Skill Level: Beginner

Recently on the Facebook Digitech GNX4 group, a member asked how he could use his GNX4 as an audio interface for recording with an iOS device. In all the time I’ve used a 2011 iMac with my GNX4, which supports the GNX4 without any drivers, I hadn’t considered trying to hook my GNX4 directly into an iOS device as an interface to record. His question prompted me to give it a try on my iPad Air 2 and I can tell you that the GNX4 is supported as an audio interface in iOS.

Before you continue, you must have an official adapter from Apple to use as the connection interface between the GNX4 and a lightning iOS device. This adapter, which costs around $40 USD currently, provides a USB port and an additional lighting port. The additional lightning port allows for powering the iOS device while a USB device is also connected. Do yourself a favor and buy the official adapter because the cheap ones on Amazon and EBay often are not recognized by the iOS device, and if they are, can fail to transmit audio.

Configure Your GNX4’s USB Output Source

You may need to make a configuration parameter change on your GNX4, depending on what you’re going to record in your iOS application. Are you intending to record the actual audio output from your GNX4 patch, meaning the guitar signal, amp, cabinet and all effects? Or are you intending to send a dry guitar signal to the iOS app and use virtual amps, cabinets and effects within the application? You need to make sure you have a clear understanding of “what” you would like to record, otherwise sending a full-effects signal from the GNX4 into iOS may end up being sent through iOS amps and effects.

To change your GNX4 USB audio settings, see my previous post here. For the steps that I list below, I wanted to send the dry guitar signal from the GNX4 to an iOS guitar application to make use of the app’s amp, cabinet and effects. To do the dry signal, I configured USB 1-2 to be “DRYGUITAR” on the GNX4’s configuration settings.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

  • Digitech GNX4 unit with a USB cable
  • Apple iPhone or iPad with Lightning connector and built-in headphone jack
  • Apple iOS version 13 (not tested on any other versions, but may work)
  • Official Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter
  • headphones or stereo audio cable to plug into headphone jack
  • IOS guitar application, such as GarageBand – available free in the AppStore

Steps to Connect Your GNX4 to an iOS Device

  1. Connect your USB cable from your GNX4 into the lightning adapter’s USB port.
  2. Connect a lightning cable into the adapter for a constant power source.
  3. Connect the lightning adapter into the iOS device.
  4. Plug your headphones or stereo line out cable into the iOS device
  5. Power on your GNX4.
  6. Open your iOS guitar application. Set its input channel to 1 for the guitar input. Each application’s settings’ options will vary.
  7. Play your guitar and you should immediately see the input and output volume meters show signal. In addition, you should be able to hear the audio playing in the headphones.

Where To Go From Here

After I had signal in the iOS GarageBand application, I used a stereo headphone cable to send the headphone jack to my computer’s digital audio workstation (DAW) to record the iOS application’s audio output. This type of setup could be useful if you need an array of different amps for recording and you’d like to focus your work on the iOS device.

Summary

I didn’t expect the GNX4 to work as an audio interface to iOS devices due to its sheer age. I was pleasantly surprised that it worked with only a small parameter change for the USB audio and an adapter I already owned for my iOS devices. If you haven’t explored iOS applications for guitars, here’s an opportunity for you to give it a shot for a relatively small adapter expenditure. Good luck and make some great sounds!

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.