second sound card = hardware effects send

i was window shopping on amazon (for a change) and was about to buy a second sound card (i couldn’t get my second behringer uca202 to work with the one already installed, sadly) when my rss feed for this site reminded me that i have a second sound card already: i have an onboard sound card – i’d just disabled it in the bios. money saved! :) thanks fran guidry!

basically i re-enabled the computer’s onboard sound card and was able to use it as a hardware effects send for my reverb unit. i picked one of my many WIPs, solo’d the drum track, sent it through said reverb unit and printed the output to a separate track. and it sounds a bajillion times better than a plugin.

here’re the details on the configuration:

– tell asio4all to use both sound cards
– tell reaper the first and last ins & outs to use, in order to create a selectable group (this is in options – preferences – audio – device)
–  tell reaper in what order the previous item should be presented, and optionally set friendly names for the ports (this is in options – preferences – audio. click Edit Names/Map. in here you can also drag the ports to change how they’re presented in the IO sections of your tracks)
– create a new track, sending its output to the second sound card
– connect the second sound card to a hardware effects unit
– connect the effects unit’s output to the mixer, like any other audio input
– drag the IO button on the track(s) you want to be effected onto the new track. you can set the send amount in the window that pops up

if you want to record the result to your project:

– create another new track, set it to record
– solo the track(s) you want to be effected
– hit record

i now have the analog reverb on its own, on a separate track, ready for mixing. even if the reverb unit is unavailable for whatever reason, everything is saved right there in my project.

this might well become part of my permanent setup. i’ll post some results soon; the track i chose this evening is something i’m keeping a little closer to my chest; i haven’t ASCAPped it yet :) oh, the reverb unit i’m using is a zoom 1202(!) that i bought from ebay a long time ago. i think it was something like $30 shipped… i reckon it sounds much better than any plugin and at its price point it’s unbeatable when you’re trying to get that analog sound.

and seeing as there’s a left and a right on the sound card, i’m wondering if i can do this with two units… :-O 😉

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