How to record the output of the Scarlett 2i2 soundcard?

I’m a musician using Ableton Live! as a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation - the new kind of “sequencer”) and an external synthesizer (Yamaha Motif XS). Inside Live! I end up with some mixture of midi and audio tracks, which are all routed to a Scarlet 2i2 sound-card.

For clear understanding: the audio plugs of the external synth go into the IN’s of the Scarlett and the audio tracks of Live! are routes to the OUTs (that’s the way it has to be done). So, when I listen to the results I hear all tracks together, because my speakers are hooked at the OUT’s of the Scarlett.

However, when I try to record this result, Audacity allows me only to record the IN’s (so the external synth), but the added tracks from within Live! that are routed at the OUT’s, are not recorded…

So, is there some way to explain to/force Audacity to record the OUT’s and not the IN’s of the Scarlett 2i2?

I don’t have Ableton Live!, but I think what you need to do is to export the “audio” from Ableton as a WAV file.
In order to get the MIDI and audio tracks synchronised, you will probably need to record the MIDI tracks as audio tracks in Ableton. So that is, play the MIDI tracks to the inputs of your 2i2 and record it with Ableton (at the same time as playing the MIDI). This may give a slight misalignment of the recorded MIDI tracks (due to latency), which you may need to correct after recording.

I don’t have Ableton either, but typically with a DAW you mix the audio and MIDI digitally “in the box” and “render” an audio file (instead of recording the analog output). A quick search turned-up [u]Ableton Live! - Mixing[/u]. Rendering is usually faster than real-time recording and you can potentially get better quality by avoiding the digital-to-analog-to-digital conversions.

If you have Win7 or Win8, you may be able to use [u]WASAPI Loopback[/u] to capture the audio output. (If WASAPI loopback doesn’t work for you, there are some other suggestions on the same page.)

That’s what you would do when using a “soft synth” (software synthesizer). The Yamaha Motif XS is a hardware synthesizer so the output is audio (no option to render directly to a file).

Because the Motif XS is a hardware synth, using references in Ableton to the external sound module, it don’t “see” the synth and the rendering process stops after rendering the audio-clips only. I’ve tried all that!

Ableton offers also an “External instrument” ( a kind of a VST) to connect with a hardware synth, but then I can use only one voice and one track.

So, the other option to dump the midi-files into an audio track, but then you have to render twice to obtain the end result.

The easiest solution seems to be to capture the OUT of the Scarlett interface and that was the core of my question. But I don’t understand why there is no option in audacity to capture from the OUT of the Scarlett (only from the IN).

So, who can find a work around to obtain this?

Yes, that is to be expected.

Well yes, but, if you do that (the right way) in Ableton, it goes:
MIDI → [synth] PCM audio → [A/D conversion in sound card] Ableton digital audio track → [rendered] WAV file output → Import into Audacity → Export from Audacity.

Note that there is just one A/D conversion step. That is the step where you have potential for loss of sound quality.

Now look at the way that you want to do it:
MIDI → [synth] PCM audio → [A/D conversion in sound card] Audacity digital audio track → Export from Audacity.

Although the second appears to be shorter, there is still just one A/D conversion step. Everything else is just copying digital data (numbers) across.

The significant advantage in the first method, is that, apart from a little latency delay, which should be easy to correct, the audio recorded into Ableton should be perfectly synchronised with the other audio tracks. That won’t happen if you record into Audacity because, just as Ableton cannot “see” the synth directly, neither can Audacity. Therefore you would have to record the MIDI tracks separately from the audio track (or introduce additional analog steps such as pushing both the Ableton audio tracks and the synth tracks through an external mixer.

which is sadly not possible…

That’s nothing to do with Audacity. That’s just how the sound system works.
The output from the Scarlett goes to the outside world (your speakers). The Scarlett inputs take sound from the outside world and make it available inside your computer (so that Audacity can record from it).

In order to record the outputs from the Scarlett, you would need to somehow route the signal from the outputs back into the inputs of the Scarlett (for example, by connecting a short audio lead from the outputs to the inputs. Note that in doing that, you need to take care that you do not introduce a “feedback loop”.

Thanks for all the useful answers!

The conclusion seems to be to resample the song in one audio track by resampling all tracks or - at least - to convert all midi-tracks into audio tracks and then use the build-in rendering export.

So my idea of capturing the output of the Scarlett card doesn’t work. I can life with that!

Yes, if you convert the MIDI tracks to audio, then rendering should work very well.
In your Ableton project, after converting the MIDI to audio, it will probably be worth keeping the MIDI tracks in place, but mute them. If at a later date you want to change the MIDI track, they are still available for editing.