re FAQ:Real-time VST effects (Windows, needs extra hardware)

Thanks, Andy

Reference your FAQ on Real-time VST

I think this will frustrate a lot of people who won’t be able to get pairs of inputs/outputs. “Virtual audio cables” are a software solution, for example this proprietary software:

Other alternatives:

Rearoute in Reaper (purchase of licence is on trust)
JACK for Windows (free)

Soundflower (free)
JACK for OS X (free)

JACK for Linux (free)

Jack did not work very well with Audacity on Linux when this post was written but as of December 2010 it can work well for audio routing with Audacity if carefully set up. Post a question to the Linux 1.3.X board if you need help.

At the simplest level though, anyone can export a WAV from Audacity at any time and edit it in software which supports realtime VST effects, or record a sequence in an app that supports VST instruments, save as WAV and import into Audacity. Or even play the real time effect in one application and record it into Audacity via “stereo mix” or a virtual substitute for it (with due allowance for minor quality loss). Sometimes this obvious answer (if you only need to do this on an occasional basis) can easily be forgotten.


I don’t know much about Mac operating systems, I’ve never much loved Apple computers. But this sort of thing should be possible in Linux if Audacity supported JACK. I don’t know what kind of work needs to be done to get that up and running.

I will also look into this Virtual Audio Cable program, it seems very promising and would completely remove the need for special hardware if it works the way it’s described. But I won’t get a chance to look into it until this weekend. As a bonus it would provide a universal way to record the speaker output regardless of hardware (it should work even if you don’t have a sound card).

Thanks, Gale.