WASAPI Issues - recording what I actually hear (Software Amp)

Dear all,

tl;dr: is it actually possible to record the sound on my computer as I hear it from my headphones out in audacity when using a software guitar amp?

I’m having issues trying to record myself playing guitar with Audacity. My Goal is to record what I’m hearing through my headphones when plugged into the computer but I can’t seem to get that to work.

My signal chain is: Electric Guitar → Focusrite USB Audio Interface → Bias Amp 2 Software Guitar Amplifire running on a Windows 10 machine.

I’m usually playing over various backing tracks on youtube running on the computer with the amp sim running at the same time so that I can hear both (backing track and my guitar amped by the Bias Amp) on my headphones connected to the headphone out of my interface. I read in various FAQs and tutorials that using the WASAPI feature would allow me to capture exactly that, but alas my attempts have been futile.

Recording the backing track using WASAPI works fine combined with the “Focusrite USB Audio Loopback” selected as the recording device.
Recording the guitar using MME works fine, but only the “dry” signal bypassing the software amplifire (as if the amp was turned off).
Recording both guitar and backing track at once didn’t work (but that’s a minor problem, I could just record/import the backing track first and then multitrack the guitar part over it).

My Questions now are: Is it actually possible to capture the sound as I’m hearing it on my headphone out with audacity? If not, is there an easy explanation why? Am I fundamentally misunderstanding the WASAPI/loopback feature? If not, what did I do wrong?

I understand that normally, you would load a plugin into your DAW to capture your AmpSim’s sound, but I’ve always liked audacity for its simplicity. Also, I read that using VSTi plugins in Audacity is only possible using workarounds and even then it’s messy.

My Focusrite interface is my main source for both audio input and output on my pc. It’s updated to the latest audio drivers and doesn’t cause me any problems neither with listening or recording. Same goes for windows 10 and audacity - so far, everything’s been working just fine.

Thank’s a lot for any pointers and sorry if this is a noob question - I didn’t hit any related results using the search engine apart from what I already know.


Johnny Virgil

Sorry mods I clicked submit before entering my Audacity version - I’m using 2.3.2.

Also my windows 10 (stated) runs 64 bit.

Sorry for the inconveniences!

Probably not with Audacity.

“WASAPI” is a modern Windows sound system. Other (older) Windows sound systems are “MME” and “DirectSound”.
Audacity can use any one of: WASAPI “or” MME “or” DirectSound (assuming that they are available for use).
As with many other audio applications, you need to select which sound system you wish to use before you start recording / playing.
You can’t mix and match, it’s one or another or another.

Another popular sound system is ASIO. This is not native to WIndows, it’s a third party product from Steinberg.
Unfortunately Audacity cannot be shipped with ASIO support due to licensing issues.
It’s very likely that your software guitar amp uses ASIO.

IF it’s possible to configure your software guitar amp to use the Windows sound system rather than ASIO, then it “may” be possible to record from it with Audacity.

Alternatively, it “may” be possible to “bridge” between the software guitar amp and Audacity with one of the “VB-Audio” products (possibly “Voicemeeter”). Please note that Voicemeeter is not our product and we don’t provide technical support for it.

The third, and possibly the best alternative, would be to record with an app that supports ASIO, such as Reaper (also not our product and not supported by us).

Hi Steve,

thanks so much for your explanation, it’s starting to make sense now. I guess I’m gonna try reaper then.

I do indeed have the option to run the Bias Amp 2 on the Windows sound system, but doing that causes my latency to fly out of the window along with other issues such as permanent audio dropouts which render it completely useless both for monitoring and recording so this is not a workable solution. I should have stated that the interface runs on ASIO before but in my mind that was a given so I forgot to include the info. Sorry about that.

Just for my technical understanding: Would the “old school” solution of bridging the headphone out of my interface directly to the microphone in of my on-board soundcard work, or would I have the same issues there? After all, I’m hearing what I would want to record on my headphones.

Probably not, but if you have a suitable cable, then it’s such an easy test that I’d suggest that you try it.

When ASIO starts, I expect that it will grab exclusive control of the sound system, locking out all other sound systems.

What definitely should work, is the even older old school solution of using one piece of hardware for the effects, and another for recording. (Use the virtual guitar amp on one computer, and record with Audacity in another.