Cubase 5 is a music production program made by Steinberg. It emulates the function of a recording studio and lets you record, edit and mix songs from your computer. One typical limitation of using production software is sound quality, especially with live instruments such as electric guitar. This can be partially mitigated by using a Zoom effects pedal. Modern Zoom effects pedals such as those in the G Series are designed to interface with recording software. This enables you to record directly to the mixer using Zoom's tone-modelling and sound-crafting technology instead of using a microphone and risking interference and hiss.
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Things you need
- Zoom effects pedal
- PC or Mac
- Two USB cables
- Quarter-inch guitar cable
Double-click the Cubase 5 icon on your desktop. Wait a few seconds for the program to open.
Connect a 12-volt power adaptor to the connector on the rear of the Zoom pedal. Connect your guitar to the pedal with a quarter-inch cable jack. Connect the Zoom to your computer with a USB cable. Newer Zoom pedals, such as the G2.1u have a built in audio interface connecting to your computer directly. You can route the pedal through your existing audio interface with a second USB cable if you prefer, but this may cause latency in the signal chain. As a rule, the fewer components in a signal chain, the cleaner the signal.
Click "Devices" in the Cubase 5 menu and select "Input Devices." Assign the Zoom pedal an as "Input Device." Hit "Save" and select "Set as Default." Turn the volume dial on the audio interface up to the level you normally use.
Turn the volume of your guitar up and audition your sounds. Scroll through the preset tones on the Zoom by hitting the "Effect Type" button on the pedal and adjust them to your taste by using the "Edit" parameters on the control panel. Turn the "Gain" dial to adjust output level, use the "Store" button to save tones you like.
Open a new track in Cubase. Do this either by selecting "File" then "New Track" or by hitting control and the "N" key on your keyboard. Substitute the control key for the command key if using a Mac. When prompted Cubase will ask you what type of track you want to make, giving options for MIDI, audio or input device. Select input device. It will automatically route the signal from the Zoom pedal into that channel when recording.
Double-click on the number in the edit window at the bottom of the screen to adjust the tempo. Typically the tempo is preset at 120 beats per minute, or "BPM." Highlight the metronome icon and hit "Play." Practice along with the click before using your Zoom pedal to record in some authentic, high quality guitar tones.
Tips and warnings
- Use the built-in tuner to tune your guitar before you record.
- Never plug in audio devices while the speakers are powered. Turn them on only when the signal chain is complete.
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