Recording Effects with a Studio-in-a-Box (SIAB) System - dummies

Recording Effects with a Studio-in-a-Box (SIAB) System

By Jeff Strong

If you decide that you want to record your instrument with effects and have a studio-in-a-box (SIAB) it’s pretty easy. You need to route the instrument through the effect processor and route the effect to the recorder. For example, to do this in a Roland VS-1880, follow these steps (most SIAB systems are similar):

  1. Select the input channel that your instrument is plugged into and route the channel to the track that you want to record to.

    If you have a computer-based system, you need to use the Input menu on your screen to do this. On an SIAB system, your manual spells out the specific routing procedure.

  2. Arm the recorder’s track (press the recorder’s Status button until the button blinks red).

  3. Select the effect that you want to use and assign it to one of your effects buses.

    Go to the Effect A menu by pressing Shift+F3. Choose Effect 1 from the menu. Next, scroll through the Effects list and highlight the effect that you want to use. Press the Select button. Your chosen effect is now assigned to Aux Bus 1.

  4. Choose prefader or postfader on your Aux Send and turn the knob until you have the right amount of the instrument’s signal sent to the effect.

    You do this by going to the channel mixer settings menu on your screen.

  5. Route the effect return to the track channel that you want to record to.

    Press and hold the Status button for your track until the Routing menu pops up (this takes about 3 seconds). Next, while still pressing the Status button, press the Effect button for the effect number (1, 2, 3, or 4) that you want to use. Note: This step may not be necessary on some systems.

  6. Start recording.

On some systems, if you want to hear your recorded track, you may have to “unroute” the effect from that track. Your owner’s manual spells this out for you.