Electric Guitar Sounds/General Assistance on LE 5

I recently got a copy of Cubase LE 5 and spend the better part of three hours trying to get some electric guitar sounds recorded to no avail. I’m using a Tascam 144MKII interface and connecting that to my MacBook Pro (10.5.8 if that matters), and I get some sound when initially running the program, but I can’t get anything aside from the basic, clean, dry signal. I tried adding effects (distortion, delay, even a bitcrusher) and it doesn’t change the sound at all.

I tried recording some notes just to see if that would make a difference and that didn’t help me any. I can’t seem to find any amp plug-ins/sims anywhere in the program, and I downloaded some LePou plug-ins to try and get some kind of variety of guitar tones and A) I click on the plug-in and it says it can be opened, B) I try opening it with Cubase and nothing happens, and C) I’ve tried dragging and dropping the plug-ins into the VST menu on Cubase and that doesn’t help.

So basically:

  1. How do I change my guitar sound in Cubase and actually hear results?
  2. How do I get the built-in effects to actually affect my guitar signal?
  3. How do I get plug-ins to work in the system?
  4. Are there any amp plug-ins/sims that come with Cubase that I just can’t find? Or do I need to see about getting an additional program so I can record electric guitar/bass?

I haven’t even tried doing vocals or acoustic instruments or anything MIDI oriented, and with the amount of hair-pulling I’ve had over electric guitars, I’m kind of worried that they’re going to be just as much of a pain.

Can anyone help me?

Have you got direct monitoring on? If so turn it off.

Is direct monitoring controlling by the monitoring button that appears when you click on an audio track? I’ve tried turning it on and off and that’s not doing anything noticeable at all.

You should probably start by reading the manual(s) of both, Cubase and your interface…


It would seem that it is controlled by the Monitor Mix knob on the interface, which for this purpose should be all the way to computer.

Already have, that’s why I’m asking. The Cubase manual that came with my interface doesn’t explain how to set up guitar tracks, or change tones, and the interface manual doesn’t explain that either.

Adjusting it to the computer side kills any sound I get in my headphones, and doesn’t track any sound. Turning the mix knob to the input side allows me to hear my guitar, but it’s the same bland signal as before and it also doesn’t allow me to record any sound.

Have you selected the correct ASIO driver in Device Setup and setup the connections in vst connections?

As explained on page 5 and 6 of the LE5 quick start guide?

Also have you downloaded and installed the latest drivers for your device> http://tascam.com/product/us-144mkii/downloads/

Also make sure you do not have it plugged into a USB 3 slot.

There comes a real manual in addition to the “quick start guide”, which explains how set up your system, tracks and how to use FX, which is what you call “change tone”. And which is valid for any audio signal. It also lists the FX that come with LE 5, so you can find out yourself, What you get and what not. (You don´t get a guitar amp simulator btw. but there are several free available)

Setting the knob fully to input makes you listen to your signal directly through your interface. It´s the equivalent to “ASIO direct monitoring” which your interface does not have. Since you´re not monitoring not via Cubase but your interface, even if you had set up everything correctly, you wouldn´t hear any Cubase FX (like an amp simulator), since your monitoring signal is not going through Cubase.
The fact that you don´t hear anything with the mix knob set to computer indicates, your setup is not correct, or as Split pointed out) your interface may not work with USB3 ports

Alright, so I downloaded the latest drivers for my interface, set ASIO driver option in the VST Audio System menu under Device Setup to my interface (as per the instructions in the manual, and have tried every single knob combination and I’m still not getting sound. I don’t understand how I “can’t monitor through my interface,” since it came with the copy of Cubase I have.

I’ve done everything based off the manuals, everything’s been updated, and I still get no sound. How else am I suppose to monitor my sound if I’m not monitoring through my interface?

Post so screen shots of the relevant pages please.