Sad but true. I know you technically can already do the analog gear capture in WaveLab but it is currently severely limited.
What we need is ability to send montage tracks directly to a different output besides the main output 1-2. These tracks would be where the source files are and we would of course put clip FX on each song to make adjustments before going out to the analog chain.
My RME AES card has 8 stereo pairs of inputs and outputs that I use for sending the source tracks to two different DAC choices, then another stereo path to send a fully unmastered version with no clip FX or any processing at all. This way I can A/B between the main DAW output 1-2 and the fully unmastered version on my monitor controller. The versions are fully in sync in the DAW so to A/B on the monitor controller is very smooth and valuable.
Output 1-2 is my main monitoring path so the track that is used to record back from the analog chain goes to output 1-2 but in REAPER I use outputs 3-4 to feed the source track for mastering to one of my DAC units, and outputs 5-6 to feed it to another DAC at the same time and on the mastering console I decide which one feeds my analog gear. The important thing is that WaveLab should be able to send a montage track to more than one stereo output like 3-4, 5-6 etc. This would be the track or tracks that contain the files that are being mastered.
Then in the montage we need to be able to monitor and record to a track directly and right on the track be able to capture from inputs 3-4, or 5-6 etc. In REPAER my script to seamlessly toggle between inputs during playback to audition my ADC units is HUGE. I couldn’t work without it now. Even during playback and input monitoring (while dialing in the sounds) I can press a key command to toggle between inputs 3-4 and 5-6 to compare the ADC choices.
I don’t use WaveLab to record audio so I don’t know all the details but I know there is some limitation with being able to monitor the sound of the ADC out of the main outputs of WaveLab either during playback and/or recording.
I think the External Gear plugin needs to go away in favor of something that works like a DAW where tracks can get routed to any output or buss and other montage tracks can be set to a certain input. Of course, I don’t think WaveLab should turn into a multitrack DAW but there are some things about DAWs like Pro Tools, REAPER, Cubase that make more sense for mastering with analog gear than the way WaveLab currently works.
When I’m working, I just have the record track in “input monitor” mode so I can play the session and hear everything via the record track input and then when I’m happy with it, I record to the new track.
Then of course we need a way to make the source tracks inactive after the recording is done so that the clip FX are not using computer CPU but we also need to be able to make them active again incase a redo is needed.
In Pro Tools the “Track Deactivate” works and in REAPER, I keep the track active but you can make all the plugins go fully “Offline” so they surely do not tax the CPU at all but are still there if you need to make them go back online for a redo.