I've been searching around this stackexchange subcategory and I haven't reached a solid consensus.
What I want to do is in the title. I want to record an electric guitar and an electric bass in realtime into my DAW (FL Studio or Cubase). In the DAW I can use Guitar Rig for effects and pretty much everything else.
I have tried recording like this:
Guitar -> Effects pedal (distort preset) -> Line in (onboard audio chip) -> DAW -> Guitar rig (only simulated speaker, no fx).
The result was quite disappointing, the guitar seems to have a certain 'fuzz' and is quite unintelligible in general. It just sounds like a lot of noise.
The bass was recorded like this:
Bass -> Line in (onboard audio chip again) -> DAW -> Guitar Rig (again, only simulated speakers, no fx). The result was clearly better, but still it's not at all what I expected. Aside from the line noise (which I can cut out using a noise gate), the bass wasn't as precise as I thought it would be (it sounds far better on a cabinet that we use at our practice studio).
I have noted a few points that I need help with:
Will an audio interface be worth it? We've had no problems with input delay with a standard ASIO driver, so we were easily able to record while playing along with the rest of the tracks. By being worth it I'm actually asking if the sound quality will improve, be it marginally or significantly. By searching around, I've only seen people discussing that audio interfaces offer far better latencies but nothing on the audio quality itself.
The effects pedal is nothing special. It's quite a low-budget pedal. Could this be the culprit? Would we be better off by recording clean guitars and then doing the effects (distort + amp + speaker) straight from Guitar Rig (or any other amp sim)? As added information, the clean effects sound very well. Any distortion effect sounds quite terrible.