Recording VST effect audio

new user on windows 10. When I record a track with VST effects, it only records the raw audio, not the effects. Is there a way to record the complete output too.

I’m not sure you can insert plugins into the record path in Ardour.
It’s usual to apply effects while mixing or playing back the track. Do they work then? And is there a particular reason for using them on recording? Because a good reason for using them after recording is that you have unlimited opportunity to experiment with the settings.
The exception might be something like a high pass filter to remove unwanted LF noise before you record, which is why many mics have a switch for that built in.

Ardour 5.x offers no particularly convenient way to do this, but you could simply add a bus, put the FX there, and route the output of the bus to the input of a track for recording (be sure to disconnect the track inputs first).

In Ardour 6.0, you will be able to move the “position” of recording arbitrarily, thus enabling (for example), recording “wet” after 2 out of 3 plugins in the track.

they do work while recording / listening. I like to tweak the VST’s while I’m playing keyboard (kind of like a guitar pedal). Is there a way to do this and keep the results with Ardour? Maybe via automation?

Yea you can record the automation on controls you tweak. Press the ‘a’ on the track header for that track, and it gives you access to any automation track available for that plugin (Or any other plugin/process on that track). Open up the automation tracks for the controls you are modifying and set them to either ‘TOUCH’ or ‘WRITE’ depending on your needs and equipment/workflow. Write, after you have started and stopped transport IIRC will go back to PLAY to prevent accidental overwrites, so just keep that in mind.

    Seablade