Thursday, November 14, 2013

How to Use Your Outboard Processor with Pro Tools

There's a trend for audio interfaces to include insert points on the inputs, greatly simplifying the use of line-level processors when recording mic or instrument-level signals. You'll probably need a TRS-to-dual-TS insert cable to accomplish this because invariably the insert will be sent and returned on a single TRS jack. Simply patch the interface's insert to the in and out of the processor, and the processor becomes part of the recording chain. Remember that anytime you involve a hardware processor with your DAW session, you must process and bounce in real time, even when using an external plug-in processor. 

If you're lucky enough to have an arsenal of outboard mic pres, simply route the output of the pre into a compressor or EQ, etc., and then route the output of the processor to the input of your audio interface. The signal will be compressed or EQ'ed before it's recorded. You now have a reason to keep some of your old hardware around!