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How to use RTAS (Pro Tools) Plugins Inside Logic Pro

How to use RTAS (Pro Tools) Plugins Inside Logic Pro

Logic and Pro Tools Together

The following article describes a way of using Pro Tools RTAS plugins inside another host such as Logic Pro. "Why?" You may ask. Well, because quite simply there are some pretty cool plugins for Pro Tools that you just can't get anywhere else - one of my favourites is the Sansamp PSA-1 distortion plugin. This thing just growls on the bass :)

This method requires two extra pieces of software one of which is free, the other is paid for, but thankfully it is quite popular and many people are already using it:

Plasq Wormhole 2 (free)

FXpansion VST to RTAS Adapter (€75 Euro)

The Lowdown

Essentially we are going to use Pro Tools as an "effects rack" for Logic, so we are going to send audio to Pro Tools, apply the plugin in realtime, and send the signal back to Logic. However, the important thing is, we are going to do this all via software, so there are no physical cables needed of course. And the real beauty of this method...We are going to get Logic to calculate the delay and compensate accordingly. So, we can add Pro Tools plugins to a Logic mix and adjust them in realtime with delay compensation!  

Step One

Insert a Wormhole instance on the desired track in Logic. For instance, I'm going to insert the Wormhole on my bass guitar track. Type in a name at the top so we can find the plugin inside Pro Tools, and select "Insert" in the Insert Chain section - this determines the plugin mode.

WH1

Step Two: Pro Tools

Open a new session in Pro Tools making sure to use the same samplimg rate as in Logic Pro. Create a new "Aux Track" in Pro Tools and insert a Wormhole plugin in the first effects insert slot, and the last like so:

Eventually you will be able to insert plugins in between these two Wormhole plugins.

Open the first plugin and select 'before', it also lists the name that you gave the plugin inside Logic (in this example: Bass)

The plugin should now look like this:

Next open the last plugin and select 'after', notice how it is the only available option. It is also a good idea to disable the audio output of this plugin so you do not hear the sound running through Pro Tools - we want to hear the sound inside Logic instead.

Step Three: Logic and Delay Comprensation

Now that the plugins are all configured you should be able to play your Logix session and hear the audio being routed through Pro Tools. Be sure to click the auto button inside the Latency section of the plugin. This reports the total time taken for the audio to be sent to Pro Tools, have DSP (plugins) applied and return. It then reports this to Logic which will automatically compensate for the delay - presuming you have delay compensation turned on in the preferences.

The Logic plugin should now look as follows.

Conclusion

The real beauty of this system is that you can then tweak the plugins inside Pro Tools in realtime as you mix enabling you to hear the plugin in context with your whole mix. And remember this concept can be applied to any other software DAW as well, so you are not just limited to Logic and Pro Tools, but Cubase and Ableton or any other combination you can think of. Happy tweaking!