Using Effects Pedals As Inserts


More often than not when you are recording tracks with instruments other than the guitar and bass you will be using a plugin software effect. Well, that is not the only way you can add the effects you love to a track. Effects pedals are not only for the guitar and bass players. You can actually utilize your effects and use them as a hardware insert in your DAW when recording. So yes, you can take a guitar pedal and use it as a plugin. The process is pretty easy, but we figured why not make an article and video covering the exact process when using Pro Tools.

What you will need…

First thing’s first you will need effects pedals. Next, you will need a reamp box, such as the Radial X AMP, this takes a line level signal and converts it to an instrument level signal. This allows you to interface it with either an amplifier or an effects pedal. After the Reamp comes to the direct box, in this case, it is a Radial D2 Direct Box. Lastly, this is all being fed into a Manley Labs Force. By using an effects pedal as a plugin you are utilizing the best of both worlds of software and hardware.


Where the magic happens…

After everything is all wired up you can start with any effects you want, in our case we have an electro harmonix Platform and an earthquaker devices pyramids. This process is basically just trying different pedals over different instruments/tracks until you find something that you really like. The benefit here is that often times you may be able to get some really unique and cool sounds you wouldn’t get otherwise. Add your favorite compressor pedal to your track, or your new flanger you just bought. There are just some combinations of effects that normally wouldn’t be something most would think of. Get creative with it, recording should be a fun process that allows you to create the best music possible.

Hopefully, this article and video have helped you learn a new trick! Now you can get more use out of old pedals that arent on your board anymore. Perhaps you can find that that missing element of a track that has just been sitting stagnantly, or maybe you are a producer and can really set your tracks apart now. Whatever the case using effects pedals as inserts is a cool trick.