How to record amp simulator plugins in Pro Tools

There are a few different ways to record amp sims in Pro Tools. I’m going to describe my typical method for using amp simulators. It is the way I prefer to do it as it is the most versatile. My personal preference is Amplitube by IK Multimedia, but I will try to be generic in my description.

  • Create two audio tracks
  • label one Guitar DI, and label the other Guitar Print
  • set the input of the track labeled Guitar DI to the input where you have your guitar plugged in
  • set the output of the track labeled Guitar DI to an available bus
  • set the input of the track labeled Guitar Print to be the same bus
  • Insert the amp simulator plugin on the Guitar DI track
  • record arm both tracks
  • record your parts
  • disable and hide the track labeled Guitar DI

Now you have an audio track with the printed output from the amp simulator, and you still have the original DI from the guitar. If you ever want to change the tone, you activate the Guitar DI track, change the tone, record arm only the Guitar Print track, and press record. Then deactivate the DI track again, and you’re all set. When the DI tracks are deactivated, so are the plugins on them, so they use no CPU.

The other benefit to this method is that if you like the performance, but decide you want to use a real amp instead, you can reamp the direct track out to a real amp.

Keep in mind that when using this method, you must be in record mode to monitor your input, and you must be in the proper monitoring mode (Input Only) if you want to monitor the incoming signal continuously.