I think there’s no question at this point how awesome making music in 2021 really is. I mean, with a Mac and Logic Pro, you truly have everything you need to record and share your music!
But for some, the sound and “feel” of working in the box just doesn’t have that vibe.
Maybe you yourself have your fair share of actual outboard gear. Analog compressors, EQs, or even guitar pedals. And you really would much rather have fun turning knobs on an actual piece of gear.
All isn’t lost! In fact, you can integrate your external hardware into your Projects right now.
And all you need (besides an interface and gear) is one easy-to-overlook plugin –
the I/O Plugin.
Tucked away inside the Utility section of Logic’s plugins the I/O plugin deserves more love. Because with this one tool you can:
- Send audio out of your interface to your external gear
- Bring the audio from your gear back into your Projects
- And even fix any latency issues that might crop up
Logic’s I/O plugin is your digital patch bay to all your other awesome toys!
Of course, there’s a bit of setup time for routing your audio, both in the box and out. But once sorted, you can enjoy the benefits of a hybrid workflow for mixing or mastering.
So in today’s video above, let me show you how easy it really is to integrate your hardware into Logic Pro.
Thanks, this is super helpful. I’m about to start implementing in my process. Wondering why you have to send to a bus? Would this also work by adding a new audio track and setting the input to the channel coming from the outboard gear? Curious why the bus is necessary.
Hi Patrick, great question! Let’s assume the following settings with the I/O plugin:
1. Outputs are set to Outputs 3&4
2. Inputs are set to Opticals 1&2
3. Latency offset is 16 Samples
So if the outboard gear is coming back through on Optical Inputs 1&2, why not just set a Track’s inputs to 1&2 and hit Record?
The main reason is that the latency offset in the I/O plugin won’t be included in the signal path. So the timing of the track that’s recording the audio from the outboard gear won’t match up with the Project or the original audio.
Of course, why not just offset the new recording with the Sample Delay by 16 samples? Well, as it turns out, the audio recorded directly from Optical Inputs 1&2, at least in my case, are off by much more than 16 samples. In fact, 320 samples by my estimate when using a Buffer Size of 128 Samples.
(Right-click or hold Control and click each image to view in a New Tab).
The bus makes it easier to ensure when you commit your tracks with outboard processing that everything lines up correctly.
Also, it allows you further versatility for placing your outboard anywhere in the plugin chain. And then when you record/print, your recording the exact sound you’ve arrived at in your mix. Plus, you can choose to include your Fader or Pan adjustments/automation.
Of course, you could route the Output of your Channel Strip to a Bus instead, and then set the Input of a new track to the same bus to record all plugins/outboard/levels/etc. You don’t have to use a Send if you don’t want to.
I hope this helps!
Chris R. says
Hi, many thanks for all the great info and effort you’re putting into this.
I’m back to Logic (last use 1992-2003!) and getting acquainted with all the new stuff. I’ve done very little testing in Logic so far, but I’ve tested practically all the other DAWs on Windows for two years, to come to the conclusion that I might as well get a Mac and try Logic again because of all the mess and flaws and shortcomings in the others.. The only other DAW I’m still considering is Ableton Live. I’d prefer Logic,.
Your video explanation is great, crystal-clear, but I immediately wondered: how does all this translate to using the mixer channel sends to external FX? do we put the I/O plugin on each send bus, 100% wet?
hey man wonderful video it was…and i have doubt on if i have tracks over 150 around do i need to insert I/O plugin on all of these tracks…pls explain me on this thing…and also do i need to add the i/o plugin in master fade of logic instead of putting in individual tracks?
pls clear my confusion