How To Add Plug Ins To Pro Tools: A Step-By-Step Guide

Are you a musician or audio professional struggling to figure out how to add plug-ins to Pro Tools?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Plug-ins are crucial for enhancing your music productions in Pro Tools. In this step-by-step guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about installing and using plug-ins in Pro Tools.

We’ll cover the different types of plug-ins available, how to install native and third-party plug-ins, activating and using them effectively, as well as troubleshooting common issues that may arise.

Once you finish this article, you’ll have all the knowledge required to start utilizing amazing sounds with ease in every one of your projects.

So let’s dive right into it!

How To Add Plug Ins To Pro Tools: A Step-By-Step Guide

How To Add Plug Ins To Pro Tools TL;DR

How To Add Plug Ins To Pro Tools

How To Add Plug Ins To Pro Tools

Pro Tools is one of the most popular digital audio workstations used by both professionals and hobbyists alike. Adding plug-ins to Pro Tools is a relatively simple process, but it can be confusing if you’ve never done it before.

This guide will walk you through how to add plug-ins to Pro Tools in just a few steps so that you can get back to creating your music.

Installing Third Party Plug-Ins

Installing Third Party Plug-Ins

The easiest way to install third party plugins for use with pro tools is by downloading them directly from the manufacturer’s website.

Once downloaded, open up your downloads folder and double click on the plugin file (.dmg or .exe) that was just downloaded. Follow any instructions provided by the installer (some require additional steps).

Once installed, restart your computer and then launch Pro Tools. After launching pro tools, navigate to File > ‘Plug In Manager…’ and check off all of the boxes next to each plugin name.

This activates each plugin within Pro Tools so they are ready for use right away.

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Adding VST Plug Ins To Your Sessions

Adding VST Plug Ins To Your Sessions

VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology which simply means digital versions of studio equipment such as synthesizers or compressors etc.

If you have purchased VST plugins from another source (not included with Avid), locate where these files were saved on your computer/external drive and drag & drop them into either: Applications > Avid > Audio > Plugin folders OR Documents>Avid>Audio>Plugin Folders depending on where they were saved initially upon purchase/downloading them online.

Restart pro tools after saving these changes – all available VSTs should now show up when loading sessions or using effects inserts respectively!

Using The Free Stock Plug Ins That Come With Avid’s Software Suite

Using The Free Stock Plug Ins That Come With Avid's Software Suite

All avid users have access too many free stock plug ins that come bundled with their software suite including EQ3 7 Band Graphic equalizer, Compressor Limiters & Reverbs etc.

These useful instruments can be found under ‘Effects Rack’ tab located near bottom left corner of screen when selecting insert slot after selecting an audio track inside mix window view.

Simply browse through list until desired effect category appears than drag desired effect onto selected track – parameters can then be edited accordingly thereafter.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Sometimes, even after following these steps, plug-ins may not work properly or may not appear in Pro Tools. Here are some common issues and solutions:

  • Plug-in not showing up: Make sure the plug-in is compatible with your version of Pro Tools and that you have installed it correctly.
  • Plug-in causing crashes: Try removing the problematic plug-in and reinstalling it. If the issue persists, contact the manufacturer for support.
  • Latency issues: Some plug-ins can cause latency (delay) in your audio playback. To fix this, try adjusting buffer size in Pro Tools’ playback engine settings.


Adding plug-ins to Pro Tools is an essential part of music production. Whether you’re using third-party plugins or stock plugins included with Avid’s software suite, these tools can enhance your sound and take your tracks to a whole new level.

By following these simple steps and troubleshooting tips, you’ll be able to create professional-quality recordings with ease!

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle