Guide to using Guitar Pro with VST Instruments by Interfacing with a DAW

Install Virtual Midi Cable/Port

Steaming MIDI data from Guitar Pro to our DAW in realtime can be accomplished via a virtual loopback cable/port. Third party software loopMIDI, developed by Tobias Erichsen provides this capability.

Preparing Guitar Pro to Send Track MIDI

Configure Midi Output

To set MIDI output destination from Guitar Pro to the virtual port:

  • Select File > Preferences
  • Under MIDI OUTPUT, choose loopMIDI Port 1

Convert Guitar Pro Score/Tab Tracks to MIDI

Tracks within .gp* files/scores which are configured to use Guitar Pro's Realistic Sound Engine (RSE) will need to be switched to MIDI.

  • Open Guitar Pro tab file
  • Sample score consisting of 4 tracks (as shown below) will be used as an example (this was sourced by using web search)
  • Choose Sound > Switch All Tracks to MIDI
  • Save the the updated score

Determine each Track’s MIDI Channel Assignment

The next step is to determine MIDI channel used by respective tracks.

  • Enable Inspector to view track info — View > Show Inspector
  • The image below shows Lead Guitar selected from the Tracks list, with track details displayed to the right:
  • For each track, note down the channel used
  1. Lead Guitar, is assigned to channel 5
  • Guitar Pro will send MIDI to our virtual loopMIDI port
  • Tracks send MIDI to the port’s output via the following channels:
    — Lead Guitar: channel 5
    Rhythm: channel 9
    — Bass: channel 1
    — Drums: channel 10

DAW Configuration

The next step is configuring our DAW to receive MIDI. Procedure will vary depending on the DAW being used.

DAW Audio Output and MIDI Inputs

From Ableton, ensure:

  • Audio Device — is set to reflect the correct device/driver
  • MIDI Ports — input is enabled for LoopMIDI Port

Create MIDI Tracks

Using the sample score mentioned earlier as an example, a new project is created with the corresponding MIDI tracks.

  1. Set each track to receive input from our loopMIDI Port on the corresponding MIDI channels we noted earlier,
    i.e.
    Lead Guitar: channel 5
    Rhythm: channel 9
    Bass: channel 1
    Drums: channel 10
  2. Arm all tracks

Using VSTs with a Track

The screenshot below shows the track for Drums (Channel 10) configured to use VST, MT PowerDrumkit.

Closing Remarks

I use the set up for basic home recording and for spicing up Guitar Pro assisted practice sessions by experimenting with the wide range of available VSTs/Soundfonts to allow for a more “real band” experience.

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Tony Tannous

Tony Tannous

Learner. Interests include Cloud and Devops technologies.