Jon Tidey (with audio examples):
The direct guitar signal goes into amp plugin, then to the master output. The signal from this track is also going to the delay track. It then goes into the insert plugin, out the interface, into the delay, (set to 100% wet, no clean sound) and then into the interface and to the same track. I hope this makes sense.
Once you get your head around the routing, sending digital audio out through a hardware loop is a great way to add some texture and life to a sound. Often if I’ve got a sound that’s just feeling a little too clean and dead, I’ll send it out to something like my T-Resonator or FreqBox. Or if I’m really angry, I’ll overdrive my Spring King, which does nasty things when driven hard.
Often a track only needs to have a little bit of the hardware-processed version mixed in under the original (especially if the hardware-processed version is a bit extreme). And if this is done for most of the foreground instruments, the whole mix will gain some more life and depth and attitude.