We regularly talk to software developers behind the scenes to see how they are getting on. One of these recent conversations was with a smaller developer, Andrew Simper, at Cytomic, to see how he was doing porting over to AAX 64-bit. With his permission, we share some behind the scenes insights of how a software developer ports plug-ins to be compatible with Pro Tools 11. Andrew says:
I do have an internal build working both 32-bit and 64-bit AAX Native but Avid now require all binaries to be signed by PACE tools, which breaks my copy protection and distribution system. When it comes to AAX development, not many other developers do digital watermarking of each and every build with the end users serial number. I’ve just started re-coding my copy protection system from scratch then I can release the AAX Native build. So for me it’s actually nothing to do with the AAX plug-in format (which all up is much better than the old RTAS system) nor 64-bit plug-ins, I have both of those working already. I support Avid’s decision to insist upon signed binaries, and I also need to support Apple’s Gate Keeper signing in the future, so it clearly puts the onus on me to re-code my entire copy protection and distribution system from scratch to support signed binaries. The work on this has just begun, so an AAX plug-in I can release to the public is on the way…
I find this to be a real insight into some of the hoops that developers need to jump through to get plug-ins ready for us in Pro Tools 11 and it shows why it can take time (when we are so impatient). Most plug-in developers have small teams of coders, or perhaps just one coder, but these coders are extremely specialised in what they do and are in very short supply at the moment, since every company wants AAX 64-bit plug-ins now. I hope this peek behind the curtain sheds some light on why it is taking developers a little while to get their plug-ins Pro Tools 11 compatible.
If you aren’t sure if your favorite plug-in is AAX 64-bit ready, you can check our dedicated AAX database to see.
You can check out Andrew’s site, he currently has two products:
The Glue is an analog-modeled compressor plug-in based on the classic 80’s British big console buss compressor, with some additional features. It uses the same high-quality algorithms used in circuit simulation packages but optimised for real-time use.
The Drop is an analog-modeled resonant filter plug-in currently in an open beta testing stage. It uses the same high-quality algorithms used in circuit simulation packages but optimised for real time use. There is a huge level of detail in the models, which gives them amazing drive and tone, but also takes a large chunk of your CPU.