Recently I posted the article If I Only Had One Plug-in For Each Pro Tools Plug-in Category. I asked myself "Could I mix with one of my go to plug-ins for each category?" In short, yes. If you haven't yet checked that article out then do go and have a read and join in with the community's responses and plug-in lists.
That article got me thinking about the usability of the Pro Tools plug-in menu. The plug-in menu in Pro Tools has not seen any real development in several years so I decided to put together this article in the hope of capturing the imagination of the Pro Tools community. Let's get a good discussion going here. Share what you would like to see in a future Pro Tools plug-in menu.
I'll start the discussion off by sharing what I would like to see in a future Pro Tools plug-in menu
Ability To Organise
For several years Apple iOS has had folders. The folder feature enables a user organise their often vast collection of apps into categories. When the folder feature was released I remember feeling that it was a bit of a gimmick. Now though, I absolutely love having the freedom to organise my apps into folders of my choice as this helps me to access my apps without slowly swiping through countless pages.
I believe it is time we have a similar freedom in Pro Tools for organising plug-in into folders we choose. In the last ten years the plug-in market has exploded in much the same way as apps did for iOS. Over these years many of us have amassed a great collection of plug-ins that often don't get used as they can be hard to find.
I even feel as though the set plug-in categories laid out in the Pro Tools plug-in menu are too general now. Many of us have large collections of plug-ins, the categories in the plug-in menu are getting to the point of overcrowding making it difficult to find certain plug-ins. As you can see from the title image of this article I have included Gate, Envelope & DeEsser categories as my current Dynamics category is by far the most populated and in need of breaking down into more focused categories.
I feel this feature would be a great update by Avid. Even if the process of organising plug-ins was as rudimentary as allowing us to organise our plug-ins with folders in the OS directory. In some respects we already do this by using the "Plug-in unused" for hiding unwanted plug-ins within the Pro Tools menu.
Our digital lives and workflows would be pretty stressful without the ability to search. I use "search" countless times in any given hour. Think about how you use search within your day. Search is incorporated into pretty much every software, website and device helping us to find anything except... plug-ins within Pro Tools.
I would love to be able to insert a plug-in and just type "h" and H-Delay by Waves appears in the search result alongside other plug-ins beginning with H. This feature would save me from having to use my eyes to read through what is currently a lengthy list of plug-ins. Again this "search" experience is something I am already accustom to with iOS. When I use my iPad and I want to load Facebook I search for it as it's sometimes it is quicker to do so. I type "f" in the search and hey presto, the Facebook app appears.
- How would you like to see the Pro Tools plug-in menu developed?