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Welcome to Pro Tools Expert a huge community for users of Avid Pro Tools for both music and post production. With over 3 million visits a year, we’ve grown to be the place to come for training, resources, tips tricks and news. We offer advice for users of all versions of Pro Tools both current and legacy formats. We’re independent and are not affiliated with Avid or their associated companies.

Entries in AAX (206)

UAD v7.6 Software - New Chandler GAV19T, Brainworx bx_saturator V2 And Brainworx bx_refinement Plug-In

Universal Audio has just announced UAD v7.6 software which includes 3 new plug-ins, one guitar, one mix and one mastering plug-in.

The software is free to all UAD users and includes UAD-2 and Apollo Interface driver improvements (Mac).

With the UAD v7.6 software release 3 new plug-ins have been announced;

Chandler Limited GAV19T Amplifier Plug-In

Universal Audio say “Developed by the amp modeling gurus at Brainworx, the Chandler Limited GAV19T Amplifier plug-in is an exacting emulation of this ultra-responsive, dual EL84-powered boutique guitar amp. Inspired by British classics such as Vox and Marshall — and lesser-known gems from Watkins and Selmer — the Chandler Limited GAV19T Amplifier plug-in goes from supple clean textures, grinding blues tones, and rowdy distortions that gush with character.”

Brainworx bx_saturator V2 Plug-In

Universal Audio say “A powerful multi-band M/S (Mid/Side) processor that allows you to add saturation, drive, and distortion exactly where you want it, the Brainworx bx_saturator V2 plug-in for UAD-2 DSP Accelerators and Apollo-equipped workstations goes from subtle to twisted. Not only can you mangle signals beyond recognition, you can dial-in analog warmth and overdrive on individual tracks, put it across the stereo bus to thicken an entire mix, and bring out delicate nuances of vocals, acoustic guitars, and percussion”

Brainworx bx_refinement Plug-In

Universal Audio say “Tastefully remove the harsh, hard edges of your tracks without dramatically altering the character and tone of your source material with the Brainworx bx_refinement plug-in. An exceptional mastering tool that will impart a tube-like analog smoothness, the bx_refinement for UAD-2 DSP Accelerators and Apollo-equipped DAWs is also a boon for mix engineers looking to tame unpleasant digital hardness on individual tracks.”

Click here for more information visit and to download the UAD v7.6 software.

10 Free Pro Tools Plug-ins For Bass Distortion

Inspired by Russ’s article 10 Free Pro Tools Plug-ins Every Guitarist Should Try I thought I might see what was on offer for bass players. I’m not talking about EQ and compression here but bass distortion.

Using Distortion On Bass Guitar

Over the last few years I have gone from almost never using distortion on bass to almost never leaving a bass track clean. I’m not talking about Muse style fuzz here but gentle saturation effects. I have found this to be a very useful treatment for bass as introducing some distortion generates additional harmonics and can have the effect of raising the apparent level of the bass without actually turning it up by giving the ear extra information above the fundamental. Its possible to use surprising amounts of distortion on a bass track without the effect being one of distortion as much as gelling with the rest of the track. As with so many things context is everything.

The thing I look for in bass distortion is a sense of integration with the original clean sound. This is highly subjective but the least successful plug-in distortions I have heard have a sense of being stuck on top of the original sound rather than being a part of it. Additionally increasing distortion should be accompanied by a reduction in dynamic range and this compression effect makes a significant contribution to the overall feel of the effect.

At the end of the day there is no good or bad here, just personal preference but the striking thing about all of these plug-ins is that they all sound different and some dramatically so.

I restricted my choices to free AAX64 plug-ins. Some of these plug-ins were only available for a limited time. I did not include plug-ins with unlimited demo modes (for example Massey plug-ins) as they are not strictly speaking free.

To hear examples watch the free video.

10 Free Pro Tools Plug-ins For Bass Distortion - Air Distortion 

Originally included to make up the numbers - I’d tested nine, ten is so much neater, this little-used by me (actually possibly never used) plugin is surprisingly flexible.

10 Free Pro Tools Plug-ins For Bass Distortion - Avid Lo-Fi

A real favourite of mine, in this application just use the distortion and saturation controls.

10 Free Pro Tools Plug-ins For Bass Distortion - Softube Saturation Knob

The biggest strength of this plug-in is its simplicity, no danger of endless tweaking here. 

Click to read more ...

Waves Announce Vitamin Sonic Enhancer Plug-in - Review To Follow

Waves have announced a new plug-in Waves Vitamin, described as a multiple sonic enhancer for mixing, mastering and live sound.

A plug-in with a name that is asking for more puns than you can shake a stick at, Waves Vitamin is a multiband harmonic enhancer and tone-shaping plug-in.

Background On Waves Vitamin

The Waves Vitamin plug-in features zero-latency processing, making it useful for both studio and live use. It can be used as either an insert on tracks or via a mix buss.

Vitamin is descibed as a combination of EQ, compression and saturation and is suitable for use on vocals, guitars, synths, drums or an entire mix.

Waves Vitamin Features At A Glance

  • Parallel multiband harmonic enhancer with five individual bands
  • Control over the crossover frequency points between bands
  • Control over the mix of the direct signal with the enhanced version
  • Per-band stereo width control
  • Punch control for smoothing or accentuating punchiness and dynamics
  • Zero-latency processing

More Information On Waves Vitamin

Click here to find out more and to download a Waves Vitamin demo


SoundToys Announce AAX 64 Bit For Windows

Our friends at SoundToys have announed version 4.4, adding 64-bit VST support for Mac and native AAX support for Windows. Pro Tools 11 is now supported on both Mac and Windows.

Get The Free SoundToys Update

If you are an existing V4 user, this update is free. Simply log in to your SoundToys account here and download the update.

RSPE Audio “No Brainer Deal” Metric Halo At Silly Prices


This is no April Fools’ joke! RSPE Audio Solutions has teamed up with Metric Halo to offer two of their most popular plugins, ChannelStrip 3 and TransientControl, for the No Brainer Deal price of $30 each (retail $129 - over 75% off) or $45 for both (retail $258 - over 80% off)!

Metric Halo Channel Strip 3 - Low Price

Channelstrip 3, the newest version Metric Halo’s best-selling and most feature rich plugin, is  the recognized leader in console style channel stri­p audio processing for digital audio workstations. As the first plug-in to offer the combination of exceptional audio quality, incredible DSP efficiency and a comprehensive user interface, ChannelStrip lets users work as efficiently and interactively as they would with a dedicated, world-class mixing console.

Metric Halo Transient Control - Low Price

TransientControl, Metric Halo’s easiest-to-use and highly desirable plugin, allows you to modify dynamics in ways that aren’t possible with traditional compressors. You can directly change the transient (“attack”) and sustain of your audio; this allows you to make your tracks more punchy, or smooth them out so they sit in a mix.

Don’t miss out! This is the only time on record these plug-ins will be available at these blow-out prices anywhere in the world.

The Metric Halo No Brainer Deal is available for purchase via electronic serial number until midnight April 30, 2014, exclusively from www.rspeaudio.com.

About the “No-Brainer Deal”

The No Brainer DealTM has an exciting 7 year history and reputation for offering “Flash Sales” at irresistible prices, hence “No Brainer Deal”. When you see “No Brainer Deal” it means at least 75-90% off the hottest, most useful software and plugins for music and audio production.

RSPE have asked to add that if you are purchasing this product outside of the US, just enter “United States” as the country that you are shipping to, since this is a download, it will not adversely affect your purchase. They apologize for the minor limitation, we are addressing this with their host company.

Update: RSPE has fixed the issue with international credit card processing. You should now be able to complete your purchase normally, using your actual billing address and country.


Eventide H3000 Factory AAX Native Plug-in Downloads 2.1.1 Now Available

Eventide have announced that the H3000 Factory Native Plug-in Downloads 2.1.1 are now available to all Eventide users.  

This includes both 32bit and 64 bit versions of AAX installers for Pro Tools 11 and below.

How To Get Eventide AAX Plug-Ins For Pro Tools

Users must have a valid license and iLok in order for plug-ins to work. 

More infomration and to download Eventide AAX Native versions visit their web site.

10 Free Pro Tools Plug-ins Every Guitarist Should Try

There’s a lot of people making music on Pro Tools and a lot of them are looking for some great guitar sounds. You may be limited by both space and cash and so the chance of being able to throw a Marshall stack up and mic it with vintage microphones is about as likely as the Pope being in a Beatles reunion line-up.

However, don’t let a lack of cash or space stop you from getting some great guitar sounds, here are Free Pro Tools plug-ins that every guitarist should try.

Sansamp PSA-1

One of the gems of the FREE plug-ins that come with Pro Tools, Sansamp PSA-1 is used by some of the top names in the industry including Daniel Lanois and Mark ‘Spike’ Stent and it has been used on countless tracks. It features an excellent set of controls as well as some very cool presets, check it out for both clean and dirty tones, it works on other material too, ace on bass. RTAS and AAX. Check out our video on how to use Sansamp

IK Multimedia Amplitube Custom Shop

A FREE version of AmpliTube 3 with 24 models including a digital chromatic tuner, 9 stomps, 4 amps, 5 cabs, 3 mics, 2 rack effects, even better you can use their cool try before you buy store to check out an almost limitless supply of guitar amps and effects. RTAS and AAX

Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5 Player

Guitar Rig 5 Player is the free guitar amp and effects processor from Native Instruments, combining creative effects routing possibilities with ease-of-use and pristine sound quality. The included FACTORY SELECTION library provides one amp with 17 cabinet emulations, plus 13 effects and sound modifiers to shape and enhance any audio signal. RTAS and AAX.

Click to read more ...

Kush UBK1 Goes AAX For Pro Tools - Mac And Windows

Kush UBK1 is now avaiable in AAX 64 bit and 32 bit for Pro Tools 11, Mac and Windows.

Kush are one of those developers that make a few very cool plug-ins, UBK is one such plug-in.

The Kush UBK1 is a unique plug-in offering both saturation and compression and adding them in a very unqiue way.

Kush UBK1 Review

We got our hands on it in March 2012 and reviewed it, we loved it so much it got our Editors Choice Award, you can check out the video review of the Kush UBK1 here.

Kush UBK1 Formats

  • UBK-1 32-bit AU  1.2.2
  • 32-bit VST  1.2.2 
  • 32-bit AAX   1.1.1
  • (Native & DSP)
  • 32-bit RTAS  1.0.8 
  • 64-bit AU  1.2.2
  • 64-bit VST  1.2.2
  • 64-bit AAX  1.2.0


  • 32-bit VST  1.2.2 
  • 32-bit RTAS 1.0.8
  • 64-bit VST  1.2.2
  • 64-bit AAX  1.2.0

Find out more here 

Review DDMF 6144 Eq

Is it possible to get the sound of a Neve Portico 5033, which in hardware form costs around $1725 in a plug-in costing $39? We got an email from a community member suggesting we check out the DDMF 6144 Eq, which is indeed a model of a Neve Portico 5033 for $39.

At Messe last week I was up late drinking with some of my fellow writers from other blogs and news sites and we all agreed that the constant “but does it sound like the hardware” is a little silly.

I have a dbx160 UAD plug-in and I also own the hardware, which I purchased after owning the UAD version, I have them for different reasons, some of it completely irrational and for the same reason I buy books and don’t own a Kindle – there are times when you simply want to grab a knob (cue Frankie Howard impression!)

We buy plug-ins for various reasons; cost, flexibility and portability and as technology gets better so do the plug-ins. If I had limitless funds and choice and din’t need to travel then I would probably grab the hardware all the time, again mainly for reasons you can’t show on a spec or spread sheet!

Click to read more ...

Solid State Logic Seek Beta Testers

Before you start demolishing your room to extend it for a 72 input SSL desk just wait a minute! Solid State Logic are looking for beta testers for their plug-ins.

What Solid State Logic Need From Public Beta Testers

In an email to Pro Tools Expert they say “as part of our ongoing commitment to deliver great products Solid State Logic is about to conduct a ‘Public Beta Test’ for the new Duende Native v5 plug-in collection’

What You Get For Being A Solid State Logic Public Beta Tester

The beta will include a final survey for you to complete on which successful completion will get you a FREE SSL plug-in.

For more information check out the SSL website.

Source: Solid State Logic

Waldorf Announce That AAX 32 And 64 bit Coming Soon For Pro Tools

Waldorf have announced that a number of their plug-ins will shorly be ported to 32 and 64 bit AAX for Pro Tools 11.

Waldorf plug-ins to be included 

  • Largo
  • PPG Wave 3V
  • Waldorf Edition

In their latest newsletter they say All Waldorf plug-ins will soon be 64-bit compatible, so you will be able to use them in the DAW of your choice. In addition we have made almost all Waldorf plug-ins compatible to Avid’s Pro Tools. The following plug-ins will be available in 32/64 bits as AAX, Audio Unit & VST”

Softube Console 1 Wins Coveted MIPA Award

Our friends at Softube have won a coveted MIPA Award just days after the first units of Softube Console 1 started shipping.

Softube Console 1 Awards

We are not surprised as it won a Pro Tools Expert Editors Choice Award when we reviewed it. You can read out in-depth review of the Softube Console 1 here.

About The Softube Console 1

The new Softube Console 1 ships with a Solid State Logic approved emulation of an SSL4000 desk and offers the real chance of mixing with your ears rather than you eyes, as we found out when mixing with it ourselves.

In the picture are some of our friends from Softube and SSL celebrating their win! Congratulations from the entire team at Pro Tools Expert.

Slate Announce Public Beta Of VTM AAX

Slate Digital have announced that VIRTUAL TAPE MACHINES AAX Public Beta is now in VTM customers’ user accounts. They have also informed us that owners should look for the email that was just sent to you for detailed information.

Slate VTM Public Beta

This update for Pro Tools users has been long awaited and although this is a public beta of the highly popular VTM it will give users welcome relief.

With models of both a 2 inch 16 track from NRG Recording, and a ½ inch 2 track machine from Howie Weinberg Mastering, the VTM will give your mixes analogue colouration found using tape t

Slate VTM Video Review

If you are new to this plug-in then check our video review some months ago here

Show & Tell Of Review Blue Cat Patchworks 

Russ takes a look at the Blue Cat Patchworks plug-in. It offers the chance to host multiple VSTs, parallel processing, channel strip saving and multi synth hosting in two different formats. Find out how it works and what he thinks.

Waves Metafilter Now Shipping - Intro Price Just $99

Our friends at Waves have announced that Metafilter which was introduced at NAMM 2014 is now shipping, even better with a great deal of over half off, making it just $99 instead of $200.

Use this link to get it for $99 instead of $200

Designed around a multimode filter with extensive modulation options and powered by Waves’ Virtual Voltage technology first found in the Waves Synth Element synth, Waves MetaFilter is described as having everything you need in a sound-shaping filter plugin.

MetaFilter lets you individually modulate the filter’s cutoff, resonance and delay time using three separate modulators – a 16-step sequencer, an LFO, and an envelope follower with a sidechaining option – making it easy to achieve effects such as filter sweeping, tremolo, auto wah, rhythmic gating, ducking, and hypnotic modulating delays with saturation buildups.

Features at a glance.

  • Three separate modulators: 
  • 16-step sequencer, 
  • LFO, and envelope follower with sidechaining option
  • Fat analog sound quality
  • Intuitive MIDI Learn
  • Fully modulatable analog delay
  • Powered by Virtual Voltage technology 

To find out more or to buy it visit waves here

Different Ways To Add Effects In Pro Tools And When To Use Each One

Pro Tools offers a number of different ways to add effects, one could say plug-ins but sometimes the term plug-in is not entirely accurate. Depending on the way the plug-ins or process is applied in can affect the results and also effect the load on you computer and your Pro Tools session.

Using Plug-ins As Channel Inserts

Perhaps the most common way people use audio processing in Pro Tools is as plug-ins as inserts, this means the plug-in is applied to the channel the audio is playing through. A number of things to note when using plug-ins on an individual channel;

  • Plug-ins work live and make no changes to the audio file that passes through them.
  • Each plug-in used takes up processing power, either DSP power on a Pro Tools HD system or the computer’s processing (native power) on a native Pro Tools system.
  • Some third party plug-ins such as UAD use their own processing either on a PCI card or attached via FireWire or Thunderbolt. Each plug-in you insert will use up that power.
  • Plug-ins work in serial, meaning that the audio cascades though each plug-in and is processed. This means for example that if you add a compressor in the first insert and an EQ in the second insert then the EQ is processing the signal as it has passed through the compressor.
  • Inserts are pre fader on audio, aux, and instrument tracks, but post fader on a Master track. 
  • Inserts applied to tracks are not recorded as part of the audio. If you want to record audio with effects then you need to buss the audio out to another audio track and record it with effects applied.
  • Virtual Instruments only work as inserts.

As a rule of thumb most insert plug-ins are used for processes involving EQ or Dynamics or track specific effects and when you need to process your audio in serial.

Another benefit of using insert based plug-ins is that live automation can be applied during the mix.

Using Plug-ins On Busses

A second way to use plug-ins as inserts is to use them on an AUX channel and then send the audio to that channel for processing, this offers two benefits.

  • Using plug-ins on an AUX allows the user the opportunity to send audio from several channels. This is often the case when using a reverb, where the effect may be sent from many channels at the same time. This means one reverb can be used rather than many reverbs on each channel - this will of course reduce processing load.
  • Plug-ins can be used to process the audio in parallel, this is a common trick on drums and vocals when using compressors. Parallel compression offers the opportunity to process the audio in a way not possible using inserts in serial, allowing the user to mix both the clean and compressed audio. Watch this free Pro Tools tutorial on using parallel compression in Pro Tools. Some plug-ins offer the chance to mix the orginal signal with the compressed signal, but even if the plug-in you use doesn’t offer mixing you can use the method shown in the video.

Check out our article on Understanding Aux Sends In Pro Tools here

Using AudioSuite Processing

AudioSuite processing is an offline process that makes changes to the audio file. A process can be auditioned and then once the user is happy with the process this can be rendered to the audio. However have no fear of doing irreparable damage to your audio, Pro Tools retains the original unprocessed audio should you wish to return to it, find out more about dealing with this here. Common uses for AudioSuite processing are;

  • Changes to gain (less used since the introduction of clip gain in Pro Tools)
  • Audio repair, such as denoising, declipping or de-hum.
  • Processor intense effects such as de-breath or vocal alignment.

Some Pro Tools users seldom use AudioSuite processing, yet AudioSuite can be a powerful tool, it offers processing that is not always possible in real-time, due to power constraints or the process being so intensive it creates latency so high that makes the process almost unusable. Watch this video on using the Normalize function as an AudioSuite process.

Using Standalone Audio Processing

Many manufacturers offer their audio processing as both standalone and also as an AudioSuite process. Often the standalone version offers more features and better results, two products in question are iZotope RX and Synchro Arts Revoice Pro 2.3, both have far superior features as standalone versions. The great news is that both products offer the option to process in Pro Tools, RX3 offers both real-time and AudioSuite processing, Revoice Pro 2.3 offers AudioSuite versions.

Knowing how to process audio can make a world of difference, it will change the sound you achieve, the quality of that sound and also maximise the efficiency of your sessions.

Show & Tell Review Of Nerve Drum Virtual Instrument 

Russ checks out the updated AAX version of Nerve Drum VI from Xfer Records. Does this drum virtual instrument on steroids offer anything extra for those looking to make beats? Find out what Russ thinks in this extended video review.

PC AAX 32/64bit Version Of Rob Papen RP-AMOD Now Available

Earlier this week we revewed the new Rob Papen RP-AMOD plug-in.

The Rob Papen RP-Amod features ‘Phaser’, ‘Flanger’, ‘Chorus’, ‘Ensemble’ and ‘Tremelo’, which are classic audio modulation FX. You can also ‘tempo sync’ them to your music, and you can use two FX at the same time in various routing configurations. These routing options are not only in serial and parallel, but you can also ‘filter split’ the audio signal ahead of going to both of the FX.

It’s now shipping as PC AAX 32/64bit version.

If you are an owner of a Rob Papen product then go and grab it for FREE here.

5 FREE Pro Tools Synth Plug-ins Worth Checking Out - Updated

UPDATED: In the earlier version of this story we mentioned that Fabfilter One is a FREE plug-in - this is incorrect. Apologies for the confusion.

The word FREE can often conjure up the idea of something being worthless; for many years the VST world has been filled with worthwhile FREE plug-ins yet Pro Tools users have often felt a little left out of the FREE plug-in world. However there seems to be a growing collection of FREE plug-ins for Pro Tools RTAS and AAX that are well worth investing your time into.

Here are a selection of some FREE synths worth checking out.

A single oscillator synth with enough sound shaping options to give a palette of cool synth sounds, the option of PWM is always welcome on a single oscillator synth as it gives the possibility of creating extra depth from the single source - a trick used in the very early synths. Available in VST, VST3, Audio Units, AAX Native formats (all both 64-bit and 32-bit), as well as RTAS (32-bit only) More from Fabfilter

Linplug Alpha FREE

A cut down free version of the popular LinPlug Alpha, this 16 voice, 2 oscillator synth includes many of the features of the paid for version. There are over 30 waveforms to choose from as well as useful filters and a single LFO. Mac and PC RTAS only. More from Linplug

NI Reaktor 5 Player 

Reaktor 5 is one of NI’s flagship products and Reaktor Player is a great way to explore the almost limitless potential of this modular synth design. NI offer a free download of over 200 synths based around 3 synths as part of this starter series. Mac and PC, RTAS and AAX. More here

U-He Podolski

A one oscillator, one filter, single envelope synth, Podolski has been around for several years in different incarnations. it also features a Zebra-style arpeggiator/sequencer plus chorus and delay effects. Mac and PC. More about AAX here (Mac)


Click to read more ...

Massey AAX Plug-in Installers For Pro Tools 11 OS X Now Online

Massey now have the new AAX Wizard installer in their web site for those wanting AAX 64 bit versions of their awesome plug-ins for Pro Tools.

This will give you options to intall OS X AAX versions of Massey;

  • VT3
  • Tapehead
  • L2007
  • CT5

Other plug-ins are shown as coming soon.

More here