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Entries in AAX (194)
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
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
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;
Other plug-ins are shown as coming soon.
The gang over at Xfer have released OTT - Multiband Compressor effect as a FREE download.
It’s a pretty simple bus comp that can be used to add some extra balls to your tracks.
It’s AAX and works in Pro Tools 11, it is also VST and AU. AAX Mac only
Download from our free plug-ins database and play with it and let us know what you think.
Russ takes a look at the new iZotope Breaktweaker plug-in, beat generation on steroids. Find out what he thinks in this extended video review.
Users are reporting that their TL Space Reverb licence in their iLok accounts has recently changed into ‘Space’ with the vendor now showing as Avid TLL.
It has been our understanding for some time that Avid have been working on a port to AAX for the beloved TL Space reverb for Pro Tools.
It is highly likely that these new iLok deposits are in preparation for an AAX announcement of the plug-in previously known as ‘TL Space’ now being called simply ‘Space’. I feel a Prince song coming on, or should I say the artist formally known as Prince.
Forgive the pun, but watch this SPACE.
We’ve just started a series on the value of channel strip plug-ins in the modern recording set-up, so it might be good to know what AAX channel strip plug-ins are worth taking a look at.
For Pro Tools users with RTAS plug-ins, unless you read otherwise these will also work as RTAS plug-ins in Pro Tools. If you are not sure what AAX plug-ins will work in your Pro Tools system then check out our comprehensive AAX plug-in database.
Let us know what you think by taking our poll and also adding any comments at the end of the article.
UAD API Vision
A more recent addition to the UAD powered plug-in collection, this is an awesome model of a strip used on albums by such recording greats as Fleetwood Mac and the Foo Fighters. It packs a lot of punch, currently in a Mac only beta for AAX we reviewed it here.
Avid Channel Strip
The Avid Channel strip is part of the plug-ins that ship with more recent versions of Pro Tools, it might be free but that doesn’t mean it should be dismissed in preference for those costing money. Modelled on the channel strip from the System 5 console it has a lot to offer, the collapsible GUI is a real bonus when running out of screen real estate.
In this Quick Tip, Grammy nominated engineer Rich Tozzoli explains some creative uses of the SuprEsser, other than straightforward de-essing. Using the Wet/Dry control a blend of compressed signal can be mixed in with the original, avoiding the need to set up parallel compression on a separate fader.
Don’t forget there’s a chance to win Sonnox plug-ins in our Pro Tools Community Award - hang around, make some cool comments, share some knowledge in the comments or share a cool tip and you could be selected as the person who makes this community a better place, choose from any of the Sonnox Elite Range.
Massey have emailed out to users with news that their cool plug-ins will be shipping in AAX format shortly after NAMM, in the email they write:
“We are hard at work putting the final tweaks on our first batch of AAX plugins. We plan to release the CT5, L2007, TapeHead and vt3 for AAX shortly after returning from the NAMM trade show later this month.
Our first phase of AAX releases will be for Mac Native. After finishing up the remaining plugins, we’ll be tackling them for Windows. What about AAX DSP? Frankly we don’t yet know. We need your feedback! Anecdotally, HDX adoption has been quite lean. (Sorry Avid!) We need to ensure it’s really worth it to everyone: y’all & us. Despite the wishful thinking floated by Avid during the release of HDX, building DSP plugins is not a simple press of a button. It’s certainly easier compared to TDM development, but AAX DSP will still probably require months of work here while we might only have a handful of folks actually wanting DSP.
So, make your voice heard on the future of AAX: AAX poll
With the release of AAX, we’re making a pricing adjustment to help cover development costs of the various platforms we support. The prices of the individual plugins will remain the same. Enabling all of your plugins for a particular plugin format will be a flat, one-time $30. This means the upgrade price to AAX will be $30, regardless of the number of plugins you have. Starting February 17th, we will begin charging this $30 for our current, existing platforms (RTAS/TDM and VST2). All current customers in our database as of Feb 17th will get these deposited into their accounts for “free.” Overall, we feel this is a fair system that accurately translates the cost of maintaining these disparate platforms relative to the plugins’ base prices.
We’re also introducing a new all-in-one installer tool for the rollout of AAX. This application should greatly simplify your life especially if you have a bunch of our plugins. It’ll also help us push out updates and improvements more frequently. We hope you like it!
Thanks & Have Fun,
Steve, Todd & Kevin”
We know that many users will be excited by this news and also the openess of Steve and the Massey team to user feedback.
Our friends at Blue Cat Audio are off to a flying start releasing an update for 12 of our plug-ins, including the 6 freeware ones from our Free Pack: Blue Cat’s Chorus, DP Meter Pro, Flanger,FreqAnalyst, FreqAnalyst Multi, Gain Suite, Liny EQ, Oscilloscope Multi, Phaser, Protector,StereoScope Multi, Triple EQ.
New versions include:
- new copy/paste capabilities,
- memory optimizations,
- Audio Suite support for Pro Tools (Liny EQ) and many other enhancements and fixes (details on each product page). These improvements were already included in the latest version of Blue Cat’s MB-7 Mixer and Blue Cat’s PatchWork.
For registered users, the update is free and the new version can be found at the same place as the initial version.
In this free Pro Tools video tutorial Russ takes a look at the Avid Pitch II plug-in, in this short tutorial he shows how it can be used for creating great vocal effects.
Waves have just released V9r15 and included were some nice suprises.
First up is the Scheps 73 - A new emulation of the famous Neve 1073 Pre Amp / EQ Module found in vintage Neve consoles. This one has been developed in collaboration with top Engineer Andrew Scheps and tweaked to his specifictions.
- The Scheps 73 features a three band EQ,
- Fixed High Shelf frequency at 12Khz.
- Mid Band with 7 selectable “notched” frequency points.
- Low Shelf with 4 selectable “notched” frequency points.
- An 18db/octave High Pass filter with 4 selectable “notched” frequency points.
In addition to the EQ, the Scheps 73 provides variable harmonic saturation ranging from thickening warmth up to hard driven “full on” distortion.
Scheps73 is included free for Mercury Bundle owners or available as a seperate purchase.
Next up is the WLM Plus - An enhanced version of the current WLM
For those who take their dithering seriously then the new PSP X Dither plug-in, compatible with all versions of Pro Tools, may be one to check out.
PSP X-Dither offers extensive options and is designed to cover wide range of situations when dithering or noise shaping is the way to maintain the quality of an original mix, group or individual track during various stages of the recording and mastering process, including final digital mastering.
With an endorsement from no other than Bob Katz “I didn’t think anyone could achieve what PSP has achieved with PSP X-dither: They’ve created a selection of noise-shapes which allow me to create a 16-bit result that sounds almost identical to the 24-bit source. With other dithering algorithms I often have to compromise, making a sound which distorts the tonality of the original source, or weakens the depth, or softens the transients. But with PSP X-dither I can easily find the perfect shape for the music I’m working with.” X-Dither may be worth checking out.
PSP X-Dither is available as a 14 day demo in the following formats:
Slate Digital have announced a public beta of SSD4 1.101 AAX, they write:
SSD Sampler AAX 1.101 Public Beta
Hi everyone, Happy Holidays/New Year!!
Our team at Steven Slate Drums are proud to announce AAX 32-bit and 64-bit (Native for Pro Tools 11) support for our SSD Sampler plug-in, now available for download in your User Account Area.
- This is an additional “AAX only” installer. Should you require other formats, please download/run SSD Sampler 1.1 in your user account.
- This is a public beta version. Thus…
For any issues, please write a bug report via support ticket at the Slate Support Help Desk (inc. your full system specs, playback engine settings, session settings, detailed step by step to reproduce, screenshot of the SSD Sampler ‘Settings’ page attached to ticket…). Thanks!
- Fine Control - CTRL (CMD on Mac) + left click & drag to adjust parameters.
- Parameter Reset - ALT + left click to reset a parameter control.
- Better faders behaviour in the Mixer.
There’s an ongoing discussion on the DUC regarding Avid’s ongoing policy regarding RTAS-AAX wrappers, which right now is that they are not allowed by Avid. Many theories are being put forward by both those for and those against the policy about why Avid have this policy.
The reason put forward by Avid is that RTAS-AAX wrappers are not allowed is because it compromises the stability and performance of Pro Tools, many users argue that the reasons are actually commercially motivated. Even if stability and performance are the real reason, surely it’s down to the user to make that choice, surely ‘caveat emptor’ applies here? If this is what Avid are most concerned about then surely (as with many of their products) they offer a “not supported” line about wrappers?
It seems absurd that a user can host VST and AU versions of plug-ins in Pro Tools 11 using various methods, but not RTAS. In fact since that article was written several other solutions have been offered by companies like Blue Cat Audio. This policy of ‘NO RTAS WRAPPERS’ seems odd (given that AU and VST are allowed) and undermines Avid’s own plug-in formats by suggesting that RTAS is less flexible and future proof than competitor plug-in architecture?
One reason cited is that 64 bit plug-in architecture makes any kind of wrapper impossible for older 32 bit RTAS plug-ins. Not so for Logic Pro X users, who with the Sound Radix 32 Lives software can run 32 bit versions of AUs in a 64 bit application, keeping their investment in plug-ins such as Abbey Road, TC and Lexicon alive.
If one buys a car, then there are certain fuels, oils and tyres that are recommended, if someone wants to use inferior quality products and in doing so experience inferior performance and possibly shorten the lifetime of the car, then as long as they don’t try and blame the dealer or the manufacturer then it’s their problem isn’t it?
The new 64 bit audio engine and improved architecture that made AAX necessary are without doubt a step forward, it offers vastly superior performance over RTAS, but if a user wants (or needs) to continue to use RTAS, then they should be allowed to do so, with the understanding that it will give inferior performance and will be unsupported?
I think what aggrieves users of legacy products such as RTAS or Control 24 and Pro Control mixers is not that they become unsupported or that development is ended, but that they are simply killed off. No one is suggesting that Avid should offer indefinite development and support for their older products, no other brand does so. However blocking the development of 3rd party solutions seems mean and petty minded, this seems to contradict the ‘new open Avid’ message that was introduced when Gary Greenfield was CEO of Avid and saw Pro Tools uncoupled from Avid hardware.
Surely if an RTAS wrapper is as possible as VST and AU versions then a user should get to choose how their Pro Tools system performs? Discuss.