Entries in rtas (73)
There was a time when VST owners were getting all the free plug-ins, but not anymore. Following the recent update from Melda, our free Pro Tools plug-ins list now runs to over 100.
They include plug-ins from top software developers like Softube, Bluecat, Fxpansion, Brainworx and more. This list include instruments, effects and some really cool tools.
Head over and search this list, if you think some RTAS and AAX plug-ins are missing then please let us know.
Stillwell Audio have announced version 3 of their software which sees 19 plug-ins updated and adds compatibilty for both RTAS and AAX for Pro Tools users.
Even better it offers free upgrades to 19 of their plug-ins for which are now both 32 and 64 bit as well as RTAS and AAX for OS X and Windows users.
They has also announced a brand new web site, posting this news;
It’s been a LONG time coming, but it’s finally here. Version 3.0.0 brings many noteworthy features and fixes. All known compatibility issues have been addressed for current users, and for those users that have been waiting patiently (or not), we’re finally fully consistent; all plugins are available 32 and 64 bit, both Mac and PC (with the exception of Psycho Dither which is still WIP and Microschope which has been retired due to lack of activity). The most exciting bit for new users, though, is additional platform support. We now support VST3 and (wait for it) Pro Tools. Our plugins are available in RTAS (legacy), 32-bit AAX Native (Pro Tools 10), and 64-bit AAX Native (Pro Tools 11). Where appropriate, we have also built in support for Audiosuite.
The plug-ins included in the new upgrade include the much loved 1973, Bombadier and Vibe EQ, the entire list is impressive and is shown in the chart below.
They also offer 100% functional trials of their plug-ins for you to try.
Mixing in stereo has its issues, many fail to check their mixes when translated to mono, or even more extreme scenarios like speakers wired backwards.
PANIPULATOR 2 Free Plug-in
Boz Digital Labs have created the PANIPULATOR 2, it lets you know what your mix sound like summed to mono? Flip a switch to find out. What if someone wires their system so that they can only hear the left channel? Flip a switch to hear what that sounds like. What if they reverse the wiring on one of their speakers? Flip a switch to find out to see how that will affect your song. These are all common scenarios, and the last thing you want to do is find out is that your mom’s voice, that you thought was buried in the mix, pops out when played over the loudspeakers at Nordstrom.
Panipulator will barely make a dent in your CPU usage, so there is no reason that this plug-in should not be a default on every single song you mix.
Our friends at Sonnox are continuing their May deals, this week it’s the highly versatile ‘Swiss Army Knife’ Oxford Dynamics plug-in, offering 40% off until May 14th, more information about Sonnox deals here.
Sonnox Oxford Dynamics Plug-in Features
Modelled on the Sony OXF-R3 digital console, the Sonnox Oxford Dynamics plug-in features;
- 64-bit compliant (AAX / AU / VST)
- The dynamics section from Sony OXF-R3 console
- Separate sections for Compressor, Gate, Expander, Limiter
- 2-Band side chain EQ (with audition function)
- Warmth control for extra presence and tube-like warmth
- Three different compressor types (linear and exponential curves)
- Variable soft knee compressor
- Separate 5.1 bus compressor (where supported)
- Ultra low noise and distortion
Using The Sonnox Oxford Dynamics Plug-in On Vocals
There’s an excellent video tutorials showing how to use the Sonnox Oxford Dynamics Plug-in on vocals by our old friend Fab Dupont. Watch the free video tutorial here
Boutique plug-in developer LVC Audio has aanounced RTAS And And AAX Betas For ClipShifter, PreAMPed And HotPhuzz. The betas are currently available for OS X.
ClipShifter is a waveshaping clipping-style limiter that provides enough user controls to be useful in all mixing stages.
PreAMPed is a virtual analog modeling plugin that has 13 different preamp models. Each preamp model has distinct saturation levels, EQ curves, transient responses, harmonic distortion, cross-talk, and other settings.
HotPhuzz is a saturation designer plugin. It is a creative tool that specializes in the creation of distinct saturation tones.
In their news section they write;
“LVC-Audio is happy to announce beta support for RTAS and AAX formats for OSX. This includes PreAMPed, ClipShifter, and HotPhuzz. In addition to support for RTAS and AAX formats, the updates also fix a common bug with the user interface. This prevented text entry on Macs, and made the text appear the incorrect size on many Windows and Mac computers. Although PhreePhuzz currently does not support RTAS/AAX, an update is provided to correct the text problem. To update, just proceed to the plugin pages to download the latest versions. To celebrate the updates, you can get an 11% discount (for Pro Tools 11, of course). Just enter PT11 during checkout. This code will be valid until the end of May. …and yes, Transector RTAS/AAX is coming soon.”
For more infomrtion on this and other LVC Audio plug-ins visit their web site
In this free video tutorial Russ takes a look at the CLA guitars plug-in, an easy to use instant gratification plug-in that can help those using basic audio interfaces to get a variety of different sounds in their tracks.
In this video James takes a look at the new GAV19T guitar amp plugin.
He shows you around the amp and shows how real this thing sounds.
We got a sneak peek of these new Session Keys Pianos from e-instruments, check out our full review of Session Keys, these are two amazing pianos from the team that brought us Session Horns and Session Strings and as you would expect they are very special.
Two Grand Pianos
Sessions Keys features two of the most exquisite concert grand pianos any aficionado could dream of and each one comes with two different characters to choose from: concert and studio. Session Keys Grand S delivers the rich harmonic structure, warm tone, and full resonances of the Steinway D4, while Session Keys Grand Y captures the clear, transparent and dynamic sound of a Yamaha CFIIIS. Rich overtones, sparkling high end, and a powerful bass range make this outstanding instrument the perfect complement to the Grand S. Both Session Keys instruments offer unique sound design and music creation functionality that sets a new standard for intelligent instrument technology. Imagine New Textures
The Pentamorph controller allows users to easily adjust the grand pianos acoustics from standard characteristic sounds to atmospheres that go far beyond the obvious as well as create movement on the fly using just one knob. Session
Animation Inspiration Guaranteed
The Animator is designed to generate truly musical piano performances in the most flexible way. The ultimate source of musical inspiration, the Animator offers an intuitive way to create flexible piano phrases that follow your harmonies.
Harmonic Power with Smart Chords - The Freedom To Play Your Way
For instant piano chords at your fingertips, Session Keys Smart Chord Mode provides a completely new and inventive way to add depth of musical expression to your production. Full chords or Animator riffs can be played via either the pad controller or single keys: just set the key of your song and let Smart Chord Mode create the harmonies.
Effects and Detailed Editing - Individual Sounds For Your Music
Great tone comes from the unique resonances and noises that shape an instruments sonic character. In addition to the Pentamorph controls, every parameter of the Session Keys grand pianos can be accessed and edited in detail to strengthen the individuality and expressiveness of the instrument or to take it far beyond its standard sonic signature. EQ, Compression, Convolution Reverb and Delay Effects can all be adjusted for creative sound design without boundaries.
Pricing and Availability for Session Keys
Session Keys Grand S and Session Keys Grand Y are available online at the e-instruments website (www.e-instruments.com), for $99 / 99 each or as a bundle for $159 / 159. Technical requirements:
Free Native Instruments KONTAKT Player Version 5.2.1 or higher Further product information and videos on Session Keys Additional information on Session Keys Grand S and Grand Y is available at their web site
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
Source: Solid State Logic
Russ takes a look at the new Waves Abbey Road Reel ADT plug-in to see if they have managed to capture some of the magic of this process pioneered at Abbey Road for the Beatles.
About The Waves Abbey Road Reel ADT
This process was invented for the Beatles by sound engineer Ken Townsend at Abbey Road Studios to help thicken up the vocal tracks of John Lennon who it is believed got fed up of having to record doubled vocals.
The ADT (Automatic Double Tracking) used tape with LFO applied to give the unique effect that simulated the effect of two vocals having been recorded.
Download A Demo Of The Waves Abbey Road Reel ADT
The gang at Boz Digital Labs have released a FREE plug-in Bark of Dog which is simply a low Pass Filter with Resonance.
However, when we say ‘simply’ that is not to imply it has lttle effect, in facts this cool little plug-in can add so much energy to the low end of a track it should perhaps be called Balls Of Dog!
They say; Bark of Dog is a bass resonance filter that lets you increase your low end without turning up the flab. I like to think of it as a way to boost the low end while still keeping it under control. While the controls are super simple, the effect that this has on controlling the low end in a mix is pretty exciting.
We’ve just had a quick try of it and it is indeed a very useful little plug-in that had a multitude of uses, it can be used in gentle ways or can do some serious damage if you are that way inclined.
Bark of Dog is AAX, RTAS VST and AU for both Mac and Windows.
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.
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)
In Part 1 and Part 2 of this episode I had already laid out my thoughts on Channel Strips and in particular the Avid Channel Strip, but after all of this criticism of Channel Strip, am I ignoring the shortcomings of the stock EQ3 and Dyn3 plugins?
In the writing of this piece I will be the first to admit that I have subjected all of these plug-ins to an unusual level of scrutiny and the most interesting part of the process as far as the equalisers were concerned was that my overall impression that EQIII and the EQ section of Channel Strip were very similar in character was confirmed when I managed to null the two equalisers against each other almost completely. I tried this using Channel G and the SSL channel EQs and found it impossible to null to anywhere near the same extent. Not unexpected, but the two Avid EQs nulled to a far greater extent (but never completely). EQIII is a clean, workmanlike EQ, which is both well designed and effective and offers the band pass mode of which I am such a fan. If I have a criticism it would just be that it is a little dull and will never have“vibe”. A version offering the same user experience but with the option of a touch more glamour and excitement would be a big hit with me.
I find the expander gate perfectly serviceable but, in line with Mike’s opinion of Dyn III, I find the compressor less than adequate on some sources. It tends to distort bass heavy material even with surprisingly long release times and with some material I really can’t use it.
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.
Waves are offering the SSL 4000 plug-in bundle today only for $399. The bundle was recently discussed on the Pro Tools Expert podcast and described by Chris Lord Alge as “The SSL 4000 are the best models I have ever heard.” These excellent Waves plug-ins are developed under license from Solid State Logic.
The SSL 4000 Collection includes four meticulously modeled plug-ins based on the BRITISH SSL 4000 Series mixing console, loved by many top producers and heard on thousands of hit tracks. The AAX and RTAS compatible plug-ins will work in all versions of Pro Tools and include:
- SSL E-Channel
- SSL G-Channel
- SSL G-Equalizer
- SSL G-Master Buss Compressor
There’s a lot of tape emulation plug-ins right now for Pro Tools users and many of them are very good. Is it a case of taste or are there some tape emulations that are better than others.
Here is our round up of the contenders, then take our favourite plug-in poll at the end for you to have your say, please also add your comments.