We recently ran a story on the news of Avid having 700 plug-ins now ready for AAX. That number of plug-ins seems high, but it would seem not high enough for most Pro Tools users to take the plunge and go fully to using Pro Tools 11.
In our poll we asked “Do You Have The Plug-ins You Need For Pro Tools 11“ just 15% said “Yes - I have all the plug-ins I need and I now use Pro Tools 11 all the time”. Of the remainder the largest group was “No - So I switch between Pro Tools 11 and Pro Tools 10”, in fact 17% are relying on third party apps such as Blue Cat MB-7 and Patchwork or Vienna VEP5. In fact Avid may want to send the likes of Blue Cat and Vienna a box of champagne for helping a high proportion of Pro Tools users switch, without them the number would be significantly lower.
Around 80% of those polled are using Pro Tools 11 in some way, that may put money in Avid’s bank, but it’s still not all plain sailing for most users. It also adds some weight to the concerns of some Mac users that to move to Mavericks is utterly impossible if a co-install of Pro Tools 10 is not supported, some users report that a co-install will work in OS Mavericks but if a user makes that plunge and has support needs then Avid have no obligation to offer it, hence the term ‘is not supported’.
What this result seems to indicate is that it’s not how many plug-ins you have available in AAX, but which plug-ins. Whilst there are some big brands like Softube, Sonnox, Native Instruments, AIR, McDSP and Waves already in the AAX camp, there are still some hugely popular developers such as the mighty Universal Audio, Slate, Massey and Fxpansion with either all or most plug-ins to port. Add to this the fact that some popular developers currently have no plans to port to AAX, you can see what a challenge Avid have.
It just goes to show, that for any DAW manufacturer the support of their third party developer network is essential for continued success, even for the mighty Pro Tools.