We promised you an exclusive, and here it is - zplane's brand new pitch AND time plugin - élastiqueAAX.
This AAX only plugin takes the incredible élastiquePro v3 pitch-shifting engine from the Elastique Pitch V2 plugin I reviewed last week and adds time compression / expansion to the feature list. Adding this feature to élastique brings it directly in to competition, feature specification wise, with the two Avid plugins - Timeshift and X-Form that I compared Elastique Pitch V2 to, and Serato Pitch'n'Time.
The user interface is simplicity personified. There is no clutter and you are left in no doubt as to which controls do what.
The display is scalable between showing both Pitch and Time, or just Time.
The supplied manual is a model of how a good manual should be written, with lots of screenshots and clear descriptions of the controls.
Pitch and Time plugins (also known as Time Compression Expansion plugins - TCE) are generally used as an AudioSuite instance, though they can also be linked to the multi-tool. For this reason I'm starting by comparing the offline processing times. These times are for processing a 2 minute 31 second piece of audio in both 5.1 and stereo, from 25fps to 24fps.
|Plugin||Time to process
(mins & secs)
|Time to process
(mins & secs)
So you can see that the clear winner from a processing time aspect is Avid Timeshift, with élastiqueAAX coming a close second. Before you start cheering Avid though, I wouldn't be spoiling any surprises by saying that there are hefty consequences for Timeshift's speed. These figures were measured using my Windows 10 Pro Tools 12.7HD twelve-core host system, with 16GB of DDR4 RAM.
Does It Sound As Good As Elastique Pitch V2?
Take a listen to my video to find out -
As per the Elastique Pitch V2 review, we hear the same burbling artefacts on the Timeshift sections, and the same metallic sound to male vocals on X-Form.
X-Form is still doing its odd thing with the phase relationship. You can hear that it completely changes the characteristics of the music. élastiqueAAX appears to be the only one of the three that can truly claim to be an eight channel plugin in my opinion.
The surround image between élastiqueAAX and the untreated original was as close as I could perceive, either with my ears or meters.
Pro Tools Integration
We understand that zplane are in discussions with Avid so that élastiqueAAX will be able to be selected as a default TCE plugin in both the multi-tool and Elastic Audio Tracks, but there is no clear timescale for this at this time. This would bring the lovely élastiquePro v3 pitch-shifting engine into the grasps of dialogue editors and musicians alike. Along with the staggering sonic performance, this will help it fast become the defacto Pro Tools TCE plugin.
I said that Elastique Pitch V2 was capable of revolutionising my multi-frame-rate workflow. Well, élastiqueAAX has made it that bit easier again. I now actually look forward to multi-frame-rate jobs, as I no longer have to sacrifice hours of processing, or have a negative impact on the end sonic quality.
zplane élastiqueAAX retails at £299, which is a bargain compared to Avid X-Form and Serato Pitch'n'Time. Had this been around last year, I could have saved four days (96hrs) of staring at progress bars and then not being totally happy with the result. For my nature of work, this is the best £299 ever spent.
All current users of Elastique Pitch V2 are entitled to get a 25% discount on the current élastiqueAAXprice. Users who bought Elastique Pitch V2 after Dec 1st 2016 can decide to swap to élastiqueAAX. They will get a 50% discount but will have to surrender their license for Elastique Pitch V2