What Developers Like Sonnox Go Through To Port AAX 64 Bit For Pro Tools 11

11-25-2013 05:00 PM

The Sonnox developers have ported all the Sonnox Elite plugins to AAX Native and DSP with one exception, the SuprEsser, which has yet to be ported. An AAX Native implementation of the SuprEsser is something that Sonnox is currently working on, according to Rod Densham of Sonnox regarding their plug-ins, AAX, and Pro Tools 11.
Something that all plug-in developers should be concerned with is the sound quality of their plug-ins. If enough time and attention to detail is allowed, it should be possible for developers to ensure that different versions of the plugins sound the same (for example RTAS and TDM, or AAX Native and AAX-DSP). This can take considerable effort by the developers, and can easily lead to areas of the code where double precision operations are necessary in one code-base but not the other. At the end of the day, sonic quality and performance is of utmost importance to Sonnox. Many of the Sonnox plugins cancel between variants down at the 24-bit word level; those that don’t, usually during transients in dynamic effects, will cancel to around -100 dBFS or greater.
The ports to AAX-DSP can be tricky and time-consuming, but with careful development very good results can be obtained. One example of the problems the developers faced was with the memory requirements for the Sonnox Reverb, which currently means that the DSP implementation of the Sonnox Reverb is limited to a maximum of 48kHz sample rate. Having said that, Sonnox is working on an AAX DSP version of the SuprEsser, which was unavailable for the old TDM cards. Furthermore, Sonnox expects to be bringing many new products to the AAX DSP platform now that the developers have built up a range of code libraries that are efficient for the AAX DSP chips.
This gives an incite into the world of plug-in development and design and shows the care that the developers like Sonnox take to get their plug-ins sounding right. It also explains whay it takes time to port plug-ins across from RTAS and TDM to AAX Native and DSP. As an HDX owner it is very gratifying to hear that Sonnox have got plans for new AAX DSP plug-ins.