AAX Plugins That Got Neil's Attention in 2013

01-04-2014 12:35 PM

Following on from other PTE team members hit list of AAX plugins for 2013 here’s what got my attention in 2013.
Some of the plugins are repetitions of what the other guys have already mentioned but made such a difference to me i had to sing their praises again.

Blue Cat Audio MB-7 Mixer

This one was a true game changer for me after the withdrawl of Sugarbytes TransVST 32bit AAX wrapper for Pro Tools 10, I never thought i’d get to use my VST plugins in Pro Tools 11 ever again, So figured the only way forward would be “Rewiring” Reaper to Pro Tools as I had needed to do before.
When Blue Cat released the MB-7 i jumped for joy!
Not only was the plugin itself a very cool idea of band splitting and then being able to place any plugin you like on each band, in a “build your own multiband compressor” kind of way but these plugins could be VST’s !!!!
Besides the amazing band split feature I could for the first time host 64bit VST Plugins inside Pro Tools 11 - Big Smiles all round.

Vienna VE Pro 5
After the excitement of the Blue Cat MB-7 Mixer this one was the cherry on the cake.
VEPro 5 bought VST hosting to Pro Tools 11 but with a powerful twist, I could host 32bit or 64bit VST plugins on virtual servers powered by a totally seperate computer, just like I had done years ago with FX-Max - FX Teleport in a solely VST environment.
Networked computers for theoretical unlimited plugin power with very solid, stable operation - Things are getting very, very exciting !

Metric Halo Thump
There have been a few times while putting my list together I’ve wanted to include an entire plugin bundle or every plugin certain manifacturers produce.
I’m a huge fan of Metric Halo plugins and feel their Channelstrip is without a doubt a desert island plugin so when the MH production bundle surfaced with an added suprise I was very happy indeed.
This added suprise was the release of MH Thump, Not only is thump a fantastic plugin to synthesize and add a little (or lots of) extra low end to any source its totally FREE !
Free plugins have never been so good, huge thanks to Metric Halo and any other manufacturer willing to put some free stuff out for us folks!

Synchro Arts Revoice Pro
Having always been a huge fan of Synchro Arts Vocalign in the past i was very please when their flagship product Revoice Pro finally made it to the Windows platform.
In the past i had used Vocalign as my go to plugin for aligning harmony guitar DI’s before reamping as well as for vocal tracks.
Revoice Pro was an amazing expansion of Vocalign and one of my favorites of the year!

Brainworx BX Rockrack Pro
There simply are not enough good quality Guitar Amp simulator plugins on the market for Pro Tools 11.
It was certainly a huge welcoming sight when the BX Rockrack appeared in AAX format, I had been very impressed when it was first released but slightly worried about its CPU overheads, when the AAX version came out and had some pretty apparent power refinements it became one of my “go to” amp sims in Pro Tools 11.

Avid Pro Compressor
I wanted to put all three of Avid’s Pro series plugins on my list they are just that good, but I settled on the Pro Compressor, It’s the one I use the most because its so easy to use and sounds instantly great on pretty much any source material - In fact its really difficult to make something sound bad with this plugin, I take my hat off to Avid this one is very, very good!

Eventide H3000 Factory
I couldnt complete this list without the mention of the Eventide H3000 Factory, I’ts one of my all time favourite plugins and so seeing it appear in AAX format I let out a huge sigh of relief that I could move forward in the knowledge that Eventide were porting the Anthology II bundle to AAX.
Its certainly taking them a while but so far we have seen the non Anthology II plugins - Blackhole and 2016 Stereo Room, as well as the H3000 Factory and Omnipressor which is certainly encouraging.
Roll on 2014 !
- Neil Hester