How To Organise And Pimp Your Pro Tools Plug-ins Using Folders And Cover Flow - Mac

03-24-2014 10:18 AM

Over the weekend Dennis at Logic Pro Expert ran a story about a new application called Auganizer, a handy OS X Audio Unit management application that lets you rename, reorder, arrange and organize Audio Unit plugins the way you want. It currently works for both Logic Pro and Ableton Live.
Our first reaction was YES! Our second one after realising that it does not work for Pro Tools plug-ins was BOOOOO!
We have reached out to the developer to see if it would be possible to do this for Pro Tools, we have even offered to run a crowd-funding project if this is required. His response I’m not a Pro Tools user so I wasn’t aware of limitations in this format, I was always under the impression that Pro Tools users could rename plugins the way they wanted - in fact a few people have written how envious they are of Pro Tools users because of this (Before Auganizer!) but this isn’t the case? Is it only with certain formats? It is certainly something we could look into once we’ve got Auganzier 100% stable and polished.”
So watch this space, however in the meantime there are a couple of things you can do to tidy up the plug-in folder, or even pimp it up if you have a spare hour and want to really organise your plug-ins.
Create Folders To Organise Your Pro Tools Plug-ins

‘Inspired’ by the Auganizer GUI I created folders within the Avid plug-ins folder to sort the plug-ins. NOTE this only sorts the plug-ins without that folder and has no bearing on the Pro Tools sorting and display of plug-ins… BOOO!
Add The Pro Tools Plug-in Version Number To The Folder Sort

A simple right click on the top of the listing will give you a menu and one handy option is ‘version number’ add this and then you can see if your Pro Tools plug-ins are up to date from within the GUI.
Pimp Your Pro Tools Plug-in GUI

If you really want to create your eye candy then you can also change the GUI for each plug-in from the basic Pro Tools plug-in application GUI to anything you like.
Simply go and find an image of the plug-in GUI or open each one in Pro Tools and make a screen capture of them. Then save them as .PNG files.
Then open you new GUI in Preview and use CMD ‘A’ to select it and then CMD ‘C’ to copy it.
Then go to the plug-in in the plug-in folder and select the plug-in you want to pimp, then use CMD ‘I’ to open the Get Info dialogue box.

Select the image in the top left of this window so it is highlighted and then use CMD ‘V’ to paste the graphic you just copied, you plug-in will now have a new icon which when viewed in Cover Flow will display as the actual plug-in not the standard plug-in icon.
You can do the same for the folders you have created too using the same method.
Some Things To Note When Organising Your Pro Tools Plug-ins Into Folders

Our tests don’t seem to indicate that doing any of this affects the performance of Pro Tools. However there are some downsides to doing this, they are;

  • If you need to update plug-ins they will not be installed in the custom folder you have created, so once you have installed an update you will need to drag the new version into the folder.
  • If you pimp the GUI then you will need to make sure this is applied to the new version your have installed.
  • If a plug-in update has to look for the original plug-in and does not find it at the top level of the Avid/Audio/Plug-ins folder then it might throw a wobbly and you may need to move the plug-in back to where the vendor thinks it lives to update it.

All that been said, the real solution is an application like Auganizer… one can hope. It does also highlight the need for an option for Pro Tools to display plug-ins in a custom manner created by the user, even better having it tied to the OS so that it is as simple as creating folders and then having Pro Tools detect them.
If you want any of the custom folder icons I have created then let me know and I’ll put them in a folder for download. There may be a way for Windows users to do this, if so then let us know. Have fun!