A-Z Of Pro Tools - A Is For AAX

09-22-2014 06:40 PM

Our sister sites are running the A-Z of their DAWs, we thought it was a nice idea so here goes.
The A-Z of Pro Tools, some letters will yield deeper articles than others, but it will be fun to do.
A is for AAX.

The AAX plug-in format was announced on 20th October 2011, AAX being the acronym for Avid Audio eXtension. AAX was developed to replace the RTAS and TDM plug-in formats which were 32 bit and made it impossible for Avid to create a 64bit DAW.
AAX is a 64 bit plug-in format made exclusively for Pro Tools 10 and 11. 32 bit versions of AAX plug-ins worked in Pro Tools 10. It took a little longer to implement it into Avid’s video editor - Media Compser but as of v8.1 Meda Composer now supports AAX Native plug-ins too.
AAX Native And AAX DSP

There are 2 types of AAX plug-in:

  • AAX Native for use in Pro Tools, Pro Tools HD Native and Pro Tools HDX systems
  • AAX DSP for use in Pro Tools HDX systems.

With AAX, you can share sessions between DSP-accelerated Pro Tools systems and native-based Pro Tools systems and continue using the same plug-ins. Your sessions will sound exactly the same, regardless of the rig you’re using.
How Many Developers Have Ported To AAX?

AAX has been a huge success for Avid with many vendors porting to AAX Native, there are now several hundred AAX plug-ins and instruments for use in Pro Tools 11.
AAX DSP porting has been less popular with around 50% of developers who made TDM versions of Pro Tools plug-in only porting their TDM plug-ins to AAX native formats. However some other developers have created AAX DSP plug-ins for the first time. In reality there are far more AAX Native plug-ins than there are AAX DSP, this is partly due to the efficiency of the new Avid 64bit audio engine making DSP less of a requirement for many Pro Tools users.
Where I Can Find AAX Plug-ins?

Pro Tools Expert started the first AAX database on the web and we continue to maintain it to make sure Pro Tools users can find out what AAX plug-ins are available, check the AAX plug-in database here