How Many Third Party Pro Tools TDM Developers Are Now AAX DSP?

09-29-2014 03:00 PM

The move to AAX 64 bit has been a great success for Avid, there’s no getting around that. However in making Pro Tools a more efficient native DAW the incentive for third party developers to move their TDM plug-ins to AAX DSP seems not to be as attractive a proposition.
A few developers, who previously only made native plug-ins, now do make AAX DSP plug-ins such as Softube, however many long-term developers have chosen not to invest in porting their TDM plug-ins to AAX DSP, in fact to date only around 35% have made the decision to make their plug-ins run on HDX DSP.
Why Have Many Pro Tools Plug-in Developers Not Moved To AAX DSP?

We spoke to a variety of developers about this and they gave us this feedback.
“Developing for DSP platforms are a huge pain and this was happening every few years, it’s just not worth our investment.”
“What we can do in native in 6 months is amazing we have no financial incentive to port to DSP - it’s purely a business decision.”
“We want to produce AAX DSP versions of their plug-ins but there are other things that are further up our proirity list.”
“There is no point in producing AAX DSP versions of our plug-ins. It would be very difficult to do and the users only need them in the post production stages, where delay compensation will handle the additional latency”.
AAX TDM Developers Now Making AAX DSP Plug-ins

Check the chart out below to see the vendors previously making TDM plug-ins and if they now make AAX DSP versions for Pro Tools HDX. This data is based upon Avid’s own plug-in database.
Antares YES NO
Audio Ease YES NO
Audio Research Labs YES NO
Cranesong YES YES
Dave Hill Deisgns YES YES
Eiosis YES NO
Line 6 YES NO
Massenburg DesignWorks YES YES
Massey YES NO
Metric Halo YES YES
Neyrinck YES YES
Brainworx YES NO
Elysia YES NO
Noveltech YES YES
RNDigital YES NO
Serato YES NO
Sonic Solutions YES NO
Sonnox YES YES
Soundtoys YES NO
TC Electronic YES NO
Tubetech YES YES
Waves YES NO
AAX DSP plug-ins still have their place. When tracking a session, it is possible to track through plug-ins with negligible latency when using AAX DSP plug-ins on an HDX rig. We accept it is possible to do this on a Native system but you need to reduce the H/W buffer size down to 32 or 64 samples, and you stand a greater chance of Pro Tools complaining. Again for most normal sessions it all works but for the better sessions tracked in the box HDX and AAX DSP plug-ins still have their place. One community member has been in touch to say they are considering dropping Pro Tools altogether and moving to a completely different platform because of this and some crippleware issues with Avid.
However it is clear from the feedback from the developers we talked to that because Native works so well in nearly all scenarios, there is little incentive to make AAX DSP plug-ins, but for those users that depend on AAX DSP plug-ins fro their workflows, which have been developed over many years of using Pro Tools HD in its various flavours, this situation is very disappointing.