How Pro Tools AAX Plugins Save You CPU Power [Video]

| Mixing, Optimize Pro Tools, Plugins, Pro Tools, Tips, Video

Wish you could double the number of plugins you can run on your Pro Tools rig? Turns out, the answer is simple. Use AAX plugins instead of RTAS. With the launch of Pro Tools 10 we learned about the new plugin format, AAX and how it was the future. After some recent conversations with the guys at Avid I’ve finally realized that these plugins are way more efficient under the hood than their RTAS counterparts. Here, I’ll show you…

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23 Responses to “How Pro Tools AAX Plugins Save You CPU Power [Video]”

  1. Rob

    Hey Graham,
    Will AAX format come out as an update do you think, or would have to buy new versions of plugins we might already have? Just curious :) thanks for everything!

    Reply
    • Graham

      All of the stock Avid plugins are being updated to AAX for free. McDSP is offering free updates to AAX versions if you are a current v5 user. So many companies are making AAX updates for free. Can’t say that will be the case for all plugins.

      Reply
  2. Graham

    FYI, in this video I’m running 35 tracks with 70 plugins in each example. I’m bad at counting on the fly :-)

    Reply
  3. Vitor

    Hi Graham,
    Congrats for your work here at therecordingrevolution.com. It’s been quite a reference for my studies. I’m a sound designer and I use a lot of Virtual Instruments on my work. I’m wondering if it’s worth it to upgrade from PT 9 to 10. For example, if I use Abbey Road Modern Drums on a Kontakt with AAX support, will it save CPU resources?

    Reply
    • Graham

      Hi Vitor,

      Pro Tools 10 has been zippier than 9 for me (and many others). If you have Pro Tools 10 and AAX versions of your plugins then yes, it will be faster and easier on your CPU. Keep in mind, not all plugins have been ported over to AAX.

      Reply
  4. Keys

    One of the things pro tools users has requested for for ages is Pro tools running 64 bits.

    Almost all modern DAWS runs 64 bits even Reaper. I have to say I am still dissapointed with avid

    I saw your vide on on Namm Graham. Thanks for this video.

    Reply
    • Graham

      64 Bit Pro Tools is coming this year. Currently, AAX plugins can run 64 bit so it’s getting there, but the next version of Pro Tools will be 64 bit I’m told.

      Reply
  5. JV

    Graham, once again big thanks for the heads up on this. Sure would be nice if there were some visual cue in PT whether your plugin is AAX or RTAS. Nice not to have to “just know”. I guess this problem will fade over time, but no telling how long.

    ALSO, a music store employee told me the next version of Pro Tools would require all new plugins. If the next version is only available as 64-bit that would make sense.

    If there’s a cost to upgrade all my plugins, though, chances are I won’t upgrade for a long time. If ever. I would expect a lot of casual hobbyists like myself would consider that time to re-evaluate DAW software.

    Reply
    • Graham

      Hi JV,

      From what I’ve been told by those in the know, Pro Tools 11 will not run TDM plugins (the old DSP version of plugins), but will still run RTAS, and of course the new AAX (both Native and DSP).

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
      • Vitor

        Any forecast of when PT 11 will be released? I was very upset with Avid when PT 10 was released a couple of months after I’ve upgraded to PT9 and did not have the right to jump right into 10.

        Reply
  6. JV

    By the way, I was a C++ software developer for many years (pretty sure pro tools was done to great degree in C++ based on crash messages I’ve seen in past versions), and I can tell you that converting the code to 64-bit is one thing, but making efficient use of 64-bit architecture is a bigger challenge, especially when you’re not writing all new code.

    Don’t want to be Dr. Downer, but I’d definitely recommend caution and doing your homework before upgrading to the first 64-bit version of any software.

    Reply
  7. Baba Prasad

    Hi Graham,

    Wow, Great Video and great to see on the NAMM 2013 video at Avid Booth! Congrats and now you are on the TOP level.! Well hope all these AAX Plugins are FREE for Both HD users also!

    Reply
    • Graham

      Thanks Baba. I wouldn’t say I’m on the top level, but it was totally an honor to be interviewed by Avid. Lots of respect for those guys and love their products. It looks like a few 3rd party plugin guys are giving away their AAX updates (both HD and Native) free. Can’t say all will do that.

      Reply
  8. Rob S.

    Hi Graham! I saw your interview at the Avid booth at NAMM! Good stuff – keep up the great work and thanks for all you do!

    Reply
  9. tzer0

    This better be a seamless transition. I have no intention of re-buying all my plugins in a new format. If that becomes the case, I will either stick with Pro Tools 10 as long as possible, or never buy another plugin again. Do you hear me Steven Slate!

    Reply
    • Graham

      Slate has already announced he’s porting all his plugins to AAX as a free update. No worries.

      Reply
      • tzer0

        Glad to hear that. I knew the Abbey Road stuff was supported. I like their compressors. But I just started using more Slate plugins and trying to compress less. And though plugins do slow and crash the system, I’ve started to rely on them. Now it’ll finally be the best of both worlds.

        Reply
  10. keyz

    So excited about pro tools 11 I must say. However, the most painful situation remain that most of your favourite RTAS will not work on pt 11.

    I appreciate pro tools has come along way , but I feel there is always something major missing.

    For everyone else looking forward to reborn of pro tools, I suggest all you can do is hope and pray your favourite plugin manufacturers release an AAX format

    Reply

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