Pro Tools 11 and the 64 bit AAX format
Given the level of discussion circulating on the web in recent months, you would have been hard pressed to avoid the subject of AVID's recently released Pro Tools 11 with the long awaited 64 bit version of their music host software.
This upgrade to 64 bit - across Mac and Windows - has seen the removal of their previously used RTAS plug-in format, which has now been fully replaced by the 64 bit AAX format.
Why the bother? Why not just use AU or VST!?
In a review by Pro Tools Expert, 3rd party developer Paul Neyrinck was quoted as saying:
"VST and AU are designed to only support Native and have no means of supporting DSP hardware. Only Steinberg can modify the VST format and only Apple can modify AU to add DSP support. AAX is designed specifically to operate as Native and DSP, similar to how the older Digi format supported RTAS and TDM." - Read the full review here
Pro Tools 10 gave users the choice to run their plug-ins in either RTAS or AAX (in 32 bit). This integration process enabled users and third-party developers the chance to move across to AAX more steadily.
Which Time+Space third-party plug-ins currently run in AAX?
Native-Instruments - Kontakt 5 and the Komplete 9 library now support 64 bit Pro Tools - more details here
Overloud - All products have AAX PT 10 only - AAX 64 bit is in confirmed development.
VSL - Ensemble Pro 5 and other VSL updates to 64 bit AAX - more details here
Confirmed support of AAX - still in development:
Garritan - Are advising customers to subscribe to this website post to be kept up to date with their AAX information.
Why are some third-party developers still not running AAX for PT 11?
The AAX version used in PT 10 was only 32 bit, which meant that third-party developers were still required to code their software to run in PT 11 - with the 64 bit version of AAX. The extra levels of complexity in this is partly the reason for some third-party developers taking longer to release the AAX versions of their software then others.
Please note - that just because a third-party developer had an AAX plug-in that ran in PT10, does not mean that their products will run in PT 11 - an additional AAX 64 bit ready update is required. PT 11 does not run any 32 bit plug-ins.