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  #11  
Old 01-09-2014, 05:58 PM
Carl Kolchak Carl Kolchak is offline
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Default Re: SpiralCM.aax not authorizing, freebie so...?

Yeah, I also think it's great that he is responsive, open, honest, and realistic about the situation.

He really is one of those developers that is truly taking advantage of everything the digital revolution has to offer, in extremely creative ways, rather than just emulating yet another analogue function.

These are the kinds of innovations that DAWs in general really need (Sound Radix are another fine example), and a company like Avid would be ideally suited to implementing additional metering like Spiral, or the real time (I'm thinking automatable for sound design etc) artefact free time-stretching capabilities of Photosounder.

Clearly, beyond just covering the costs of admin etc, the annual cost of the PACE signatures helps nurture a commitment on the part of developers, towards creating new products, not just maintaining existing products.

If you're a small developer, with only one or two products, and only a fairly modest user base - yeah, you'll break even year one. But what about years 2 & 3, if the majority of your target market has bought your products?

Unless your products really begin to get more widely adopted, it's a law of diminishing returns, and if you skip paying for PACE signatures one year, presumably the next Pro Tools CS update will break compatibility (as well as putting you in the dog house with both PACE & Avid).

I'm sure this conundrum is a big part of the reason that Avid have allowed VST hosting.

It means that the small developers can continue innovating, with minimal financial investment on their part, and still gain traction for their products with the Pro Tools user base.

Hopefully Photosounder will be one of those developers who's products gain the necessary levels of sales to Pro Tools users, who will generate sufficient demand for AAX versions - with a sustainable, long-term commitment from both developer and end user.

Unfortunately, for Pro Tools users who don't own Magma, or Blue Cat MB-7, it's a Catch-22 situation :

They wont buy non-AAX plug-ins, and non-AAX plug-in developers can't afford to port-and-support AAX versions until more Pro Tools users buy their products.
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  #12  
Old 01-10-2014, 06:17 AM
Photosounder Photosounder is offline
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Default Re: SpiralCM.aax not authorizing, freebie so...?

The forum registration was fixed just for me, I feel special!

There is hope, another e-mail from Avid tells me that they're paying the $500 fee for all developers starting in 2014 (turns out they actually have to pay it to Pace which is another company, I hope they get a better deal than $500 though if they buy those in bulk), seems like our timing is good! I'll have to ask more questions about the whole thing, such as what about 2015, do my plugins stop working when I stop renewing the signature thing, figuring out how the whole thing works and what I can and can't do with the signatures (for example I assume I can't have the server watermark the binary).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Kolchak View Post
He really is one of those developers that is truly taking advantage of everything the digital revolution has to offer, in extremely creative ways, rather than just emulating yet another analogue function.
Very well said Carl, that's the way I see it, computers have amazing capabilities for graphics, sound, logic, number crunching, communication and so on, and I get to be at the centre of it all and control everything that happens. But on the other hand there's a big gap between what computers can do and what people make them do, it's like every tech startup is about making something that just shifts text and pictures around, and as you said most audio plugins are about emulating/copying things that already exist. I blame that gap on a lack of outsider perspective, people are too familiar with what already exists to do anything different, that's why when art forms or domains of engineering become too mature everything new starts being kind of similar. Different computers used to be radically different from each other, now they all work kind of the same and do the same things, early video games could be pretty outlandish (just look at Spacewar!), now most big games are essential interactive movies with similar mechanics and type of graphics, old cars could be pretty weird, now they're all a roundish thing on never more or less than 4 wheels, same thing with movies and music (mostly for the popular kind). The point is that to regain the perspective of earlier times that allows you to fully innovate instead of copying you need to have enough willful ignorance of what already exists (which is why I still don't use a DAW or plugins and I do all my testing in SAVIHost) and enough disdain for what you know to exist to not seek to do the same, plus of course having a good idea of all that can currently be achieved and of how to do it. I think if any other developer should learn anything from my experience it's just that, ignorance + disdain + theoretical knowledge = great innovation .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Kolchak View Post
the real time (I'm thinking automatable for sound design etc) artefact free time-stretching capabilities of Photosounder.
What about Spiral's new time stretching (in the newest beta from 2 days ago)? It's a bit different from Photosounder's (in that it doesn't have Photosounder's varying time/frequency resolution, it's fixed) but it's much more capable of being done entirely in real time and is pretty simple to implement (although it took me much longer than it should have, not sure why, I felt uninspired by it at times). I was thinking of maybe doing a separate plugin that works based on that algorithm, though I have no idea what it should be able to do.

So what's really the situation with VST on Pro Tools, is it most PT users who can use VSTs? And is there a big difference between using a AAX and a VST on PT (as in, is it a real pain in the neck to use a VST?). And how many people would hate one's guts if one were to make a free VST on Pro Tools plugin? The last one's a purely theoretical question, I wouldn't know how to host VSTs anyway, but I guess it could please a lot of people and anger the rest.

Anyway, if Avid says I don't have to worry about paying for a signature then I'm sure I can come up with something for you guys.
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  #13  
Old 01-10-2014, 10:17 AM
mesaone mesaone is offline
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Default Re: SpiralCM.aax not authorizing, freebie so...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photosounder View Post
So what's really the situation with VST on Pro Tools, is it most PT users who can use VSTs? And is there a big difference between using a AAX and a VST on PT (as in, is it a real pain in the neck to use a VST?). And how many people would hate one's guts if one were to make a free VST on Pro Tools plugin? The last one's a purely theoretical question, I wouldn't know how to host VSTs anyway, but I guess it could please a lot of people and anger the rest.
Ok, so here's the rundown on VST (and Audio Units) in Pro Tools.

There are several AAX plug-ins that have the ability to host VST inside of them. Each has been met with fanfare, especially during the first 5 or so months after PT11 came out - the majority of plug-in makers had not yet ported to AAX yet, so lots of PT11 users no longer had access to their favorite processors.
  • Magma by Nomad Factory is a multi-effect rack. It has a "VST Chainer" that can load several instances of VST effects.
  • DDMF Metaplugin can host VST as well. It has an object-based routing system, similar to Max and Bidule. Very small footprint, it can also receive MIDI note data fo use with VST instruments.
  • Blue Cat makes 2 plug-ins that can host VST, MB-7 Mixer and their newer Patchwork. Same idea here, and these can receive note data like Metaplugin.

This is how I've been using SplineEQ, as I mentioned earlier in this thread. I own all 4 of these hosting plug-ins. Unfortunately for me, the only ones that report the proper latency to Pro Tools are MB-7 and Patchwork.

Using one of these utilities to host VST is nice, but there are a few caveats. It's an additional layer of assignments when it comes to automation, latency reporting can be spotty, sometimes the windows don't play nice with Pro Tools layouts. And there are, unfortunately, some crashes that can happen.

So, while being able to host VST in Pro Tools is great, it can be a pain in the neck sometimes. It has a cumulative effect, when you have dozens of inserts and you have to go through extra windows, and it just becomes a hassle. It's okay if you just have a few, or if (like I do) you generally restrict your use of these utilities to group buses and master tracks. Having a native AAX is much easier and friendly to use.
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  #14  
Old 01-10-2014, 10:35 AM
evilstudios evilstudios is offline
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Default Re: SpiralCM.aax not authorizing, freebie so...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photosounder View Post

do my plugins stop working when I stop renewing the signature thing, figuring out how the whole thing works and what I can and can't do with the signatures (for example I assume I can't have the server watermark the binary).
around the bend and the rabbit jumps through the hole. LOL

in all fairness you have stated that PT formats are not your thing so nobody can blame you for a service you admit you don't offer. YET
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  #15  
Old 01-10-2014, 12:32 PM
Carl Kolchak Carl Kolchak is offline
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Default Re: SpiralCM.aax not authorizing, freebie so...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photosounder View Post

There is hope, another e-mail from Avid tells me that they're paying the $500 fee for all developers starting in 2014

If that's the case, then that is truly a radical move by Avid, and cements a serious commitment by them to their development partners (I'm not going to give in to cynicism, and suggest it hints that Avid might have been concerned over the level of take-up from some of the plug-in developers, over the AAX, or more likely, the AAX-DSP format).

That, of course, would naturally lead to a much tougher selection process by Avid, as to who would qualify as a development partner :

Perhaps you'd have to see how many Fondu Sets you could sell on a Shopping Channel show one week, and then the next you'd have to manage the entertainment at a celebrity charity golf tournament - you know, all the usual relevant business tasks that separate the wheat from the chaff.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Photosounder View Post

I'll have to ask more questions about the whole thing, such as what about 2015, do my plugins stop working when I stop renewing the signature thing

I guess that depends on whether Avid are determining to cover the cost of PACE signature in perpetuity, or just to cover the development and initial release period.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Photosounder View Post

ignorance + disdain + theoretical knowledge = great innovation .

I think this is the generational shift that we need to embrace.

The next generation of A-list producers and engineers, are likely to be about the very last to have spent any significant part of their career making hit records on "classic" hardware.

The majority of up-coming working Joe's (and even more so in the case of hobbyists) will not have any experience with such equipment, having only worked with emulations, and having such "restrictions" imposed upon them.

At that point, you have to ask yourself why we are being restrained by such archaic philosophies.

It will inevitably put the emphasis on unbridled software innovation - though there will of course still be a very secure place for analogue emulations, and conventional audio tools.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Photosounder View Post

What about Spiral's new time stretching (in the newest beta from 2 days ago)? It's a bit different from Photosounder's (in that it doesn't have Photosounder's varying time/frequency resolution, it's fixed) but it's much more capable of being done entirely in real time and is pretty simple to implement

I wasn't actually aware of that (I'm afraid I don't own it - sorry )



Quote:
Originally Posted by Photosounder View Post

I was thinking of maybe doing a separate plugin that works based on that algorithm, though I have no idea what it should be able to do.

Well, the cool thing about so much of your software is that it is capable of, and has been proven time and again, to be used in creative ways you never envisaged when developing it.

"Build it, and they will figure out a use for it" (or something like that, I'm paraphrasing).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Photosounder View Post

So what's really the situation with VST on Pro Tools, is it most PT users who can use VSTs?

Pro Tools does not support VST plug-ins or instruments. However, Avid have allowed plug-in manufacturers to build functionality in to AAX64bit plug-ins, whereby they can host a VST within that plug-in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Photosounder View Post

And is there a big difference between using a AAX and a VST on PT (as in, is it a real pain in the neck to use a VST?).

With the AAX plug-in, it is directly integrated in to Pro Tools. With a VST hosted within a capable AAX plug-in, then there is an extra layer of piddling about for the end user, in terms of opening the VST GUI, and dealing with automation.

Additionally, VST development is something akin to the Wild West, so there is no guarantee that the VST has been written in a way that it is completely stable within Pro Tools - it could cause the whole system to crash, and as such is "unsupported".


Quote:
Originally Posted by Photosounder View Post

And how many people would hate one's guts if one were to make a free VST on Pro Tools plugin?

Quite the opposite, people love free stuff, and it's not putting anybodies noses out of shape (there are plenty of free AAX plug-ins available).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Photosounder View Post

The last one's a purely theoretical question, I wouldn't know how to host VSTs anyway

Not your problem. So long as the plug-in is well coded (don't ask me what the determination is there, I'm not a software engineer) and doesn't cause / suffer any of the afore mentioned crashing issues, AAX plug-ins from Blue Cat, and Nomad Factory, among others, take care of hosting the VST within Pro Tools.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Photosounder View Post

Anyway, if Avid says I don't have to worry about paying for a signature then I'm sure I can come up with something for you guys.

Good show!
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