When Avid announced that Pro Tools 11 would support 64-bit architecture, many engineers and producers rejoiced at the news that had been expected by many to be a feature on Pro Tools 10. And while the new technology will allow plugins to run more efficiently, many users that have switched over to the new version of the software are finding compatibility issues.
While the features of Pro Tools 11 were announced a few months ago, Avid just officially released the software in June. And those that are using it will find many of the plugins they are familiar with aren’t yet capable of running on the new system. Of course, this presents a huge problem for users, who essentially have two solutions: stick with Pro Tools 10 until all the plugins they use are compatible with the new second-generation AAX plugin format, or make do with the plugins that are available for the new version of the software.
The list of plugins currently available for Pro Tools 11 is growing continuously, and as would be expected includes nearly all the tools made by Avid, the maker of the DAW software. Also ready for the new version are most plugins from big names including iZotope, Blue Cat and Air, among others.
It should be noted, however, that some of the companies are offering the plugins for 11 in beta form, with the official versions coming at a later date. It is likely that some plugins will have occasional problems as the transition continues, but most are reporting the new versions of most of the plugins to be working fairly well in the new environment.
While the plugins that aren’t compatible with 11 is shrinking, there are two huge names in the world of plugins that was still on the list: Waves and Universal Audio. These companies make some of the most widely used tools in the industry, and its likely that many engineers are waiting to make the transition to the new software until these plugins are available.
Waves posted a note on its website about the new software, saying that, “Waves is still working closely with Avid to prepare AAX Native support, and expect to achieve full compatibility very soon.” Additionally, it is reported that Waves is working on its own Pro Tools DSP (Digital Signal Processor) format based on its existing Soundgrid technology.
Universal Audio already has its own DSP format, the UAD platform, and says all of its plugins should be supported by the end of the year.
“We expect that we will have support for all 55+ UAD plug-ins completed in 2013,” the company said on its website. “The exact month is still TBD, but rest assured we are putting significant engineering resources behind delivering rock-solid AAX plug-ins — as soon as possible — for Pro Tools 11 users.”
Universal Audio also notes that the upgrade will be free to all existing UAD-2 and Apollo audio interface customers.
On the bright side, the new 64-bit architecture runs faster and more efficiently than previous versions of Pro Tools.