Do I Need To Install AAX?

In 2013, Avid introduced the AAX / plug-in format. This plug-in format was released with Pro Tools 11. This plug-in is a fork of VST and is designed for better compatibility with DAWs.

The company explained the release of its own format by the closedness of VST and AU for third-party developers – only Steinberg and Apple can make changes to the principles of these formats. And I really wanted to make changes, especially when developing new proprietary software products.

As noted by Avid, developers were also not satisfied with the nativeness of VST and AU, which depend on computer resources and cannot work with external DSP processors that require compatible plug-in versions. Pro Tools works equally well with both computer components and embedded DSP chips in audio interfaces, so the developers have invested in creating their own plug-in format.

The main difference between AAX and VST is the ability to work in two modes: Native and DSP. The first relies on the power of the computer’s processor, the second on the capabilities of the DSP chip of the audio interface. In the latter case, processing occurs even before the signal enters the computer, so that the user does not hear the already processed signal, which, in turn, saves computer resources.

The format can be used if the user has a sufficiently high resource of equipment, and it has a powerful processor. Of course, this format can be used, but the result and efficiency of its work directly depends on the quality and, accordingly, the price of the computer.

In addition, only Pro Tools allows this category of plug-ins to function fully. They are only compatible with Avid software. Using plugins on software from other manufacturers is simply pointless. As far as operating systems are concerned, the AAX plug-in category is universal, it allows installation of the AAX plug-in on both Windows and macOS.

Try it free

AAX plugins almost always come in 64-bit format. As you can see, these are additional requirements for software quality.

So, let’s summarize. Firstly, AAX plug-ins have high demands on the computer resource, so you will need expensive equipment with great capabilities. Secondly, this category of plugins can only be used on music creation and editing software from Avid. These are different versions of the Pro Tools software. If the user has everything that corresponds to these parameters, then he can safely choose and install AAX plugins. They will work perfectly. If the equipment does not meet these parameters, and the DAW belongs to a different category, then it makes no sense to purchase and use these plugins.

Try it free