Pro Tools new AAX plugin format demystified

What is AAX ?
AAX stands for Avid Audio eXtensions. It is a new plug-in format which will eventually replace RTAS and TDM.

The aim of AAX is to unify the code for both Host Based (Native) and DSP Accelerated plug-in architectures to make it easier for plugin developers to write cross platform plugins and to further improve the transition of sessions between DSP and Native Hosts (for instance, moving a session from a HDX Studio to your home PT10 System).

It is 64-Bit ready, in order to be compatible with PT11 and opens the door for bigger and more powerful plugins with access to more resources (both DSP, RAM and Graphical – including support for additional input sources, such as tablets).

Will my plugins work if I upgrade my software to PT HD 10?
Yes. PT10HD with Pro Tools HD Accel will continue to use TDM plugins and RTAS plugins as well as AAX Native plugins.

Will my plugins work if I upgrade to HDX hardware?
Possibly not. HDX no longer supports TDM, so any plugins you have that are TDM ONLY at this time will stop working. If the plugin also has an RTAS license with it (eg, Waves) then you can carry on using it in the RTAS format for now because PT10 with HDX still uses RTAS.

The manufacturer of your plugin may develop an AAX version (Native or DSP), at which point you will be able to upgrade to it.

Are there fees to upgrade to AAX plug-ins?
Yes, possibly. Plugin manufacturers will need to spend time and resources re-coding for the new platform so they need to re-coup their costs. Some manufacturers are charging very small fees, others charge more and some are yet to release pricing or even release their intentions to re-code. Check the manufacturer’s website, or call us.

Avid have re-coded many of their own plugins, including EQ/DYN III, ReVibe, Maxim and HEAT and are not charging any upgrade fees.

Plug-in Compatibility

ProTools HD

ProTools HD Native

ProTools HDX

ProTools HD9




ProTools HD10




ProTools HD11


AAX Native

AAX Native & AAX DSP


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