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Free Plug-Ins for Pro Tools 10 and Pro Tools 11

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Looking for Free Plug-Ins for Pro Tools 11 and Pro Tools 10? 

Note: ** The links to the Free Pro Tools Plug-ins are towards the bottom of this article**

fpidec26-aHere is a list of some new free plug-ins for Pro tools 10 and 11, along with some older favorites as well.  For many of us long time users of Pro Tools, as well as more recent adopters, one of the biggest topics of discussion has always been using and working with plug-ins. Many a day and night have been spent frustrated at some issue or another revolving around plug-ins and their technical propensity for causing us anguish at the most inopportune time. Furthermore, the fact that there have been two different kind of plug-ins that Pro Tools uses has always left some scratching their heads. We'll get to the brief history lesson shortly, but for now, know that Avid is working hard at making this very technical aspect of Pro Tools easier and more efficient for everyone, for us, the end user, as well as the software plug-in developers who provide us with the software.

Typically, Pro Tools used a type of plug-in know as TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) which was only available on large, expensive, professional grade solutions. This started right at the very infancy of Pro Tools in the late 1980's and is still currently in use with HD systems. These plug-ins process on a DSP card that is installed in the computer- they do not use the CPU of the computer itself for anything.

In the past, you could buy more DSP card to boost the system capabilities if you needed more "power" to run more plug-ins, . In 1999 the very fist systems known as LE (light edition) were released with the 001 audio interface. At this point,  Pro Tools did not need special cards to run; as it ran entirely on the CPU of the computer. This also meant that this LE version of Pro Tools could not use TDM plug-ins, as there were no special cards to run them; this is where Avid/ Digidesign created RTAS plug-ins (Real Time AudioSuite). These RTAS plug-ins did their processing on the CPU of the computer which allowed us to have a more affordable solution to make and record music.

As a result of these changes, a challenge did arise; there were suddenly two entirely different plug-in languages happening at the same time, TDM and RTAS (also referred to as Native). They not only process at different places on the system, they were also different languages, therefore requiring a different set of computer programmers to write the software. What we started to see develop were certain plug-ins available for TDM only, or RTAS only. This especially became a hassle when you would move your session between a TDM/HD system and an LE system, and find that certain plug-ins didn't work when moving between one session to another. And this is truly frustrating.

fpidec26-bStarting with Pro Tools 10, Digidesign (now Avid) has started the first steps of a transition toward a simpler and more unified platform with the introduction of AAX plug-ins (Avid Audio eXtension). The main goal of this new platform is to do away with the problems of the past regarding compatibility between the systems and provide a single platform for plug-in developers to work with. Basically, this means that moving forward, we will be able to have the same plug-ins, working in the same way, regardless of what type of system is being used, DSP based or Native. Unlike the different languages used to program TDM and RTAS plug-ins, AAX based plug-ins use the same language whether they are working off the new HDX cards or on the CPU of the computer. This "common language" will actually bring down the price of plug-ins overall as companies will not have to develop a plug-in twice- the coding is the same whether it's running on the DSP chips of the HDX card or running on your laptop. How much power is available for processing is the only difference.

fpidec26-cIt goes without saying that an HDX card, having 18 specific DSP chips for processing is a lot of power, However, so are today's modern laptop computers. They can be upgraded with a metric ton of RAM, they can have Solid State hard drives, Thunderbolt, Firewire, etc..., they are more than up to the task of making your next record. Pro Tools 10 is the first step in the transition to a full AAX line-up, as you can run all of the plug-in formats side by side. I, like many of you, running Pro Tools on my laptop have an AAX plug-in folder and an RTAS (DPM plug-in) folder. If you go to you Applications (Program Files) Folder and look in the Avid folder, there is a shortcut to access these folders and see which plug-ins you have installed.

There is also one more interesting by-product of this transition: AAX language is much more modern and common than that of TDM and RTAS. This means that more people with programming knowledge will be able to develop and implement plug-ins for Pro Tools than ever before. This opens up the possibilities of a whole new generation of software developers to dive into the market and come up with very interesting results. Back in the early days, that company was Waves Audio, as they were essentially the first to really optimize their plug-ins for Pro Tools. Who will be the new company to watch in the next few years? We will soon find out.

As of now, there has been a steady stream of new plug-ins that have come out as well as a bunch of new companies that have never before made Pro Tools plug-ins releasing innovative products. One of the best things right now is that in order to raise awareness to these new products, there are several companies offering FREE plus ins. While I'm sure my list is incomplete for all plug-ins, we are focusing on AAX plug-ins specifically. No sense in making you download plug-ins that will be unusable in the future.

Happy Fall everyone. We look forward to you joining us at one of our hands-on Pro Tools Classes at ProMedia Training at one of our locations nationwide.

Here it is! Have fun!

Free Pro Tools Plugins:

FLUX BitterSweetFLUX BitterSweet V3

Bittersweet v3 is a free software processing tool for managing audio transients. By turning the wheel button on the sweet side decreases the transient’s amplitude. The amplitude is magnified when turning to the bitter side.

Signal Processing Features

  • Output Gain, controlling the gain at the end of the processing.
  • Bypass routes the incoming signal direct to the output for a true smooth transition between processed and clean signal.
  • Three different transient processing modes:
    - Main, using a regular stereo signal scheme for the processing.
    - Center, processing the Mid channel only, very efficient for snare and kick drums.
    - Stereo, processing the Side channel only, very efficient for panned rhythmic/transient instruments.

 

hofa4u

HOFA 4U: Meter Fader & MS-Pan


This Free Hofa plug-in’s main features include:

  • precise metering (peak, hold, EBU, LRA)
  • MS decoder
  • trim-, fader- and mute-function
  • stereo-mono switch
  • innovative panorama-function: this is the panner that you can also use for "more than stereo" panning
  • changeable plugin window size
  • mouse-over-tooltipps
  • manual onboard
  • works latency-free and with all common sample rates
  • for PC and Mac, 32 and 64 Bit DAWs
  • Audio Unit, VST, VST3, RTAS and AAX

 

hofa4u

HOFA 4U: Goniometer & Korrelator


This Free Hofa 4U’s plug-in’s main features include:

  • switchable between goniometer and correlation meter
  • new type of goniometer with peak, hold and energy-indicator
  • innovative und intuitive correlator
  • changeable plugin window size
  • manual onboard
  • works latency-free and with all common sample rates
  • for PC and Mac, 32 and 64 Bit DAWs
  • Audio Unit, VST, VST3, RTAS and AAX

 

UVI WorkstationUIV Workstation

UVI Workstation is a completely free multi-timbral plug-in instrument that provides unlimited parts, integrated effects, live performance features, and a smooth real-time workflow. With the newest version, we’ve added powerful new features that help make your music production experience more efficient and enjoyable.

Features:

  • Unlimited parts: From setups as basic as a single synth to complex orchestral arrangements, UVI Workstations sophisticated architecture can handle them with ease.
  • Streamlined Mixing: UVI Workstation offers a clear and efficient mixing interface, giving you immediate access to core functions like solo, mute, volume and pan as well as 2 aux sends and pitch control per-part
  • Unrivaled Effects: The effect system in UVI Workstation is unprecedented, offering a full suite of dynamics, delays, distortions, EQs, filters, reverbs, even the new SparkVerb!

 

Loop Loft

Free Audio Loops from Loop Loft


Loop Features:

  • Works with any DAW
    Our loops are available in WAV, AIFF and REX2 formats, providing total flexibility in any music software!
  • Grammy Award Winning
    The Loop Loft works exclusively with the best musicians in the world, bringing their playing directly to you.
  • Download Instantly
    Download our loops directly into your computer.  No need for ordering a physical CD.
  • Reason & Ableton Live
    We teamed up with Propellerhead and Ableton to produce custom ReFills and Live Packs.

The free Audio Loop download includes:

  • 225 MB of High Quality 24 bit, 48kHz Loops
  • WAV, REX2, Stylus RMX & AIFF (Apple Loops) Formats 
  • Drum, Percussion, Sax, Bass & Guitar Loops

 

MELLOMELLO - The Sound that Shaped 60's Music

With Mello, the creator aimed to deliver a complete and authentic recreation of this prolific instrument. Dozens of original tapes were multi-sampled on 3 different machines in order to give you the best representation of each of the 28 available sounds. To capture the live experience the key noise and inner mechanical sounds were stereo recorded, including tape noise and key-off sounds, and are all mixable to taste.  Instantly made famous by the Beatles hit 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and used by countless others including The Moody Blues, Rolling Stones, and prog rock legends Yes, this was the 'must-have' sound of the 60's.

Features:

  • Pristine and comprehensive sample library from 3 original machines
  • Mixable key and mechanical noise for authentic experience
  • Switchable keyboard range (original or extended)
  • Stereo modes including custom unison
  • Switchable multimode filter with cutoff and resonance
  • ADSR envelopes for amplitude and filter with velocity sensitivity
  • 3-band EQ with sweepable mid frequency
  • Built-in SparkVerb
  • Analog-modeled tape delay

 

fpidec26-dSPL Free Ranger

Free EQ plug-in which offers 4 bands and 4 preset slots provided by SPL as a sample to their product, and displays qualities of their analog code plug-ins.

 

fpidec26-eSoftube Saturation Knob

The Saturation Knob provides smooth, one-knob frequency saturation for just the right amount of tube warmth on any track. Created by Softube, a company that strives to deliver the most accurate emulations of vintage hardware from Tube-Tech, Summit, Trident, Tonelux, and more. The free "Saturation Knob" plug-in is compatible with AAX DSP and AAX Native systems running Pro Tools 10 of Pro Tools HD10 on Mac OS and Windows.

 

Metric Halo ThumpMetric Halo Thump

This free plug-in by Metric Halo enables you to enhance or transform your drum tracks, adding low end to percussive tracks, and allowing you to re-create classic drum synth sounds, and more. THUMP is compatible with AAX DSP and AAX Native systems running Pro Tools 10 of Pro Tools HD10 on Mac OS and Windows. Thump is an envelope driven, percussive sub-harmonic synth that you can use for the following things (among others)

  • Build low-octave support for bass drum, tom, snare, and other percussive tracks
  • Create kettle drum sounds from regular drum tracks
  • Re-create the sounds of classic drum synths like the TR-808

Brainworks BX CleansweepBrainworkx BX SOLO

The Brainworx BX Solo is based around M/S technique. Essentially, this free plug-in can give you a wider stereo spread for your mixes. You receive a knob for setting the stereo width, and then buttons for listening to different parts of the stereo spread, including for L/R and M/S. (LEFT channel), R(RIGHT channel), M(MONO sum, mid signal) & S(STEREO-Difference, side signal) - and all this phase-corrected (when needed) and mono-ed out on both speakers of your system. This is very helpful when working in M/S modes (because especially listening to only the S-signal of a stereo mix is not so easy to do with modern DAW stations) and to check your signals / mixes for errors, noises, clicks, whatever...  BX_SOLO also contains a stepped M/S Stereo Width Control, so you can get an impression about what you can actually do with it. Do try it out on subgroups (makes rock guitar subgroups jump out of your speakers at about 150%!), FX returns, keyboards / samplers, etc.

 

BrainworkX BX CleansweepBrainworkX BX Cleansweep

"bx_cleansweep" is a free plug-in for Hi-Pass and Lo-Pass filter, introducing the new "Anti Crush Technology" (originally developed by Brainworx). This plug-in is suggested that it can go into every mix channel as the first plugin. This way you can filter out any unwanted hi-end and lo-end, and the result is a clean and tight mix, Ever thought about why there are Hi-Pass and Lo-Pass filter in every channel of the most expensive analog consoles (SSL, NEVE, etc.), but why most EQs are missing this feature?

Clever shortcuts (Alt/Shift/Ctrl) allow for detailed control over the X-axis and Y-axis of the joystick, and the EQ knobs can be set to precision mode by shift-click as well

Analog style filter curves without the typical Nyquist problems, in a new great sounding filter design (taken from our pro mastering EQ bx_digital V2). First order filters (6 dB per octave) guarantee an extremely musically sounding filter set, and unique joystick control (taken from bx_hybrid) gives you fast and intuitive control.

 

BLUE CAT AUDIO FREEWARE PACKBlue Cat Audio Freeware Pack

This free plug-in bundle contains a wide range of premium modulation effects, a single and dual-channel equalizer, a unique midi-controllable gain suite, as well as a professional spectrum analyzer.This is the ideal package to get started with your favorite Digital Audio Workstation. All plug-ins are entirely free. All plug-ins are available for Mac and PC, in VST, RTAS, AAX, Audio Unit and DirectX plug-in formats, for both 32 and 64-bit architectures. This bundle contains 6 products: Blue Cat Chorus, Flanger, FreqAnalyst, Gain Suite, Phaser, and Triple EQ.

 

fpidec26-jiZotope Vinyl

iZotope Vinyl uses 64-bit processing and advanced filtering, modeling and resampling to create authentic "vinyl" simulation, as if the audio was a record being played on a record player. You have complete control over the following parameters:

  • Mechanical Noise: The amount of turntable motor rumble and noise
  • Wear: Control how worn out the record is, from brand new to played a few thousand times
  • Electrical Noise: Internally generated electrical noise, such as 60 Hz grounding hum
  • Dust: The amount of dust on the record
  • Scratch: The number and depth of scratches on the record
  • Warp Depth: The amount of warping and the warp shape for the record—from no warp to the edges totally melted and warpep. 

fpidec26-kcValhalla DSP Dreqecho

This free plug-in is a Bode-style frequency shifter plus an analog echo emulator. Perfect for dub, Dr. Who and all of your psychedelic needs. The MkI release adds a GUI as well as the ability to sync the delay time to the tempo. The sonic results encompass barberpole flanging and phasing, dub echoes that constantly rise or fall in pitch, the classic detuning of frequency shifting, and a variety of psychedelic, evolving self-oscillation patterns that will spin around in a psychedelic fashion. Sonic results range from subtle chorusing and double tracking to barberpole phasing and flanging to endless glissandos and runaway echos.

Features:

  • Low cut and high cut controls for the feedback path, allowing for fine control over the echo decay.
  • Stereo-in, stereo-out
  • Tempo control
  • Mouse-over Tool Tips

 

HERE ARE A FEW OTHER GREAT PRO TOOLS TUTORIALS:

  1. HOW TO USE AUTO-TUNE
  2. BACKGROUND VOCAL PRODUCTION IN PRO TOOLS
  3. HOW TO PRINT SHEET MUSIC USING THE SCORE EDITOR
  4. HOW TO CREATE SIDECHAIN COMPRESSION -  HIT DANCE MUSIC
  5. HOW TO BUILD OUT A STUDIO FOR UNDER $1000.00 IN MATERIALS
Avid Training Newsletter:
FREE PRO TOOLS TUTORIALS, TIPS & TRICKS

 

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