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Plugin Developers: AAX Support: What Has it Meant So Far?

DSP, Plug-in and Host development discussion.

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Funkybot's Evil Twin
KVRAF
 
3774 posts since 15 Aug, 2006

Postby Funkybot's Evil Twin; Fri May 09, 2014 1:40 pm Plugin Developers: AAX Support: What Has it Meant So Far?

I asked this once before, but it wasn't in the right forum, so I'll try again. To the developers out there: how far back did AAX support set you back?

With the developers I watch at least, it seems like AAX support really threw the last 12 or so months of development out the window. Is that the case? And this seems the case for both companies big and small alike. Whether it's: Valhalla, Cytomic, Slate, UAD, etc., the introduction of yet another new plugin format has seemed extremely disruptive to several companies.

Would The Drop have dropped by not if not for AAX? How about a new Valhalla plugin? UA, which has huge resources (and an equally large catalog to port), only just yesterday got around to the Windows AAX builds.

And from the little I can gather, it seems like AAX probably isn't a bad format, but the copy protection (or whatever "PACE EDEN signing" means) seems to be the biggest hurdle. I understand Pro Tools is a huge format/market, but isn't Avid nearly bankrupt, and what happens in a few years when every DAW wants their own unique format? Support them all? Draw a line in the sand?

I'm interested in [particularly commercial but also freeware] plugin developers' thoughts on how AAX has impacted the audio plugin world, both positive and negative.
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Urs
u-he
 
17352 posts since 7 Aug, 2002, from Berlin

Postby Urs; Fri May 09, 2014 1:53 pm Re: Plugin Developers: AAX Support: What Has it Meant So Far?

It ain't that bad. AAX is actually quite well documented, fairly easy to adapt and it doesn't force ridiculous concepts on us. From the three plug-in formats we've adopted lately, AAX was the easiest to do so, with the least overhead. Clemens and I did it in pair programming over the course of two weeks, plus the usual bugfixes.

The PACE signing process was awkward to deal with, but it works surprisingly well. We have extra difficulties because we use a completely automated and distributed build system. Once we figured it out, it was adding a few lines in a shell script.

I don't know what state Avid is in, but I hope they're doing fine.
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FabienTDR
KVRian
 
603 posts since 23 Feb, 2012

Postby FabienTDR; Sun May 11, 2014 7:32 am Re: Plugin Developers: AAX Support: What Has it Meant So Far?

Funkybot, there is a difference between PACE copy protection and PACE code signing. These are two different things, only the latter is really needed to run an AAX in PT.

The AAX PACE singing process is certainly questionable (it builds on another, third party code signing), truly no more than a brutish filter to keep amateurs out of the business.

If you have experience with classic software development or mobile app development, the signing process is just a matter of seconds (i.e. adapting a small bat script or similar).

Also, you can expect to see the same demand for software signing on all OS growing quickly. Mavericks and Windows 8 lead the path: It is slowly becoming a really daunting processing to install unsigned software. And it makes lots of sense both from the user's and devs perspective, as it seriously hinders the distribution of cracked/manipulated (and thus unsigned) software amongst inexperienced ppl.


About AAX production, it took us only a few days. AVID's good AAX docu and dev support is absolutely unseen in the AU and VST world. It's by far the most proper audio plugin standard I've seen so far. And in our case, it gave us access to an audience of experienced and susprisingly active ppl.
Fabien from Tokyo Dawn Records

Check out my audio processors over at the Tokyo Dawn Labs!
ponce
KVRist
 
98 posts since 15 Sep, 2008, from Grenoble

Postby ponce; Mon May 12, 2014 4:44 am Re: Plugin Developers: AAX Support: What Has it Meant So Far?

The AAX PACE singing process is certainly questionable (it builds on another, third party code signing), truly no more than a brutish filter to keep amateurs out of the business.


As an amateur plugin developer, I can attest of the effectiveness of this filter.
Nothing like a mandatory, recurrent, useless (for me), paying step to keep me at the door.

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