Pro Tools features

VST Support!

FXPansion's VST to RTAS adapter is buggy, it crashes my system every time. Pro Tools should have it's own VST capability so us Pro Tools users can have a much wider pallet of instruments using only one DAW. That one DAW should be Pro Tools and nothing else. Does this make any sense to you guys?


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  1. Comment

    VST is standard. It should be also standard like RTAS in PT

  2. Comment

    yes is standard but could lead to some nasty bugs and crashes

  3. Comment
    petemarriott ( Idea Submitter )

    I never have issues with my VSTs, ever! The only people I know of that have such problems are the ones who use pirated software or they use the same computer they music with to get on the internet which is a bad move. I want more access to more instruments and I shouldn't have to use two DAWs to achieve the sound I want. Pro Tools should be my only DAW, nothing else.

  4. Comment
    Delete ME

    The wrapper has always worked for me too, minus very minor issues like certain plug-ins not displaying controller data sometimes to my 003 LCD.

    Not sure what the big deal is. Don't use sketchy vsts from bad coders or modified code and it always works.

  5. Comment
    petemarriott ( Idea Submitter )

    So you're saying developers like Image-line who make quality products like FL Studio and Cakewalk who makes Dimension Pro, Rapture and Sonitus Effects (which are my absolute favorite effects) create sketchy VSTs? Really? Are you kidding me?....(*Takes deep breath*)

    Listen up here guy, I don't buy sketchy products. The bottom line is I paid good money for my Pro Tools system and if I'm going to invest more money into it I should have the creative choice to use my VSTs with my Pro Tools without having to buy a 3rd party application that doesn't even work with it's own sister applications like BFD2 which I've done just to see if it was a Pro Tools Issue or FXPansion's fault.

    In the very first place I should not have to buy FXPansion's sketchy adapter VST is standard and Pro Tools should have it being they are the standard DAW in recording studios worldwide. As a hardworking professional music producer and as a paying customer I should not have to use two DAWs to create my music, it wastes time and valuable screen space between my 3 monitor setup going back and forth between applications.

    Pro Tool is great but it could be the greatest.

  6. Comment

    Make RTAS/AudioSuite an open standard like VST and watch it grow.

  7. Comment

    Ah yes... adding VST and AudioUnit support would be a dream.

    The best money I've spent recently was on KORE 2 by Native Instruments -- now I can use any VST or Audio Unit (Mac only, of course) plugin within Pro Tools. Not only that, but I can route audio internally into and out of PT LE through KORE to use even more plugins. The day I used both Space Designer in Logic and Prosoniq's morph in a PT LE session I nearly cried.

    Actually, I think I did cry.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      VST wouldn't work in Pro tools. Mainly because it can't handle the automation needed by the controllers, and other things mentioned by Dave trambley on the duc.

  8. Comment
    Ling Smith

    Yes...VST and AU support.

    Even with the VST adapter, FXpansion's Geist, which has a great pattern sequencer, cannot send midi out to other instrument hosted in PT...(it can in Cubase). This kind of limitation is a bad thing for us composer/producer types.

    And I'd be curious to know if Geist hosted in Kore could send midi out to a PT plug, like Hybrid or xPand...I'll bet not...

  9. Comment
    Community Member

    To avoid any crash from unstable/non-properly coded VST, just host them on a separate 64 bits process, that way, if it crashes, only the plugin will crashes, not the session.

  10. Comment

    I don't see how anybody can be against the idea. If it's implemented, nobody HAS to use it. Most of the VSTs I own have RTAS equivalents (Guitar Rig, SampleTank, and EZdrummer, specifically) but I'd love to use the couple that don't with PT...Cakewalk discontinued RTAS support for Dimension Pro, so I haven't upgraded to 1.5, for instance.

  11. Comment

    Its simple. Most daw can use vst.

    And it's less CPU hungry then rtas.

    And it most vst are aklready supporting 64bit if and when pt becomes 64bit

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Community Member

      Most if not all other daws do not have any dsp systems and hardware with the level of automation that Avid's system have that would be incompatible with VST. SO there for, no it's not just simple.

  12. Comment

    Part of what makes a DAW unstable is 3rd party additions.. the plugin structure. AU support (Mac only) wouldn't be as bad as VST support (since the AU spec is very strict), but it just opens a can of worms. If allowing VST/AU (but not actually using any) doesn't compromise ProTools' stability in any way, then I suppose I can't be against it. But if just the act of allowing them makes ProTools less stable, then it's not worth it at all. There are too many RTAS choices out there to make me pine for those few plugins that aren't. And the wrappers I have used (UAD for example) have worked perfectly fine anyway.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      Your making the assumption that Pro Tools is stable for most people. I still question the automation argument. It just seems like Avid are "cutting off their nose to spite their face". Not all VST are unstable. Some of the free ones and the cheaper ones maybe but the higher end plugins are decent. I have to bring to mind UAD once again. Great plugins. For the most part, stable.

  13. Comment

    All I see FXPansion to be is another way to make more money off of musicians and producers. We shouldn't have to pay $100 for a feature comes with every other DAW. VST support!

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      This feature doesn't come with Logic either - logic runs AU plugins. "3rd party plugin support" is the "feature" and that comes with PT.

  14. Comment

    This is not digidesign's fault. It's the plugin developer. Anyone with a well made, stable, bug-free plugin can get a RTAS developer toolkit for RTAS support.

  15. Comment

    From a tech support, pro point of view, adding VST support would be a nightmare. Another format to trouble shoot, a whole wave of free/shareware plugins that SHOULD work but don' get the idea.

    RTAS (and I guess, soon to be AAX) format is the native PT plugin format. If they can add VST support, they can make RTAS/AAX more efficient. Most stuff is available in RTAS format anyway, I just don't see why incorporating a 3rd party, uncontrolled option into a professional level software is going to help anyone!

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      "Most stuff is available in RTAS format anyway"

      Well that won't help much when RTAS goes the way of the dinosaur with PT11. I find myself, after spending much $$$ on RTAS plugins, whether or not to ditch PT altogether. Can you tell how much I love Avid.

    2. Comment

      If a third party freeware does not work, oh well. You get what you paid for. As far as VST support is concerned, all other Major DAWs have it with the exception of Digital Performer and Logic. It's not rocket science. VST works well for so many people but you're just alienating yourself if you don't include VST support.

      VST is supported in 32 and 64bit format. There are bit bridges that allow you to use 32 bit plugins in your 64 bit DAW.

      It's not as if this should be news to anyone. If you've taken any time to just try any other DAW, Reaper is a good example, you'll find that VSTs are every bit as good and as stable if not more stable as most RTAS/TDM plugins. In fact most VST versions of plugins which I have RTAS versions are far more stable and less cpu hungry than their RTAS equivalent.

      I can't help but feel that many of Pro Tools' advocates have never used another DAW and so are sheltered in effect as to how well a DAW can work. Sure other DAWs have their issues but you won't find nearly the number of whiners on their forums as you do on the DUC.

  16. Comment
    Community Member


    And adding a new format where you'll have to buy the plugins any way will do the exact same thing as you having to buy the aax version (if they are not provided for free by the plugin makers) when PT goes 11

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Community Member

      Adding VST as a new format where ...* meant to say

    2. Comment

      Most third party plugins(Waves,IK,Native Instruments, UA) already come in VST format. Only those plugins developed by AVID will need to be ported.

  17. Comment

    You know what would make things so much simpler? How about VST support? Every other major DAW has it. So why not suck it up and admit defeat in the plugin department? You want cross platform compatibility? VST support. You want to make it easier for developers to create plugins for your DAW? VST support. You can still have DSP dependent VSTs a la UAD. So make that an extra and paid for upgrade. But for the sake of stability and universality, VST and for that matter AU support.

  18. Comment
    James @ Anvil Audio

    Strongly agree, although I doubt this will be considered because AAX is Avid's new thing, and they like to keep things exclusive.

    That said, VST is the only reason I have another DAW installed on my system at all. Pro Tools does everything but that, and it's the one thing I need enough to consider having another DAW! Less money spent on other DAW's = more money for potential Avid Upgrades! Thank me later Avid ;)

  19. Comment

    Pro Tools is the only DAW out there that does not have native AU and Vst support. For a program that is the industry standard it sure does not support other industry standards and makes me keep from buying it. That is the only draw back for me. I don't care about AAX and apparently other people don't either hence why Waves refuses to support it. VST/AU just makes much more sense.

  20. Comment

    It's been a year since a post, but DDMF's Metaplugin works great in Pro Tools 10 and In Pro Tools 11 with JBridgeM, using my favorite VST's and some AU's also

  21. Comment

    Yes. ProTools should eventually migrate to and embrace the world of VST. AAX should just exist in the world of TDM, where software that is adapted to run on outboard DSP farms is necessary. However, I believe that ProTools is losing market share because people have considerable investments and TIME in VST plug-ins. I use ProTools professionally, but another platform for home use. It readily accepts all VSTs. If I decide to go to another platform or back to ProTools at home, I have to decide between those VSTs and having to find some new ones back in ProTools. Certain, there are 3rd part wrappers available. But they aren't always reliable. A lot of manufacturers offer their plug-ins in a multi-platfor version. But now I have to go back and install all the AAX stuff I did not.

    I don't need another exclusive I can only get in ProTools. Plug-ins are NOT the core business, building a better platform is. I don't need another great sounding EQ or reverb. I know where to find plenty of them.

    Support VST as well as AAX and use the AAX platform to discover the things that a VST can't. Let ME decide if AAX is truly the better platform rather than forcing me to support it.

    I don't need another AAX drum machine plug-in. I don't need another boutique compressor emulation.

    What I need is a company that understands me as a user and most importantly ME AS A CONSUMER.

    You're milking your long time brand loyalty and dominance. But it will catch up with you. Reason lost its momentum because it wouldn't allow outside plug-ins. They've never recovered. Digidesign was slow to incorporate sufficient MIDI features into ProTools... even after the success of Opcode's Studio Vision (one of the first MIDI sequencers to include audio playback but only on the ProTools hardware platform.

    Concentrate on your core business instead of trying to justify to me WHY exclusive use of your proprietary plug-ins are better.

    You squashed the first VST to AAX wrapper and it was infuriating. There is TOO MUCH great stuff out there that comes only in VST.

    I've been a ProTools user for TWENTY YEARS. You're going to lose the next generation of users the same way Avid lost the next-gen of editors back in the early 2000's when Final Cut X came out.

  22. Comment

    I don't really see a need for another plugin format added, now much do you need at the expense of dealing with what people really want, stability & great working new features that enhance our workflow, not a bunch of developers time spent dealing with another plug format & its issues.

    Its an issue of time & money...... If you have avid people working on vst plugs.... They won't be able to do new projects that ACTUALLY BETTER PROTOOLS.

    VST would be a sidestep for a issue that is not really an issue.

    Anyone who makes a great VST can re-code for AAX...... THATS A MUCH BETTER USAGE OF RESOURCES rather than having Avid people spending time for other companies to make money.

    Why can VST programers just code for AAX?

  23. Comment
    Bill Denton

    When the day comes that you can pull up to my house in a dump truck with wheels from a Smart Car I will retract my "NO" vote.

    Pro Tools 11 uses AAX plugins. It does not use VST plugins. Avid spent a lot of time developing the AAX format, and they feel it is a better format than VST.

    So, if you feel you absolutely must use VST format plugins, buy a copy of Reaper for $60.

    But when you consider all of the great music coming out of Pro Tools every day, using only AAX plugins, perhaps it's your skill set that's at fault...

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      Bill, this website is about user feedback to improve the ProTools platform. No matter how vehemently you disagree with another's opinion, you have no reason to degrade him or her. Your opinion is just that: your opinion. If you feel that you absolutely must strike a condescending tone with total strangers please do it elsewhere.

  24. Comment
    Bill Denton


    According to your profile, you joined this site yesterday and you presume to tell me how the place works?

    Time to get over yourself, dude.

    And when somebody posts an idea that has been beaten to death both here and elsewhere, I will point out that it is a stupid idea, just as this one is.

    If you can counter my opinion, knock yourself out.

    And if you don't like what I have to say, don't read my posts.

    Pretty simple, huh?

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      Thank you for proving my point.

  25. Comment


    Like Bill Denton said time to get over yourself. PT needs to support vst or au like one needs another hole in the head. Why add another layer of instability to the program supporting another plugin format? There are enough issues with the program as it is - take a look at the bugs in PT11.2 Let Avid fix that and then go onwards.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      I've never had a problem with instability with VSTs on the other platform I use. I make my money on ProTools. But at home I use another platform for the flexibility that ProTools doesn't have.

      Nothing works for post-production as well as ProTools. I've been using it for 20 years. But ProTools has always been the Johnny-Come-Lately for musicians who now make up the largest core of DAW users. Digidesign dropped the standard for the exclusive Sound Designer 1 and 2 files due to redundancy in the industry. AAX-Native is redundant and AAX-DSP will be gone within 5-10 years.

      It's better that Avid concentrate on improving the core software than hanging a bunch of time and money keeping the plug-in business locked up.

  26. Comment

    True that it's better for Avid to improve the core program; won't argue there. But they are not wasting a bunch of time and money locking up the plugin business. Or haven't you noticed that most plugins are third party and NOT Avid provided? All Avid did was develop the aax format so they could move into the 64 bit world.

    People want a stable PT but the only way to do that is to restrict who can develop for the platform. So some of your favorite vst's aren't available as aax - big deal. There are solutions like Blue Cat MB7-2 or Patchwork or even VEPro 5. Buy one and use it and get your work done at home. If you can't get your work done with aax format plugins or via one of the ways I just cited then you have issues that go beyond any plugin format and daw. It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools.

    Have no idea how you can say aax native is redundant - explain exactly what you mean.

  27. Comment
    Community Member

    Get yourself DDMF Metaplugin.....forget FX was never much good. Protools expert are doing big discount this month :)

  28. Comment

    DDMF does not support RTAS, unless I've missed something. Also, I agree that this is not Avid's fault or problem. They have arguably THE program and platform, working reliably (mostly) and the burden of joining the party should rest with each company writing plug-ins.

  29. Comment

    This is the reason I'm stuck on PT10 and OS 10.8.5.

    I need to be able to load my sessions with existing VST assignments intact.

    Sort it out AVID!

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      It's not up to Avid to sort this out as there are options to use your precious vst's. Blue Cat MB7-2 or Patchwork, Reaper, VEPro 5 all will do the job.

    2. Comment

      You seem not to understand my predicament. Your solution only works for new VST additions, not when you have hundreds of old sessions with multiple wrapped VST instruments and automation that you're trying to recall in PT11.

  30. Comment
    Bill Denton


    Your predicament is of your own making, and I seriously doubt Avid will do any coding to save you from your own bad choices.

    Humans are constantly making choices, both consciously and unconsciously. The criteria may be so complex as to require a 100 page document, or it may be as simple as "what am I in the mood for?" And if one or more of the criteria is a "deal breaker", we can either respect that, or we have to be prepared to accept whatever consequences there may be.

    Pro Tools can not use VST plugins. If that was a deal breaker, perhaps you should not have bought Pro Tools. When you used the FXpansion wrapper, you accepted that it could be broken at any time. You can't blame Avid for not having VST support, as it was clear (or should have been) that it did not.

    You could go back and print all of the VST stuff, but that would probably be a huge pain. The easiest thing, which a lot of people did during the RTAS/TDM transition to AAX, is simply to "retire" one of the computers your older sessions will run on.

    But no matter what, you can't blame Avid, or expect them to fix it...

  31. Comment

    This is the essence of Pro Tools. I understand that to an extent it's boutique. That to some extent it's an audiophile thing. On the other hand, I think they've forgotten who the customer is and who is providing the service. The user base are the customer and Avid, the service provider. Not the other way around. I've stopped buying into the Pro Tools propaganda. Is Pro Tools the best audio editor out there? Probably. I've used most of the big ones and none are as straight forward to use as Pro Tools. That being said, the other DAWs are incredibly feature rich and only take some minor adjusting to get accustomed to. There are still some things that irritate me when doing simple editing in Sonar, Cubase or Samplitude but it's something I can get over. If they were just a little more concerned about what their customers want, they'd add VST support. Would it break Pro Tools? Probably not. Would some users get errors? Certainly. I would bet people would pay to have VST support. So make it a paid option. Don't punish your customers. There was a time when it was said that the customer is always right.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      @hueseph. Pro Tools is the exact opposite of boutique; with boutique implying exclusive, specialized, etc. Instead, Pro Tools is a standard, widely known, accepted and used. I'll grant there is some truth to the assertion that Avid is not as responsive to their customers' wishes as smaller companies are. But that has a reason as well. I know very few customers who would put VST support anywhere in their top 100 list of wishes. The core of their business is the very high end; commercial studios, post-production, broadcast. Those of us in that line of work are very happy they don't divert their programmers' resources to huge projects such as third party format adoption that isn't necessary. You may not appreciate what an ongoing nightmare it would be to certify the program for hundreds of new plug-ins in new formats from scores of developers. Apple can do that kind of thing, Avid cannot. You might do better to direct your criticism to the VST manufacturers for not supporting PT's industry standard format.

  32. Comment
    Bill Denton


    +1 on py's comment...

    Like many other companies, Avid is trying to deal with the many changes that have hit the recording industry.

    Back in 1999 when Avid introduced the 001 and Pro Tools LE, the recording landscape looked quite different from today's. Studios and post houses needed people who knew how to work Pro Tools when they came through the door. Pro Tools LE would serve to create a "farm club" system where people could learn to use PT either on their own, or as part of their "educational experience". Of course, Avid was happy to sell LE to anyone.

    But with the rise of "bedroom studios", LE became more of a liability than an asset. Look at the DUC and you'll understand why..."I just now bought an MBox and Pro Tools LE at Guitar Center, how do I hook it up?"......"I bought an MBox and Pro Tools LE and recorded my band last night, why doesn't it sound like the songs on iTunes?"

    Then came Hip Hop and EDM, along with "Why doesn't PT use VST instruments?"..."Why doesn't Pro Tools work with loops and beats better?"..."Why can't PT work better for composers?" And at that time, Pro Tools LE and its other non-DSP successors became more of a liability than an asset.

    Add in the closure of many of the large studios that had been Avid's "bread and butter", and Avid had problems...a bunch of them.

    Avid wisely decided to focus on the remaining large studios and the growing post market. But given limited resources, Avid simply could not devote many resources to a market that had become a massive PITA. And that's where we're at today.

    If Pro Tools meets your needs as it stands today, buy it. But if it doesn't...well, my copy of Cubase will be here Thursday...

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      @B.D. Peace.

    2. Comment

      Honestly, at this point, VST support is not much of a concern for me. Most of the plugins I paid for have an AAX counterpart. The ones that don't are DAW specific.

      As far as Pro Tools not being boutique? It is. Avid isn't exactly a huge company. Their gross profit last year was not particularly huge. Just because they are the standard, that doesn't mean they can't be boutique at the same time. It's an exclusive "club" for the most part. The prosumers are an afterthought. Their main focus is the major studios and larger project studios.

      It's a dying industry. The landscape has changed. Maybe it's time to change with the times? Sure, there's no real money unless you have big label backing but a good amount of the production is being done outside of the big studios. For better or worse. It's cutting off your nose to spite your face to alienate the ones who want to move to your platform but don't want to reinvest in a whole new set of tools because the one's they already have aren't supported.

      Don't implement VST support. That's ok. I can live with it. In some ways, I think the loudest complainers are just angry that they can't use their warez. I don't have that issue. I paid for support and updates so, I'm covered.

  33. Comment


    I see your points from the prosumer perspective, but I am part of that 'dying industry' and I'd have to dispute that it is dying. Beautiful, full service rooms are being built at about the same rate as at any time in my long biz history. If you are a busy, touring artist, or working on a full band project with deadlines, or broadcast remixes, commercials, film scoring - you would be a very happy customer at such places. That describes a LOT of people, and is the business Avid is courting. So, perhaps they are alienating to a market because they simply can't afford to service it properly.

    I personally feel there should be a strong minimal-featured product to bring new users to pro tools as eventual HD customers. Perhaps the standard pro tools is too complex to be affordable supported for its intended market and Avid needs to significantly reduce its feature-set.

  34. Comment
    Bill Denton

    I'm about 95% with py's assessment...

    True, new rooms are being built, and some are equipped to provide "full service", but I have a feeling that most are looking toward the still-growing TV market.

    Pro Tools IS a very complex product, but it is reasonably well documented. Problem is, many of these "new" users are unwilling to, or, in the US, unable to read the manual.

    I'll split with py on the suggestion to create a "reduced feature" version of Pro Tools as it can sometimes introduce new points of failure, and it's just one more thing to keep track of.

    I think a better solution would be to hire some folks who are experienced in writing documentation for complex "consumer" products to be read by barely literate audiences. This documentation would "sit" between the "Getting Started Guide" and the "full-blown" 1,400+/- page manual. It would be aimed at what a lot of "new" users want to do, such as MIDI, loops, and beatmaking, covering them in greater depth, then pointing to still more advanced features in the "main" manual.

    Of course, this assumes Avid even has any plans to continue playing in the "low end" market...

  35. Comment

    I may have been unclear. I don't think Avid should produce a third 'reduced features' version. I think they should simplify the current non-HD version to make it a better entry platform. They already have dramatically different capabilities so this isn't too much of a stretch. The fact they produce the non-HD version indicates to me they see the value of an entry market.

    I do agree that their documentation isn't being read but I put a lot of the blame for that on the writers. Way, way too much "see page 1027" on page 151. Tech manual writing is a serious art. As much as is possible, the user's processes need to be anticipated and explained in a linear dialogue with tutorials or examples. Instead the entire book is dry 'glossary-style' text explaining what each command does, and that makes for tons of redundancy and little clarity. I've been reading the damn book since v4 and I still wonder why it's like this.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      A lot of the complaints about Pro Tools Vanilla is that it is crippled in comparison to HD/HDX. I mean, have you read the forums in the past 10 years? You say it like the other DAWs are less complex. They aren't. Some of the other DAWs have pretty advanced workflow. Object based editing and 64 bit ptocessing since early 2000s.

      Incidentally, there IS a feature restricted version of Pro Tools. It's called Pro Tools express and ships with all the prosumer products. They stopped shipping Pro Tools vanilla with the interfaces a few years ago.

      There's a certain amount of elitism from the Pro Tools community that is a turn off.

  36. Comment


    I know what you mean about the elitism and I hope I haven't been guilty of it. I really haven't meant to. I didn't know about PT Express, my bad.

    You're totally right about feature parity between DAWs. I've used Logic, Cubase, Nuendo and I have to say that editing - a huge part of my workflow - seems almost laughable in its clumsiness. Some other features leave me with envy. But 60 hours a week, I can't imagine going elsewhere.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      Editing is why Pro Tools is standard. The features other DAWs have are more icing than cake. I understand why Pro Tools is standard. I just think they are missing a large market. Use Vanilla as a guinea pig for features in HDX. Cheap R&D and calm the user base in one swoop.

  37. Comment

    AVID, do you want to make PT wide used? Add VST and AU native support, that's so easy.

  38. Comment
    Community Member

    This will never gonna happen! Use patchwork for vst plugins instead if they doesn't exist in aax

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