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Plugin Updates and New Plugin (Beta)

All of the plugins in aXPlugins suite have been updated with new features, stability, and bug fixes. Here is a summary of the biggest or most interesting changes.

  • All plugins – All plugins can now have their license deactivated so you can move it to another computer. Simply hit the “SSA” logo at the bottom of the GUI and click to deactivate the plugin. If you are using Offline activation you will need to connect to the internet in order to deactivate your plugin.
  • All plugins – the number of activations available per license has increased to 5. One license still covers only a single user.
  • All plugins – the plugins are now installed using installers so you no longer have to copy the files to the plugin folders. All plugins are now automatically installed in the recommended system folders depending on their type (AAX/AU/VST3) and the operating system (Win/Mac).
  • All plugins – the Mac .pkg installers are now Notarized by Apple meaning the plugins should install without any warnings from Gatekeeper on Catalina (macOS 10.15). Please get in touch if you have any issues.
  • aXRotate – Yaw, pitch and roll can now be received via OSC messages. Select your desired port number (double click to enter) and click Connect. Click Show More to see the message format expected by the plugin as well as the incoming messages to your selected port.
  • aXDeesser – Some bug fixes.
  • aXEqualizer – Fixed a bug where changing a filter band at low frequency could cause the plugin to become unstable. Fixed another bug where loading a preset from the DAW would cause the UI markers to become unlinked from the audio.

To get the updated version of your plugin just head over to the Downloads section of your account page.

Please note: Because the updates now use installers, you should manually remove any previous versions of the plugins from you DAW plugin path, especially if you have used custom paths in the past.

New Plugin Beta Release

If you have bought one of the plugin bundles then you will find a beta version of a new plugin with the download from your account – aXLimiter! As the name suggests, this is an Ambisonic limiter with input gain, ceiling, look-ahead and release time (with option for auto).

Anyone who has bought a bundle will get aXLimiter for free when it is officially released.

The display shows the peak across all Ambisonic channels for the output (blue) and the input with gain applied (red). The amount of gain reduction over time is shown in white and in the meter to the bottom right.

I would be very happy to hear your thoughts and experiences using it, especially if you run in to any bugs.

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New Plugin: aXDeesser

Today I am happy to announce a new plugin: aXDeesser. As the name suggests, it is a de-esser made specifically to be used on Ambisonic signals. It is available in VST3 format (Windows and Mac), AAX (Windows and Mac) for Pro Tools | Ultimate, and AudioUnit (Mac).

As with the other plugins in the aX range, the aXDeesser is available in first-order, third-order and seventh-order variations. You can pick the one that fits your needs. The introductory price is 50% of the standard price. It costs 10€ for first-order, 20€ for third-order and 40€ for seventh-order (excluding VAT/sales tax).

You can also get the aXDeesser in the aXBundles. If you have bought any of the bundles in the past then you can head over to the downloads section of your account to get it for free! Just download the latest bundle and you will find the aXDeesser with your other plugins.

Why an Ambisonic De-esser?

Processing Ambisonic signals has to be done carefully to avoid changing or destroying the spatial properties of the sound field, so you need a de-esser that is designed with this in mind.

The aXDeesser also takes advantage of the spatial information provided by Ambisonics to allow you to focus on specific regions of your sound field in order to trigger the de-esser processing, giving you even more control over your processing. Effectively, you use the virtual microphone as a side-chain signal to activate the de-essing processing on the full signal.

Who needs an Ambisonic de-esser?

You can use the aXDeesser on any Ambisonics stream, but it is most useful if you are processing signals recorded with Ambisonic microphones. Anyone working on complete mixes where access to mono-encoded sources are no longer available will also find it useful.

If you have a recording made with a first-order microphone, such as the TetraMic or Sennheiser AMBEO VR mic, then the a1Deesser will fit your needs. The a3Deesser will allow you to de-ess recordings from the OctoMic or Zylia microphone. The a7Deesser is overkill for recordings made with an Ambisonic microphone, but can be used on full mixed scenes or if used creatively.

So, if you have a recording made with an Ambisonic microphone then the aXDeesser is the perfect tool for de-essing. You can tame excessive sibilance, at the same time preserving spatial fidelity.

How does it work?

The plugin has two modules – a virtual microphone and the main de-esser module. The virtual microphone captures a signal that is used to feed the de-esser’s detection algorithm. When the microphone signals activates the de-esser, the processing is applied to the whole sound field.

You can control the direction of the virtual microphone, along with the focus. The focus essentially controls how directive the microphone is, with the maximum directivity depending on the Ambisonic order of the signal received by the plugin. The incoming signal order is shown in the bottom left of the plugin GUI. A focus of 0% gives an omnidirectional microphone response. Focus of 100% gives a cardioid response for a first-order signal and the beam narrows as the input order gets higher. The meter on the left of the GUI shows the level of the virtual microphone signal.

The de-esser has all of the usual controls you would expect to find. You can set the frequency, the bandwidth, level, compression ratio and attack and release times. The meter on the right of the GUI shows the gain reduction being applied to the sibilance band.

Interested?

Does all of that sound like something that could be useful to you? If so, head over to the shop by clicking below. By buying from this website you will be helping support independent development of spatial audio tools. Thanks for your support!

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New Plugin: aXMeter Ambisonic Meter

aXMeter Ambsionic meter with a third order input signal

It’s time for a new plugin – and it’s free!

The aXMeter is an Ambisonic meter plugin (VST, AAX, AU) that shows the RMS and peak levels for each of the Ambisonic channels up to seventh-order. It’s GUI size varies dynamically depending on the order of the signal it receives. For first- to third-order it shows all of the channels up to third-order. If the input is a higher order it expands to show the new channels.

Just like previous updates, this plugin exists because it was requested by users who thought it would improve their workflow. So, if there is some feature you’d like to see added or a plugin you think would be worth having, get in touch! The more requests a particular feature gets, the faster it gets made.

And the Summer Sale is continuing. There are discounts of 20% to 50% on all of the plugins in the shop. If you purchase something then you’ll be helping to support independent development of spatial audio tools.

If you want to download the free aXMeter head over here.

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aX Ambisonics AAX Release + Sale

There is plenty to get through in this post. There is some big news, so let’s get right to it!

AAX Release – aX Plugins in ProTools

A lot of people have asked for the aX Ambisonics Plugins to be available in AAX format so I’m very happy to release them. At this point they are as a public beta (you can download the demo versions to test on your system) but they have been stable for private beta testers.

Please note that the plugins run on the Ambisonic buses available in Pro Tools Ultimate (formerly HD). Unfortunately, you cannot use them with the standard version of Pro Tools at this point.

Also note that the seventh order a7 Plugins will run in Pro Tools but are limited to third order processing by Pro Tools bus structure. If you work exclusively with Pro Tools, and don’t need VST versions, then you can save money by picking up the a3 Plugins – you won’t benefit from the a7 versions.

Bundle Discounts

You can now buy the full set of 7 plugins in one click as a bundle for a discounted price of 30% less when compared to buying them all individually. You can get them from the online shop here.

Sale Pricing

Until 31st July 2018 there will be at least a 20% discount on all plugin prices. The aXPanner and aXMonitor will continue with the 50% discount. Check out the shop for more details.

Academic Discount

If you plan on using the plugins for academic or educational purposes then the you can get in touch for a discount code for substantial extra discounts.

New Activation System

In order to provide offline activation, and perhaps a subscription payment option, the plugin activation system has been changed. If you are an existing customer you will need to enter the new activation number to the plugins after installing the new updates. This should be available in your account. I will also email out all of the updated serial numbers to ensure everyone gets them. If they are not listed in your account or you need the update before I have a chance to email you, please get in touch

Bug fixes

All formats of the aX Plugins have had a number of improvements to stability and performance under the hood. This won’t change how you use them but should improve the overall experience.

Aside from these performance enhancements, a bug was fixed in the macOS version of the aXMonitor that stopped custom HRTFs loading after they had been processed.

Coming Soon…

I am working on a few new plugins that will be out in the next few months. Some will be simple (and free), while another is shaping up to be something really interesting. Check back here to keep up to date!

In the meantime, if you want to support further development you can purchase the existing plugins at the web shop. Thank you for your support.