Native vs HDX in a Waves dominated world


I recently had a chance to try the Avid HDX card after working on a Native rig for some months now. I’ve pretty much completely retired my HD3.

One thing I noticed with the HDX was voice count struggles, which should be a moot point seeing as both native and HDX can voice 256 mono tracks, BUT throw lots of native plugins into the mix and suddenly you see the problem. For every stereo native plugin you lose 2 voices, so if you rely on plugins that have yet to port to AAX DSP you will see significantly less voice power on a single card HDX rig versus a native card.

Over here, most freelancers rely on various waves plugins who have made it abundantly clear they have no interest in AAX DSP, which makes a HD Native a more powerfully voiced rig for my clients at this point in time.

Hopefully they will switch to more DSP friendly plugins in the near future and there’s some healthy threads on the DUC asking for everyones opinion on what are the MUST HAVE DSP ported plugins.

FWIW my list would have:

Massey L2007 limiter – and I wish he’s make a multi-channel version of it, that supported true peak limiting!

McDSP ML4000/ML1 – as above

McDSP futzbox – on its way

McDSP de3ss – on its way

Waves W43 – wish it would come to DSP

Waves 360 bundle – particularly the UM225 and 226 and L360 and C360

Spanner – which I believe is in the works if not already around? Justin?


Any HDX early adopters out there? What’s missing from your arsenal?


  1. Hi Brent, Interesting observations that just confirm to me that we need more AAX DSP [lug-ins, AAX Native just won’t hack it. As an early HDX adopter these are the plug-ins I am missing….

    1. Intersample peak Broadcast Limiter (Although I am now using the Nugen Audio ISL I really want an AAX DSP plug-in)
    2. Speakerphone (there is nothing like it).
    3. LtRt Encoder (ideally the Neyrinck version, as the Avid plug-in only does LoRo).
    4. Stereo to 5.1 or 7.1 upmix application. TC Unwrwp as AAX DSP would be nice or the Soundfield UPM1.
    5. Waves Maxbass or RennBass (needs to be a decent bass resythesis plug-in like the Waves product, not really an EQ type product.
    6. A multiband compressor like the Waves C4 or C6.
    7. A decent realtime denoiser, iZotope make you ANR-B box into an AAX DSP plug-in.
    8. A good post friendly AAX DSP Reverb plug-in for room simulation.

    I have to say that as every day that goes past without Waves DSP plug-ins i find I am needing them less and less and that is from someone for whom nearly all my go to plug-ins in my HD TDM world were Waves

  2. justin says:

    DSP Spanner is not too far away.
    I have it running on HDX now but there’s a lot of work optimising for those chips and I’ve got something like 63 versions of the plugin to consider!