Digidesign AIR Vacuum is a mono synth that surprised me in a few different ways. Most mono synths have ups and downs , but usually more downs than ups. The AIR Vacuum seemed to be more of “my kinda” analog mono synth. AIR Vacuum has a very good and well built filter section in to it, it will give you full control over how the sounds will be played, it basically has its own flavor to it that was unlike any other similar synths I have tried. I didn’t have to pay for AIR Vacuum either because it came with my Pro Tools, though some people may have to still pay for it, don’t expect it to just come with your Pro Tools because I am not sure if they only put it with certain packages or not. I have not seen manual for it, and I don’t think they I would every need one. Every thing is very easy to access and use with Vacuum. There are no difficult menus to worry about. Its all just right there for you to use at your disposal.
AIR Vacuum works great with Pro Tools, I have never used it outside of that and I haven’t heard any one try to so I am not sure how it would work in other DAW’s. It is very stable, every time I open it and load it up it opens right away without any pauses.
AIR Vacuum is a high quality mono synth that you wont ever have to worry about it giving you issues down the road, it was free for me. But I am not sure if this is a program that I would have went out and purchased out of my own pocket for. I really don’t have much of a need for it, I will use it from time to time because its here, but if it was not on my system anymore I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Its not a necessity.
Digidesign’s AIR Vacuum plug-in is a virtual instrument that is new to Pro Tools 8 and comes free with it. It’s a synthesizer with a lot of control and a built in keyboard. It’s part of Digidesign’s (who is now solely under the parent name Avid), AIR line of plug-ins and virtual instruments, which stands for Advanced Instrument Research. You don’t need to take any action in order to install this software, as during the initial process of installing Pro Tools 8 it takes care of it and the other plug-ins that come with Pro Tools. There is definitely a lot going on with Vacuum, as I still feel that I’m learning new things about it each time that I use it. The vast array of parameters would take too long to list here, but it does have sections for two VTO’s (oscillators), two envelopes, a high and low pass filter, a mixer, and a modulation sections. I’m really just scratching the surface here, as the virtual synth really offers up a lot of control. If you’re new to virtual synthesizers and are unfamiliar with the parameters generally involved with synths, I’d recommend doing some research as I don’t know if there is manual for this outside of Pro Tools.
I’m currently running the Digidesign AIR Vacuum virtual synthesizer on a Mac Book Pro that has a 2.2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 4 GB of RAM. You can only run this in Pro Tools 8, as I don’t believe that it can be purchased on it’s own, and I know that it can’t be used within any other DAW setting. I’ve only ever had a need to run one instance of this virtual synth at a time, so I can’t say I’ve tried to test it’s performance level. However, I would bet that most users out there will be using it in the same way that I am, as there is really no need to run multiple instances of this at once. If you’ve got Pro Tools 8 already, chances are that you’ve got a good enough system where the performance or Pro Tools 8 and this plug-in won’t be an issue.
Digidesign’s AIR Vacuum virtuall synthesizer is definitely one of my favorite new additions to Pro Tools 8. Previously Pro Tools didn’t have any synthesizers, let alone a nice sounding one like this. It’s capable of getting all sorts of synthesizer tones in the vein of the analog synth world. The control available here is awesome, as are many of the preset sounds. While I can’t say that this plug-in alone would be a good reason to get Pro Tools 8, if you have an earlier version of Pro Tools, this and the other free AIR plug-ins and instruments are definitely worth the upgrade price…