Q: What is a plug-in?
A: A plug-in is a software product that is designed to work within another "host" software product. In the case of Synaptricity plug-in products, the host application is Pro Tools from Digidesign. If the plug-in is an AudioSuite plug-in, then it will appear as a menu item in the AudioSuite menu in Pro Tools. If it is an RTAS plug-in, it will appear as a selectable insert item on a track. Many plug-ins are both AudioSuite and RTAS, an example being Centrifuze.
Q: What do the terms "AudioSuite" and "RTAS" mean?
A: AudioSuite and RTAS are Digidesign terms for plug-ins that work in slightly different contexts. AudioSuite plug-ins operate on recorded audio or create new audio on existing tracks. RTAS or Real Time Audio Suite plug-ins process incoming live audio, or create new live audio, real-time, on-the-fly. Many are both. Some are also TDM plug-ins.
Q: OK, so what does "TDM" mean?
A: TDM stand for Time Division Multiplexing. With TDM plug-ins, the bulk of the processing is done off the host Mac or PC on a separate dedicated piece of hardware allowing for higher throughput and less loading on the host machine.
Q: What does "real-time" mean?
A: The term "real-time" is used in the software world to mean any system, software-based or otherwise, that operates on data that is occurring in the here and now (e.g., live audio) and processes it on-the-fly, with tight timing constraints, so that the data flow is continuous, synchronized, and absolutely uninterrupted, as opposed to a program or system that processes data for a finite period of time and then stops when it is done. Real-time software doesn't stop until the user wishes it to. An example of a real-time system is the telephone system, where voice data is processed continuously. An example of a non-real-time system is a word processor, where the time it takes to do, for instance, a search-and-replace operation is neither set nor constrained, i.e., it finishes when it finishes.
Q: What is an iLok and why do I need one to use a Synaptricity plug-in?
A: An iLok (or iLok SmartKey) is a USB device that stores multiple authorizations for software products. All Synaptricity plug-ins are encoded with anti-piracy protection and will not operate unless you have an iLok and the proper plug-in authorization installed on it. For more information, please see our anti-piracy and licensing page. To purchase an iLok, visit www.paceap.com.
Q: OK, I need an iLok to use a Synaptricity plug-in. Why can't I order a Synaptricity plug-in now and get the iLok later when I'm ready to use it?
A: The way iLok licensing works, we need your iLok ID to fulfill your order because fulfilling your order means us depositing an iLok authorization in your iLok account. You need an iLok ID to order. And you need to have an iLok before you can get an iLok ID. (Actually, they come together.)
Q: What does Pro Tools do?
A: Pro Tools is a disk-based professional virtual audio recording studio that allows the range of home hobbyists to professional recording studios the ability to record, mix, and master high fidelity audio. Please visit the www.digidesign.com site for more information.
Q: What does a plug-in do within Pro Tools?
A: Plug-ins designed to work within Pro Tools can have a number of different functions, from adding effects to sounds, removing unwanted sound artifacts, performing pitch manipulation, timbre coloring, distorting sound, cleaning sound, speeding or slowing sound, adding various natural and unnatural reverberations, echoes, flanges, tremolos, vibratos, etc. It might also emulate a musical instrument. Or provide a studio utility function such as file handling or creating a metronome track to assist in recording a song. The possibilities are endless and only limited by one's imagination and the latest, state-of-the-art technology.
Q: What line of plug-in development is Synaptricity in?
A: Synaptricity has products and/or prototypes in all the areas just listed. Centrifuze is a product in the "classic effects slash time compression/expansion" realm, so it's about coloring sound (real-time or per-recorded audio) with classic effects like tremolo, vibrato, flange, echoes, etc. with the added benefits of the ability to synchronize with Pro Tools timeline's meter and tempo markers, and synchronize classic effects with each other and/or a tempo/meter and slow down / speed up real-time audio. It's pretty cool!
Q: How do I order a Synaptricity product and how long will it take to get it?
A: You can order a Synaptricity product by visiting our on-line web store. Our products are delivered to you via download, so you can have your product today. Of course, we have to deposit an iLok authorization in order for you to use it, and we do that as quickly as possible, usually that day or the next. All the details can be found at the store.
Q: What about hardware and Pro Tools compatibility? How do I know if your product will work with my rig?
A: Please see the Product Compatibility Matrix on this site. It details which versions of our products work on which hardware and which versions of Pro Tools.
Q: OK, I see you support Intel and PowerPC G4/G5 Macs. What about Microsoft Windows machines?
A: Windows/Vista ports of our products will be available in the future.