When Avid rolled out the AAX Plug-In platform for Pro Tools, VENUE and Media Composer, you can bet that Line 6 were on our minds. Echo Farm and Amp Farm had been essential purchases for thousands of music creatives, engineers, and producers and we wanted them available for everyone as 64-bit AAX became the standard. Avid Pro Tools and VENUE users relied on Echo Farm and Am Farm as their go-to plug-ins for the very best vintage echo and guitar amp modeling effects.
Fast-forward to 2017 for some great news – Echo Farm recently made its return to AAX and Amp Farm is on its way – both fully “session compatible” with their predecessors so users can fire up older work and access these plug-ins on Pro Tools 12. We’re glad to see them back!
I just sat down with Adrian Haselhuber, Director of Product Management at Line 6, long-time friend, and beloved Avid alum. He caught us up with the latest news on these plug-ins and other development on the way.
Q: Echo Farm used to be a very popular plug-in when it was released in the early 2000s. What motivated Line 6 to bring it back?
A: End user requests. Lots and lots of them! When I started at Line 6 one of my first questions was “what happened to Echo Farm and Amp Farm?” It was clear to me that one of my jobs would be to resuscitate both plug-ins because I had seen the demand while I was on the Pro Tools team. When I dug into the project it quickly became clear that Line 6 was well aware of user demand, but simply did not have the development bandwidth to tackle this project. We realize that the transition to AAX took a lot longer than anticipated and I’d like to thank everyone out there for their patience.
Q: I see that you didn’t change the user interface and the plug-in’s functionality. Why not?
A: Our goal was to ensure that the new AAX plug-in is 100% backwards compatible and old Pro Tools sessions open intact. We briefly thought about updating the user interface but thought better of it. It may look a bit dated to some, but I just love the charm and functionality of the original design. Heck, we didn’t even change the old Line 6 logo!
Q: You know the next question. Will Amp Farm also be ported to AAX?
A: Yes, we will also make Amp Farm available alongside Helix Native, an AAX plug-in based on our flagship guitar processor. Helix will encapsulate the Helix sound engine and provide a huge selection of high-end amp and effects models.
Q: Have you considered creating AAX DSP versions of Echo Farm and Amp Farm?
A: The best way to answer this question is to say that we are constantly evaluating user feedback. We haven’t made a decision on DSP, but we are listening to our customers. Just like Avid, Line 6 uses Ideascale to capture end user ideas and product feedback. It’s a fantastic service because you get to see in real-time how well your products are doing in the market, and what we should be doing next. I encourage everyone who is into Pro Tools or Line 6 products to go to the respective Ideascale site and participate.
Q: What was your experience working with Avid, now that you are on the outside?
A: Quite frankly, it was a great and pleasurable experience. I am a very lucky guy because I still know many people at Avid, many of whom I consider to be very good friends. I am blessed that way, and I really, really appreciate the help I have been getting. Kudos to the Avid third party partnering team!
Adrian, thank you so much for your advocacy and for taking some time to help readers see the plug-in development and marketing process through a product manager’s lens. Your powerful AAX plug-ins will be welcomed by long-time customers and by the fast-growing population of Avid subscribers. We’re glad to help Line 6 to this milestone, and anyone who’s inspired by Adrian’s tale, please explore AAX and our other toolkits offered by the Avid Connectivity Program or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.