Instead of posting Novation's official stance on this subject in another thread where it may not be easily found, I have decided to create a new post.
As I said 48 hours ago, a meeting was called to discuss the future of Automap and AAX Plugin support.
Below is the resulting response from Paul Whittington, the Senior Product Manager for Automap.
Thank you once again for your exceptional patience in this matter.
Paul and myself will be here to field any questions you may have, so please feel free to get in contact.
Novation Automap and AAX Plugin Support
Here at Novation we have been wrestling with the AAX and Automap problem for quite some time now. We are aware that there were inquiries about this as far back as May last year and will admit that it has not had our full attention over this period with all the myriad of activities going on here. For this we apologise. What I can say is that we are seriously focused on this issue right now and what to do about it.
We have uncovered the complexity of the problem. Basically Automap works by 'wrapping' plugins which involves adding a small piece of code to each one to allow the Automap server to talk to it. AAX plugins are code-signed and what that means is they can't change, therefore the 'wrapping' system simply can't work.
We've also had a good deal of discussion about the 'wrapping' mechanism in general. Over time and via customer feedback we have observed that this way of working is not really what people want. It tends to cause session incompatibility, can result in crashing plugins sometimes and has created a huge maintenance burden with the sheer number of plugins out there.
So what do we plan to do about it? Well, we're talking to Avid. We believe the only way to tackle AAX plugin support properly is to integrate with Pro Tools directly. We firmly believe this is the best and only way to make AAX plugins work properly with our products.
When we created Automap it was a clever way to get around all the various methodologies that DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) use to control plugins. As MIDI learn has become much more common and as Automap has dated we have brought in a new technology fairly recently with our Launch range of keyboards called InControl. What this means is we are removing the need for running an intermediate piece of software and instead talking directly to each DAW using either custom scripts or HUI. We have implemented basic mixer, track and transport control so far and we plan to develop this technology further to tackle plugin support.
While we continue to work towards a solution with Avid, it is still possible to work with Automap in ProTools for mixer and transport control even though it is not possible to control AAX plugins at this time. The setup guide for Pro Tools will take you through the steps needed to get this to work using a HUI control device.
Finally, we will be changing our messaging in light of the release of Pro Tools 11 to clarify the fact that Pro Tools support is for mixer and transport only and does not include plugin control. We never had any intention of misleading customers but we accept that as things have progressed our messaging has become increasingly vague. This is something we are working to correct now.
I and the company sincerely value all your feedback so if you have any queries please do get in touch. I will be closely monitoring this thread. We also have one of the best music recording customer service departments in the world (I certainly think!), with a large team in the US and UK who have helped many Pro Tools users get the best out of their Novation products.
With best regards,
Senior Product Manager for Automap