We got a look at VIP2.0 at NAMM earlier in the year and now it’s ready for release. The idea is that with a VIP-enabled MIDI controller keyboard you can take control of all the parameters of any loaded VST Instrument directly from the keyboard’s controls and little display. It’s a bit like Novation’s AutoMap where everything is mapped for you, ready to go. The new update adds VST effects support so that you can do the same thing with audio plug-ins. The new release also includes a bunch of effects from Air who make plug-ins for Pro Tools and have recently been acquired by inMusic Brands who also own Akai, Alesis and M-Audio. So you can see where all this is coming from.
You can use the VIP software to combine patches from up to 8 VST instruments and then stack up to 4 audio plug-ins into each slot. This enables you to create massive “multis” with huge sounds on a single note – or you could layer them across your keyboard to create a powerful live performance setup. The VIP software lets you set up the instruments and effects you want to use without having to mess around in a DAW, and all the controls are right there at your fingertips. VIP already comes with a whole bunch of instruments from Air including Vacuum Pro, Loom, Hybrid 3, Xpand!2, Velvet and Transfuser but this is the first time they’ve been able to include audio effects as well.
The Air Creative FX Collection Plus features 20 classic plug-ins from Pro Tools but in AU and VST format, including reverbs, eq, delays, filters, distortion and modulation. Plus, there are 8 brand new plug-ins designed for this bundle including more of the same really – compressor, tube, EQ, filter and such like which are no doubt different in important ways from the originals. Air plug-ins have been included with Pro Tools since version 8 and have become a bit of a standard. Having them finally released into a wider world of VST and AU formats is a really good thing.
VIP 2.0 and the Air Creative FX Collection Plus is included with every Akai Advance keyboard for a limited time. Advance keyboards are available in 25, 49 and 61 key versions for GBP £299.99, GBP £399.99 and GBP £469.99 respectively. The Air Creative FX Collection Plus (they have to come up with a better naming convention) is usually GBP £100 when purchased separately.
More information about Air: http://www.airmusictech.com/product/creative-fx-collection-plus#overview
More information about Akai Advance keyboards: http://www.akaipro.com/microsites/advance/index.php