I spend most of my days in Pro Tools, but more and more often I’ve been firing up Ableton Live when a project calls for the kind of compositional workflow that it inspires.
I recently fired up the External Audio Effect device for the first time in a long time, and was kindly reminded why I love Ableton: Even though they often throw in the kitchen sink features-wise, it rarely feels that way. Compared to a plain jane, zero-options hardware insert in Pro Tools, Ableton’s implementation literally has infinitely more features, yet because of the logical and minimalist UI, it never feels bloated or overkill.
Separate ins and outs, built-in peak values, phase invert, hardware latency compensation, dry/wet control, pre- and post-insert gain—all in one small, simple package. Avid: I don’t know much about AAX development, but this seems like the kind of thing you could whip up in a day (after all, it’s basically a mash-up of Trim and Time Adjuster, plus a dry/wet knob), and I guarantee your users would love it.