AU (Audio Units) – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Audio Software Glossary

What are AU (Audio Units)?

AU (Audio Units) is a plugin format developed by Apple for use in their macOS and iOS operating systems. It is a type of software component that can be added to audio software programs to provide additional functionality. AU plugins are commonly used in digital audio workstations (DAWs) and other audio editing software to add effects, instruments, and other features to audio projects.

How do AU (Audio Units) work?

AU plugins work by processing audio data in real-time as it passes through the audio software program. They can be used to apply effects such as reverb, delay, compression, and distortion, as well as to add virtual instruments like synthesizers and drum machines to a project. AU plugins can be controlled and adjusted using parameters like knobs, sliders, and buttons within the audio software interface.

What are the benefits of using AU (Audio Units)?

There are several benefits to using AU plugins in audio software. One of the main advantages is that AU plugins are designed to work seamlessly with Apple’s macOS and iOS operating systems, providing a stable and reliable performance. AU plugins also offer a high level of integration with Apple’s Core Audio technology, allowing for low-latency audio processing and efficient use of system resources.

Another benefit of using AU plugins is the wide range of available options. There are thousands of AU plugins available from third-party developers, offering a diverse selection of effects, instruments, and other audio processing tools. This allows users to customize their audio software setup to suit their specific needs and preferences.

How do you use AU (Audio Units) in audio software?

To use AU plugins in audio software, you first need to install the plugins on your computer. Once the plugins are installed, you can open your audio software program and load the AU plugins into the program’s plugin interface. From there, you can select and adjust the parameters of the AU plugins to apply effects or add instruments to your audio projects.

Most audio software programs allow you to organize and save presets for your AU plugins, making it easy to recall your favorite settings for future projects. You can also automate parameters within the AU plugins to create dynamic and evolving effects in your audio projects.

What are some popular AU (Audio Units) plugins?

There are many popular AU plugins available for audio software users. Some of the most well-known AU plugins include:

– Logic Pro X: Apple’s flagship DAW includes a wide range of built-in AU plugins for effects, instruments, and processing tools.
– Waves Audio: Waves offers a variety of high-quality AU plugins for mixing, mastering, and audio processing.
– Native Instruments: Native Instruments provides a range of virtual instruments and effects in AU plugin format, including synthesizers, samplers, and effects processors.
– FabFilter: FabFilter offers a collection of AU plugins for EQ, compression, reverb, and other audio processing tasks.

These are just a few examples of the many AU plugins available to audio software users. There are countless other options to explore, ranging from free plugins to premium offerings from top developers in the industry.

How do AU (Audio Units) compare to other audio plugin formats?

AU plugins are just one of several audio plugin formats available to audio software users. Some other common plugin formats include VST (Virtual Studio Technology), AAX (Avid Audio eXtension), and RTAS (Real-Time AudioSuite). Each format has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice of format often depends on the user’s specific needs and preferences.

One of the main advantages of AU plugins is their seamless integration with Apple’s macOS and iOS operating systems. This can make AU plugins a preferred choice for users who work primarily on Apple devices. AU plugins also offer a high level of stability and efficiency, thanks to their integration with Apple’s Core Audio technology.

However, AU plugins are not as widely supported as some other plugin formats, such as VST. This can limit the availability of certain plugins for users who work on non-Apple platforms. Additionally, some users may find the AU plugin format to be less flexible or customizable compared to other formats.

Overall, AU plugins are a popular choice for many audio software users, thanks to their stability, integration with Apple devices, and wide range of available options. However, the best plugin format for you will ultimately depend on your specific needs and workflow preferences.