A deeper level of integration between recording apps and third-party plugins is needed as tools like advanced pitch correction become more common in production workflows. ARA2 steps in to help with that.
Some of the most well-known music technology companies collaborated to create the technology, which has the potential to revolutionize how producers, engineers, and artists interact with audio inside a DAW.
I’ll outline ARA2’s capabilities in this article and discuss why it’s significant for musicians.
What exactly is ARA2?
ARA means Audio Random Access. It is an audio plugin extension that enhances communication with your DAW.
Presonus and Celemony jointly developed ARA2 in 2018. It is now integrated into major DAWs like Pro Tools, Logic Pro, and Studio One.
With this technology, next-gen plugins can work as seamlessly as traditional editing processes. Furthermore, ARA2 provides even deeper integration between DAWs and plugins, allowing for new ways of working that can save significant time and effort.
The need for some plugin types to directly access audio files on the timeline led to the development of ARA.
This is crucial for editing plugins because they must examine the data in an audio file in order to manipulate it.
What makes ARA2 so important?
ARA2 overcomes one of the biggest challenges that producers face when using certain types of plugins.
Tools for correcting vocal pitch are a good example.
Before, users had to manually add audio clips to the plugin’s memory for processing.
Producers had to turn on audio capture and playback segments on the timeline in order to use the plugin to alter those segments.
This process not only involved additional steps but also frequently resulted in a new audio file being stored outside the primary media folder.
You would experience a perplexing mismatch during playback if you altered the timeline’s data without also updating the plugin.
In addition, producers had to save their changes by printing an edited finished audio file to the timeline.
Yes, it is a lot of work if that sounds like it.
Many engineers delay pitch editing as long as possible rather than taking on the task early in the mix. In order to accommodate pitch correction, they would dedicate an entire step in their workflow. All of that is altered by ARA 2, which makes workflows based on plugins and DAWs alike.
Additionally, ARA 2 enables two-way communication between a plugin and a DAW.
As a result, the DAW can use some of a plugin’s technology for tasks like converting audio to MIDI.
What plug-ins utilize ARA2?
Many of the top manufacturers support ARA2 integration for pitch correction in their products because of its special benefits.
But a lot of other programs also benefit from its strong integration to offer even better DAW workflows. Check out some notable plugins that utilize ARA2.
Synchro Arts, a company specializing in vocals, has been involved with ARA since its early days.
Their newest product in the vocal pitch correction market offers strong ARA2 integration. This allows it to work seamlessly with supported DAWs, providing an improved pitch workflow out of the box.
Celemony was an early collaborator in the development of ARA.
The needs of Melodyne producers influenced their push to define the technology.
Melodyne with ARA2 support is now available directly within Pro Tools, combining two of the industry’s most powerful pro applications.
Long gone are the days of capturing audio from the timeline and sending it to the Melodyne plugin. Instead, the Melodyne window now appears natively within the Pro Tools UI.
That means you can access all of Melodyne’s classic tools at any time during your workflow.
The future of audio manipulation techniques is spectral editing.
When you manipulate and view the information in the frequency domain rather than the time domain, various new possibilities can arise.
Steinberg’s Spectralayers provide access to a complete range of spectral processing capabilities, with the added convenience of direct DAW access through ARA2 integration.
The Vocalign plugin by Synchro Arts offers a revolutionary solution to enhance the precision of vocal double tracks with ease and automation.
Anyone who has manually aligned vocal tracks can attest to the significant amount of effort saved by this breakthrough technology.
Additionally, with the integration of ARA technology, using Vocalign has become even more effortless. Even better, Vocalign’s already streamlined workflow has become faster with its availability in Logic Pro.
5. Izotope RX
The RX suite of audio restoration tools from Izotope has quickly become the industry standard for audio repair.
However, because its most powerful operations are contained within the standalone app, data transfer has long been an issue.
Access to Music Rebalance via ARA2 makes some of RX’s most powerful capabilities more accessible than ever.
ARA2 access is currently only available in Logic Pro, but it may be extended to other DAWs in the future.
As time passes, audio plugin technology continues to advance, and breakthroughs like ARA2 indicate that technological progress shows no signs of slowing down. If you’re searching for a next-generation workflow that includes advanced editing plugins, ARA2 is a technology to keep an eye on.