I have a love/hate relationship with Pro Tools. Avid’s recent shift in focus towards bedroom producers is admirable, but they still seem unable to release products that “just work”. I have a gracefully aging MacBook that is living out its retirement as a recording rig. I recently installed the incremental upgrade to Pro Tools 10 (10.3.7), and discovered that on start-up following the installation, all of my plugins were missing. Everything was gone, even the AudioSuite plugins.
Pro Tools is very demanding, when it comes to upgrades. I followed the recommended approach, which was to completely uninstall the previous version of PT10, and then perform a clean install. Well, several things were missed during the uninstall stage. For example, both the Avid and Digidesign Plug-In folders in the system Library were left untouched. The newly installed PT application folder had symbolic links pointing to the correct Plug-in folders in the Library, but the folders were not accessed at run-time.
My first thought was that there was an error with the Permissions, and that Pro Tools couldn’t access the Plug-in folders. So I opened up Disk Utility and clicked “Repair Permissions”. Two hours later, all of the permissions were fixed, so I started PT again and hoped for the best. No result. Still no plugins.
Looking at the Pro Tools application folder, I noticed that there was a Plug-ins folder, but it was empty. Would PT look here for plugins on start up? To test this, I copied some AAX plugins from the Library->Avid->Audio folder to this Applications->Pro Tools->Plug-ins folder. I crossed my fingers, started PT, and … success!
It turns out that you can place sub-folders into the Applications/PT/Plug-ins folder, so I added one for AAX plugins, and one for DPM plugins. I also deleted the symbolic links to the Library plugins folders, but I don’t think that should matter either way. For now, I have two copies of all of my plugins, one version local to the Pro Tools application, and one version in the original Library location.
So for now, I have a working solution, which is to manually copy every plugin from the Library folder to the PT application folder. It just occurred to me that moving the symbolic links (e.g. “AAX Plug-ins”) into the PT application folder might work, which would eliminate the need for manual copying of the plugins. I will give that a go tonight and report back in a comment.