While 'plugins' (DAW-proprietary software containers) seem the way to go today, the approach of dedicated 'standalone processing' proves to be much more versatile in this field, especially with realtime processing. Due to its 'global' character AutoTonic not only allows of a lot more sophisticated routings, it also provides maximum compatibility with any MIDI software/hardware on the market.
Think outside the box (Plugin vs. Standalone)
- MIDI FX Plugins are NOT more convenient A plugin in your DAW would require re-configuration on every single track, which can lead to confusion and most importantly may interfere with your creative process. AutoTonic has a global character to it instead, like your physical MIDI keyboard itself. It 'plugs' into your MIDI signal chain at the very first point of contact, right after your input signal conversion. Hence one might think that this is inconvenient, the virtual cabling is actually a one-time procedure, so once set up it remains active whenever you need it.
- DAW's add buffer and latency, by default Just think of other realtime applications in the audio domain, such as UAD's Unison technology or WAVE's Soundgrid/MultiRack solution -- such realtime processing tasks wouldn't be feasible as plugins hosted inside your DAW either, respectively would it not make much sense as the processing would be always dependent to the DAW's processing structure and resources, that's a bad habit that should be avoided with MIDI as well. There are DAW's that offer low latency modes and/or better internal structure's – but it's nothing that can be generalized.
- Plugins limitate you, by their nature Third and most importantly, with a plugin format you always have the limitation to a particular proprietary format (AU, VST, AAX etc,), whereas a computer-wide standalone processor not only provides maximum compatibility with any other MIDI software/hardware, it's also the better investment (just think of eventually switching to another DAW/platform one day) from a customer perspective …
You want to be connected to the sound, not your DAW
AutoTonic is meant to be a 'sandwich processor' that sits between your source (eg, MIDI keyboard) and the sound generator (eg, a DAW). That makes it rather feel like a final stage/module of your keyboard than a music theory effect or such, but more importantly, as said, it makes AutoTonic 'modular'. Every experienced MIDI enthusiast most likely will favor the advanced functionalities, sooner or later. From multichannel processing tasks to left hand/right hand splittings AutoTonic doesn't disappoint when it comes to flexibility. A look under the hood shows how these advanced routing options are vastly different from your average MIDI FX plugin …AutoTonic Block Diagram
… let's take for example the technique of 'Reharmonization', it's an advanced setup where existing MIDI is fed through AutoTonic, to apply harmonic changes afterwards, by hand or by the use of session markers from your DAW …
… since AutoTonic provides various routing methods, from MIDI channel routing (eg, Thru/Filter/Omni methods etc,) to MIDI port separations, a workflow like this can be thankfully achieved by multiple approaches, leaving no whishes open …Example 1, Solved by the use of 'MIDI ports' Example 2, Solved with the 'THRU' filter method
… use AutoTonic plain and simple OR go deep and realize your own routing concepts etc, – with complete freedom in modularity and functionality like this, your creativity is your only limitation!
Change yourself and not the world
I (the developer) use AutoTonic myself for my own musicianship since many years now, almost on a daily basis. If there were any advantages to convert the code to a proprietary plugin format (except marketing bullshit), believe me, I would have done it already. But there's no reason for it, really, it simply makes no sense from a technical standpoint. It's rather the whole MIDI setup itself which draws some people's attention off, I think, even though it can be a really rewarding and beneficial process to dive into MIDI routing and its associated technical territory, especially if you're a computer-based musician anyways!