AIR Users Blog

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The AIR Users Blog was a blog about AIR (Advanced Instrument Research) plug-ins for Pro Tools. It was started in October 2008 by Russ Hughes, a musician based in London, United Kingdom. It was the focal point of a community of around 50,000 users a month. It is independent and has no official links with Avid Technology, the owners of the software.

On September 25, 2010 it was announced that a new site the Pro Tools Expert would start, working in tandem to better reflect the changes at both Avid and on the blog.


In August 2005, Avid acquired the German company Wizoo, developers of software based virtual instruments. They further announced the creation of AIR (Advanced Instrument Research) a strategic development which meant Avid would be developing virtual instruments and plug-ins for use in Pro Tools. These plug-ins include both software based effects using the RTAS format and software based instruments (Virtual Instruments).


The blog is a Non-profit organization support group which has a number of aims:

  • To offer training to users of AIR and Pro Tools.
  • To offer sounds and other resources
  • To offer it all for FREE forever

The training is composed of short HD Videos showing the user how to use a certain aspect of the software. To date there have been 80 videos created for this purpose.[1]

The sounds are patches for use in Structure and to date these FREE instrument patches number over 500. The sounds are created by sampling real instruments and then modified to improve the user's experience.[2]

More recently an initiative called the Patchbay has been started which is a public ftp where users can share their own sounds and effects for use in their Pro Tools sessions.


It is understood that the blog was born as a response to the growing dissatisfaction of AIR users who felt that they were not being supported by AVID, the software manufacturer. Hughes responded by saying he would start a blog to support users [3] Since that time the blog has grown rapidly and now has around 400,00 visits per month.[4] The blog has visitors from around the world.

The Author[edit]

Russ Hughes is a London based TV producer and musician. His daytime job is producing 3D/VFX for TV commercials and broadcasters, working for some of the biggest brands in the world. He has expertise in marketing, PR and also new media and is highly respected in the sector.[5]

It is understood that Hughes spends around 40 hours a week of his spare time working on blog contributions. The influence of the blog has grown to such an extent that he is now considered to be a leading authority on the software and is invited to speak and teach on it.[6] [7]

In 2012 the AIR Users Blog became the Pro Tools Expert blog to better reflect the expanded remit of supporting Pro Tools Users. It is the largest independent Pro Tools blog in the world.

Russ has done an amazing job of creating and galvanizing a user community for AIR plug-ins through enthusiasm, hard work and a great vision. He has incredible energy and is full of amazing ideas about how to build a tribe, and also how to sustain it. He has real talent and passion for music creation and I hope he can carry on his great work for many years to come.

— David Gould, Digidesign UK Product Specialist, Avid Technology, July 28, 2009

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "AIR Users Blog: 'Video Index'". Retrieved 26 July 2009. 
  2. ^ "AIR Users Blog: 'Structure Patch List Index'". Retrieved 26 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "DUC:AIR Blog?: '". Retrieved 17 Nov 2008. 
  4. ^ "Statcounter: 'Public report of stats for the AIR Users Blog'". Retrieved 14 July 2009. 
  5. ^ Russ Hughes LinkedIn Profile
  6. ^ "Music Radar: 'Avid Presentations Confirmed for LIMS 2009'". Archived from the original on 2010-07-17. Retrieved 5 Jun 2009. 
  7. ^ "Corner House Blog: 'Russ Hughes Interview'". Retrieved 25 May 2009.