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Audio Units (AU) are a system-level plug-in architecture provided by Core Audio in Mac OS X developed by Apple Computermarker. Audio Units are a set of application programming interface services provided by the operating system to generate, process, receive, or otherwise manipulate streams of audio in near-real-time with minimal latency. It may be thought of as Apple's architectural equivalent to the other popular plug-in format, Steinberg's VST.


Mac OS X comes with Audio Units allowing to timestretch an audio file, convert its sample rate and stream audio over a Local Area Network. It also comes with a collection of AU plug-ins such as EQ filters, dynamic processors, delay, reverb, and a Soundbank Synthesizer Instrument.

AU are used by Apple applications such as GarageBand, Soundtrack Pro, Logic Express, Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, and most 3rd party audio software developed for Mac OS X such as Ardour.

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