Many in the audio industry breathed a sigh of relief this week after software company Waves dropped plans to sell its audio plugin library exclusively on a subscription basis. The subscription offers Waves Essential for $14.99/month and Waves Ultimate for $24.99/month and was introduced as a permanent alternative to purchasing perpetual licenses for a single product. Now Waves art director and co-founder Meir Shashua says these options will be back "as soon as possible."
In the first week after the initial Waves Creative Access subscription announcement, the move shocked many music producers and sound engineers who had already paid subscriptions to a range of creative software such as Avid Pro Tools, Adobe Creative Suite, UAD The Spark. Universal audio and several audio libraries. .
Waves now says on its website that users who "already have perpetual licenses" will be able to upgrade their plugins again and get a second license through the Waves upgrade plan, just like before. In conjunction with the membership program and independently of it.
While users have benefited, it is unknown how long Waves will hold the perpetual license. The company has been hacking its software for years, and the Waves plugin has become one of the most popular programs for the home audio engineer. The Waves subscription model seemed inevitable, as well-known audio software makers already offer subscriptions to production software libraries to generate higher recurring revenue and prevent piracy. Adobe, for example, says it has significantly reduced the number of pirated products for its Creative Suite and annual licenses such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro.
Despite the backlash, some users may find the Waves Creative Access subscription worthwhile; existing users who update their plugins annually with the Waves Upgrade Plan (which adds support for digital audio workstations and modern playback systems) may be terminated. save money every year because the $149 base package costs as much as two or three plugin updates a year.
To enable new or regular users to pay for a subscription to over 100 audio plugins, Waves also introduced StudioVerse, a community plugin strings library that currently consists of custom plugin presets and popular plugin combinations. in is the protégé of famous music producers such as Chris Lord Alge, Mane Marroquin and Young Guru. Waves subscribers will be able to use the AI in the StudioVerse plugin in their DAW to analyze their mixes and suggest plugin lines to shape the sound of their music. This feature is only available with a Waves Creative Access subscription.
By now, audio engineers working at Waves are confident in choosing the right software package for their job, whether it's a plug-in or two plug-ins or a monthly library subscription. As such, it may be the most accessible form a company has ever had (legally speaking).