UPDATE 3/29/23: Seems Waves has had a change of heart. Perpetual licenses will still exist. That was a fast turnaround.
Important update from Waves: Perpetual licenses and updates will be back alongside subscriptions – See more here: https://t.co/nDCFfjQ3GM pic.twitter.com/yZr5ezGB3R
— Waves Audio (@WavesAudioLtd) March 29, 2023
Yet another quality post-production tools company is going all in on the subscription model as Waves audio goes subscription with Waves Creative Access.
Introducing Waves Creative Access 🙌
The new exclusive way to get Waves plugins.
All Waves plugins, available in a click, always up to date, always adding the latest releases to your sessions—all in one easy subscription.
𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐑𝐓 𝟕 𝐃𝐀𝐘𝐒 𝐅𝐑𝐄𝐄: https://t.co/j8lUsGfP33 pic.twitter.com/kionLegWYM
— Waves Audio (@WavesAudioLtd) March 26, 2023
If you’re not familiar with Waves you’re missing out on some of the best audio mixing plug-ins out there and while they are stalwarts of the audio industry, many video editors sing their praises as their tools can be accessed in pretty much all NLEs. I’ve used both the Renaissance Compressor and Vocal Rider for years as they make fast work of a lot of audio mixing and they work really well. While their somewhat draconian licensing has often been a pain when it comes to moving between machines the company has always offered support when needed and the tools work really well.
But like many other software companies, it would seem Waves has decided the subscription-only business model is the way of the future. And the company seems to have announced this out of the blue, much to the surprise of many of its customers.
waves is officially the worst plugin company in existence, aint no way we paying a subscription without owning the shit
— Acid Sol (@acidsolmusic) March 27, 2023
Waves is moving away from perpetual licensing of their products and towards a subscription only model.
In other news, I am moving away from Waves. pic.twitter.com/D4hZSPFmsf
— Ian Aeillo (Italian) (@IanAeillo) March 26, 2023
And this news happened on a day when many might not take notice.
I feel like Waves dropping business model upheaval news on a Sunday means someone totally knows how the news is going to go over
— Kevin Senzaki (@KevinSenzaki) March 26, 2023
Cost-wise, there are two different plans: Wave Essential for $15 / month with 110 plug-ins and Waves Ultimate for $25 / month with over 220 plug-ins. There is a two month break if you pay for the full year and both plans include updates and plug-ins added on a regular basis. Though you have to assume Waves Ultimate will get more added than the Essential.
If you’re a Waves user then the FAQ is something you’ll want to read. It’s good to hear my two Waves plug-ins will continue to work but no more updates without the subscription.
From the FAQ:
Yes, as of March 27, 2023, Waves Creative Access subscription are the only way to get Waves plugins. Of course, if you purchased plugins previously, you continue to own them (at the latest version you had prior to the launch of Waves Creative Access).
You continue to own them, at the latest version you bought or updated to prior to the launch of Waves Creative Access.
You can continue to use your plugin/bundle licenses and software, on all systems and host applications that are compatible with the versions you own.
This Twitter thread goes into a lot of detail and discussion about this move to subscription for Waves so if you’re a customer who is disappointed by this move, dig deep into this one:
Waves has announced that you can pay a subscription to own all of the plugins on their website.
But they've removed the ability for anyone to buy licenses to any plugins. So there isn't an option to actually purchase the software anymore. On top of that, the only way to—
— 🎠🏳️🌈 Canni Trout 💫🐠 (@VyletPony) March 27, 2023
And I have to say that as one who only uses a few third-party audio plug-ins, these tweets expresses my thoughts pretty well:
It's better investing on a more focused/small collection of plugins that you are willing to learn how to use very well so you can solve most problems with them instead of spending a lot of money on plugins that you probably won't end up using anyway
— 💮Gabriel Pulcinelli💮 (@gabrpulcinelli) March 26, 2023
Right I’m going to say this only once then you can do whatever. You don’t need a subscription that gives you 6000 plugins. You need an Eq, a couple compressors, a nice reverb, delay and a saturator and learn that shit in depth. Yes I’m pissed off with Waves but the point stands.
— TaiChi Method (@taichi_method) March 26, 2023
And honestly, I’ve thought the same about the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription as well.
I definitely think the Waves Creative Acess program isn’t really for video editors who don’t spend near the time or money on audio plug-ins that audio mixers and engineers do. Perhaps they can justify yet another subscription cost, but not me.
Does anyone know of a good alternative to Vocal Rider?
Filmmakers go-to destination for pre-production, production & post production equipment!Shop Now