Frequently Asked Questions

Downloads, Installation and Activations

Why can't I use plugins from two different accounts at the same time?

The plugin licensor will only let you be logged into one account at a time. However, there is a workaround so you can use plugins from two accounts at the same time. You can just authorize a USB drive for one of the two accounts. Then one of the accounts can be authorized on the computer like normal, and then you can put in the usb drive to use the other account.  You can also authorize two usb drives and keep both of them in your computer while using the plugins. 

If you would prefer to merge all the licenses from both accounts into a single account, please contact Customer Support.

I’m wasting my machine authorizations because the system is counting the same computer twice

There are certain settings changes you can make on Windows (like bios settings) that will change your machine ID. So if you find that your PA plugins don't recognize your computer after you make changes, please consider keeping at least one of your three authorizations on a flash drive. Then you can freely change any settings or even use different computers without worry of wasting your authorizations or exceeding the deletion limit. Here's how to do that:

Make sure your usb drive is in your computer. Then, open one of your plugins in ProTools (or any host) and click the key icon on the bottom right side of the plugin window. An authorization window will pop up. Under the text "Select the device you would like to activate" there is a pulldown menu. Click it and select your USB drive. Make sure the "Activate all my licenses" checkbox is checked. Then click "I'm Online" and enter your login info, and click “Activate.” Now your USB drive is authorized and can be used on any computer.

I need help migrating to a new computer.

The process of moving your authorizations to a new computer is very simple. Just log into our website and go to Manage Devices. You will see your old computer listed there. Just click the "Deactivate" button next to your computer's name. Then go to Manage Registered Plugins and you will see a list of all your plugins, and if you click on them, you'll see download links. Download and run the installers for all your plugins. Then, the next time you use a plugin, you will be prompted to enter your login info. When you enter your info, be sure that "Activate all my plugins" is selected. After you enter your info, your plugins will be authorized on your new computer.

Do I lose my licenses when I reformat/crash?

You can always reclaim a license from an unused computer. In fact, it's not even possible to lose an authorization with our licensing system, because your licenses are stored, along with your machine ID, on our servers. That means you don't actually need to have access to a machine in order to reclaim its license.

You can deactivate an unused machine on the plugin-alliance.com website. Just login to your account and go to Manage Devices. You will see a list of your activated devices, with a “Deactivate” button next to each one.

Our licensing system will not allow you to deactivate more than seven unique machines, so don’t delete a machine if you don’t need to.  For example, you generally don't need to delete a machine when you reformat your hard drive. Our servers will still be able to recognize that you’re using the same computer, so you can reauthorize it without wasting an authorization.  Also, please keep in mind that if the same machine is deactivated more than once, it will not be counted again.

Can I reclaim an authorization from a machine I’m no longer using?

When you purchase a PA plugin, you are allowed to authorize that plugin on as many as three different machines.  If  you stop using one of those machines, you can deactivate it on the plugin-alliance.com website. Just log into your account and go to Manage Devices. You will see a list of your activated devices, with a “Deactivate” button next to each one.

Our licensing system will not allow you to deactivate more than seven unique machines, so don’t delete a machine if you don’t need to.  For example, you generally don't need to delete a machine when you reformat your hard drive. Our servers will still be able to recognize that you’re using the same computer, so you can reauthorize it without wasting an authorization.  Also, please keep in mind that if the same machine is deactivated more than once, it will not be counted again.

How do I uninstall a plugin on Windows?

Go to one or all of these directory locations on your desktop:

C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VstPlugins

C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3\

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Avid\Audio\Plug-Ins

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Digidesign\DAE\Plug-Ins 

Then, in each folder, find the plugin that you want to uninstall, and move it to the Trash.

Are SPL EQ Rangers Vol. 1 presets compatible with EQ Ranger Plus? Can I replace the old version with the new in all my older sessions?

EQ Rangers Vol. 1 and EQ Ranger Plus are different plugins with different sets of parameters, so their presets are not compatible. If you have a session populated with EQ Rangers Vol. 1, you will need to keep an installation of the older version on any system in which that session will be opened. If you want to replace the old version completely with the new, you will have to manually replicate your settings on the updated plugin. 

Can I get my EQ Ranger Plus upgrade for free, since I bought the older plugin so recently?

The $49 upgrade applies to all EQ Rangers Vol. 1 owners, regardless of the purchase date. Please keep in mind that the EQ Ranger Plus is a wholly separate plugin, and if you do purchase a $49 upgrade, you'll still get to keep your legacy license.

Is there an expiration date on the special upgrade price for the bx_digital V3 / Transient Designer Plus / EQ Ranger Plus?

We have not set an expiration date for these upgrade offers, so they will not expire in the foreseeable future.  If we do end these offers at some point in the future, we will give ample warning on our website and newsletter.

I have a UAD version of Brainworx bx_digital V2. Am I eligible for an upgrade?

You can crossgrade from UAD to the native version of bx_digital V3 for $49 per license, and we will update your licenses to the new versions for free!

I have a UAD version the SPL Transient Designer. Am I eligible for an upgrade to the native Transient Designer Plus?

The UAD Transient Designer is a UA product and was not developed by Brainworx, so no crossgrade or upgrade is available.

Are bx_digital V2 presets compatible with V3? Can I replace V2 with V3 in all my older sessions?

bx_digital V2 and V3 are different plugins with different parameters, so their presets are not compatible. If you have a session populated with bx_digital V2, you will need to keep an installation of V2 on any system in which that session will be opened. If you want to replace V2 completely with V3, you will have to manually replicate your settings on the updated plugin.

Are SPL Transient Designer presets compatible with Transient Designer Plus? Can I replace the old version with the new in all my older sessions?

Transient Designer and Transient Designer Plus are different plugins with different parameters, so their presets are not compatible. If you have a session populated with Transient Designer, you will need to keep an installation of the older version on any system in which that session will be opened. If you want to replace the old version completely with the new, you will have to manually replicate your settings on the updated plugin.

Can I use any AAX DSP 64-bit plugin on my S3L-X or S6L?

While AAX DSP 64-bit is the correct format for running plugins on these systems, additional testing is usually required to ensure full compatibility with VENUE | AAX. We do not officially support the use of untested plugins on the S3L-X or S6L; for a full list of VENUE | AAX compatible plugins, please see the Plugin Format Chart.

What is the best way to authorize plugins on a VENUE | AAX console?

You can either directly authorize your VENUE | AAX console, or a removable USB drive. We recommend online USB activation for most cases, as this will provide a portable solution for activating plugins with your licenses on any console, whether it is your personal console or that of a third party. Your activated USB stick will still be able to hold other content, such as installers, show files and audio tracks. For more information, please see the VENUE Activation Manual.

Do I have to buy additional licenses to use the plugins in my VENUE | AAX Bundle on a native system?

All Plugin Alliance licenses are valid for all available formats; any time you purchase a license for any product, you are able to use that license for any format offered by that product.

Where do I find installers for native versions of the plugins in my VENUE | AAX bundle?

You can find the installers either on the product page for each respective product, or in your Account under Manage Registered Plugins.

Where is the installer for the ChannelX?

There is no individual installer for the ChannelX.  This is because the ChannelX comes only as part of a bundle.  So you can use the 100% Lindell Bundle or the ChannelX Bundle installers if you’d like to install the ChannelX.

What formats do your plugins support?

All plugins work with Mac & Windows PCs. All plugins support AAX Native, VST2, VST3, and AU. Some plugins support AAX DSP and/or VENUE systems as well. For a full list of plugins and their formats, visit the Plugin Format Chart.

Do your plugins still support RTAS/TDM?

RTAS and TDM formats have been dropped from all current installers as of the All Bundle 4.0 release January 29th, 2015. For older plugins that used to support these formats, you can contact Tech Support for a download link to the appropriate installer(s).

If I own a license for a legacy product that is no longer sold on the website (for example, bx_digital V2), where can I download an installer?

If you own a legacy license, you will find an installer for your legacy plugin in the Manage Registered Plugins page of your account.

Can I continue to use my SPL Transient Designer Plus, EQ Ranger Plus or Brainworx bx_digital V3 plugin license after upgrading to a newer version?

We will continue to support these products for a reasonable length of time, during which the installers can be downloaded from your account under Manage Registered Plugins, for as long as you own a license. 

Can I transfer my legacy licenses after upgrading to a newer version of the product?

If you upgrade from a legacy version of a product (for example, bx_digital V2), you may not transfer that legacy license after having done so. Legacy licenses may not be sold or transferred after an upgrade has taken place as the upgrade pricing is based on being an owner of a legacy version.

Can I get my bx_digital V3 upgrade for free, since I bought the V2 plugin so recently?

The $49 upgrade applies to all bx_digital V2 owners, regardless of the purchase date. Please keep in mind that the V3 is a wholly separate plugin, and if you do purchase a $49 upgrade, you'll still get to keep your V2 license.

I bought a new ALLIANCE plugin. How do I activate / authorize it?

You can authorize it ONLINE (best! easiest!) or OFFLINE.
For detailed info please check our activation manual.
ONLINE AUTHORIZATION: (Do THIS! It´s easy and fast!)
Just enter your registered email address and your password in the plugin window when asked for it, the rest will be done automatically through your internet connection.

OFFLINE AUTHORIZATION: (Authorize ONLINE if possible; see above)
If your workstation computer is offline, please copy the MACHINE ID to a removable storage device for transfer to another computer.
You can then use any online computer to login to your Plugin Alliance account goto "View & Manage Registered Plugins" and activate your new plugin using the copied MACHINE ID file from your offline workstation. Download your new license file (which now includes the new license) and copy it to your workstation computer using your removable storage device.
You can authorize each plugin for up to three computers, no matter how you authorize them!

For further details on activation/authorization please see our activation manual.

Where can I find the license file in my file system?

Alliance Plugins are activated via a file called ‘pa.license’. The file is specific to the user account on both Mac OS and Windows.

On Mac OS X, the file is located in a folder named "Plugin Alliance" under ~/Library/Application Support. ‘~’ points to your user directory. To open your user library folder, in the Finder, select the Go menu and press the Option key. Your Library will appear and you can open it and navigate to Application Support, then Plugin Alliance.

On Windows, the file is located in a folder named "Plugin Alliance" in your APPDATA folder. This folder's location changes depending on your user account name and Windows version. To find out the location of your APPDATA folder, do the following: Press ‘Windows Key’ + R , type cmd and then hit enter - a command line window will pop up. Type ‘set APPDATA’ . This will reveal the APPDATA location in your file system.

Can I use the plugins on several computers?

Yes.
You can authorize up to three computers simultaneously and work on all of them at the same time if needed.
Please check or activation manual for further details.

I downloaded an installer and I got an error message when I unzipped it. What do I do?

Most likely the installer was corrupted in some way during the download.
Please delete the erroneous copy from your computer, re-download the installer from our web site and try again. You may need to troubleshoot your internet connection.

My plugins no longer appear under their company name in my DAW. What happened?

All plugins from Plugin Alliance now appear under the same company string: "Plugin Alliance". You will no longer find separate categories for each company in your plugin folder, as they are now easily grouped under "Plugin Alliance" in hosts like Pro Tools. These changes have been applied to all products on plugin-alliance.com.

This also results in changes for the folders that store the plugin, the manual and the presets, depending on the plugin format. The installers should make this process as seamless and easy as possible.

On Windows, please uninstall any versions earlier than Oct 31, 2012 before installing new versions.

On Mac, there is no need to delete or uninstall any old versions before installing new versions.

If you have custom presets in VST(3) or AU, the installer will take care of preserving these in order to still use them with the new plugins. Custom presets in AAX, TDM and RTAS will be preserved as is.

Users of elysia or Vertigo plugins may experience difficulties accessing old presets. In these cases, you can find old versions of the plugins in View and Manage Plugins.
Wavelab 7 currently has an issue restoring VST3 plugins that have a company name string change. This is supposed to be fixed with Wavelab 8. As a workaround, you can save .vstpreset files and load them with current versions.

I need my plugins to run on more than 3 computers. How can I do that?

Two possible answers:
If you regularly need to use your plugins on ALTERNATING computers / live consoles, we propose you use our USB STICK ACTIVATION. You may have the license file and your installers on one standard USB stick which you may use to activate computers / live consoles "on the fly". For further details on activation, see our activation manual.

If you need more than 3 computers to be activated at the same time we offer multi-license updates; please check our online offers or contact Sales Support and let us know how many authorizations you will need.
Schools and universities: we offer EDU pricing for higher quantities of licenses. Please contact Sales Support for more information.

How do I uninstall a plugin on Mac OS X?

Go to the Finder, click on the "Go" menu, click on "Go to folder..." and paste in one or all of these file paths:

/Library/Application Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-Ins
/Library/Application Support/Digidesign/Plug-Ins
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3
/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST

Then, in each folder, find the plugin that you want to uninstall, and move it to the Trash.

Plugin Alliance Financing

What determines whether or not a bundle is available for financing?

Financing is only available for Curated Bundles. No financing is available for Custom Bundles.

What determines whether a Curated Bundle has 6 month or 12 month financing?

If the Curated Bundle price is $1,000 or more, 12 month financing is offered
If the Curated Bundle price is more than $500 but less than $1,000, 6 month financing is offered
If the Curated Bundle is price is less than $500 no financing is offered.

How does my “personal price” on Curated Bundles affect the financing offered?

Financing is offered based on the price charged for the Curated Bundle, so if your personal price is below $500, there is no financing offered. If it’s between $500 and $1,000, then 6 month financing is offered and if it’s over $1,000 then 12 month financing is offered.

How does financing (6 or 12 months same as cash) work?

Each time you make an additional payment, you are issued a new 30-day license.
When you make the final payment, your licenses will be turned into unlimited "full licenses" automatically.

Can I pay off my balance early with no penalty?

At any time during the installment period you can pay off the remaining balance and receive full licenses. There is no penalty or interest charged for early payment.

What happens if I miss a payment?

If you fail to make a payment on time, your licenses will be de-activated and you won’t be able to use the plugins.
After that, if you do make a payment, your licenses will be re-activated for 30 days from the date you make the payment.

How late can I be on a payment? How many payments can I miss?

While your account must be current to use the plugins, you do have some extra time where the payments you’ve already made will be credited towards your outstanding balance.
If you select 6 month financing you have a total of 8 months to pay in full.
If you select 12 month financing you have a total of 15 months to pay in full.

What happens if I don’t pay off the balance in full within the grace period?

For 6 month financing, you have 8 months to pay in full. For 12 month financing, you have 15 months to pay in full. After this point, the sale effectively becomes a rental. Your licenses will be deactivated and you will no longer be able to use the payments you’ve made as credit towards the purchase.

Pricing and Transfers

I don’t currently own Dent or Indent, but I want both. Will I have to pay full price for both of them?

Don’t worry – if you want both plugins, you can just purchase Dent, which is the more feature-rich of the two. When you purchase Dent, you will automatically receive a complementary license for Indent.

I was trying to buy a plugin that’s advertised for $100, but during checkout the price suddenly changed to $119, as VAT was added. Why and what is that?

All European countries charge VAT (Value Added Taxes) on digital download sales, just like you pay VAT when you buy something in a local store. We have to collect these taxes and forward them to the tax authorities of the respective EU country. It’s the law, and we have to comply with it.

Why am I now required to pay VAT taxes when I wasn’t before?

As of January 2015, all companies selling products into the EU are required to charge VAT for online sales of downloadable software based on the customer’s location, rather than the seller’s location. To comply with this new regulation Plugin Alliance must now collect VAT at the customer’s local VAT rate in each of the 28 nations of the EU.

I’m a business and I have a valid VAT ID. How do I avoid paying VAT?

Just enter your valid VAT ID into the VAT ID field during checkout. After the system verifies that the ID is valid, VAT will be deducted from your invoice.

Will the VAT amount show up separately on my invoice?

Yes, it will show the country, percentage and amount of VAT charged after the subtotal of your purchase.

I entered my VAT ID but it was rejected. What do I do now?

Please check to make sure you entered your valid VAT ID correctly. If your VAT ID is correct, please make sure you’re using a VAT ID that matches the country info you submitted to your payment method (Credit Card company or PayPal).

The web site is displaying a different country and VAT rate from the one I live in during checkout. What should I do?

Once you’re logged in to your Plugin Alliance account, the VAT country and rate will change to match the country you’ve selected in your Plugin Alliance account. You can change this by clicking on Update Profile.

I’m not living in the country my credit card is registered to and I can’t check out. What do I do?

Please make sure the billing address in your Plugin Alliance account matches the country info you submitted to your payment method (Credit Card company or PayPal).

Do the product prices on the Plugin Alliance web site include VAT?

All prices on Plugin Alliance product pages and the store exclude VAT, they are net prices. If you are in an EU country which charges VAT, the appropriate VAT amount will be added to your invoice during checkout.

Plugin Alliance prices are in US Dollars, what conversion rate do you use?

Your payment in US dollars will be converted to your local currency by your credit card company and will appear on your statement in your local currency. You can find the most recent conversion rates for all currencies online at http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/

Please note that your credit card provider may use slightly different exchange rates.

Can I pay in EURO, or any other currency?

We are an American company and our prices are calculated and displayed in US Dollars ($) only. When you pay in our online shop though and if you live outside the USA, your credit card provider will charge you in your local currency automatically, based on the actual exchange rate from the date of your purchase. You can find the most recent conversion rates for all currencies online at http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/

Please note that your credit card provider may use slightly different exchange rates.

Do you offer cross grades for UAD customers?

We offer $49 cross grades for products that are available on UAD and Plugin Alliance. Please contact Sales Support and be ready to provide us with a screenshot of your UA customer account with the plugin you're interested in receiving a cross grade in it.

Can I get a discount or a free plugin because I have mixed a #1 hit? (or because I work on huge projects/am famous etc.)

We get quite a few sales support requests like this...

First of all, congrats on the hit! Seriously, that is cool, and we know how much work and talent it requires.
Sorry, but we don´t send voucher codes or free plugins simply "because you mixed a hit". In fact, most of our users work on serious projects, run studios, play in  bands, etc. We know it´s expensive to build a studio, even if it´s nowhere near as expensive as it used to be some years ago.

But making software and maintaining compatibility for it over years takes a lot of effort, time & money. We have to charge for the products we have to offer.

We do send out voucher codes for people who upgrade from TC PowerCore versions of some of our plugins for certain updates, online promotions, etc., but when we do this we announce the promotions and to whom they will apply.

Also, we do have our Custom Bundle Discounts in place, so you get discounts whenever you buy more than 1 plugin in our store. If you buy 8 or more plugins we´ll give you 50% off, that´s as much of a discount as that which most companies will give to VIP's.

We do it because, to us, everybody who buys 8 or more plugins is a VIP ;-)

Can I sell my Plugin Alliance plugins?

Yes, you are permitted to resell your PA plugin licenses. Once you have found a buyer, please make sure the buyer has created a PA account. Also make sure he or she is aware that there is a $20 per plugin license transfer fee (capped at $50), in addition to whatever you are charging for your licenses.  Then, you can contact PA Sales Support and provide us with the following information:
 
• The email of the account holding the licenses
• The email of the account to receive the licenses
• The licenses to be transferred
 
We will inform you once we’ve made the transfer, and then you can inform the buyer. The new owner can then pay the license transfer fee on the Manage Registered Plugins page.
 
We do have certain restrictions regarding plugin resale. We do not allow users to sell upgraded plugins separately from their earlier versions (for example, you can'tsell your v2 license while keeping your v3 license). We also don't allow users to sell plugins that we gave to them for free (for example, in the Indent giveaway). And finally the Lindell ChannelX plugin can’t be separated from its individual component plugins (the 6X-500, 7X-500, and PEX-500) because it’s a special container plugin that’s only meant for owners of all three constituent parts.

Do you offer discounts?

We offer discounts and promotions through user accounts from time to time. Please create an account and sign up for our newsletter to receive information about sales or other special events.

We also offer Custom Bundle Discounts when you curate your own bundle with several plugins. Any second plugin you add to your purchase will get you a 20% discount, and you receive an additional 5% off for every plugin after that – up to 50% off the retail value of your purchase!

Using discounts like these is a great way to save yourself some cash.

For further inquiries on special sales (group buys, EDU pricing for schools, etc.) please contact Sales Support.

Free Trials

Do I need to register to demo your plugins?

The installers will download without the need to register, but an account is required in order to authorize a 14-day trial period for each plugin you wish to demo.

All that is required to create an account is your full name and email address (which is used to login), and don’t worry, we promise to keep your information private and away from the grubby hands of the internet.

Do you offer demos?

Absolutely.
Demos are free, and they run for 14 days from the time of activation as a fully functional plugin. You can automate the plugins, save settings, render tracks, etc.

Simply register for an account (if you have not already done so), download the installers and activate the demo when you launch a plugin for the first time.

How do demo activations work?

Just open a free account, download the installer, and start the plugin in your DAW (ProTools, Cubase, Logic etc.). When you first open a new plugin, you will see an activation screen. Enter your email address and password, just as though you were logging into our site, and that´s it.

Please check our activation manual for further details.
All demos and licenses are activated with one license file. The easiest way to activate them is online, where the license file is copied directly onto your system; the whole process takes about three seconds. Alternatively, you can download a license file onto a separate computer with an internet connection, then transfer the file to an offline studio computer as needed.

For more on activation, please see the activation manual.

General Information

Can I use my PA plugins on Mac OS X Snow Leopard/Lion?

Plugin Alliance has begun phasing out its support for OS X 10.6 and 10.7 (Snow Leopard and Lion).  Currently, there are five new PA plugins that do not support these platforms, which means that all of our currently released plugins still support 10.6 and 10.7 except these five

  • Brainworx bx_blackdist2
  • Brainworx bx_metal2
  • Brainworx bx_rockrack V3
  • Brainworx bx_rockrack V3 Player
  • Brainworx bx_rooMS

 

As we continue to release new plugins and update our existing plugins, the number of titles in our plugin library that support OS X 10.6/10.7 will decrease, and soon we will entirely eliminate our support for these legacy operating systems.  If you want to continue using your PA plugins in 10.6 and 10.7, you may find that they are still usable, but we can’t guarantee it.  PA recommends that Mac users update to 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or higher, but if this is not a viable option for you, you can contact our Support team and request legacy installers from before Fall 2016.

What can I do if I already updated to macOS Sierra?

Users who work with the Audio Unit format, primarily in Logic Pro, are most affected by the incompatibility. Certain AU users that have had similar problems with other plugin manufacturers in the past discovered potential workarounds that can be found by searching the online Apple forums.

As of July 12th, 2016 accusonus is no longer a Plugin Alliance company and their products will no longer be available through the Plugin Alliance web site. If you own a license for an accusonus product, you should have received an email with instructions on how to proceed. If you haven’t, please contact Plugin Alliance Sales Support.

What will happen to my drumatom/ERA-D license, now that accusonus is no longer a part of Plugin Alliance?

If you purchased an accusonus product before their departure from PA, you will be able to continue using the final PA version without interruption. However, we strongly recommend that you claim your updated accusonus license, so you’ll have full access to upgrades and support for your software. If you did not opt out of their mailing list, you should have received an email from accusonus on how to proceed. If you haven’t, please contact Plugin Alliance Sales support

Do you support OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)?

Yes, all Plugin Alliance software fully supports El Capitan.

Are your plugins supported on Windows 10?

Yes, all Plugin Alliance products as of All Bundle V4.1 are tested and supported on Windows 10. Please be sure to keep your plugins up to date, and see the Known Issues section of the Support Page for any confirmed problems that may affect your platform.

Is the PLUGIN ALLIANCE authorized officially by the companies it represents?

YES. As you can see on the individual company websites, the PLUGIN ALLIANCE is the exclusive place to try and buy their plugins, download installers and receive tech support.

What is the Plugin Alliance?

We have started the Alliance to offer some of the best audio plugins available under one unified standard that does not require any hardware dongle or DSP card.

Easy license management, hassle-free installation, great sound and reliability. One license file for all your plugins, that´s it.

Our goal was to create ONE big “development framework” which hosts ALL of the plugins available on plugin-alliance.com and make sure that these plugins are and stay compatible with all major hosts.
This means: we maintain all of the plugins in one centralized development system (our 'framework') and if there are needs for changes we can apply them to ALL the plugins at once and make sure they will all run smoothly again in future versions.

Which companies are members of the Plugin Alliance?

Please stay updated with our Product section and the "Coming soon" section.
All brands behind the plugins displayed there are officially “Members” and have agreed to offer their plugins as a part of the Plugin Alliance system for maximum stability and ease of use.

Who is behind the Plugin Alliance?

PLUGIN ALLIANCE, LLC was founded by Dirk Ulrich. Dirk is also the owner / CEO of Brainworx.
Brainworx is responsible for developing some (but not all) of the plugins you can get from the plugin-alliance.com website.

Support and Troubleshooting

Why is ProTools giving a message that the PA plugins are not valid?

ProTools makes you authorize our plugins as soon as you launch ProTools, instead of waiting until you actually use the plugin in a session, like other DAWs.  Any time our authorization process doesn't complete at startup, you'll get that "not a valid plugin" message.  Don’t worry – all our plugins are indeed valid; just be sure to click "I'm online" and enter your login info when the activation prompt comes up during startup.  Then the plugins will load properly.

I installed a plugin, but it won’t appear in my DAW

The most common cause of this problem is a mono/stereo mismatch.  If you’re in ProTools and you’re inserting a mono effect (like an Eq) on to a stereo track, be sure to look in the “multi-mono plug-in” category, instead of the “multichannel plug-in” category.  Also, in many common DAWs, if you’re using a plugin that is exclusively for processing a stereo signal (like the bx_shredspread), you won’t find it in the plugin list on a mono track. 

If you’re on Windows, be sure you picked the right installer (32 or 64 bit).  The plugin’s bit architecture has to match that of your DAW, which is not necessarily the same as that of your OS.  If you’re not sure which one is supported on your DAW, just install both of them. 

Also, please be aware that Plugin Alliance dropped support for RTAS this year, so our current plugin versions won’t work in ProTools 9 or earlier.  If you can upgrade to a new version of ProTools, you can contact support, and we may be able to provide an earlier version that included RTAS support.  Also, if you’re using ProTools 10, be sure you have the latest update, which is ProTools 10.3.10.

The licensor is behaving strangely

On rare occasions, the PA license file can become corrupt.  If you think this may have happened to you, you can delete your license file.  This will not cause you to lose your licenses.  It will just cause the plugin licensor to run the next time you use your plugins, and then it will regenerate your license file.  To find your license file on Mac OS X, go to the Finderand click on Go > Go to Folder, and enter the following file path, exactly as written below:

~/Library/Application Support/

Or, on Windows, go to this file path:

%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\ 

Either way, you can then look through the resulting directory and the folder named “Plugin Alliance” and throw it away.

If the activation server doesn’t seem to recognize that you have a paid license for a plugin, please first check to be certain that you installed the right plugin.  Some of our plugins look similar and have similar names (like the bx_opto and the bx_opto pedal).  If you are certain you have the right plugin, next check to see if you inadvertently created a second Plugin Alliance account.  The activation server will report that you don’t have a license if you don’t enter the same login credentials you used when you purchased your license.

Finally, if none of that helps, you can remove the license file from your hard drive.  Don’t worry, this won’t cause you to lose an activation, or change your deletion count.  It will just force the plugin to recheck our servers, and then generate a new license file.  To find your license file on Mac OS X, just go to the Finder, click on the "Go" menu, click on "Go to folder..." and then paste in this file path, exactly as it appears below:

~/Library/Application Support/

Or if you’re on Windows, go to this file path:C:\Users\scstudio\AppData\Roaming\

Either way, look through this directory to find the folder named “Plugin Alliance” and then throw it away.  Then try again to authorize your plugin.

When I try to authorize, it says “Activation server did not respond.”

If you get the message “Activation server did not respond” when authorizing your plugin, it might help to just try again at a different time of day, as our servers sometimes get particularly high traffic.  Also, make sure that you don’t have any apps running in the background that block certain internet connections.  If this doesn’t help, you can just do the "offline authorization" procedure instead. Here are instructions:

If the activation window isn't already open, click on the key icon on the lower right corner of the window. Next click the "I'm offline" button, and then click "Save to file" to save your machine ID. Then open a web browser, go to Manage Devices, click "choose file," and upload that machine ID file that you just saved. Click "activate." Then click "Download license file" and you'll get a file named "pa.license." Go back to drumatom2 and click on the "open license" button in the plugin window, and select the license file you just downloaded. Then click "activate."

A dialog box is popping up every time I launch ProTools.

ProTools makes users authorize our plugins as soon as you launch it, instead of waiting until you actually use the plugin in a session, like other DAWs. You should be able to just click “I’m online” or “I’m offline” and follow the instructions in the Activation Manual to authorize your plugin, and then that prompt will stop appearing.  As long as “Activate all my licenses” is selected, you’ll only have to do this once for all the PA plugins that are installed.  But if you click “Quit” you’ll have to go through each individual plugin before ProTools will continue loading.  Please note that if you do click Quit, Pro Tools will incorrectly report that your new plugin is invalid.  You can ignore this message.

If the activation prompt is causing problems in ProTools, you can just to authorize in a different DAW, and then come back to ProTools. That will work because once you're authorized in one DAW, you're authorized in every DAW.  If you don't have another DAW, you can try one of the many DAWs that offer a free trial, such as Reaper.

Why is the plugin asking for a “license card” or “challenge/response” key?

If you installed a PA plugin, and now it’s asking for a license card, you probably downloaded a very old version of the plugin. We make those old iLok versions available for customers who bought their license years ago and then never upgraded. We stopped supporting the iLok in January 2012, so those old versions won't work for current customers. 

To download the current version, just go to Manage Registered Plugins and select the plugin, and be sure to download the latest version.

How can I talk to a member of the Plugin Alliance staff?

Please feel to contact us anytime via the support link in the sidebar and we will gladly get back to you as soon as possible.

Before you take the time to do so, please review the questions on this page as your question may have already been answered. Our plugins are used by tens of thousands of users world-wide, so please be patient as there could be a considerable queue in the support line at any given time.

I need help. What do I do?

If you can’t find the answer to your question in this list please file a new support request via the support link in the sidebar.

We will need some basic information about your computer, your user account and the plugins with which you are experiencing a problem. This information should be as accurate as possible in order to expedite the highest quality of support for your case.

iLok

Can I put my PA licenses onto an iLok?

Plugin Alliance stopped supporting the iLok a few years ago. However, you can put your licenses on a standard USB stick if you'd like a portable "license dongle."

To authorize a USB thumb drive, make sure you usb drive is in your computer. Then, open one of your plugins in ProTools (or any host) and click the key icon on the bottom right side of the plugin window. An authorization window will pop up. Under the text "Select the device you would like to activate" there is a pulldown menu. Click it and select your USB drive. Make sure the "Activate all my licenses" checkbox is checked (unless you want to authorize individual plugins one at a time). Then click "I'm Online" and enter your login info. Now your USB drive is authorized and can be used on any computer.

Can I use my old iLok licenses?

If you own old iLok licenses by Brainworx, SPL, Elysia or Vertigo, we have already moved them into our new system, and they will be waiting there for you to activate them.

DSM / Pro Audio DSP: if you own a V1 iLok auth of this plugin it will not be transferred into our system automatically, but we do offer $49 upgrades to the V2 (Plugin Alliance version). Please contact Sales Support to receive your upgrade voucher.

If you bought your iLok licenses at the original web stores from Brainworx, SPL or Elysia on May 1st, 2011 or later, you qualify for a FREE upgrade to the new Plugin Alliance licenses.
If your licenses were bought before that date we offer you a very fair paid upgrade. Please check your Plugin Alliance account. Single plugin upgrades are $20 each, or upgrade ALL of the Alliance plugins in one account for just $50 (that’s the maximum).

This includes updating bx_control V1, bx_dynEQ V1 and bx_digital V1 to the current, V2 versions.

I want to go on using my old iLok licenses. How does that work?

Sure, no problem.
If you don’t need 64-bit support or the AAX format, you can go on using what you originally purchased forever, of course.
All old iLok based plugin installers are still available in your account under View and Manage Plugins.
They will always be available online, free of charge.
However, please understand that these legacy versions of our plugins are no longer updated.

Is updating my old iLok licenses free, then?

That depends on when you first bought the plugin in question.

If you bought your licenses May 1st, 2011 or later: FREE update. Simply grab the new installers for these plugins and you will be fine.

If your license was bought BEFORE May 1st, 2011: PAID update. Don´t worry, updates for older plugins are only $20 for single plugins or $50 for ALL of your Alliance plugins in one account.
This includes updating bx_control V1, bx_dynEQ V1 and bx_digital V1 to the current, V2 versions.

When I enter my iLok account e-mail address, I get "no matching account found".

We have removed the need for an iLok in licensing our plugins, and as a result, several legacy accounts were affected. Please contact Sales Support with your account information and a screenshot of your iLok authorizations; we will verify your licenses and help merge or create a new account for you.

No more iLok or eLicenser / USB dongles / hardware needed?

No. No more USB dongle and no more hardware card needed to use our plugins at all.


We got rid of all hardware dongles and now offer our own software-based hassle-free license management system.
Our system simply requires ONE license file that covers ALL of your Alliance plugins. This file gets copied to your workstation computer, that´s it.

Can I transfer my old iLok Licenses to other iLok accounts?

Sorry, you cannot do that. We are not using iLok anymore (since Dec 2011), so we cannot operate or agree to iLok transfers. If you want to transfer or sell your older licenses, you need to activate them as Plugin Alliance licenses first, then you can transfer them to a different user account. Please see the dedicated FAQ post for this procedure.

What happened to my iLok licenses (BX, SPL, Elysia, Vertigo)?

If you own old iLok licenses by Brainworx, SPL, Elysia or Vertigo we have already moved them into our new system; they will be waiting there for you to activate them.

You should have received please send us your iLok USER ID, EMAIL ADDRESS and YOUR NAME and a list of the LICENSES you own. We may require you to attach a screenshot of your iLok account in order to verify your licenses.

Why do I have to pay a fee for older iLok upgrades or crossgrades?

Older iLok licenses from SPL, BX & elysia (only if they were bought before May 1st, 2011) are subject to a fee if you want to migrate them to the new Plugin Alliance system.

The fee is $20 for a single plugin or $50 (max) for your whole account (in case you have several older licenses you want to migrate).

We charge these fees because we now offer 32- and 64-bit support for Mac and PC for all plugins. We have also added the AAX Native (new Pro Tools 10) to the Alliance system, and you can now use each Alliance licenses on up to 3 machines at the same time.

If you don't need these features, you may go on using the legacy installers for the older iLok versions, found in your account under View and Manage Plugins. We do not force users to move to the new Alliance system.

If you own a "bx_ALL" or "SPL ALL" bundle bought anytime (even before May 1st, 2011), please contact us and you will get a FREE upgrade to the Plugin Alliance system for ALL the plugins in your account.

Known Issues

Logic's AU Validation Tool gives the error message "validation result: couldn't be opened" when scanning the plugins.

This is happening because Apple updated its AU Validation Tool in Sierra, which unfortunately caused all our plugins (except our Lindell and Unfiltered Audio plugins) to fail validation in Logic.  Our developers are working hard with Apple to ensure compatibility in the near future. We will send out a newsletter to our subscribers as soon as we have new info on our Sierra support.

 Some of our customers have reported that they are successfully using a workaround that "tricks" Logic into validating the plugins, by replacing the current “auvaltool” system file with one harvested from OS X Yosemite.  You can find out more information on this work around by doing a Google search for the phrase “El Capitan Breaking Your Audio Unit Plugins?” This will lead you to an article about an issue that some Logic users were having with El Capitan, but the workaround in the article also applies to the current issues in Sierra.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that implementing this solution may decrease the security protection embedded in MacOS Sierra. While we are not aware of other problems arising, we cannot guarantee that any fix will work or the impact on your system. Neither Plugin Alliance, Brainworx, nor our suppliers can be held responsible for any problems you may encounter by trying these steps. IT IS ALWAYS RECOMMENDED YOU BACKUP/CLONE YOUR COMPUTER OR OTHER DEVICE BEFORE UPDATING.

 

The Installation Manager’s “Pause download” function is unstable.

If a download is left in the paused state for more than a few minutes, the Installation Manager will spontaneously quit. This issue will be addressed in the next update. In the meantime, please don’t use the Pause function for more than a short time.

The presets were not installed

There is a rare bug in which the presets don’t get installed as they should.  If you can’t find a PA plugin’s presets, try this simple fix: Go into your preset folder, create a folder inside it named “Plugin Alliance” and then run the plugin installer again.  Preset folder locations can vary, depending on the DAW and any user customizations, but here are the most common preset locations:

Mac:

~/Documents/Pro Tools/Plug-In Settings

~/Library/Audio/Presets

Windows:

%USERPROFILE%\Documents\VST3 Presets\

%USERPROFILE%\Documents\Pro Tools\Plug-In Settings\

If the presets still don’t appear, after creating the folder and reinstalling, please contact Customer Support.

The bx_console or bx_meter won’t fit on my screen

We are aware of this issue and unfortunately, because of their large interfaces, the bx_console and bx_meter are not supported in monitors that have a resolution of less than 1280x960. One possible workaround that we suggest is to go to your display settings and change the resolution. Mac users may also need to enable scaled resolutions. 

If you'd like to try a more radical solution, you could go into your display settings and change the orientation to "portrait" (Windows), or change the rotation to “90 degrees” (Mac OSX). Then set your monitor on its side.

The DrumXChanger factory sample library is not openable.

There is a bug that makes the DrumXChanger factory sample library appear "greyed out" in the file selector window, and thus impossible to open. This only affects users of Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) and earlier. This does not affect custom sample libraries.

This bug will be fixed in the next update. In the meantime, please update to OS X 10.11 (El Capitan), or contact support and request the DrumXChanger v1.5.3 legacy installer.

The Dent/Indent/G8/Sandman plugin window is completely blank.

All Unfiltered plugins rely on the OpenGL graphics engine, so the user interface will appear empty on Windows computers that don't have updated graphics drivers. You can fix this issue by updating your graphics drivers, or installing them if they aren't already installed. Linked below is a utility that helps identify and update drivers automatically for Intel chipsets: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/detect.html

After adding the bx_stereomaker to a mono track in Digital Performer, the audio still sounds mono.

There is a bug that prevents the bx_stereomaker from properly instantiating as a “mono to stereo” plugin in Digital Performer.  This bug only occurs with the Audio Unit plugin format, so please use VST instead.

Presets are not available in Ableton Live AudioUnits

Plugin Alliance factory presets do not appear when using AudioUnit format plugins in Ableton Live. Since this issue only affects the AudioUnit format, we recommend that Ableton Live users use VST instead.

Noise and CPU issues in Cubase 8.5 on Windows

There have been reports of problems from primarily Windows 7 users in Cubase 8.5. These can include audio glitches during playback, brief noise bursts, or host crash / hang.

We are working closely with Steinberg to track down the issue and provide a resolution. Until then, there are a few things you can try to mitigate the problems:

  • Troubleshoot by temporarily removing any connected USB flash drives from your system.
  • Try removing the VST3 version of your plugins and only use VST2; you can either do this by manually deleting them from the installation folder (usually ‘Program Files\Common Files\VST3\’), or deselecting the ‘VST3’ option when performing a clean install.
  • Use legacy versions of your plugins (pre-April 2015). You can obtain these by providing a list of required installers to Tech Support.

Please note that some newer plugins will not be available as legacy versions.

If you continue to have issues, please contact Tech Support and be sure to provide as detailed information about your system as possible. The more in-depth information we have concerning your system, the more efficiently we can help solve this issue. 

Dropdown menu issue with G8

While dropdown active, dropdown remains open and detaches from plugin window when moving window: In some cases, moving the plugin window while a dropdown is open will cause the dropdown menu to detach from its intended location on the user interface.

No sound processing with AU in Studio One 2

No sound processing with AU in Studio One 2 (works with VST, VST3 and in Studio One 3): In the event that the AU version of G8 will not process sound in Studio One 2, please use the VST version.

Behavior in AudioFinder

In Iced Audio AudioFinder Mac, a double click is necessary to control the GUI elements. Also, scrolling through audio files might result in silence when an Alliance plugin GUI is open. This will be fixed asap.

(Double-click issue fixed for Brainworx in versions x.x.2)

Auto-Listen, Copy, Paste, Reset in PT Multi-Mono

Due to Pro Tools specific restrictions, the features Auto-Listen Copy, Paste and Reset of Plugin Alliance plugins (mostly Brainworx) are only applied on the first channel of a Multi-Mono plugin in Pro Tools (AAX and RTAS/TDM). Adjust the other channels manually in order to apply Copy, Paste, Reset there as well.

REAPER x64 Windows

In REAPER x64 under Windows, instantiating multiple P.A. plugins while using a dedicated process per-plugin causes the host to crash.

32-bit Windows plugins installed to root of system drive, not in proper VST folders

In some cases, 32-bit Windows installers have been known to install VST 2.4 plugins into the root of the system drive, and not in the appropriate DAW plugin folders in 'Program Files'. If you are having trouble seeing your plugins inside your 32-bit DAW, please check this location and manually move the .dll file into the DAW's VST folder contained within "Program Files".

Activation Dialog in Pro Tools for Unfiltered Audio

Activation dialog does not open on Pro Tools startup when plugin is un-activated: In order to activate a trial or license for your plugin, click the ‘key’ icon on the plugin window to open the Activation Dialog.

VST3 Presets in StudioOne

After an initial install of a plugin, it is possible that in Presonus StudioOne, the factory presets of a VST3 plugin are not recognized correctly. To let the presets appear, go to the Browse window, right-click on the VST plugin and select Refresh.

Unfiltered Audio Cubase Tooltips

Tooltips only when clicked on control in Cubase: In some cases, parameter tooltips may not show until the user clicks on the parameter.

Activation failure when using SanDisk memory sticks

Because SanDisk USB memory drives do not provide drive specific serial numbers, users will not have any success activating to them. Please use another brand when activating your plugins to a USB memory stick.

Can't enter my login data in old Pro Tools versions

Depending on your keyboard and ProTools version it maybe possible that characters that are necessary in order to enter your email address and/or password (e.g. the @-sign) into the licenser dialog are grabbed away by ProTools.

At the moment the possible workarounds to activate your plugins nevertheless are the following options:

  1. Use another host (e.g. Reaper or AULab) to activate your plugins and use them in ProTools.
  2. Use activation manual.
  3. Open a simple text editor and type your log in. Copy and paste the data into the respective fields in the online activation dialog via the context menu (right click or ctrl+click). Cmd+c and cmd+v may be grabbed away as well.
Pro Tools automation issues after selecting presets / with linked parameters

In Pro Tools (AAX and RTAS/TDM), if you change a preset or a Brainworx / SPL bank after activating automation for parameters, it might lead to parameters jumping back to its default / old value after reopening a session.

The same may happen in case of channel linked parameters, e.g. elysia alpha master.

To avoid this:

  • Make sure to first select a preset or bank before you activate automation for parameters that need to be automated. 
  • Disable channel linking when working with automation on all parameters. 
  • Avoid to activate parameters for automation if you do not plan to automate these. 
  • To fix an existing session that is affected, open the session and disable all parameters from automation that are not actually automated before pressing play again.

Please contact Tech Support if you still experience issues.

Pro Tools 10 error on AAX DSP instantiation

In versions below 10.3.3, Pro Tools might present an error "Plug-In uses features not available on this DSP architecture." when trying to instantiate a Plugin Alliance AAX DSP plugin, resulting in a failure to load. This was fixed by Avid in Pro Tools 10.3.3 and higher. If you experience issues, please update to the latest Pro Tools (10) version.

Change of the plugin's company strings

We have recently changed the company string of all Alliance plugins to "Plugin Alliance", moving the company strings like SPL and elysia to the product tag (e.g. Plugin Alliance - SPL De-Esser). You will be able to find your plugins more easily and grouped under "Plugin Alliance" in hosts like Pro Tools now. These changes have been applied to all products on plugin-alliance.com.

This also results in changes for the folders that store the plugin, the manual and the presets, depending on the plugin format. The installers should make this process as seamless and easy as possible.

On Windows, please uninstall any versions earlier than Oct 31, 2012 before installing new versions.

On Mac, there is no need to delete or uninstall any old versions before installing new versions.

If you have custom presets in VST(3) or AU, the installer will take care of preserving these in order to still use them with the new plugins. Custom presets in AAX, TDM and RTAS will be preserved as is.

Users of elysia or Vertigo plugins may experience difficulties accessing old presets. In these cases, you can find old versions of the plugins in View and Manage Plugins.

Wavelab 7 currently has an issue restoring VST3 plugins that have a company name string change. This is supposed to be fixed with Wavelab 8. As a workaround, you can save vstpreset files and load them with current versions.

iLok plugin compatibility

Users migrating from older iLok-protected versions may experience issues on the following setups:

  • VST3 plugins in Wavelab do not convert correctly to current versions (all)

For opening old sessions, you may wish to temporarily use old plugin versions, found in your account under View and Manage Plugins.

If you are experiencing other compatibility issues with old iLok versions, please let us know via the Tech Support form.

Spectral threshold curve not retained in DSM V2

We are aware that the current version of DSM V2 does not retain the threshold curve when re-opening a session in some hosts. Though this is not a general problem, it has be reported with the following host/OS configurations:

  • Ableton Live 8 (VST2.4), Mac OS X 10.x / Win 7 (32- and 64-bit)
  • Sonar X2

We will provide a fix for this issue as soon as possible. Please switch to VST3 whenever possible.

Experiences 'Access Violation' when auditioning samples in DrumXChanger

There have been reports of users experiencing an Access Violation error in Pro Tools 12.5 HD on systems running Windows 10. After loading drum kit samples and previewing them in the sample menu, the plugin may return this error message when auditioning between different kits. This has not been reported to cause a crash in the host software.

Unfiltered Audio and Lindell VST3 plugins cause Windows Samplitude to crash.

Removing an Unfiltered Audio/Lindell plugin from an insert slot will cause Samplitude to crash.  This only affects Windows, and only when using the VST3 plugin format.  This issue will be fixed in a future update.  In the meantime, Windows Samplitude users are encouraged to use the VST2 plugin format for these plugins.