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Waves Creative Access – Frequently Asked Questions

Feb 08, 2024

Find comprehensive answers to your questions about the benefits included in Waves Creative Access, how these subscriptions work, our free trial and demo options, the perpetual (non-subscription) licenses that you continue to own, and more.

Waves Creative Access subscriptions (Waves Essential, Waves Ultimate) include:

  • Full access to all the included plugins (compare Waves Ultimate and Waves Essential here: click 'See plugins' below the pricing).
  • Free updates for the included plugins, at no extra cost, each time a new software update is released
  • Free second license for use on an additional device.
  • New plugins added regularly, as they are released, at no extra cost. (Please note that new plugins will be added to both Waves Essential and Waves Ultimate, but more frequently to Waves Ultimate).
  • Personal technical support by phone, chat, and email, including real-time screen sharing or remote-controlled assistance when necessary.
  • StudioVerse: Thousands of mix chains w/ instant AI search

Please note: Waves Creative Access does not include the DTS broadcast plugins and Waves live sound applications such as eMotion LV1, SuperRack, SoundGrid Rack for VENUE, and Dugan Speech.

Need help deciding between subscriptions and perpetual licenses? Compare them here.

Questions about my perpetual (non-subscription) licenses
Can I renew Waves Update Plan coverage for my perpetual (non-subscription) licenses?

Yes, you can renew your Waves Update Plan coverage for one, some, or all of your perpetual licenses here.

Can I still purchase perpetual (non-subscription) licenses? Is this option still available, alongside the new Waves Creative Access subscriptions?

Yes, you can now purchase new perpetual licenses for Waves plugins and bundles.

What happens to the plugin or bundle licenses I purchased prior to Waves Creative Access?

You continue to own your plugins, perpetually.

If your licenses are currently covered by the Waves Update Plan, you can update them to the latest version. If they are not currently covered by the Waves Update Plan, you can renew your coverage first, then update.

I still have Waves Update Plan coverage on my perpetual products. Can I continue to update these products, just as before? What happens when the coverage expires?

If you have Waves Update Plan coverage on your perpetual licenses, you can continue to update these licenses, just as before, for the duration of your Waves Update Plan coverage.

You can always renew your Waves Update Plan, either before or after it expires, in order to continue to receive ongoing updates for your covered products, plus all of the plan’s additional benefits.

Can I install just the plugins for which I own perpetual (non-subscription) licenses?

Yes, you can install just the V14 plugins for which you own perpetual licenses, online via Waves Central’s 'Install Products’ page.

You can also install just the V9-V13 plugins for which you own perpetual licenses, via an offline installer: see instructions here.

Will I be able to continue using the second licenses offered with the Waves Update Plan?

You can continue using your second licenses for the duration of your current Waves Update Plan coverage.

If you renew your Waves Update Plan coverage before it expires, your second licenses will remain active without interruption.

If your Waves Update Plan coverage expired, you can renew it, then register new 2nd licenses.

How do I Install and activate my perpetual plugins or bundles?

Refer to this page for full instructions to install and activate new or existing V14 perpetual plugins and bundles.

If you own perpetual (non-subscription) licenses for V9-V13 plugins or bundles, please refer to the How to Install Waves Legacy Versions article for installation instructions.

Also, if needed, you may install your plugins on older operating systems. Choose your operating system from this list for a full set of instructions.

Can I try the plugins before purchase?

Yes, but we no longer offer 7-day demo licenses for each separate plugin or bundle. Instead, you can evaluate all the plugins in demo mode, for free, as one unified download, without time limit.

If you wish to try the plugins in demo mode, simply click Install Demo on the Waves Creative Access page in Waves Central. This will install a demo of all Waves plugins on your computer. This demo will let you evaluate all Waves plugins at your own pace, for as long as you want, without any time limitation. However, this demo is not fully functional: if you don’t have licenses for some of the plugins, using those plugins will introduce periodic audio mutes in your session.

If you purchase a plugin or bundle as a perpetual license, or start a Waves Creative Access subscription, any plugins you installed in demo mode, for which you now have licenses, will become fully functional without the periodic audio mutes (just don’t forget to activate your newly purchased licenses).

In demo mode, will the mutes introduced by all plugins happen all at the same time?

Yes, mutes are synchronized across all plugins running in demo mode.

Can I tell which plugins are running demo mode, without referencing a list or opening the plugin?

Within the StudioRack plugin chainer’s internal plugin list, you can show or hide unlicensed plugins via the padlock icon. When shown in the list, Waves plugins running in demo mode will be indicated in italics. (This indication is also available in CLA MixHub’s and Scheps Omni Channel’s insert menu.)

We have made the utmost effort to indicate whether installed plugins are licensed or not, with italic text and filters. We are working to provide this indication in Waves live applications (eMotion LV1, SuperRack, SoundGrid Rack for VENUE) as well. However, we do not have a technical option to provide this indication within DAWs.

Questions about Waves Creative Access subscriptions
Do perpetual plugin and bundle licenses continue to be available alongside Waves Creative Access subscriptions? Can I still buy and own individual plugins and bundles, just as before?

You can now purchase new perpetual licenses for Waves plugins and bundles.

Will newly released plugins be added to my subscription at no extra cost?

Yes, new plugins added to the Essential or Ultimate subscriptions will be available at no extra charge and can be installed through Waves Central.

Please note that new plugins will be added to both Waves Essential and Waves Ultimate, but more frequently to Waves Ultimate.

Will I get plugin updates and support for free?

Yes. Under Waves Creative Access subscriptions, you will not need to pay extra for any software updates for the included plugins, or for personal technical support. Both are included in the Waves Essential and Waves Ultimate subscriptions.

Is Waves Creative Access the only way to get Waves plugins now?

No, you can still purchase new perpetual licenses for Waves plugins and bundles.

How do I install Waves Creative Access plugins?

Once you sign up for your subscription, you will be directed to Waves Central for immediate installation.

If you do not have Waves Central already installed, you will be prompted to install it. Installation and activation instructions can be found here.

Can I try Waves plugins prior to subscribing?

You can try Waves Creative Access plugins in two ways before paying for a subscription:

  • Start a free 7-day trial:

    When you subscribe to either Waves Essential or Waves Ultimate for the first time, you will have free fully functional access to the plugins for 7 days. You can cancel anytime during the free trial without being charged. At the end of the 7-day period your subscription will begin with your first automatic payment.

    A few important notes:

    • When you start the free trial for either Waves Essential or Waves Ultimate, you will be able to install all Waves plugins on your computer.

      If you start the free trial for Waves Ultimate, all the plugins will be fully functional.

      If you start the free trial for Waves Essential, only the plugins included in Essential will be fully functional; the remaining plugins will run in demo mode: see details below.

    • you decide to cancel the subscription, Waves Creative Access plugins will remain installed on your computer in ‘demo mode’ (see below).
    • The free 7-day period for Waves Essential and Waves Ultimate is available only once for each subscription option.

    Subscribe here to start your free trial

  • Evaluate the plugins in demo mode:

    If you wish to try the plugins without a subscription, simply click Install Demo on the Waves Creative Access page in Waves Central. This will install a demo of all Waves plugins on your computer. This demo will let you evaluate all Waves plugins at your own pace, but it is not fully functional: if you don’t have licenses for some of the plugins, using those plugins will introduce periodic audio mutes in your session.

    Once you subscribe to a Waves Creative Access option (Essential or Ultimate), all plugins included in your subscription will be fully functional without the periodic audio mutes.

    Demo mode will be available to you indefinitely: It is not time-limited.

Can I move Waves Creative Access licenses between computers?

A single Waves Creative Access license will authorize one system at a time. Moving between multiple systems is easy: find the instructions here. If you want to run Waves Creative Access plugins on two computers simultaneously, you can register a free second license here.

Can I cancel my subscription anytime?

Yes, you can cancel anytime during your subscription, through your Waves account.

If you cancel, your subscription will terminate at the end of the current monthly/annual subscription period. For example, if you started your subscription on June 10 and you cancel on June 28, it will terminate on July 10.

A note about how the 'monthly subscription period' is defined: Waves subscriptions run from the start date to the same-numbered date on the following month, regardless of month length – for example, from February 25 to March 25, from June 10 to July 10 (but from March 31 to April 30). The subscription month always ends at 5 pm EST. If you cancel, your subscription will terminate at 5 pm EST on the last day of the monthly subscription period; if you stay in the subscription, it will be automatically renewed at 5 pm EST at the end of each monthly subscription period.

If I miss a payment, does my subscription immediately get canceled?

Don’t worry, we will send an email notification about the missed payment and provide a grace period of 7 days before your subscription is canceled. Plus, you can always re-subscribe if this happens.

Will my subscription automatically renew each month/year?

Subscriptions purchased via Waves.com are auto-renewed monthly or annually (depending on your subscription period). Once you are charged successfully, your subscription license is renewed instantly as well.

Important notes if your computer is offline:

If your authorized computer is online (connected to the internet), your subscription license will be renewed automatically on that computer.

If your authorized computer is offline, you will need to connect it to the internet and launch your DAW in order for your local license to sync and be renewed. Alternatively, you can activate your renewed license on a USB flash drive via an internet-enabled computer, and then transfer the renewed license to your offline computer.

For your convenience, we will always provide a 7-day grace period to sync licenses installed on offline computers. During this period, licenses on an offline computer will continue to be fully functional.

Waves Technical Support is available here if you need assistance.

Tip: An annual subscription may be the preferred option for offline systems.

How many times can I start the free 7-day trial?

The free 7-day trial for Waves Essential and Waves Ultimate is only available once for each subscription offer.

In demo mode, will the mutes introduced by all plugins happen all at the same time?

Yes, mutes are synchronized across all plugins running in demo mode.

I am subscribed to Waves Essential. Why do I see other Waves plugins to which I am not subscribed in my DAW?

The remaining plugins (the ones not included in Essential) are running in demo mode. Plugins running in demo mode introduce periodic audio mutes, yet they are functional, and you can try them without time limitation.

This way you can evaluate our entire massive plugin catalog at your own pace. You can also continue to try the thousands of plugin chains in Waves StudioVerse, and avoid chain presets loading with unavailable plugins.

If you prefer to hide plugins running in demo mode, many DAWs have a plugin manager that allows you to customize how your plugins are shown. (The Waves StudioRack plugin chainer’s padlock icon allows you to show or hide unlicensed plugins).

We suggest you take advantage of this option to customize your plugin list, rather than removing plugins entirely. This way you will avoid Waves StudioVerse chain presets loading with unavailable plugins.

What is the benefit of installing all Waves plugins and keeping those in demo mode on my machine?

This way you can evaluate plugins for which you do not yet have a subscription, at your own pace, without time limitation. Plus, this way you can continue to try all the thousands of plugin chains included in Waves StudioVerse.

If I cancel my subscription during the free trial, can I continue to use the plugins in demo mode?

Yes, all the plugins will continue to run in demo mode, introducing periodic audio mutes. Once you subscribe to a Waves Creative Access option (Waves Essential or Waves Ultimate), all plugins included in your subscription will be fully functional again, without the periodic audio mutes.

Can I upgrade my current subscription to a larger one?

Yes, you can upgrade from Waves Essential to Waves Ultimate, or from monthly to annual, on the ‘My Products’ page of your Waves account. Your license will be upgraded immediately.

Can I downgrade my current subscription to a smaller one?

Yes, you can downgrade from Waves Ultimate to Waves Essential on the ‘My Products’ page of your Waves account. The downgrade will occur at the end of your current billing period.

To change your billing method from annual to monthly, you will need to cancel the annual subscription and purchase a monthly subscription.

Can I tell which plugins are running demo mode, without referencing a list or opening the plugin?

Within the StudioRack plugin chainer’s internal plugin list, you can show or hide unlicensed plugins via the padlock icon. When shown in the list, Waves plugins running in demo mode will be indicated in italics. (This indication is also available in CLA MixHub’s and Scheps Omni Channel’s insert menu).

We have made the utmost effort to indicate whether installed plugins are licensed or not, with italic text and filters. We are working to provide this indication in Waves live applications (eMotion LV1, SuperRack, SoundGrid Rack for VENUE) as well. However, we do not have a technical option to provide this indication within DAWs.

Can I install Waves Creative Access on an older operating system?

Certainly. We offer step by step instructions for installing plugins on older operating systems: choose your operating system from this list.

Please note that demo mode is not available for legacy versions.

Have more questions? Contact Us!